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Jim H
07-20-2013, 11:17 AM
Hi all. This is in reference to the mead currently underway here (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?p=211800).

This week was a rough and busy one at work, and frankly I didn't remember to submerge my carboy in iced water during the week, I only did it today. The specifics:
- several days this week (at least 4) with temps over 95F, and at least one day over 100F. The must was not cooled during this week.
- as of this writing the batch is 20 days old
- using K1V (tolerance to 95F)
- mead in primary fermentation
- 3/4 tsp Fermaid K has been added step wise
- 3 gallons total, 12 pounds honey added step wise
- no significant lees are visible at this point.

So, the questions of the day are
How much damage will the heat have done to the batch?
Aside from cooling the carboy with ice water, are there other steps to take to save this batch?

Chevette Girl
07-20-2013, 11:54 AM
I think K1V is probably the best yeast selection you could have made for this kind of abuse :)

I wouldn't worry too much about it unless you smell something suspicious. You may need to age it a little longer if it made a bunch of fusel alcohols, but you might be OK. I used to do all my primaries in my very hot kitchen all summer and I don't think I had a batch actually spoil from it.

Jim H
07-20-2013, 12:24 PM
I think K1V is probably the best yeast selection you could have made for this kind of abuse :)

I wouldn't worry too much about it unless you smell something suspicious. You may need to age it a little longer if it made a bunch of fusel alcohols, but you might be OK. I used to do all my primaries in my very hot kitchen all summer and I don't think I had a batch actually spoil from it.



Well, K1V was the yeast of choice for certain members of this forum who advised me. I knew it could get hot, and this is the yeast they suggested. And, while it didn't get as hot as say, Texas might have, it did get pretty roasty.

I have a ball valve on it (from better bottle) so I can smell the offgassing if I jostle the carboy. Nothing bad smelling that I can determine. In fact, smells pleasant. If it starts to turn ugly what's the typical kind of smell that I could expect? Burning rubber or butter? Something else?

danr
07-20-2013, 12:42 PM
We had very high temperatures at the end of primary fermentation on our first batch of mead last year; a dry Orange Blossom Traditional. It is coming along fine, although the taste was "hot" for a long time due to the fusel alcohols. It is coming up on it's first birthday and I may open a bottle this weekend to see how it is doing. I still have 3 of the 5 gallons bulk aging.

We are fortunate to have a spare refrigerator in the garage, so I bought a temperature controller and for the next two mead have carefully controlled the temperature during fermentation. I believe that the second traditional will be ready to drink earlier with the temperature control. It is not as "hot" as the first one was.

Dan

Chevette Girl
07-21-2013, 12:46 AM
Usual off smells include vomit, rubber and rotten egg... although I'm sure there are others and I'm not certain these will result from high temperatures, it's usually the "hot" taste you get, as danr described...

fatbloke
07-21-2013, 02:55 AM
Put a bit of thought into this since first reading it yesterday.......

While we know that yeasts like D47 do indeed, produce fusels if fermented too warm, I don't actually recall much if anything about K1V and its likely/possible characteristics in such a relatively extreme ferment as this one seems to have turned out to be with a honey must.

I believe that there have been some who've gone the other way and kept low, as I recall reading that it produces a lot of esters at low temps (baring in mind that it has one of, if not the, widest temperature ranges of wine yeast.......

Montpellier is at the southern part of the Languedoc after all, where it does regularly get hot, plus I believe a lot of the wines of the region are reds, notwithstanding that many reds can get a warm spurt in their making into the lower 30's C.

Hence I don't think, given the limited amount of data/info that we can take it as given that it will always produce fusels if they are actually fusels and not just a character of K1V where it gives, seemingly, that alcohol hot taste that we're familiar with from honey musts.

Perhaps a deeper dig into Languedoc wines or someone with a good palate might be more precise. Because its thought that its best to avoid fusels if possible........some do/will mellow with time, others not.

After all, if you look around the web and read stuff from distilling info, they can remove them with careful management, we in the wines and meads world don't have that option.......

Whether the temp spikes the OP batch will prove injurious to it remains to be seen........

pokerfacepablo
07-21-2013, 03:58 AM
Hell if you're that concerned with it you could always give it an ice bath. Put your carboy into a larger bucket of ice water. I bought a large laundry basket like bucket at Walmart for $4 which came in pretty handy for more than one situation. Add a few layers of ice every few hours until your fermentation is done. Watch the temp to make sure you don't get it too cold. Buy a large 20lb bag or what ever your freezer can hold and that should get you through the fermentation.

Im an idiot... didnt see the original posting.

Jim H
07-21-2013, 11:18 AM
Hell if you're that concerned with it you could always give it an ice bath. Put your carboy into a larger bucket of ice water. I bought a large laundry basket like bucket at Walmart for $4 which came in pretty handy for more than one situation. ...

Yep, did that yesterday. Since putting it in the bath, fermentation has slowed some, and not so much fizzing on top.

Today's temp is much more mild, around 85-89. Hopefully the hot spell is over.

Fatbloke -- yes, indeed, unless I start to smell something off, I probably won't know if I made jet fuel until its done.

Should have put it in a bath from the start.

fatbloke
07-21-2013, 11:31 AM
Yep, did that yesterday. Since putting it in the bath, fermentation has slowed some, and not so much fizzing on top.

Today's temp is much more mild, around 85-89. Hopefully the hot spell is over.

Fatbloke -- yes, indeed, unless I start to smell something off, I probably won't know if I made jet fuel until its done.

Should have put it in a bath from the start.
The evaporative cooling method of a bath /large bowl of water, a damp towel wrapped round the fermenter but so it also touches the water in the bowl/bath, then point a fan at it ?

I understand that method should help keep the temps down while it's finishing ........

Medsen Fey
07-21-2013, 07:21 PM
You are undoubtedly going to have produced a lot of fusel alcohols and it will be very surprising if it doesn't taste very "hot". Be on the lookout for medicinal, Band-aid aroma/flavor that may develop during the first 6 months. That has been the most common fault I've seen with high temp batches. Give it a year or two to age out and it may just become something nice. Plan for the long haul.

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Jim H
07-21-2013, 10:37 PM
You are undoubtedly going to have produced a lot of fusel alcohols and it will be very surprising if it doesn't taste very "hot". Be on the lookout for medicinal, Band-aid aroma/flavor that may develop during the first 6 months. That has been the most common fault I've seen with high temp batches. Give it a year or two to age out and it may just become something nice. Plan for the long haul.

Hm. You give a much more grim outlook than the others. In a couple of months, I will see what transpires... I can only hope it isn't too bad.

Medsen Fey
07-23-2013, 05:32 PM
Hm. You give a much more grim outlook than the others.
Perhaps I've just made more high-temp batches. They can turn out to be great, but I've always had it take more than a year.


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Jim H
07-23-2013, 08:26 PM
Well, the temps have reduced to below K1V's 95F upper bound over the last few days. Taking a whiff of the must, I still don't detect any off odors ... yet, at any rate. Time will tell.

I am keeping it in a water bucket, changing ice bottles every morning and evening. No fans or wet towels.

Jim H
08-01-2013, 10:06 PM
Hypothetical question here: IF this batch that had hit a week of high temps were to start smelling bad, how long after the high-temp exposure would the bad smells become apparent? A few days? A few weeks? Until I rack it to secondary? Not until after bottling?

I ask because I do not smell or taste anything funny or bad in the batch yet, and I am wondering if I dodged a bullet, or if it is too soon to tell.

I cooled it off about 11 days ago, and about a week ago temps cooled down enough so that I removed the batch from the bath.