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View Full Version : When to get it off the lees?



Jim H
09-10-2013, 10:50 PM
I have a metheglin batch that has had some problems. It survive a heat wave, it got stuck, I didn't give it the thrashing-aeration it deserved, or the SNA it should have had. Yet, those yeasties keep munching along... at a slower rate than if I had paid them the attention they need, but along they go. It's still fizzing. I need to receive my replacement hydrometer to be sure, but my guess at current ABV is 12%

It's now at day 72. It is not past primary fermentation, although I did rack it to a clean primary around day 45 or so. Since then, I have fed it some Fermaid K and DAP, and after the halfway (and after the new re-starter kicked in) I switched to Fermaid O and boiled bread yeast. So far, no funny smells, and the tastes that I have sampled seem like it is coming along cleanly. In fact, it is slowly starting to clear... or get less cloudy at least.

For the last 20-25 days, its been developing a new set of well-degassed and stirred lees, but before that it had a couple weeks on "sickly", less cared-for lees.

The general question is: how to judge when enough time has passed sitting on primary ferment lees? I don't want it to develop buttery or rubbery tastes.

Yeast (original and re-starter) is K1V.

rmccask
09-10-2013, 11:08 PM
I don't rack before the primary fermentation is complete. You need to get the new hydrometer to know when that happens. Racking too early can cause the fermentation to stall and it isn't worth the risk. K1V is not one of the ones that are BAD to leave on lees so you should be ok. If it was 71B, then I would be more nervous.

fatbloke
09-10-2013, 11:10 PM
I'd wait until you have a hydrometer to check it with....

K1v1116 is a pretty robust yeast.......

Jim H
09-10-2013, 11:10 PM
I have read similar about K1V. Also, I have turned into an avid stirrer/degasser, it is now a hobby in and of itself -- I understand that batonnage is beneficial to recirculate nutrients.

If it were 71B, how long would you leave it on primary lees before worrying?

Oh, and just to check - primary ferment ends about 1.010, yes?

rmccask
09-10-2013, 11:22 PM
You can't really go by time to know when it is done. When the bubbling slows down, I start checking the SG every two days and when I get the same reading for 3 readings, I say I am done. I have seen many variations on it but really what you are looking for a stable SG for several days.

K5MOW
09-11-2013, 06:44 AM
I have read similar about K1V. Also, I have turned into an avid stirrer/degasser, it is now a hobby in and of itself -- I understand that batonnage is beneficial to recirculate nutrients.

If it were 71B, how long would you leave it on primary lees before worrying?

Oh, and just to check - primary ferment ends about 1.010, yes?

Well I would not go farther then one month past the end of your primary fermentation with 71b.

Roger

Jim H
09-11-2013, 10:47 PM
Thanks, that's a nice baseline, so to speak.

Jim H
09-11-2013, 10:50 PM
You can't really go by time to know when it is done. When the bubbling slows down, I start checking the SG every two days and when I get the same reading for 3 readings, I say I am done. I have seen many variations on it but really what you are looking for a stable SG for several days.

Thanks! I don't know how I pulled that SG number out of my a**. I must have read something with that number and primary fermentation ... and it left a silly idea in my head.

I'm taking readings very regularly, so I am sure I will notice when it really slows down.