View Full Version : Staggered Feeding Question

03-25-2014, 03:19 PM
I actually have two questions regarding staggered feeding.

Question Number 1. Is whether or not I am grasping the concept
Question Number 2. Would I need to stagger for the recipe below.

Recipe for a 1 gallon batch : 5 grams dry champagne yeast, 3.5 lbs of wildflower honey, 6 lbs of fresh strawberries, 1 tsp dried crushed mint, 1 tbs lemon zest. I want it to finish sweet and with a high abv.

dry champagne yeast has a abv tolerance of 17%. The estimated OG is 1.143 which gives me enough sugar to reach 18.14% if i have 100% conversion.

My understanding is that when you have a high og a stuck fermentation is possible, so one way to get around it is to do multiple feedings. You feed the yeast a smaller amount of sugar at a time and allow the final gravity between feedings to reach a desired fg. For instance in my case 1.0.

So a staggered feeding for the recipe could be as followed: At first feeding 2lbs of honey and 2 lbs of strawberries. This gives an apprx OG of 1.078. I then let the yeast feed til I get to 1.0. Second feeding would be 1.5 lbs of honey and 4 lbs of strawberries and let ferment down to around 1.0. Thus still giving me a difference total around .143.

Is this how step feeding works or have i missed something. Also should i step feed the above recipe.

Marshmallow Blue
03-25-2014, 04:28 PM
Yes, pretty much. Maybe add the rest in at 1.010 so the yeast doesn't ever think it's done and go dormant. If you feed it while it it is still actively fermenting it should help move it along a bit faster. Welcome to GotMead? Too!

03-25-2014, 04:56 PM
You should feed before it reaches 1.000 at which point, your yeast are likely dead. Try 1.015 or so. Check the tolerance of your yeast too so you can figure to not have overly sweet mead when you max out your yeast.

Sent from Arthur Dent's towel smothering a volume of Vogon poetry, some of which just leaked out.

Chevette Girl
03-26-2014, 12:13 AM
You are quite correct in your assumption that starting it a little lower and then step-feeding will keep the fermentation happier, but do be prepared for your champagne yeast to go the extra mile and keep eating and eating... sometimes they respond a little too well to being step-fed!

The way I usually do step-feeding is I put a conservative amount of honey in (you could probably start with 2.5 lb/gal, I regularly start with a kilogram of honey which I think is around 2.2 lb, but any SG under 1.110 should be fine, I'm just a little lazier and prefer to do fewer step-feedings) let it ferment, and once it gets close to finished, I decide on a low SG and a high SG, and every time it goes below my low SG (1.005) I add honey until it's around my high SG (1.020), after the first few times it slows down so you only need to check the SG every week or so... eventually the SG will stop moving.

I also use a staggered nutrient approach which I base on my initial SG, I start with half my energizer at pitch, half my DAP after I see activity, and the rest of the energizer and DAP gets mixed together in a container and every time I aerate and check the SG, I add some of the DAP/energizer mixture, and I try to time it so the last addition is right as the yeast have eaten 1/3 of the sugars in my initial must (not so coincidentally, this is when I want to stop aerating anyway). Lazy SNA. I should take out a patent :p

03-28-2014, 02:17 PM
As of right now I have a packet of Red Star pasteur champagne and a packet of Red Star premier Cuvee. My problem now is that im finding the champagne rated at possible 17% at some stores and only 13-15% at another. I want it to be a sweet wine but not overly sweet. I do not want it to be as sweet as moscato if that makes since. So I may need to modify the recipe to only 3 Pounds of honey.If I take it to 3 pounds the sg should be around 1.126 with a possible abv of 16.23%.