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brentG
05-10-2014, 11:33 AM
I'm definitely new to making mead, and learning as I go. I read the newbie guide, and a lot of posts, but a picture speaks a thousand words.
Is this normal?

http://media500.dropshots.com/photos/1175317/20140509/202524.jpg (http://www.dropshots.com/brentcg#date/2014-05-09/20:25:24)

http://media502.dropshots.com/photos/1175317/20140509/203249.jpg (http://www.dropshots.com/brentcg#date/2014-05-09/20:32:49)

It's from the batch I asked about being contaminated, considering I spilled blood in it (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/23038-Contaminated-batch). It tastes extremely sour, and smells like alcohol. I used D47 and the temperature has been steadily increasing (a day or two pushed 80 degrees).

Thanks for all the help.
Brent

EbonHawk
05-10-2014, 11:47 AM
That's probably one of those batches that would benefit from poking that "fruit cap" down into the must from time to time. Did you do that? If not, then spoilage organisms can grow more readily up on top of everything. Also, that fruit cap prevents some beneficial things happening from below (CO2 escapage is one, healthier, more productive yeast is another).

As for a few drops of blood getting into your batch...you're talking about micro-parts per gallon. Like 1 ten-thousandths of a percent; not very much. I don't think you have anything to worry about from that end.

As for poking that fruit cap down now? I don't know. Maybe someone with more experience in that area can answer, but I think I would scoop all of it out that I could; maybe even rack it to another bucket from the bottom and maybe/or maybe not add back in more fruit of a similar kind, in a smaller amount. But then you have to worry about whether or not to boil that, etc..etc.

loveofrose
05-10-2014, 11:48 AM
Looks like a normal, bone dry mead. Time to rack off the fruit. The yeast would have metabolized everything in your red blood cells so no worries. I'm not saying serve it to guests. I'm saying you have a whole batch to yourself!

Considering you used grapefruit and there is no residual sugar, I would expect it to be pretty sour. Rack it and age, then stabilize and backsweeten to taste.

Get those temperatures down pronto! D47 is notorious for bad fusels above 70 F. It's not as bad post ferment, but it can still be a problem.


Better brewing through science!

Honeyhog
05-10-2014, 11:52 AM
Okay here's the deal. Using whole citrus fruits with the pith and fermented dry it will be bitter, bitter, bitter. Also D-47 doesn't like to be above 70F and starts throwing fusels (that hot alcohol you smell). So you can age it until the excessive bitterness disappears or stabilize it with sulfite and sorbate and then backsweeten to taste. Oh and that stuff you see on top is just yeast.

brentG
05-10-2014, 01:14 PM
Thanks so much for the help. I racked it off the fruit, so now I guess I'll wait and see what happens. I like the idea of waiting until the bitterness disappears instead of using stabilizing chemicals. This will probably change as I get more into making mead though.
I'm going to try batch three tonight. I'll post pictures and the process once I figure out what recipe I'm going to use.

EbonHawk
05-10-2014, 01:18 PM
I try not to use chemicals either, if at all possible. I could see using them if I were in a big hurry, but I prefer to just wait and do it naturally if I can.

That's probably the safest route: rack off the fruit and just see what happens. I have learned more recently that you can still play with the "final" product quite a bit if it's not to your liking. There are lots of options.

Get_Wiggly
05-10-2014, 01:57 PM
dear god that is a a lot of citrus

EbonHawk
05-10-2014, 02:11 PM
dear god that is a a lot of citrus
This could be his "Atlantic Crossing Mead" then. No worries about getting scurvy, eh? ;)

GntlKnigt1
05-10-2014, 03:44 PM
Bone fide blood wine.... I used to avoid the chemicals as well....but over the years and reading about the organisms that grow in unstabilized wine, ive become an advocate of the judicious measured use of such sanitizers. I would urge you to study up on the issue. Especially after fermenting above 75 F.

Stasis
05-10-2014, 05:42 PM
In such a case, would it be better to squeeze the juice from the citrus and not have to worry about pushing the cap down? Also that would surely eliminate the bitterness from pith. maybe add some zest to make up for not adding the peel

EbonHawk
05-10-2014, 06:15 PM
Bone fide blood wine.... I used to avoid the chemicals as well....but over the years and reading about the organisms that grow in unstabilized wine, ive become an advocate of the judicious measured use of such sanitizers. I would urge you to study up on the issue. Especially after fermenting above 75 F.
Would Ken Schramm's book be enough, or would you recommend any others?

GntlKnigt1
05-10-2014, 07:05 PM
Schramms book should be second, after the new bee guide. After that, its mostly articles on the web. I have posted a few in my blogs here and just bookmarked others

Sent from the Nexus of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which has been infected with Vogon poetry, some of which leaked out here.

brentG
05-11-2014, 01:32 PM
Like I said, as I get more into it, I'm sure chemicals will become a must, especially since I live in Southern Illinois and it's hot down here. But, for now, I acquired a couple carboys from my parents who used to make wine, and wanted to try a couple batches of natural, basic mead. Nothing crazy. If I like it, I'll invest in doing it properly, but the newbie guide made it seem like, providing I'm willing to wait a year or two (which I am), what I've done here isn't that terrible.
So, my plan as of now is to get the temperature down for this batch. If I put it in my bedroom I can keep it around 70 degrees. My first batch (started on Christmas) is in a cool crawlspace (upper fifties), and from what I've read, that just means it'll take a long time.
And yes, that is an awful lot of citrus. I'm hoping some squeezed grapefruit and honey back-sweetening will help it in a year from now.

Honeyhog
05-11-2014, 06:36 PM
There are yeasts that can handle the higher temperatures. Lalvin has several 71B-1122 or K1-v1116. These would be my first two choices but they also have EC-1118, a champagne yeast, which although effective can be too vigorous and send a lot of the more delicate aromas right out the airlock.

Get_Wiggly
05-11-2014, 07:11 PM
"These would be my first two choices but they also have EC-1118, a champagne yeast, which although effective can be too vigorous and send a lot of the more delicate aromas right out the airlock."

I just don't buy this - I think EC-1118 must metabolize these compounds, not 'blow them out of the airlock' - for the amount of CO2 released between two samples with the same OG, only EC-1118 vrs 71b or 1116, is going to be the same, and thus the airlock activity is going to be the same, in total.

EC-1118 must either make something that masks delicate aromas, or metabolizes them.

GntlKnigt1
05-12-2014, 02:29 AM
Here is a reference from Ken Schramm regarding chemicals/sanitation etc that I don't think is in his book...
http://www.gotmead.com/forum/entry.php/43-Optimizing-Honey-Fermentation-Part-3

Bob1016
05-12-2014, 06:32 AM
Your assuming that all yeast ferment at the same rate in the same environment which is just not true. 1118 is very vast and releases much more CO2 than other yeast given the same environment. This is the reason for the "blowing off", along with a general neutral character the doesn't accentuate anything in the honey and seems more bland compared to other yeast that do accentuate certain characters.


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loveofrose
05-13-2014, 09:05 PM
Your assuming that all yeast ferment at the same rate in the same environment which is just not true. 1118 is very vast and releases much more CO2 than other yeast given the same environment. This is the reason for the "blowing off", along with a general neutral character the doesn't accentuate anything in the honey and seems more bland compared to other yeast that do accentuate certain characters.


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Actually, this is simply not true. If the yeast ferment the same amount of sugar, then they produce the same amount of CO2. This is because the metabolism of the sugar is the source of the CO2. Maybe you are referring to the vigor of the ferment?

I also don't believe the literal "Blowing through the airlock" nomenclature, but I think the central point is valid. Certain yeast don't really enhance the mead. This enhancement can be good or bad depending on what you like/want in your mead. In my hands, I find yeast like DV10 and KIV1116 produce a very specific ester profile that enhances or detracts from the particular recipe. EC1118 is very neutral along with 1388. 71B is a middle of the road kind of yeast, but great for cysers where malic acid metabolism is desired.

Just my thoughts. I would love to hear yours.


Better brewing through science!

loveofrose
05-13-2014, 09:06 PM
Glitched out.

Bob1016
05-13-2014, 09:15 PM
Rate, I said rate! Then just trotted along like an a$$ without mentioning it again. There is a less than 0.1% difference in CO2 production per sugar consumed between most cerevisaea strains (it has to do with each strains efficacy towards the pyruvate -> ethanol process vs glycerol or getting stuck at acetaldehyde). There is a difference between the rates of sugar consumption (and resultant CO2 production) amongst strains though.


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Bob1016
05-13-2014, 09:18 PM
I don't find 1388 to be neutral, but as silly as it sounds we may have very different meanings for that term. In the sense that it doesn't take away a lot, it is neutral; but it does have a distinct taste that sets it apart (though by that definition, I have yet to find a truly neutral strain).


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loveofrose
05-13-2014, 09:28 PM
I don't find 1388 to be neutral, but as silly as it sounds we may have very different meanings for that term. In the sense that it doesn't take away a lot, it is neutral; but it does have a distinct taste that sets it apart (though by that definition, I have yet to find a truly neutral strain).


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Agreed on both accounts. I define neutral as minimal loss of a varietal honeys character. I find some yeast produce esters that cover up the flavor while others do not. This is not to be confused with no ester production. It's just that the esters that are produced do not mask the honeys original character.


Better brewing through science!

Bob1016
05-13-2014, 09:34 PM
Even yeast that don't produce noticeable esters (most bayanus strains produce them below threshold levels) can influence honey character by suppression, metabolism, or blowing off volatiles (due to CO2 production that's too rapid). For proof of the "blowing off" just take a keg of fresh IPA off the dry hops, carb it up, vent it, repeat, then pour a glass, it's missing a lot of the aromatics that were originally there.


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loveofrose
05-13-2014, 10:02 PM
Even yeast that don't produce noticeable esters (most bayanus strains produce them below threshold levels) can influence honey character by suppression, metabolism, or blowing off volatiles (due to CO2 production that's too rapid). For proof of the "blowing off" just take a keg of fresh IPA off the dry hops, carb it up, vent it, repeat, then pour a glass, it's missing a lot of the aromatics that were originally there.


Sent from my Motorola DynaTAC 8000X using Tapatalk

I agree with suppression and metabolism. Still don't buy the blowing off. Kegging has a CO2 tank to force CO2 in multiple times. This is very artificial. Fermentation in mead happens once and relies on the sugar amount to produce all the CO2. Whether this happens in 2 days or 2 months, it is the same amount of CO2 being dispelled into the air.


Better brewing through science!

Chevette Girl
05-14-2014, 12:14 AM
If I had carboy space and honey, I'd do a yeast test with a big batch of traditional must to see for myself what the differences are with all my "usual suspects", which include EC-1118, Ki-V1116, 71B, D47, RC-212 and bread yeast. I think that's the only way for me to figure it out. And of course I'd post the tasting results to share with everyone who either claims or disbelieves the "blowing off the aromatics" thing, for me it's something I've heard but not directly noted. I used to use EC-1118 almost exclusively in my early days but rarely would I say any wine or mead I made with it lacked flavour, and if it did, it was likely not due to the yeast... but not having a direct comparison with another yeast, I couldn't say if I could have had MORE flavour than it had...

icedmetal
05-14-2014, 10:30 AM
The issue with such a test is that each yeast has its sweet spot in terms of nutrients and temperature, and it's quite difficult to nail both of those factors for multiple strains of yeast simultaneously. At least my setup can't do it; space for two primary buckets to be temp-controlled at once, so long as they both need the same temp.

You could always brew the same (traditional) mead over and over again with various yeasts... but even then you'd probably want to experiment with the ferment temps of a specific strain.

Now I want to taste the difference between D47 at 61 degrees and D47 at 75 degrees. Hmm....

GntlKnigt1
05-14-2014, 11:13 AM
If I had carboy space and honey, I'd do a yeast test with a big batch of traditional must to see for myself what the differences are with all my "usual suspects", which include EC-1118, Ki-V1116, 71B, D47, RC-212 and bread yeast. I think that's the only way for me to figure it out. And of course I'd post the tasting results to share with everyone who either claims or disbelieves the "blowing off the aromatics" thing, for me it's something I've heard but not directly noted. I used to use EC-1118 almost exclusively in my early days but rarely would I say any wine or mead I made with it lacked flavour, and if it did, it was likely not due to the yeast... but not having a direct comparison with another yeast, I couldn't say if I could have had MORE flavour than it had...

Now, of all of us here on GotMead, I have to believe CG is best suited for this experiment, as she is the one that probably ferments the most batches and has scores of carboys, fermenters, pails and other equipment lying about....we just need to send her some bottles so she can empty some of them and use them for this test !!!

bernardsmith
05-14-2014, 12:27 PM
But the only really valid way to taste test this is to do a double blind test where neither the one who made the samples nor the one tasting the samples knows what the yeast was used in any sample being tested. After the tasting notes are written then you check to see which yeast was used.

Get_Wiggly
05-14-2014, 03:03 PM
Taste is so subjective, even double blind tests can be meaningless.

There was a post on HBT where a guy submitted the same recipe to 3 different competitions, approximately the same time.
One scored >90%
One scored >70%
And one was around 35%

The notes were all over the place "Tastes like too much vanilla" "Needs more vanilla" "Chocolate over powering" "Great aroma!" etc...