View Full Version : Dregs Bottle = Accelerated Sur Lie?

07-03-2014, 03:57 AM
I pitched my first two 1gal batches in late February, both JAOMs, and they were both amazing. Since then I have been doing a lot of experimenting, many quart batches and some gallon batches (and a few 3gal batches from proven recipes). All the way I've been saving the fine lees, the leftovers from the first racking, in a 750mL Nordic style bottle. When it gets too full, I drink a glass, or suck around 100 mLs off the bottom, then fill with the latest batch. Generally it stays about 75% lees to 25% sexy clear hooch.

I pulled a little glass tonight and enjoyed the most incredible fermented beverage I've had in my life. It was completely dry, but not too dry, with a nose full of honey, an incredibly complex flavor of flowers, apples, peaches and caramel, and legs that would not quit (I have yet to see any hint of legs in any batch). From the effect of the amount I drank, I'd estimate it around 20% ABV.

So, to make a short question painfully long, Is that what Sur Lie does, or was it just a fluke?

07-04-2014, 06:05 PM
Hi Eikon, Others may have very different opinions but I very much doubt that the ABV is anything like 20 %. If each of your meads from which you removed the lees was say 12 - 15 percent then there is no way that adding more lees from similar meads can increase the ABV. The impact the mead may have had on you may be due to the chemicals that the yeast have produced and which time has not had any chance to transform.

I occasionally save lees in my fridge and the cold helps the yeast flocculate and drop out of suspension. I can then use the liquor above the yeast to top up carboys after racking. The "cake" on the bottom can be washed and so you can "harvest" the yeast and use it for other wines (for example, there is a delightful summer wine that is known as "skeeter pee" made from lemon juice, such a Real Lemon. The slurry from washed yeasts that have been used to make say, meads, won't be overstressed by the acidity of the lemon juice in ways that dried yeasts and indeed liquid yeasts might be.