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Wombat
09-11-2014, 06:54 PM
Hello,
I'm brewing a BOMM after good success with a JOAM and am really enjoying this new hobby. Day 3 of this fermentation and I am worried about the DAP/Fermaid K quantities I've used, I have tied myself up in knots and need some advice please.

I did the following, 5 gallon batch:
OG is 1.097. At must creation I added:

1 tablespoon DAP + 2 tablespoons Fermaid K
3/4 tablespoons potassium carbonate

It's fermenting very well, and last night gravity hit 1.06 so I added another 1 tablespoon of DAP, only to find I had only one tablespoon of Fermaid K left. I aded that and ordered more.

I'm going over the forums and am worried I should be adding teaspoons, not tablespoons. If it is tablespoons, I have more Fermaid K arriving today and will add another tablespoon. If I should have been adding teaspoons, what do you suggest I do next?

Any advice much appreciated.
Thanks, Wombat.

mannye
09-11-2014, 07:25 PM
You're fine. Read the 5 gallon directions for BOMM nutrient additions as written by Bray:

"Dose the following at must creation, 2/3, & 1/3 sugar break. 1 tsp DAP + 2 tsp Fermaid K"

Wombat
09-11-2014, 07:38 PM
Thanks mannye, though I am dosing in tablespoons, that says teaspoons. When Mum taught me to cook it just handfuls or pinches, I missed the measuring class! So I keep going with 1 tablespoon of DAP and 2 of Fermaid K at the next break?

Medsen Fey
09-11-2014, 07:56 PM
No. You've loaded it up and don't need more. For a 5-gallon batch 1 tbsp DAP and 2 tbsp Fermaid K would be plenty.

loveofrose
09-11-2014, 08:46 PM
Actually, the 5 gallon batch had a typo. It is indeed tablespoons. Since the time of that post, I've found you don't need that much nutrient for most honeys. I think you are likely fine.


Better brewing through science!

Wombat
09-12-2014, 04:29 AM
Thanks everyone, it seems the consensus is that the total to date of 2 tablespoons DAP and 3 tablespoons Fermaid K is enough for a 5 gallon batch. So I guess I won't add any more now or at the final break.

Wombat
10-05-2014, 06:48 AM
Update:
It's been three and a half weeks now since fermentation started (it took 8 days to finish), I've just racked it again out of the secondary. It's been at 1.00 for a couple of weeks or more without change. I've only ever tasted a JOAM before, but this was not nice. The nose is good, with a nice light floral smell. But the taste - it has a slight hint of salt (from the excess DAP I presume), but there are stronger flavours of cleaning fluid, with citrus and alcohol, and a watery mouth feel. Not nice at all.

Anyone have an opinion on this? It could be my uneducated mead palate, it might just be green and need some months to age, or the excess nutrients have damaged it. I had an ex professional beer brewer taste it, he has hardly any mead experience but agrees with me on the disappointing taste. Any opinions would be appreciated.

kudapucat
10-05-2014, 07:49 AM
It sounds young and dry.
As it is young and dry; give it some time.
I don't know about the saltiness, but the rest should come good.
My favourite comment I ever received is: "wow, it tastes different to how it smells"
The understatement and politeness still makes me smile.

mannye
10-05-2014, 02:50 PM
That's exactly what my wife said the first time I made a dry mead. "How can it smell so good and taste to bad?"


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.

Wombat
03-17-2015, 02:27 AM
An update on this, the mead is 6 months old and smells a lot better and has obviously matured a lot more, but it still tastes salty. I've tipped one gallon of it down the drain to make room for another batch, and am about to tip the other 4 gallons of it out too. Before I do, anyone have a better idea? Assuming the salty taste is DAP that the yeast have not eaten, can I add the salty mead to another batch of mead that would eat the DAP? Split it say 50/50 with salty mead and a new mead still fermenting? Or just cut my losses and tip it all out?
Thanks,
Wombat.

Medsen Fey
03-17-2015, 05:42 AM
Salty mead can make a good marinade so you might save some for that purpose.

Have you tried sweetening it a little to see what that does for it?

Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT

kudapucat
03-17-2015, 05:52 AM
I would suggest you try blending it. If you add it upfront, it may be ok, but it may just waste your time and money...
If you blend, you can waste only a couple of glasses, if it blends well, tip it all in.

Wombat
03-17-2015, 07:06 PM
Thanks Medsen, I did back sweeten a gallon, no difference, still too salty to drink. Marinade is a good idea though, will try that.

Thanks Kudapucat, I will try that. Are you saying blend with another batch of finished mead? My concern is that I will then have slightly salty mead vs very salty mead. Any worth in adding it to mead that is say half fermented, or will that just stop the fermentation? I am imagining that the fermenting mead might use the existing DAP from the salty mead, or I am off track here?

I have to say this has been a really bad experience with DAP, I am not giving up and am doing another batch now, but am being very very stingy with adding DAP.

kudapucat
03-17-2015, 07:19 PM
I am saying that.
But I'm saying: blend it in a glass. When you find a concentration that suits, blend the lot at that ratio.
At worst, you lose a glass.
Otherwise, have somebody distil it. That will leave the salt behind. Not sure how you can legally achieve that where you live.

Stasis
03-18-2015, 06:43 AM
I think it is possible to throw this into another must which hasn't been dosed with much nutrients yet. But the must should be quite larger in order to avoid stressing the yeast with the sudden rise in alcohol. I think I'd go for a new batch which is at least twice as large. Maybe I'd add this salty batch as the 1/3 sugar break nutrients so that the alcohol would already be quite high. So if you have a potential 12% alc in this new batch, at the 1/3 break you'd have 4% alc. Adding this 'salty' mead (12+% alc) to the must would raise the alcohol to around 7%. I think this would not be too stressful on the yeast.
For this to taste so salty I'd imagine there are quite some excessive nutrients. This means the new must should be rather nutrient deficient by the 1/3 sugar break to ensure most nutrients from the salty must are gobbled up. Would some nutrient deficiency plus a sudden rise in alcohol cause even more stress than each event separately?
The problem with this approach is that you'll need a larger fermenter, which it seems you didn't have. But more importantly if this mead was salty because of a defect other than excessive nutrients the same defect will be found in the new mead. If the saltiness is from some wild yeast strain (for example) it isn't even guaranteed that the the end mead will be 1/3 as salty since the wild yeast can propagate and create the defect in the new mead...
Without tasting the mead I cannot say if the saltiness is from excessive nutrients, although it seems this is probably the case. I wonder if my line of thought is similar to what more experienced mead makers think.

Wombat
03-18-2015, 07:34 AM
Thanks Statis, I think you might have hit the nail on the head the more I think about this. I've just worked out that I had put the equivalent of about 26g of FermaidK and 17g of DAP in a 5 gallon batch. I think that is about four times as much FermaidK as I should have used, and twice the DAP I should have used. So I suspect the issue is not too much DAP, but way too much FermaidK, so unlikely to be wild yeast or similar.

I have a couple of fermenters of 7 gallon capacity, so I think I could follow your advice and give it a try. The risk of course is that it doesn't work and I ruin another batch. Given that I am a newbee, it might be smarter to sit on the bad batch until I have some successful batches under my belt. This experience nearly made me give up on the hobby, I want to be conservative and and take no risks initially until I have made some good mead to enjoy.

Medsen Fey
03-18-2015, 09:03 AM
17 g Fermaid K in a 5-gal batch isn't very much. It is less than 100 ppm YAN and is about the bare minimum I'd use. I commonly use twice that amount. The DAP amount you used is a little high, but shouldn't cause problems.

Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT

Stasis
03-18-2015, 09:55 AM
Medsen, he says he puts more than that in the post right before yours.
Or wait, were you commenting about how much he *should* have used?

EDIT: Ok I think you mistook the amount of DAP he used for the amount of fermaid K. Just by eyeing the amounts I'm guessing over 300ppm. Where's a good nitrogen calculator when you need it..

Medsen Fey
03-18-2015, 11:39 AM
You are right. It looks like I reversed the DAP and Fermaid amounts. In that case the amounts are fine. That will give a bit more than 300 ppm nitrogen.

That said, you could surely get by with a little less.

Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT

Stasis
03-18-2015, 01:54 PM
I've been wondering about this because the numbers and the story didn't seem to add up. I just weighed 3 tbsp of sugar and it came in over 40g. Each tbsp seems to weigh at least 13g. You mentioned you used 1 tbsp DAP + 2 tbsp FermK. Later on you added another tbsp of each giving a total of 2 tbsp DAP and 3 tbsp of Ferm K. This is assuming you used level tbsp.
By my calculations you should have around 40g Ferm K and 26g DAP in 5 gallons. I also noticed you live in Australia, so make sure those are U.S gallons. In my brewing area I have liters, u.s gallons and imperial. It's a mess.
If my calculations are correct the figures just went up by 30% which would give 400ppm. I really need to find that YAN calculator...
At this point I'm thinking: If yeast have access to all the nutrients they want, what could be the maximum they use? An answer to this question could help determine how much excess nutrients could be in the mead.
I'm also assuming you used the Wyeast yeast which is key to making a BOMM.

I'm feeling like I blew this slightly out of proportion (in the sense that it can deter newbees who read this thread). Maybe I should have suggested blending like Kudapucat did ;)

EDIT: Double checked the weight of FERMAX and the result was the same (actually a bit more). I don't have access to Fermaid K or DAP, but I think the weights should not be far off.

Wombat
03-18-2015, 06:50 PM
My understanding is that 1 tsp of Fermaid-K weighs about 4.0 grams, 1 tsp of DAP weighs about 3.9 grams.
However to complicate things (for me at least!), an Australian Tablespoon is not the same volume as a US tablespoon (it's 33% larger), and I used a 7 gallon fermenter not 5. I did however allow for both of those things in my statement about how much nutrient was added. Doesn't mean I have it right of course.

Yes as a beginner I do find it complicated, but I've come this far so am keen to understand it! However the thing I find hardest is that every reputable source I have read on the subject of nutrient gives different recommendations - it was doing my head in. Recommendations for FermaidK ranged from 4g to 9.5g, and for DAP from 5g to 24g. What a range. Add in the statements about different honey and different starting gravities needing different amounts and it's a recipe for extreme confusion for a beginner like me.

Last night I compiled six reputable sources into a table and averaged them all. While it could be argued that gives me the worst of all possible outcomes and makes no allowance for honey type or gravity, I am hoping that it will at least get me into a range that will prevent problems and at least give me a reasonable outcome.

Yes I used the correct Wyeast, the started and fermentation all appeared to progress fairly well at the time, from a visual, smell and gravity perspective.

Wombat
03-21-2015, 09:36 PM
For any future readers of this thread, I've found an excellent thread elsewhere on the forum which is making things a lot clearer for me:

http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/24257-DAP-amp-Organic-Nutrients-also-O2-timings

Post #8 in that thread has a link to a top quality mead nutrition article, which in turn has a great spreadsheet nutrient calculator. It's helped me a lot.
The article references some manufacturers and commercial mead makers and makes a lot of sense to me. One of the author's points is that many mazers are adding way too much nutrient, (he states that YAN of around 400ppm is way too high), and Scott Labs and Ken Schramm claim that sub 200ppm YAN levels give superior results. Not to mention the issue of commercial mead makers having legal restrictions on the maximum amount of some chemicals they can add to mead.

It would seem a pretty simple matter to set up an experiment of some side by side batches with various YAN levels in each to get some solid data on it for a particular starting specific gravity of course. Anyone know of a reference they could supply with that data already? Until I see data proving otherwise, I will be leaning towards 200ppm YAN levels rather than 400ppm.

I look forward to the day when there is consensus across the community on the optimum nutrient levels so that beginners like me don't have to worry about it so much. It will also help clarify for beginners in the future if their awful tasting mead might be because of a mistake with nutrients, or an infection or other mistake. In other words, solid data and agreement on nutrition levels will make the hobby that much simpler and less of a black art.

Mirakk
03-24-2015, 08:56 AM
This is just a thought, but sometimes you see DAP with food grade Urea in it. In light of how much DAP you used, I'd wager that would be your salty flavor. (Yup, someone essentially peed in your mead).