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View Full Version : When to rake (I know, 1000th time it has been asked)



SamWiseCA
02-17-2015, 02:48 PM
Ok, So I am green as green can be with this whole Mead thing. Here is where I stand:

On 2/13 I made my 2 identical batches:
1 gallon spring water
3 lbs Orange Blossom Honey
1/2 packet Lalvin EC-1118

Each are in a 2 gallon bucket with Air Lock.
I warmed the honey to pour easier to about 90 degrees, water was room temp 70 degrees.
Mixed the two together.
I got my yeast going, 105 degree water, and let it sit all happy for 20 minutes and added.
Added 1/8 tsp Yeast Energizer (Diammonium Phosphate, Springcell, Magnesium Sulphate) (per local shop)
Added 1/4 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Urea, Diammonium Phosphate) (per local shop)
I then aerated real well for 10 minutes with a whisk
SG: 1.090

2/14 - 24 hours later they are both bubbling away
I added:
Added 1/8 tsp Yeast Energizer
Added 1/4 tsp Yeast Nutrient
and 12oz Thawed berries (Raspberries in one, Black Berries in other)

2/15
I Added:
Added 1/8 tsp Yeast Energizer
Added 1/4 tsp Yeast Nutrient

2/17
I measured SG, as bubble rate is slowing off ...
SG on both is now 1.010
I added final Nutrient Dose:
Added 1/8 tsp Yeast Energizer
Added 1/4 tsp Yeast Nutrient

With the SG nearing 1.000 would it be appropriate to rake in the next few days?
Plan is to add more fruit in the secondary to up the berry flavor for my wife.
With the addition of Fruit to the secondary, my plan is:

Rake primary to a sterile carboy.
Clean and sterilize the the Buckets.
add it back to the bucket add fruit.
Wait 1 month.
Rake to glass carboy.
Wait to clear.
Rake.
Wash, rinse Repeat as necessary.
Somewhere in there, cold crash it back sweeten and bottle.
Put it in a closet and sample for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

From everything I am reading this seems to be getting to 1.010 very quickly. Is that normal for the 1118?
How is that plan for going forward, regardless of when I do the first rake?

McJeff
02-17-2015, 03:06 PM
I always do my first 3-4 after pitch, just when there is little to no airlock activity. You dont want the mead sitting on the spent yeast lees. After that first rack it really all depends on how fast something clears and if i backsweeten the mead.

McJeff
02-17-2015, 03:08 PM
1118 will chew thru stuff pretty fast, what is the temp of the room?

SamWiseCA
02-17-2015, 04:06 PM
here in Tampa, we don't get too cool ... it is 72 all the time right now. It will warm up from there to 77 through summer, depending on how the battle for control goes with the wife :)

I'll plan on a rake tomorrow and adding more fruit ... rake a week or two after that ... and let the wait begin.

McJeff
02-17-2015, 04:08 PM
if you want to save yourself a rack, but the fruit in a mesh bag. then just pull the bag out.

Medsen Fey
02-17-2015, 05:36 PM
If you are racking onto fruit, going ahead with racking now makes sense. I like using a bag as well. It probably wont need to sit on fruit for more than 10-14 days.

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SamWiseCA
02-17-2015, 10:28 PM
Thanks guys!

SamWiseCA
02-18-2015, 11:48 PM
Racked them both tonight. Pretty color. SG was down to 1.004.
I added 6 oz of berries to each secondary, and set them on the shelf.
I'll come back in 2 weeks and rack the fruit out and into a glass carboy to rest a few months :)

This could become addicting....

McJeff
02-19-2015, 09:22 AM
Did you stabilize it?

SamWiseCA
02-19-2015, 09:29 AM
I did not stabilize it. The thought is that some fermentation may kick back up with the additional fruit in the secondary.
It is about 12 hours since the addition, not a single bubble spotted thus far, time will tell.
I am hoping to get a little more of that Berry character in the mead, hence the secondary addition.
Fun experimenting ...

Medsen Fey
02-19-2015, 11:02 AM
EC-1118 will chew through any sugars in the fruit.

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SamWiseCA
02-19-2015, 11:09 AM
So you are saying I should stabilize at this point ... is that what I am hearing?

Medsen Fey
02-19-2015, 09:56 PM
No. If you want the fruit to ferment, it is OK. You'll have trouble stopping it even if you want to with EC-1118.

SamWiseCA
03-23-2015, 08:32 AM
I racked to the secondary, with some more fruit. Allowed that 2 weeks, and then racked out the fruit (which was not very fruit looking.)
At that point SG was down to 1.000, and was not very drinkable warm. I added 1/4 vanilla bean and some oak. Took a taste last night, about 3 weeks with oak ... getting better, light oak taste, vanilla is very muted, berry is not there much at all. I am looking forward to trying some in December then again in July 2016 :)

I have also started a straight mead with 1388, 2 cysers and a cider with 1388. The mead had the best flavor of them all after 6 weeks, cider looks promising. Racked them all last night and started their secondary stage. As I am racking these down, I have 1/4 of my 1 gallon growler open space. Is this going to be an issue? Should I backsweeten now, with honey and water to help fill the gap, and cold crash to stop the yeast? I am not concerned abut High alcohol, as much as a nice flavor.

SamWiseCA
03-23-2015, 08:43 AM
I racked to the secondary, with some more fruit. Allowed that 2 weeks, and then racked out the fruit (which was not very fruit looking.)
At that point SG was down to 1.000, and was not very drinkable warm. I added 1/4 vanilla bean and some oak. Took a taste last night, about 3 weeks with oak ... getting better, light oak taste, vanilla is very muted, berry is not there much at all. I am looking forward to trying some in December then again in July 2016 :)

I have also started a straight mead with 1388, 2 cysers and a cider with 1388. The mead had the best flavor of them all after 6 weeks, cider looks promising. Racked them all last night and started their secondary stage. As I am racking these down, I have 1/4 of my 1 gallon growler open space. Is this going to be an issue? Should I backsweeten now, with honey and water to help fill the gap, and cold crash to stop the yeast? I am not concerned abut High alcohol, as much as a nice flavor.

Medsen Fey
03-23-2015, 09:58 AM
Well you should eliminate excess headspace and oxygen exposure in one fashion or another.

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