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QueensFavoriteDrone
11-07-2015, 01:17 AM
This is my first attempt at a Cyser. I am concerned I may have introduced an infection, or otherwise erred, as the mead has a very unpleasant taste and odor. It's very hot on the tongue as one would expect at this early stage, but there is a strong medicinal odor and taste which overwhelms the mild flavor of a very young Chardonnay in the background. I'm looking for some reassurance that this doesn't herald a failure, and if I should cut my losses; or if this is typical for a mead which hasn't even had it's first racking, yet.

Ingredients:
15 lbs Wildflower
4 cans of organic apple juice concentrate
4 gallons distilled water

Meadmaking process:

Honey was raw and had crystallized. Heated jars using a sous vide water bath to 140F to simultaneously return mead to its liquid state, and Pasteurize.

Allowed frozen apple juice concentrate to thaw in refrigerator.

Mixed honey with water. Poured into 6 gallon carboy. Sprayed sealed apple juice containers with Star San. Opened containers and poured apple juice concentrate into carboy. Added remainder of water.

Crushed 5 Campden Tablets and added to must. Waited 24 hours.

Hydrated two packages of 71B dry yeast in 200ml of distilled water which had been boiled and poured into Erlenmeyer flask and allowed to cool, covered, to 105 F.
Hydrated DAP and Wyeast yeast nutrient (quantities recommend on package for volume of must) in boiled distilled water.

O.G. 1.113

Aerated must with pure oxygen for 30 seconds.

Pitched yeast and nutrient blend.

No activity was observed for one day. After one day, fermentation began. After 12 more hours, fermentation was extremely vigorous.

After 3 days from the onset of vigorous fermentation, CO2 release began to slow. Gravity was checked at this time. 1.080.

Added 2g each of DAP and Fermaid-K. Obvious fermentation continued for two more days, slowing to the point where pressure inside the carboy has equalized with ambient.

I'm concerned the speed of the fermentation might indicate infection, or the temperature was too high. The ambient temperature remained at 70 F, but I never bother to check the temperature of the must. The carboy was enclosed in a tight-fitting cardboard box, and for all I know, the fermentation might have caused in increased in temperature.

Is the taste and odor things to worry about at this stage. What should I do going forward?

Squatchy
11-10-2015, 12:54 AM
Hi

You would have been better off to have asked first about this process. You didn't give your yeast much of a chance as you made several mistakes. So never rehydrate you yeast in distilled water. The manufacturer expects that you will use tap water. The yeast do not do well in such a sterile environment. Secondly ,,, do boil your water that you are going to use to rehydrate your yeast. There is no oxygen in it. So you pitch baby yeast in a place with no nutrients and no oxygen.

You should wait until lag phase is over before you feed them. When you feed them up front you are feeding the bad guys and you yeast in lag are not yet assimilating your nutrients very much. NEVER ever rehydrate your yeast with DAP or Fermaid -K. They cannot regulate what passes through the cell membrane until it has formed. So when you you toss the yeast into all of that it gets sucked into the cell and cripples the yeast.

You don't want to add your yeast into rehydrate slurry until the temp is 104. Once it has set in there for 15 or 20 minutes add small amounts of must to your slurry to gradually atemperate the slurry to within 10 degrees of each other before you pitch your yeast into the must. Leave it uncovered for the first week to 10 days. It's need to let the Co2 escape. You should be aerating/degassing twice daily. Once it starts to slow down then close it up with an airlock. You can still open and stir your batch every other day to keep the yeast in suspension rather than being buried and inactive on the bottom.

I don't know why you thought you needed all the campden tabs when you boiled everything. No one boils anything any more either.

You should use twice as much Fermaid -K as DAP when you feed your little ones. The smell is coming from the yeast because you have stressed them out. Same with the "hot" which are fussels. Feed them more food but not the DAP. Degas the hell out of it and aerate it at the same time.

71-b can handle a very broad range of temperatures but you still might want to try to keep it in the low to mid sixties. The sooner you do this the better off you will be. This batch will take longer than need be to age out the fusel alcohol you have made.

Hope that helps

Squatchy
11-15-2015, 02:52 PM
I meant to say do NOT boil your rehydration water. Use regular tap water. Also , when I said to leave it uncovered what I meant to say was to just leave your lid sitting loosely on top of the bucket. I should have proof read my post before I sent it. Sorry about the confusion. How are things with this batch now?

Squatchy
11-15-2015, 02:55 PM
This is my first attempt at a Cyser. I am concerned I may have introduced an infection, or otherwise erred, as the mead has a very unpleasant taste and odor. It's very hot on the tongue as one would expect at this early stage, but there is a strong medicinal odor and taste which overwhelms the mild flavor of a very young Chardonnay in the background. I'm looking for some reassurance that this doesn't herald a failure, and if I should cut my losses; or if this is typical for a mead which hasn't even had it's first racking, yet.

Ingredients:
15 lbs Wildflower
4 cans of organic apple juice concentrate
4 gallons distilled water

Meadmaking process:

Honey was raw and had crystallized. Heated jars using a sous vide water bath to 140F to simultaneously return mead to its liquid state, and Pasteurize.

Allowed frozen apple juice concentrate to thaw in refrigerator.

Mixed honey with water. Poured into 6 gallon carboy. Sprayed sealed apple juice containers with Star San. Opened containers and poured apple juice concentrate into carboy. Added remainder of water.

Crushed 5 Campden Tablets and added to must. Waited 24 hours.

Hydrated two packages of 71B dry yeast in 200ml of distilled water which had been boiled and poured into Erlenmeyer flask and allowed to cool, covered, to 105 F.
Hydrated DAP and Wyeast yeast nutrient (quantities recommend on package for volume of must) in boiled distilled water.

O.G. 1.113

Aerated must with pure oxygen for 30 seconds.

Pitched yeast and nutrient blend.

No activity was observed for one day. After one day, fermentation began. After 12 more hours, fermentation was extremely vigorous.

After 3 days from the onset of vigorous fermentation, CO2 release began to slow. Gravity was checked at this time. 1.080.

Added 2g each of DAP and Fermaid-K. Obvious fermentation continued for two more days, slowing to the point where pressure inside the carboy has equalized with ambient.

I'm concerned the speed of the fermentation might indicate infection, or the temperature was too high. The ambient temperature remained at 70 F, but I never bother to check the temperature of the must. The carboy was enclosed in a tight-fitting cardboard box, and for all I know, the fermentation might have caused in increased in temperature.

Is the taste and odor things to worry about at this stage. What should I do going forward?

You can use much more apple. I typically use apple cider and add cans as well as honey. You may not even have enough apple in there to even be able to pick it out.