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View Full Version : Invitation to play :)



Squatchy
05-13-2016, 01:48 AM
So I wanted to see if some of you guys wanted to join in and do a test with me. I have been having continued success as I add, piece by piece, sound building blocks of modern mead making techniques.

I'm still learning all the time. Speed is by no means the best metric to judge good fermentation practices. No one gives a damn if you can make crap in break neck time. But with that said, I'm blown away with how fast things now happen, and how good things taste so quickly.

Here's an example. I just started a 4 gallon batch (to end up ageing 3 gallons) On the eve of the 5th. It's now the 12th and I have eaten 134 points since I pitched and the last day I have only eaten 6 points. So I am now at that stage where the yeast just barely crawl because of the alcohol toxicity, but I was moving 20 points a day. If I were to cold crash it for a week and then filter out the yeast it would be drinkable as soon as I finished filtering it. There is zero faults and barely, if any fussels. ( I would like to say no fussels but I know I would get scoffers). I should also add this was a pyment with Cab sauv grape concentrate, and it seems the added grape particulates always seem to help the process for sure.

Any way, I think there are several pieces one can employ these days that make this a true turning point in mead making history. I don't claim anything. Everything I have learned has been from reading and trying out what I read. Tossing out the crap and holding on to the things that have given measurable results. By putting these things all together, it now seems to work flawlessly and as fast as anyone could hope for.

I would like to see if any of you guys would want to participate in a group test to see if everyone has close to the same results. I know not everyone has on board the things this test would need you to have. I'm sure some of you do.

I believe the very best mead making happens by honoring a few different parameters. And, these parameters all need to be managed simultaneously. I believe if we do all the different things as best one can you will be making your best mead ever. I also believe that likewise, if you fail in any of the protocols you will pay for it.

Without going in depth in all the protocol let me start by listing the things we will manage, and the items you would need to join in the test.

These are the 5 must haves we need to manage to make great mead quickly.

We start by understanding yeast rehydration and using Goferm. So you will need to purchase Goferm and some sort of thermometer. I use the floating candy making/cooking type. We will agree to follow as close to we can a given protocol. It's important to understand these things to get your yeast off to the best start. Rehydration consist of a working understanding of water hardness, temp control, timing and the goferm protocol. The next thing to manage is O2 control. This also includes aerating/degassing. Third is at least some attempt to control fermentation temps. Followed by SNA protocol. You can use DAP/K if you want to, but I would hope if your not, now would be a good time to try Fermaid-O. Either way will work as we will all feed the same amount of YAN. We/I will help you if you need help understanding YAN values. In any case we will all start with the same gravity and will all feed the same PPM of YAN.

Next is O2 management. Not everyone has bottled O2. This is not a must. You can still take part but we definitely want everyone who does have/use a sentered O2 stone/pure oxygen to jump in. You can still join without. You just won't have that car in the game. We will make 3 different batches, all with the same must. So ,,, make a 3 gallon batch of any type of mead you want to make. We will how ever do this. One batch we will shake or use a lee's stirrer ( or what ever you use) to aerate prior to pitch. Another gallon will be infused with bottled O2 for those who have it. The next batch will be aerated how ever you do it prior to pitch and then followed up 24 hours later.

So here is what we will try to manage

1 Rehydration
2 O2 management
3 Temp control
4 Feeding protocol
5 aeration/degassing
6 racking.

I want to prove/disprove that you will see a better fermentation graph with O2 management than without. I want to prove/disprove Goferm and rehydration priciples out preform Noferm.

We will not do anything to make bad mead. We will only measure good vs best practices. By plotting your ferment on a graph we can see different metrics, such as: Lag times, what I call "fast ferment" times, (what this consist of is from the first feeding to the place where the fast drop starts to tail off on the bell curve). This happens when you see the point where the alcohol toxicity levels start to buffer the progress of the ferment. Monitor on the graph the slower time from the buffer point to the final resting place where the ferment is over. We will try to run everything dry as this will show us the most definitive info. Later you can either add more honey/fruit ect, or stabilize and back sweeten if you don't want it dry.

You can make anything you want. The idea is we all agree to do the same things as far as management. This will show us which practices yield the best results.

We will be able to see if O2 stone is faster for lag times, finishes to zero faster and gets to better attenuation, than shaking does. This would require managing 3 separate vessels.
And we can see if Goferm is faster than noferm. This would require 2 separate vessels

You would make up the same must and only employ different management techniques.

If you were to join in I can almost promise you will be a much better/more informed mazer, and you will walk away understanding what I believe is the best proven management techniques currently available.

Lots of the science is left out at this point. I gave you the skeleton and will add the meat later as you guys obtain what ever you would need to join in this group adventure.

Any takers???

Mazer828
05-13-2016, 10:35 AM
I'm in. I'm just in the middle of a family move so I'm taking about a one or two month hiatus from any active ferments. Just can't be reliably involved enough to manage and monitor ferments daily. Once we're set up and stable at the new place, there will be a dramatic spike in greenhouse emissions centered right above my house!

Crepitus
05-13-2016, 01:34 PM
I could be in for this.

I only have about 10 lbs of honey left right now (5 of OB and 5 of Wildflower), so I guess depending on the target OG for the test I am mostly ready (no O2 though). Never had a batch with blended honey, but I guess for the purposes of this test that does not matter. Any specifics to yeast? Also, I have been switching between an infrared thermometer and a floating one for my current batch and have noticed only about a 1* difference in accuracy of surface temp and 'down the middle'....you OK with the infrared for testing?

Maylar
05-13-2016, 02:36 PM
I would participate if it was later in the year. I have no temperature control at all in the summer, so all my brewing is fall/winter.

bernardsmith
05-13-2016, 02:41 PM
Interesting project but it seems to me that there will be so many uncontrolled variables from, for example, the reliability of measurements to the particulars of the sources and varieties of the honey being used to the mineral content of the water to the yeast being pitched) that there is nothing very scientific about the approach and nothing that you can really say about any results beyond anecdotes and in science, "data" is not the plural form of "anecdote" :o

Crepitus
05-13-2016, 03:04 PM
I think the main goal (and correct me if I am wrong) will be to see what the 3 main variables will have on the same must.


Aerate once prior to pitch
Aerate prior to pitch & 24 hours later
Aerate with O2


Granted mine will be different from yours, but I am not comparing specifically to you, but to my other 1 gallon batches.

Then we can show a similar graph of how the 3 identical musts perform during fermentation with different techniques. The graphs would be comparable to users although not identical. We would be able to compare all of #1's (no additional aeration) with each other and be able to get a trend from that. Same with #2 and #3.

Knowing all the background I have in experimentation (which is none) that is how it makes sense to me. But, maybe Squatchy has other ideas.

Hell, we may be able to ascertain some additional considerations based on what we find here (honey varietals, yeast, water source, etc.) and how they relate to the trend.

Squatchy
05-13-2016, 10:24 PM
I think the main goal (and correct me if I am wrong) will be to see what the 3 main variables will have on the same must.


Aerate once prior to pitch
Aerate prior to pitch & 24 hours later
Aerate with O2


Granted mine will be different from yours, but I am not comparing specifically to you, but to my other 1 gallon batches.

Then we can show a similar graph of how the 3 identical musts perform during fermentation with different techniques. The graphs would be comparable to users although not identical. We would be able to compare all of #1's (no additional aeration) with each other and be able to get a trend from that. Same with #2 and #3.

Knowing all the background I have in experimentation (which is none) that is how it makes sense to me. But, maybe Squatchy has other ideas.

Hell, we may be able to ascertain some additional considerations based on what we find here (honey varietals, yeast, water source, etc.) and how they relate to the trend.

You are correct Crepitus. Bsmith didn't quite see what infp this would provide.

Squatchy
05-17-2016, 11:23 PM
So I'm disappointed. How come so few takers?

This will show wither O2 additions will make a measurable difference or not. And if you want to do the other test it will show the difference between Goferm and "Noferm". It's super easy. Neither test will make a bad mead. And mostly all of then will teach you how to become a better mazer!

Come on man,,stepp up. Don't you want to see for yourself what will make A BETTER MEAD? I already know and want you to see for yourself :)

HunterandtheHarp
05-18-2016, 08:59 AM
Squatchy, I'm with you, I honestly am but right now I'm trialling too many things to do this and my next planned trial would mean I'd need at least 13 air hoses and O2 hoses etc. It's just the wrong time. But I agree that it needs to be trialled and will very much partake in this experiment at some stage. I have a question; who do we know that does use O2? What are their results and does anyone in the commercial side of things do it (that they tell us). I think watching what others do is sometimes beneficial to see whats working or is not.

Squatchy
05-18-2016, 10:20 AM
Squatchy, I'm with you, I honestly am but right now I'm trialling too many things to do this and my next planned trial would mean I'd need at least 13 air hoses and O2 hoses etc. It's just the wrong time. But I agree that it needs to be trialled and will very much partake in this experiment at some stage. I have a question; who do we know that does use O2? What are their results and does anyone in the commercial side of things do it (that they tell us). I think watching what others do is sometimes beneficial to see whats working or is not.

Hi

You don't need 13 tubes :)

I use O2 as well as others here. You can use the same tube for all your batches. You run it for 1.5 minutes in a 5 gallon batch right before pitch. And then again 24 hours later. Yes it makes for a much better ferment. Lots of pro's do this. It's pretty common.

Goferm is also very effective.

zpeckler
05-19-2016, 11:10 PM
Dang, I would totally participate but I'd have to get O2 equipment first, which may not be for a bit.

zpeckler
05-19-2016, 11:14 PM
I've also got thoughts on what Bernard was saying about the effectiveness of this test being done my multiple participants, but I'm on vacation hiking in Arizona and typing that much on my phone's keyboard would be kind of onerous. I'll get it down when I get home next week.

Squatchy
05-19-2016, 11:27 PM
SO here is what could be determined even with many test going on. If we were to follow the same protocol we would find out what added results (if any) go ferm adds to the equation.

The same with O2 adjuncts.

This really isn't so much for me as I am already decided on what I feel are the very best combined methods for "best opportunity" mead making practices. I was really hoping that the testimony of many would speak to the masses what modern practice/protocol could produce.

What was it that Bray had to say about this method of testing?

Squatchy
05-19-2016, 11:28 PM
Dang, I would totally participate but I'd have to get O2 equipment first, which may not be for a bit.

You could buy the O2 stuff for $60. Less if you already have a stone.

zpeckler
05-19-2016, 11:39 PM
You could buy the O2 stuff for $60. Less if you already have a stone.
Oh yeah, I know it's not terribly expensive. The problem is that I'm about to have a two month stretch without a job after a training program finishes at the end of June. Not only that but I've got to shell out several thousand for board certification exams in the meantime. Ouch! X(

So until my hiatus is over I have an income again things will be pretttyyyy tight. Once my job starts in September I'm going to spend a bit of my signing bonus upgrading certain elements of my gear, including an O2 system. I may be late getting you my data, but I still want to help!

Squatchy
05-19-2016, 11:44 PM
I totally understand. Thanks for your contribution to the community here :)

Farmboyc
05-20-2016, 12:55 PM
I am completely on board with the GoFerm. It makes a huge difference. I use it for everything now.
I am interested in the oxygen but I have some constraints. The biggest one being the wife's growing annoyance at the amount of space this hobby is starting to consume. Also this is my road season at work so my mead making is basically on hold till October when my moose is in the freezer.

Gotta win the lottery so work dosen't interfere with my hobbies so much.