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View Full Version : 71B, Sweet Traditional, Local New Mexico Honey - Fermentation Smell/Nutrients



JLowe
07-06-2016, 06:13 PM
Hello,

I am on my third 1-gallon batch of mead. Made a successful orange blossom traditional mead without nutrients and now I am delving into SNA and degassing.
I have noticed a yeasty or sulfur smell after lag phase and nutrient addition. I am wondering if I should make a nutrient adjustment or stick to the schedule.

4 lbs New Mexico Honey (Alfalfa Area)
RO water to make up 1 gallon
3g potassium bicarbonate ~300ppm (K source + buffer)

5g, 71B Narbonne (Mr. Malty calc) Fresh yeast
Rehydrate 104F with 6.25g GoFerm in 125mL water
Attemperate with must.

After lag phase (6hr, CO2), 0.9g FermK + 0.4g DAP

Will repeat addition every 48 hours (Days 0,2,4,6)
Degas every 24 hours with wine whip.

One challenge I face is that my hydrometer will not float in the 1 gallon carboy. I also do not want to waste multiple samples for a hydrometer tube for a 1 gallon batch.

Estimated OG 1.140

Thank You! :cool:

Squatchy
07-06-2016, 10:25 PM
So you can measure your gravity in a tube and pour it back into your gallon jug as long as you use sanitized utensils. I use a turkey baster to get samples out of the carboy.
Yeast can not assimilate DAP after the 9% ABV mark. I would stop using it after the first feed as it will leave a taste fault behind. Fermaid-K has some in it as well but not near as much. DAP really isn't that good of a YAN source any more now that better things have come to the forefront. Better things = Fermaid-O

Lastly you will be feeding on your schedule way to late in the game. I would suggest feeding every day and only 3 times. I doubt you will get stink but if you do just pour some bread yeast into 1/2 cup of boiling water. Let it cool to room temp and stir it into your carboy. I'm wondering where you found to buffer with 3 grams??? And why RO water. That is a desert with zero nuts in the water.

Stasis
07-07-2016, 01:24 AM
Well potassium bicarbonate (k2co3) is used mostly in bommson these forums. It's claimed it works very well there, but I don't think it's needed when also using Fermaid O since Fermaid O also buffers ph well enough on its own. I wonder if also using k2co3 might actually lower ph too much.
I also wonder about RO water since I use it myself...

pokerfacepablo
07-07-2016, 01:40 AM
Well potassium bicarbonate (k2co3) is used mostly in bommson these forums. It's claimed it works very well there, but I don't think it's needed when also using Fermaid O since Fermaid O also buffers ph well enough on its own. I wonder if also using k2co3 might actually lower ph too much.
I also wonder about RO water since I use it myself...
Yep, plus 71b itself is pretty great with the pH not dropping fast. The combination of fermaid O and 71b doesn't usually need any buffering. What is your pH?

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JLowe
07-07-2016, 01:47 AM
Potassium bicarbonate acts as a basic buffer. From Ken's Optimizing honey fermentation article, he states 300ppm Potassium as a minimum. Assuming that my honey and water provide neglible amounts of potassium, a molecular weight calculation yields 2.88g/gal. At this point, I might meet the potassium needs. The small amount of bicarbonate should serve to add some resistance to pH dropping.

I use RO water for brewing as well now. Customizable water profile without worrying about Chlorine/chloroamine.

After a little degassing-aeration, the smell has taken on a more Ester note I think. Ken recommended every other day SNA but that article is dated. Also stated 1/2 sugar break limit, but most sources cite 1/3 now. Not that Ken is wrong, but that the optimization has been refined since then, right?

Just wondering if I should fret over early sulfur/yeast smell as an indication tk take action.

pokerfacepablo
07-07-2016, 02:29 AM
I saw that article too. I've done batches with and without potassium bicarbonate. Hadn't noticed too much of a difference with mine but might as well... Guess it only helps. Some people are minimalist with such additions when it comes to pH management if it's not necessary.

71B moves pretty fast and if I were still using DAP, I would add them daily. I just had a batch completed this week which fermented in 5 days. The only for sure way of being able to tell when to add nutrients is using your hydrometer. Squatchy had a great idea of using a turkey baster. If you feed after the 9%, you end up leaving nutrients for possible bacteria.

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JLowe
07-07-2016, 02:39 AM
At 36 hours:
SG 1.144 -> 1.120
Break Target 1.755
Just added additional 0.9g FermK and 0.4g DAP
pH 3.35

I was curious why all recommendations switched to FermO. Is FermK/DAP definitely outdated? Bought those supplies before joining the forums here.

JLowe
07-07-2016, 02:43 AM
Might as well ask this here as well: Fruit in fermentor at or around pitch, or do you prefer fruit after fermentation is complete?

Quick recommendations on fruits that pair best with 71B?

pokerfacepablo
07-07-2016, 04:02 AM
At 36 hours:
SG 1.144 -> 1.120
Break Target 1.755
Just added additional 0.9g FermK and 0.4g DAP
pH 3.35

I was curious why all recommendations switched to FermO. Is FermK/DAP definitely outdated? Bought those supplies before joining the forums here.
Out dated? not necessarily. DAP just needs to be watched a little more closely. Some say they can taste it in a finished product. I really can't but my taste buds are fried after 5 years of Liberian cuisine.

I use a combination of fermaid K and fermaid O and use the TONSA feeding schedule. Fermaid O allows for a steady fermentation without the drastic pH drop. Although, the nutrient is very pricey compared to DAP. Everyone I've talked to doesn't regret making the switch. There is a TONSA feeding schedule for just fermaid K if you're not ready to take the leap.

http://www.meadmaderight.com/tiosna--inorganic-.html

Why do I use both K and O? Well fermaid O doesn't quite have the same amount FAN (free amino nitrogen) that DAP and fermaid K. So I use fermaid k for the first 1 to 2 doses and then switch to fermaid O. Another great thing about O is that the yeast will metabolize all the way to the end.

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Squatchy
07-07-2016, 09:56 AM
If added fresh fruit wait until you are into your fermentation enough that your ABV will be high enough to kill of the bad guys. Also if you freeze your fruit it will break the cell wall to add more extraction and will kill some of the bad guys as well.

DAP and K is now second place after Fermaid-O in most who have used O anyway. Yes,, if you get a smell act instantly.

I totally taste DAP and so did the judges at Mazer Cup. They always refereed top the as nutrient bombs.

JLowe
07-07-2016, 11:53 AM
The smell has changed from yeasty/sulfur to a more floral type, so all is good. My best guess is that it wanted more O2. I thought that switch to FermO was mostly due to targeting organic status and health concerns with DAP, but I see now that there is much more to the topic. Ken's been able to pull off some wins in mazer with FermK/DAP, so I will try to use it up... not sure if it's possible! I'm guessing a nutrient bomb can be avoided if I pull back on DAP before the yeast give up on it.

Finally, any thoughts on using Metabisulfite and sorbitol for stabilization of melomels in secondary? If the yeast reaches it's alcohol tolerance, am I safe or are the fruit nutrients a hazard?

Any idea what Schramms and Moonlight do for stabilization?

JLowe
07-07-2016, 11:59 AM
Also thanks for the suggestion on the hydrometer. I started homebrewing beer first so I am a little paranoid of oxidation and infection. I guess I just need a push to start making the necessary measurements. I may look into a short hydrometer that would fit my 1 gal carboy.

I use a glass wine thief and a plastic hydrometer test tube right now.

Squatchy
07-07-2016, 12:19 PM
The smell has changed from yeasty/sulfur to a more floral type, so all is good. My best guess is that it wanted more O2. I thought that switch to FermO was mostly due to targeting organic status and health concerns with DAP, but I see now that there is much more to the topic. Ken's been able to pull off some wins in mazer with FermK/DAP, so I will try to use it up... not sure if it's possible! I'm guessing a nutrient bomb can be avoided if I pull back on DAP before the yeast give up on it.

Finally, any thoughts on using Metabisulfite and sorbitol for stabilization of melomels in secondary? If the yeast reaches it's alcohol tolerance, am I safe or are the fruit nutrients a hazard?

Any idea what Schramms and Moonlight do for stabilization?

Pull back on the DAP prior to/or at 9 %ABV