View Full Version : Cold-crashing questions

07-07-2016, 07:22 PM
I'm currently cold-crashing my Cafemel (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/25833-Mead-Duet-Double-Test-Batch) because I want the fermentation to stop where it is (1.010). AFAIK, the ABV is already at 16% or close to it, because of all the rum I added a few days ago (1 cup, 80 proof) Yet it looks like the yeast are still going even though D21 is supposed to stop at 16%.

My question is what to do after the cold crash 2-3 days from now. I intend to rack off the lees once everything settles, but I'm worried the yeast remnants will just start up again. I know some people add sorbate and sulfites at that point to keep any leftover yeast under control, but I'm kind of apprehensive about doing it so soon. I only ever add chemicals before I bottle or before prolonged aging (and even then, it's only sulfites). I'm just concerned about the sulfite wearing off after a few days and leaving the sorbate unprotected (there are pathogens that eat it), even with the high alcohol content in this batch. Should I just add more booze instead? I need to age this mead for a while and I plan to add the cold-brewed coffee near the end (1 week before bottling to preserve freshness).

Also, how does cold-crashing affect what one would normally do for secondary? I've never cold crashed a mead before (mostly because I didn't have a cooler large enough to put a bucket into, but with a 1-gallon jug it's no problem to put it in my fridge).

07-07-2016, 08:54 PM

You could add more rum. I wouldn't be concerned about the sulfites wearing off. They will over time if left open, very slowly if kept closed up. When you get close to bottling you will want to do a titrate and add more sulfite based on pH/ta. If you could crash long enough things will drop out much faster than at room temp. Usually that causes so much of the yeast in suspension to drop out it has been very hard for them to get going again with my experiences. As you know just because the package says 16% that's not necessarily the case. I have found now that I use Go-ferm and a good SNA with Fermaid-O almost all my batches are going at least a couple points beyond listed tolerance levels and even more than that with a lot of my batches. I think we superman the shit out of the little ones and that gives them better results.

07-07-2016, 10:02 PM
So I should be OK if I add sorbate and sulfites immediately after racking post-cold crash. Good to know. Does the sorbate degrade as well or will it last as long as sulfite levels hold out? How about after bottling? I'm counting on the sorbate (not just the ABV) to help preserve the coffee long-term. The guy I'm getting the coffee from says cold-brewed coffee lasts for months on its own if kept refrigerated, but room temp is a different story.

I've put about 25% of a fifth of rum into this gallon already (kind of a Kahlua-inspired idea). I'm afraid I'll make the mead too boozy if I add any more. Even after the alcohol burn ages out/mixes, the high ABV will hit like a ton of bricks with this mead. As it is, I need to drink a bit during secondary to make room for the coffee :) Since chilling for long enough causes the mead to clear, does cold crashing eliminate the need for secondary or does it just shorten it? I'm planning to leave it in the fridge for about 3 days.

Any idea why the mead is already drinkable at this point? Most meads taste like shit right out of primary, but I can actually drink some of this (stone cold sober) without gagging. Has that been your experience with D21? I've never used this yeast before now.

07-07-2016, 10:56 PM
I think we superman the shit out of the little ones...

This could be my new signature:
"Let's superman the shit out of these yeasties" - Squatchy 2016

07-07-2016, 11:34 PM
SO a few thoughts. I have found (and you may not enjoy it) that oak does wonders to soften an alcohol bite. I normally use different species and different toast levels to add some complexity. You will need to read up if you're not sure what oak does what at the different toast levels.

The sorbate is a one time thing that will last the duration. Yes,,,, adding more sulfites is fine later. I generally cold crash for a few weeks and then rack straight onto the chems. It will shorten the amount of time it takes to clear because lots more drops out earlier due to the cold crashing.

I don't want to come across as proud but I have found that almost all of my meads are drinkable before they are even clear. I have come to expect that as the norm if you do all the different things one can do to manage a good fermentation it's very drinkable at 3-4 months. I think you have been around enough to know what they are.

Go-ferm to rehydrate, attemperation to within 10 degrees of must temps, airation with stone/o2 at pitch/24 hours later, temp control, aeration/degassing, flavor profile tweaking,ageing.

07-07-2016, 11:35 PM
This could be my new signature:
"Let's superman the shit out of these yeasties" - Squatchy 2016

LOL. Have at it brother :)

07-08-2016, 08:07 AM
Thanks for the help.