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Beeker
08-04-2016, 06:22 PM
I'm new to making mead, I just put together my third five gallon batch and wanted to ask what is considered a fast ferment time? SO far every batch I have made has done a primary ferment in about a week. By day two I get a rigorous bubble probably about two or 3 bubbles a second for about two days and now it dropped off to about one a second maybe less. Is this normal?

I used 1 gallon raw honey heated to about 120 for a few minutes, aprox 5 tbl of yeast nutrient a few oranges cut up in thin slices with a few bits of raw ginger boiled in water, 4.5 gallons of spring water and I pitched my yeast (champagne) at approx 80 degrees directly into the carboy.

temps here get up to around 80 or so.

Squatchy
08-04-2016, 08:15 PM
Hi and welcome to the forum.

This is a long answer question. Speed wouldn't be good at all if it's too fast and makes crappy mead. Slow is also not good if it's slow because you are mistreating your yeast. Happy yeast make nice tasting meads.

The shortest answer is if you do things totally correct you should expect to chew through 120-150 points in 3 weeks. If you do this correctly your mead is very drinkable in less than 4 months time.

In order to do this you would need to know and understand several pieces of the puzzle. It should go without saying, you would need to understand HOW to implement all the pieces to get the best results possible.

There are lots of people who would tell you it takes a year just to finish a 100 point fermentation. Those types refuse to open their minds and try modern science.

Learn of these things and you will soar light years ahead in your mazing skills.

Sanitation,,,Yeast selection, starting gravity. Go-ferm rehydration and atemperation. Oxygen saturation. Staggered Nutrient Additiion (SNA),,,, search Tosna. Temperature control.

Get these things right and you will be the man!

bmwr75
08-04-2016, 08:55 PM
I mostly make 1 gallon batches and routinely have them finish fermentation in 30 days or less, many in 10 days or less.

Foothiller
08-05-2016, 01:14 AM
With an adequate use of nutrients (not even an ideal SNA schedule), one of my meads was barely recognized as young in a tasting class at one month of age. At three months, it scored 3rd in traditional meads at California State Fair. Meads can continue to improve with age, but can be good early if treated right.

Gummy
08-05-2016, 07:35 AM
@Squatchy
You said "Speed wouldn't be good if it's to fast and makes crappy mead"
Would you please discuss this a bit.
How fast is too fast? what controls the speed, what would a crappy mead taste like from going too fast? and so on.

Squatchy
08-05-2016, 07:51 AM
@Squatchy
You said "Speed wouldn't be good if it's to fast and makes crappy mead"
Would you please discuss this a bit.
How fast is too fast? what controls the speed, what would a crappy mead taste like from going too fast? and so on.

So a crappy mead would be full of off flavors. Such as plastic, chemical, hot, solvent, band-aid, medicinal ect.

Warmer temps will speed up a ferment. If the temps are too high it will cause fusels because of the stress. DAP will speed things up. I know people have used DAP for ever but too much will speed things up and cause off flavors as well. I don't use DAP at all. If you did a side by side comparison with 2 same drinks, except for DAP or no DAP you will taste the difference and most likely would also stop using it.

Gummy
08-05-2016, 09:04 AM
Thanks, Do you use anything in place of the DAP?
Fermaid K or O

Swordnut
08-05-2016, 11:13 AM
I believe mead benefits best from a white wine protocol during its primary fermentation. This means you'll want it to go cool and slow. You'll want it to reach 8% relatively quickly, in the first week to ten days. After that it should slowly but steadily go to near its desired end percentage (e.g. usually between 13 and 16 percent ABV). If you have an aggressive fermentation going on, such as in the first few days where it's racing for that 8%, you want to keep the must at a stable and cool temperature.

Let the fermentation peter out on its own over time, then stabilize and cold-crash, let clear during bulk aging and finally bottle. Filter if you want, it seems to give a much quicker 'crystal clean taste'.

Reasons for this,


The first 8% being done relatively quickly will ensure that the must preserves itself from thereon and with a healthy yeast population makes it practically impossible for anything else to gain a foothold.
The cool temperature will prevent fusel production which is especially important during the first days of aggressive fermentation.
Fast fermentation (e.g. 16% in a week and other such "super yeast" achievements) will inevitably make concessions on fusel to ester and ester to ethanol ratios, resulting in unwanted and unneeded alcohol heat which requires forever to age.

Swordnut
08-05-2016, 11:21 AM
So a crappy mead would be full of off flavors. Such as plastic, chemical, hot, solvent, band-aid, medicinal ect.

Warmer temps will speed up a ferment. If the temps are too high it will cause fusels because of the stress. DAP will speed things up. I know people have used DAP for ever but too much will speed things up and cause off flavors as well. I don't use DAP at all. If you did a side by side comparison with 2 same drinks, except for DAP or no DAP you will taste the difference and most likely would also stop using it.

DAP cannot be used by bacteria however so it is a safer nutrient to use since only yeast thrive on it. This in itself favors a more uniform fermentation with more yeast and fewer other organisms converting the sugar. If you ferment cool and slow you can afford to be very conservative with how much DAP you add, mitigating or even preventing any off tastes by the DAP addition itself. DAP is assimilated by the yeast cells and will therefor eventually fall out from the must with the dead yeast cells. Provided, as mentioned, it is used conservatively enough.

In fact Fermaid K also contains di-ammonium phosphate except in smaller quantities than what is typically advised for a purely DAP treatment.

Beeker
08-05-2016, 11:56 AM
What is DAP? I used a Yeast nutrient Oh I think I get it "DAP" is "Diammonium Phosphate"

bmwr75
08-05-2016, 01:34 PM
I'm not sure everyone can taste DAP. Not sure if I can. Need to do the DAP/No DAP side by side experiment some day and see.

HeidrunsGift
08-05-2016, 02:02 PM
Per the Meadmaderight website, you should be hitting 14%ABV within 2 weeks. Using their protocols, you should hit that easily, usually a couple days before. So for me, I would say that a fermentation is going slow if it takes more than 2 weeks to get to 14%. Having said that, if you have no off flavors, no infections, and it tastes/smells good, then this is not a bad thing.

As was alluded to in the other posts, "too" fast is hard to say, but I would say getting more than 20 points drop in SG per 24 hours is fast. At peak fermentation rates, my meads usually go through 15-18 points a day, and then as ABV increases, the rate of fermentation decreases (usually noticeably by the end of the first week). If your mead is dropping more than 20 points a day, AND you are noticing off flavors, than check ideal temperature for your yeast and make sure you are near it:

http://www.eaton.com/EN/EatonDE/ProdukteundLoesungen/Filtration/Products-und-Dienstleistungen/Getraenkebehandlungsmittel/Biotechnologie/Hefen/LALVIN-Hefen/index.htm#tabs-2

Just my thoughts based on my experiences, others probably have different views.

Skal!

jwaldo
08-05-2016, 02:44 PM
You may already know this, so if so, ignore. At warm temperatures (80 degrees) the yeast we use tends to go fast. When yeast go fast they make lots of stuff real fast, and not always the things we want in mead. At warm temperatures, yeast tend to make a lot of fusel alcohols - those are the varieties of alcohol that give a hot or sharp taste (think cheap whiskey). At lower temperatures, yeast tend to make more of the smoother alcohols that we generally like drinking better. The good news is that, over time (sometimes a 'long' time) the fusel alcohols tend to break down into the smoother alcohols. So, depends on when you want to drink your mead. (Of course, if you can get a fast ferment without the fusels - Way to go !)

Thanks,
Jim.

Gummy
08-05-2016, 02:58 PM
So with careful feeding, could one control the fermentation speed with good temperature control?

jwaldo
08-05-2016, 05:07 PM
So with careful feeding, could one control the fermentation speed with good temperature control?

My choice would be temperature to control, if the yeast don't have enough of the proper nutrients they can also make off flavors.

Different yeast like different temperatures, but my rule of thumb ('fat' thumb) would be to keep the temp between 55 and 65 F. Use of a specific yeast might call for a different temperature.

Thanks,
Jim.

Squatchy
08-05-2016, 06:34 PM
Once you drop below 60 you will find a lot of yeast will stall out. I really like Lalvin yeast. There catalog will tell you what temps they like as well as nutrient requirements along with SO2 production, kill factor and alcohol tolerance. And of coarse what types of profile you will get such as "percieved sweetness", mouthfeel, color retention, fruit parings, acidic contributions, ect.

Some yeast do fine in the warmer temps of the summer.

Squatchy
08-05-2016, 06:37 PM
DAP cannot be used by bacteria however so it is a safer nutrient to use since only yeast thrive on it. This in itself favors a more uniform fermentation with more yeast and fewer other organisms converting the sugar. If you ferment cool and slow you can afford to be very conservative with how much DAP you add, mitigating or even preventing any off tastes by the DAP addition itself. DAP is assimilated by the yeast cells and will therefor eventually fall out from the must with the dead yeast cells. Provided, as mentioned, it is used conservatively enough.

In fact Fermaid K also contains di-ammonium phosphate except in smaller quantities than what is typically advised for a purely DAP treatment.

One thing of note yeast cannot assimilate DAP once they have reached 9% ABV. Any additions after that will leave the salty flavor behind.

Beeker
08-09-2016, 10:14 AM
Thank you all for the answers and info, I am new to Mead making and brewing all together. I think I am running a bit warm as primary fermentation has been about a week, getting ready to do the first racking.

Squatchy
08-09-2016, 07:11 PM
Per the Meadmaderight website, you should be hitting 14%ABV within 2 weeks. Using their protocols, you should hit that easily, usually a couple days before. So for me, I would say that a fermentation is going slow if it takes more than 2 weeks to get to 14%. Having said that, if you have no off flavors, no infections, and it tastes/smells good, then this is not a bad thing.

As was alluded to in the other posts, "too" fast is hard to say, but I would say getting more than 20 points drop in SG per 24 hours is fast. At peak fermentation rates, my meads usually go through 15-18 points a day, and then as ABV increases, the rate of fermentation decreases (usually noticeably by the end of the first week). If your mead is dropping more than 20 points a day, AND you are noticing off flavors, than check ideal temperature for your yeast and make sure you are near it:

http://www.eaton.com/EN/EatonDE/ProdukteundLoesungen/Filtration/Products-und-Dienstleistungen/Getraenkebehandlungsmittel/Biotechnologie/Hefen/LALVIN-Hefen/index.htm#tabs-2

Just my thoughts based on my experiences, others probably have different views.

Skal!


I also have had some 20 point days with no ill affect. That was at almost the lowest temps you can use and not stall out. Like you have said that is when it's during the most robust portion of the ferment. If you plot your ferments on a graph you will see how the drop off is very corespondent to the ABV%. I did notice that the drop off was affected when I started to use an O2 stone to 15 PPM at pitch and at 24hrs after pitch. They went further before the crawl started to happen.