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Sophanax
12-10-2016, 08:13 AM
Hello there,

This is my first post and my second batch of mead, so I'm kinda new to things. I have read all over that cysers can stink to high heaven while fermenting, but just for peace of mind, I'd like some confirmation that my mead is healthy and isn't contaminated or spoiling.

It is a one gallon batch:

4L ~ (just under one gallon hand pressed Ambrosia apple juice - very, very sweet)
1.5lb late summer honey
1tsp ~ Gervin universal wine yeast (no specific strain on packet, unfortunately)
1tsp Yeast nutrient
1 quarter tsp Pectolase (to try and reduce hazing later on)

I didn't take a specific gravity as I haven't invested in a hydrometer yet or learned how to take readings, but it is something I am looking into.

The smell is something like warm, musty rotten apples mixed a little with rotten egg/sulphur.

The colour is a very rich, warm amber, although the juice started a very dark brown.

The air lock is bubbling probably once per second, maybe a little more. The batch itself is in a wardrobe in a cool room, very little fluctuation in temperature. It sees little to no sunlight, only ever ambient light if I open the wardrobe to check it.

caduseus
12-10-2016, 10:36 AM
Hello there,

This is my first post and my second batch of mead, so I'm kinda new to things. I have read all over that cysers can stink to high heaven while fermenting, but just for peace of mind, I'd like some confirmation that my mead is healthy and isn't contaminated or spoiling.

It is a one gallon batch:

4L ~ (just under one gallon hand pressed Ambrosia apple juice - very, very sweet)
1.5lb late summer honey
1tsp ~ Gervin universal wine yeast (no specific strain on packet, unfortunately)
1tsp Yeast nutrient
1 quarter tsp Pectolase (to try and reduce hazing later on)

I didn't take a specific gravity as I haven't invested in a hydrometer yet or learned how to take readings, but it is something I am looking into.

The smell is something like warm, musty rotten apples mixed a little with rotten egg/sulphur.

The colour is a very rich, warm amber, although the juice started a very dark brown.

The air lock is bubbling probably once per second, maybe a little more. The batch itself is in a wardrobe in a cool room, very little fluctuation in temperature. It sees little to no sunlight, only ever ambient light if I open the wardrobe to check it.

Sulfur smell usually means not enough nutrition. I don't use yeast nutrient as I prefer fermaid-o and fermaid K.
You need to whip the hell out of it to get the sulfur out AND use one of the following: fermaid-k, fermaid-o, or yeast energizer. Not sure yeast nutrient alone will help now that you already have sulfur production.

bmwr75
12-10-2016, 11:09 AM
Your yeast is stressed due to lack of nutrients. Add more nutrients and stir well. I've had this happen before and more nutrients solved the problem.

Sophanax
12-10-2016, 11:48 AM
Thanks for the advice, I just added another tsp of nutrient and stirred the hell out of it - released a ton of gas. The smell is only faint, don't get me wrong, it smells like a nice apple liqueur but with a faint undertone of something that turns my stomach a bit. Hopefully I've caught it early while the batch is barely a week old, but as I only have access to nutrient at the moment this is all I can do.

Would the smell usually clear up in a few days if the yeast stops stressing?

pwizard
12-10-2016, 12:12 PM
The gas produced by fermentation will soon drive off the stink if the yeast quit being stressed. Degassing also helps. It's much easier to fix it now than later.

I suggest you pick up some Fermaid O for your next batch. That stuff is far superior to inorganic nutrients like DAP.

Sophanax
12-10-2016, 12:26 PM
It could be placebo but the smell already seems weaker, more of the pleasant apple fragrance and less of the sickly undertone. I'll probably de-gas again tomorrow and see what it's like. I wonder if adding too much sugar at the beginning has kicked the yeast into massive reproduction and they've used up all the nutrient already. Either way I'm excited to see how this batch plays out.

Thank you for the help.

caduseus
12-10-2016, 02:33 PM
Thanks for the advice, I just added another tsp of nutrient and stirred the hell out of it - released a ton of gas. The smell is only faint, don't get me wrong, it smells like a nice apple liqueur but with a faint undertone of something that turns my stomach a bit. Hopefully I've caught it early while the batch is barely a week old, but as I only have access to nutrient at the moment this is all I can do.

Would the smell usually clear up in a few days if the yeast stops stressing?

Unless you plan on doing only Joes Ancient Orange Mead, you need to get a source of ORGANIC yeast nitrogen. DAP/yeast nutrient is only INORGANIC. I do not know of ANY mead recipe that calls for ONLY inorganic. I do know of some that calls for only Organic however.
I recommend these in this preferential order 1) Fermaid-O (O only); 2) Fermaid-K (O and I); 3) yeast energizer (O and I).

If you are not willing to invest in some form of organic nitrogen, then you should stick to JAOM.

Sophanax
12-10-2016, 05:23 PM
Unless you plan on doing only Joes Ancient Orange Mead, you need to get a source of ORGANIC yeast nitrogen. DAP/yeast nutrient is only INORGANIC. I do not know of ANY mead recipe that calls for ONLY inorganic. I do know of some that calls for only Organic however.
I recommend these in this preferential order 1) Fermaid-O (O only); 2) Fermaid-K (O and I); 3) yeast energizer (O and I).

If you are not willing to invest in some form of organic nitrogen, then you should stick to JAOM.

I'll definitely be looking into organic nitrogen sources for my next batch, as well as taking gravity readings and staggered feeding. To be honest my first batch turned out fine with just DAP and Gervin yeast but as I try to develop my skills further I'm going to experiment with as many ingredients, strains and as many techniques as I can. A lot (A LOT) of exciting bottles are in my future, I hope!

caduseus
12-10-2016, 05:54 PM
I would also invest in a hydrometer as well. You can't follow the progress without it. Taste can be fooling and bubbling activity alone is also not adequate.

Consider yourself very fortunate the last batch was ok. Unless there was a lot of fruit (not fruit juice) or it was low specific gravity (which can't be determined without a hydrometer), then it is exceedingly rare to do ok with absolutely no organic nitrogen.

Also most yeast cannot use DAP/yeast nutrient once the ABV reaches 9% (once again requiring a hydrometer to know this).

Squatchy
12-10-2016, 08:30 PM
You would benefit by vigorously degassing until close to the end of your fermentation with every batch you make. Especially one that smells. Some yeast will naturally make a bit of an ugly smell. Red Start for one doesn't smell very good with apple for some reason.

You can feed thhis batch by going to the grocery store and buy some bread yeast. Boil a cup of water or so, pour a packet of that in the boiling water. Let it cool to room temp and stir it into your must. This will help. Fruit is not a viable nitrogen source,

Lastly. Not only can yeast not assimilate DAP at the 9% ABV. At that point it no longer uptakes any form of nutrition for the duration.

HeidrunsGift
12-10-2016, 10:21 PM
Lastly. Not only can yeast not assimilate DAP at the 9% ABV. At that point it no longer uptakes any form of nutrition for the duration.

Does that include all forms of nutrition (ie, Fermaid-O) or just DAP?

Squatchy
12-11-2016, 01:10 AM
All forms. Yeast no longer assimilate anything after that point nutrition wise

bernardsmith
12-11-2016, 12:47 PM
Is there peer reviewed published material that confirms this? Is this something the labs have determined?

Maylar
12-11-2016, 01:12 PM
I asked that question here -

http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/26135-where-does-the-9-limit-come-from


and found this reference in those threads -

https://docs.google.com/document/d/11pW-dC91OupCYKX-zld73ckg9ximXwxbmpLFOqv6JEk/edit

bernardsmith
12-11-2016, 02:32 PM
ah... I see. But the claim made on page 11 is made without any citation or any supporting evidence... I am a Scottish skeptic.. and we require hard evidence for any claim to be considered as even provisionally valid. And while I do not pretend to fully (or even partially) understand the other paper cited (posted in the earlier discussion) it looks as though the authors (Leao and van Uden) suggest that when the amount of alcohol is so high that the yeast can no longer transport glucose then it cannot transport ammonia (nitrogen) so does that mean that the yeast itself cannot tolerate the concentration of alcohol? If it does, since when is 9% too high for ale or wine yeasts to operate? I think what I would want to see is something published by the yeast labs that states the limit of their yeasts to assimilate nutrients

fossilcat
12-11-2016, 03:18 PM
I don't think Blount-Elliott says that yeast won't use ANY nutrients after 9% alcohol, only ammonia based nitrogen nutrients. I think he's making a point of distinction here between inorganic and organic nutrient additions, and while doesn't specifically say it, infers that amino acid nitrogen is assimilated by yeast after 9% alcohol by saying that ammonia nitrogen is not. At least, that's how I read it.

caduseus
12-11-2016, 04:01 PM
I don't think Blount-Elliott says that yeast won't use ANY nutrients after 9% alcohol, only ammonia based nitrogen nutrients. I think he's making a point of distinction here between inorganic and organic nutrient additions, and while doesn't specifically say it, infers that amino acid nitrogen is assimilated by yeast after 9% alcohol by saying that ammonia nitrogen is not. At least, that's how I read it.

Based on my limited research I was left with the impression that above 9% only organic nitrogen was assimilated. But by no means am I an expert.

Squatchy
12-11-2016, 05:57 PM
So this guy has forgot more than all of us combined together will ever know.

http://www.yeastwhisperer.com/site/fcce6044e00b4167a8287315e1089e23/default?url=http%3A%2F%2Fyeastwhisperer.com%2FPhot os_Links_and_Info.php#2976

His mead papar page 2 days they stop eating at 10 %. No reference to scientific proof listed but I will contact him tomorrow and get back with an answer

madlionsmith
12-13-2016, 12:32 PM
This is a question I've been wondering for some time. Thanks for looking into it guys. Any more credible links would be appreciated.

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