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Lumenbeing
06-21-2017, 07:13 PM
So as someone who is just starting out, and reading all that I can to try and educate myself, it has become evident that different people mean different things when they talk about the "1/3 sugar break". Some people use "1/3 sugar break" to mean the 1st third of the total sugar has been depleted. Others use it to mean the 1/3 of total sugar is left.
For example, for a given OG of 1.099, some would call 1.066 the "1/3 sugar break" and others would call that the "2/3 sugar break"
I just want to point out to the community that we should probably come to agreement on a standard nomenclature because when it come to things like when to add the last nutrient addition in a SNA protocol, or when to stop stirring/aerating, it would be good to know everyone is speaking the same language.



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Dadux
06-21-2017, 07:17 PM
As far as I know, everyone calls the 1/3 sugar break when 1/3 is depleted, except people who just make mistakes (common mistake but mistake nontheless)

And i quote the newbee guide:

"Sugar Break A term used to describe the point where a specific amount of the fermentables have been used up. There are two important ones to note: the 1/3 sugar break (1/3 of the fermentables have been fermented to alcohol), and the 2/3 sugar break (2/3 of the fermentables have been fermented to alcohol)."

Squatchy
06-21-2017, 09:51 PM
Unfortunately you will always find people on the web talking as if they know what they are talking about and yet really don't. For the most part that doesn't happen here very much here because we point it out if/when it happens. And of course we will always have different approaches on how to make mead, but in this community most of us are on the same page. And generally the ones that still choose a different path are at least aware of what the general consensus is and choose something different because they choose to for personal reasons and that's ok too.

One of the main reason I have stuck around and contributed as much as I have is because I remember how confusing it was when I started making mead. Contradictions around every corner. It takes a while to weed through the bull shit. Don't get discouraged. Find someone you think knows what's up and stick to their process until you have it down. Then if you choose, start doing your own thing.

I think after you get to a certain point you will have a reason why you do every single thing you do. I know I sure do. Often times it's an accumulation of many smaller fractions that end up making a big difference in the end. By the time you have played around enough you will come to understand the finer points in all of this and you will find you will be making some damn nice stuff at that point.

Lumenbeing
06-22-2017, 05:55 AM
It's not just some so-and-so from Internet land who just fell off the honey truck. Here is the link to the BOMM recipe, something that is VERY often sited and referred to on this site. https://denardbrewing.com/blog/post/brays-one-month-mead/
From what I can tell, Bray's recipe is one of the most influential of all time. In that very recipe, he identifies the first sugar break as the 2/3 break.
He explains the recipe here: http://forum.northernbrewer.com/t/tupelo-vs-orange-blossom-honey/20231/6
I'm pretty sure I've seen a post by Ken Schramm on here or somewhere, where he does the same thing, although I'd have to do some more digging back through all of the the SNA posts I've been reading lately to find it.




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Dadux
06-22-2017, 06:29 AM
It's not just some so-and-so from Internet land who just fell off the honey truck. Here is the link to the BOMM recipe, something that is VERY often sited and referred to on this site. https://denardbrewing.com/blog/post/brays-one-month-mead/
From what I can tell, Bray's recipe is one of the most influential of all time. In that very recipe, he identifies the first sugar break as the 2/3 break.
He explains the recipe here: http://forum.northernbrewer.com/t/tupelo-vs-orange-blossom-honey/20231/6
I'm pretty sure I've seen a post by Ken Schramm on here or somewhere, where he does the same thing, although I'd have to do some more digging back through all of the the SNA posts I've been reading lately to find it

Seems like a typo to me. https://denardbrewing.com/blog/post/BOMM5gallons/ here he gets it right. I picked at random until i found another where he referenced sugar breaks. Mostly he just says "Add nutrients at 1.xxx and 1.xxx"
As i said, its a common mistake. God know i've had to search for it more than once. I think the mistakes come from people using but 1/3 and 2/3 sugar breaks to add nutrients. Now that many people add the last dose at 1/3 (when 1/3 has been CONSUMED), the mistakes will diminish i guess.

Also this great and i agree 100%
I think after you get to a certain point you will have a reason why you do every single thing you do. I know I sure do. Often times it's an accumulation of many smaller fractions that end up making a big difference in the end. By the time you have played around enough you will come to understand the finer points in all of this and you will find you will be making some damn nice stuff at that point.

darigoni
06-22-2017, 06:48 AM
It's not just some so-and-so from Internet land who just fell off the honey truck. Here is the link to the BOMM recipe, something that is VERY often sited and referred to on this site. https://denardbrewing.com/blog/post/brays-one-month-mead/
From what I can tell, Bray's recipe is one of the most influential of all time. In that very recipe, he identifies the first sugar break as the 2/3 break.
He explains the recipe here: http://forum.northernbrewer.com/t/tupelo-vs-orange-blossom-honey/20231/6
I'm pretty sure I've seen a post by Ken Schramm on here or somewhere, where he does the same thing, although I'd have to do some more digging back through all of the the SNA posts I've been reading lately to find it.

Definitely a typo. Read post #2 (second from the bottom) in this thread:

http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/25611-BOMM-Gravity-and-Nutrient-Update

Lumenbeing
06-23-2017, 03:25 AM
Hmm. Okay well I guess that clears it up then. Thanks everyone for chiming in. This has been really helpful. I still stand by my point about the general parlance being confusing though. If someone like Bray can make such a mistake (and leave it uncorrected on his site for years), it underlines the need for further clarity beyond using the term "1/3 sugar break". "1/3 sugar depletion" is a term I've encountered less often, but one which I believe would be a more accurate term to use all the time, especially when there is still active debate on feeding until 2/3 as LOR still does in all his newer recipes, or stopping at 1/3 as TOSNA prescribes.
Another area of confusion for me in regards to sugar depletion is that sometimes this dividing by 3 is handled like this: Take the OG, divide by 3, and other times it is done like this: (OG-FG)/3 where FG is the expected final gravity based on the particular yeast strain's attenuation.
I've found that it's far more common to see people expressing it the former way, such as in the Newbee Guide, as if FG of 1.000 is always the expected result, but it seems to me that the later method is more accurate since you could ferment ALL available sugars and never hit 1.000 (or maybe go lower?) depending on the recipe and the total solids in suspension, including unfermentable solids.
Can anyone offer an explanation of these differing methodologies and tell me which is considered best practice?



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Dadux
06-23-2017, 07:51 AM
The methodology is a personal thing. I dont know much about Bray but he seems to have tested a lot in he recipes. If he goes with adding last at 2/3 sugar break im guessing its because he tried and found equal/better results.
Also tosna might not work so well with certain yeast or conditions were fermentation is too fast. So you might pass the 1/3 before day 3 and maybe Bray found that happening consistently with 1388 so he went with the 2/3 sugar break add. Just a thought of course. Also 1388 is liquid yeast and has more viable cells if im not wrong (i have not checked) than 2 or 3 grama per gal of dry yeast. So more yeast = faster ferment. He did say that he found tosna not working as well in liquid yeasts as in dry. So i guess there is a reason

1/3 sugar depletion is understandable but sugar break is just brewer slang, and nothing too hard. Following that logic we could change other stuff but i dont see any need for that. Sugar break gives room for error, but changing forms now would be even worse. However when you write your recipes and notes you can use whatever you eant as long as its understandable. Noone is going to correct you if you choose to say sugar depletion i guess.

When makig additions the sugar breaks have to be calculated minus the FG yes. But usually people end at 1.000. in most honeys 100% of the sugars are fermentable. Sure, some tend to.finish higher and then you need to calculate for that but else there is no problem. Plus if the last add is at 1/3 sugar break you wont have problems even if you miss it by 10 points. Some high abv meads with high abv strains go lower than 1. I've got as far as 0.990 but again if you have not done the mead previously its hard to know exactly the Fg. So most of us assume its 1.000. obviously FG here means the finished gravity after the ferment. If you later decide to add more honey or backsweeten you do not have to account for it.
The most important thing here is not to add any DAP or DAP containing nutrients past the 9% ABV. That is sually around the 2/3 sugar break. But if you are doing a 18% ABV mead the 2/3 break is too late. Instead of blindly folloeing terminology is better to try and understand the science and whys behind the technique. that way you can modify each recipe to avoid problems.

Also solids that are not dissolved are not accounted in the gravity. In honey that leaves only sugars. As i said i've encountered some honeys (honeydew specially) that have some unfermentable sugars and tend to end at 1.010-1.005 or bochets that end rather high (i only did one, very caramelized honey, ended at 1.029, but again, its hard to account of it if you have never made the mead previously. I did not know what the fg was gonna be)

loveofrose
06-23-2017, 08:45 AM
This is precisely the reason I started giving gravity numbers in all my newer recipes.

When I started out, some folks described 1/3 breaks as what is left and some described it as what has been consumed. There was no established correct way. Now, people are starting to adopt, but written word is forever.

I say abandon the breaks and say what gravity you mean. It's the more accurate way to describe the process.


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bernardsmith
06-23-2017, 09:38 AM
1/3 sugar depletion is understandable but sugar break is just brewer slang,



Just to add my 1 cent - "sugar break" is not brewer's slang or jargon but is a near malapropism of a concept that has some objective meaning in brewing. Brewers refer to hot and cold breaks. Those are the points when proteins (and some other materials) literally coagulate during boiling and again as the wort is cooled. At those points , those "breaks" the mash (hot) or wort (cold) foams. In mead making there is no observable phenomenon that takes place at those so-called "break" points. They are simply imaginary lines that mead makers have drawn to remind them when to add another dose of nutrient.
That said, IF adding nutrient (or DAP) to a must at an ABV of 9% or higher is "not indicated" (see Dadux's post #8 above) then using the term "sugar breaks" is not only confusing but it is misleading because if the next "break" would be when the mead was at 10% ABV then adding nutrient at that point would have no beneficial impact and MAY produce off flavors... Bottom line: I cannot imagine that the yeast have any idea when they have depleted the amount of sugar by 1/3 or by 2/3 at which points and only then would they require more nutrient...and why those "break points" have any meaning if sometimes I start with a must with an SG of 1.050 and sometimes with a must of 1.090 and sometimes with a must of 1.120 - each with a very different "sugar break" points.. (see loveofrose's post at #9 above) and so apparently the same colony of yeast with the same viability would NEED nutrients in the first example when the gravity dropped to 1.034 but would not need any more nutrient in the third example until the gravity in that must dropped to 1.080 but in the second example they would not need any more nutrient at 1.080 but could wait until the gravity fell to 1.060, (the amount of energy and resources they yeast uses being VERY , VERY different for each so-called "sugar break") but hey! your imagination may be far better than mine.. ;)

Squatchy
06-23-2017, 10:45 AM
Also 1388 is liquid yeast and has more viable cells if im not wrong (i have not checked) than 2 or 3 grama per gal of dry yeast. So more yeast = faster ferment. He did say that he found tosna not working as well in liquid yeasts as in dry. So i guess there is a reason

It's actually the other way around. Liquid yeast have way less yeast in a vile and that is why a starter is required. Unless of course you buy several vials to account for the difference.

Dadux
06-23-2017, 12:02 PM
Obviously yeast dont have any idea, but its an indicator of how the ferment is progressing. I agree with the comment that we rather use the correct gravity when we add nutrients, but in a general protocol such as tosna or the bomm protocol saying that you have to add the nutrients at a certain point (being when X% of the sugar is depleted) makes sense to me.
About bernardsmith comment of different gravities i think that is one of the best points of tosna/tiosna. It allows you to calculate the needs for different gravities and strains. And this has a lot of value. When you have half the gravity you'll add half the nutrients.
And about it being slang or malapropisn at the start, im sure you are right, but at this point is slang/jargon (maybe only of meadmaking, i admit to not know if the term is used in winemaking and beer brewing, but i think its pretty stablished).

@Squatchy: Some time ago i thought the same, but i remembered reading something opposite. But i went now and checked after reading your comment because i wasny so sure anyway. Normal dry yeast is 5-6 billion per gram (mangrove jacks dry yeast data, cant find lalvin count but its probably around the same). 1 wyeast activator pack claims to have 100 billions active cells (liquid yeast viability decrrases over time but it should be well over the 25 billion you pitch with a 5 gram pack)
Edit: english billions (10^9)

darigoni
06-23-2017, 12:47 PM
@Squatchy: Some time ago i thought the same, but i remembered reading something opposite. But i went now and checked after reading your comment because i wasny so sure anyway. Normal dry yeast is 5-6 billion per gram (mangrove jacks dry yeast data, cant find lalvin count but its probably around the same). 1 wyeast activator pack claims to have 100 billions active cells (liquid yeast viability decrrases over time but it should be well over the 25 billion you pitch with a 5 gram pack)
Edit: english billions (10^9)

A pretty good explanation about cell count on this website, below the pitch rate calculator.

https://www.brewersfriend.com/yeast-pitch-rate-and-starter-calculator

I believe the reason behind making a starter is; cost (3x to 7x more for liquid), high gravities and viability (age of yeast).

mannye
06-23-2017, 03:44 PM
Some people might say, "Yeah but isn't 1388 a Wyeast "smack pack" essentially a starter?" and if we were making beer I would agree...but look at what it says on the website:


From the Wyeast website:

The Wyeast Activator (125 mL) smack-pack is designed to directly inoculate 5 gallons of standard ale wort (O.G. < 1.060, 65-72 F). When brewing high gravity beer (O.G. >1.060) or cold fermented lagers or ales (<65 F)) additional yeast will be required. An Activator contains approximately 100 billion cells which will deliver slightly less than 6 million cells per milliliter in a 5 gallon batch of beer.


Most of the meads I make start higher that 1.060, way higher, so I started making 1 liter starters and have reaped the benefits. Even if you're not going higher...look at the temp! I'm fermenting at 60-65F so even if I was at 1.060 a real starter would be needed. It's a hassle but it one more little step that takes the results just a bit closer to the next level. Especially if you are making dry traditionals where there's no sweetness to hide behind. For the record, I'm still practicing to make a great bone dry traditional. It's so much harder than it looks!

Dadux
06-23-2017, 04:32 PM
Some people might say, "Yeah but isn't 1388 a Wyeast "smack pack" essentially a starter?" and if we were making beer I would agree...but look at what it says on the website:


From the Wyeast website:

The Wyeast Activator (125 mL) smack-pack is designed to directly inoculate 5 gallons of standard ale wort (O.G. < 1.060, 65-72 F). When brewing high gravity beer (O.G. >1.060) or cold fermented lagers or ales (<65 F)) additional yeast will be required. An Activator contains approximately 100 billion cells which will deliver slightly less than 6 million cells per milliliter in a 5 gallon batch of beer.


Most of the meads I make start higher that 1.060, way higher, so I started making 1 liter starters and have reaped the benefits. Even if you're not going higher...look at the temp! I'm fermenting at 60-65F so even if I was at 1.060 a real starter would be needed. It's a hassle but it one more little step that takes the results just a bit closer to the next level. Especially if you are making dry traditionals where there's no sweetness to hide behind. For the record, I'm still practicing to make a great bone dry traditional. It's so much harder than it looks!

Yes, but Bray i think read somewhere says that he only uses 1 pack for 1 gal of mead, for more he does a starter. So the go-to ammount in mead is 1 smack pack per gal. That is a lot of yeast. More than we pitch with with dry yeast*

And wyeast smack pack IS essentially a starter/slurry (a slurry from a starter?). Just a smaller one for the needs of mead.

*regarding brewersfriend notes, wyeast tells you that pack viability becomes compromised after 6 months (after that time you might not get any results from pitching the yeast). And about ammount of yeast per gram, its useful info, but noone really seems to agree... So i dont really know how to take that into account. Seems like 5 billion per gram might be innacurate. But so can any other number so i dont know. Good to know anyway, i was not aware of those different oppinions.

PD: somehow this has sidetracked. Lumenbeing was asking about sugar breaks and TOSNA vs BOMM SNA ;D

loveofrose
06-23-2017, 05:33 PM
Dry yeast generally contain >6 billion cells per gram of powder. http://www.fermentis.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/SFA_US05.pdf

Wyeast advertises 100 billion cells per pack.

Since most folks pitch 5-10 grams of dry yeast, it is a lot less than I pitch. I learned long ago that overpitching works better for high gravity ferments. Can you get away with less? Maybe.


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mannye
06-23-2017, 06:14 PM
Yeah we are kinda hijacking the thread but it all does have to do with nutrients and yeast performance (he argued fruitlessly). One smack pack is a huge starter for a one gallon. And as far as the 6 month guideline goes, I'm sure they have based that on science BUT more than once I have used smack packs that were over a year past the date and they have (eventually) blown right up and made good mead. :) So I would never throw away an expired pack. However, I wouldn't use it for that $300 meadowfoam or tupelo 5 gallon batch either.

Lumenbeing
06-23-2017, 08:55 PM
Well this thread got derailed... No worries though. Just to get it back on track and maybe put a bow on it, I'm taking a vow to always use the term "1/3 sugar depletion" from now on when I write about my own recipes/logs and comment on other threads so anyone reading my words won't have to scratch their heads and cross reference a half dozen other threads to know exactly what I'm saying. I would encourage others to do the same, but I'm just the new guy, so I don't expect a brew slang sea change.
I've always found that it's easier to debate a topic if all parties are speaking the same language.
You can't have a "to feed until 1/3 sugar break vs 2/3 sugar break" debate until those terms are defined. And that was the point of this thread, not to actually get into that debate :)
I like LOR's proposal to just state the exact gravities when writing a specific recipe, but when speaking in a more general since, for me, % "sugar depletion" gives a little more wiggle room for adjusting a recipe up or down to taste.



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mannye
06-23-2017, 09:46 PM
For as long as I've been doing this 1/3 sugar break has always been, when the 1st 1/3 of the sugar is used. Always. 2/3 is when the second third is used up and there is only 1/3 left. Always. How much more confusing is it going to get if we all start using new terms?

Maybe we need to start putting together a glossary of terms? I haven't looked at the noob guide in a while. Does it have one? I'll check.

my 2 cents.

Edit: A cursory look. Seems that we don't have a glossary of terms. Perhaps my convalescence (broken knee and shoulder...but you should see the other guy) is an opportunity to start working on one!

Squatchy
06-24-2017, 12:08 AM
Dry yeast generally contain >6 billion cells per gram of powder. http://www.fermentis.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/SFA_US05.pdf

Wyeast advertises 100 billion cells per pack.

Since most folks pitch 5-10 grams of dry yeast, it is a lot less than I pitch. I learned long ago that overpitching works better for high gravity ferments. Can you get away with less? Maybe.


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Hi Bray

How many smack packs do you use for a 5-6 gallon batch at 1120?

loveofrose
06-24-2017, 12:25 AM
If I'm too lazy to make a starter, 3.


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Dadux
06-24-2017, 04:17 AM
For as long as I've been doing this 1/3 sugar break has always been, when the 1st 1/3 of the sugar is used. Always. 2/3 is when the second third is used up and there is only 1/3 left. Always. How much more confusing is it going to get if we all start using new terms?

Maybe we need to start putting together a glossary of terms? I haven't looked at the noob guide in a while. Does it have one? I'll check.

my 2 cents.

Edit: A cursory look. Seems that we don't have a glossary of terms. Perhaps my convalescence (broken knee and shoulder...but you should see the other guy) is an opportunity to start working on one!

It does have a chapter on terminology. It might be good to update it but it does exist

http://gotmead.com/blog/making-mead/mead-newbee-guide/the-newbee-guide-to-making-mead-chapter-5-terminology-and-calculations/

mannye
06-24-2017, 09:57 AM
It does have a chapter on terminology. It might be good to update it but it does exist

http://gotmead.com/blog/making-mead/mead-newbee-guide/the-newbee-guide-to-making-mead-chapter-5-terminology-and-calculations/

Perhaps then since there's a clear section about the sugar break on there... we can guide people to the sugar break entry.

You know what I'm going to start? A thread to explore what are the most confusing terms and to help clarify them.

Swn Gwyrdd
06-26-2017, 05:11 AM
That's a pretty good idea, Mannye. Along with the sugar break thing, some I've seen:

People getting confused with "aeration" and "degassing", wondering if they're the same thing.

"High pH" vs "High acidity" is another one that often gets people with less of a scientific background.

"Secondary". Some people seem to think there'll always be a secondary fermentation, rather than just shifting the mead to get it off lees etc.

It might be worth including some unit conversions too. 'Muricans use mostly imperial units whereas Europeans use metric. Also the discrepancy between US lquid gallons and imperial gallons might catch out anyone trying to convert a recipe to litres.

Squatchy
06-26-2017, 10:09 AM
So just to clear things up I was wrong about cell count. A smack does have more viable cells than dry yeast. Just another reason to encourage us all to use the 2-3 grams a gallon I have always been a proponent of.

mannye
06-26-2017, 03:32 PM
That's a pretty good idea, Mannye. Along with the sugar break thing, some I've seen:

People getting confused with "aeration" and "degassing", wondering if they're the same thing.

"High pH" vs "High acidity" is another one that often gets people with less of a scientific background.

"Secondary". Some people seem to think there'll always be a secondary fermentation, rather than just shifting the mead to get it off lees etc.

It might be worth including some unit conversions too. 'Muricans use mostly imperial units whereas Europeans use metric. Also the discrepancy between US lquid gallons and imperial gallons might catch out anyone trying to convert a recipe to litres.

Good stuff. I'll bring it up with Vicky tomorrow before the show.

mannye
06-26-2017, 03:46 PM
If I'm too lazy to make a starter, 3.


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LOL Yes! I've done that a few times especially if I have some smack packs that are nearing expiration.