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Lumenbeing
08-06-2017, 12:54 AM
So I've got this fig melomel going. I used the MeadMakr batch calculator set to TOSNA 2.0 to get my plan together.

I made my first nutrient addition on day 1 (24 hours), my second on day 2, hit 1/3 sugar depletion on day 3, added the third addition, but waited until day 4 to make the last one, because this fermentation has been so vigorous that the airlock had already popped off a couple of times overnight.

So today was 6 days since pitch, and the mead smells kinda sulphurish. I know that usually means hat the mead is craving nutrients, so should I add more nutrients or stick to the plan? Meadmaderight.com says you can half the nutrients for melomels. I didn't do that. I've been adding the full calculated amount of Fermaid O, but it still smells like sulphur. What do you guys do in this situation?


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Dadux
08-06-2017, 05:43 AM
What is the SG? If its high you can add some more nutrientd i guess, altough i doubt they have nutrient problems. Something similar happened to dingurth in its braggot (you can read it, its named the first and last braggot i'll ever make (probably)) We usually degass the shit out of it. This helps evaporate the sulfur. If after that the next day its still smelling you may have a more serioius problem. The last resort is adding copper. This will bind the sulphur but its not so good when the ferment is still going on.
Next time pitch the recommended ammount.

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dingurth
08-06-2017, 12:57 PM
Sulfur can also come from a lack of oxygen or underpitching yeast.
Also different yeast strains can produce more or less sulfur. Which did you use?

Lumenbeing
08-07-2017, 05:05 AM
I used EC-1118, pitched a whole 5g for 1gal. So underpitching is not the problem. OG was 1.134. Seven days later its already down to 1.032 with no signs of stopping. So its probably too late to add any additional nut right?


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bernardsmith
08-07-2017, 09:18 AM
Others may disagree but "under-pitching" is not simply about the volume of must. It is about the concentration of sugar, and a must with a starting gravity of 1.134 (or a potential ABV of about 17.5 %) will have about 3.82 lbs of honey in every gallon. That is a concentrated solution for the yeast to be able to comfortably thrive within. Bottom line: you may indeed have under-pitched... :cheers:

dingurth
08-07-2017, 11:51 AM
I've never had a sulfur problem with EC1118 and have pitched the same amount at even higher starting gravities than that. Some people will add a small nutrient addition later if they think the yeast are struggling. I would hesitate to do it since you're past the 2/3 break already. I'd degas vigorously as dadux mentioned. Hopefully the sulfur will lessen and production of it will stop. If not, you can always toss in a little copper post ferment and you'll want to rack off those lees as well. I still don't really know why so much sulfur was produced in the batch of mine that dadux mentioned, and maybe I'll never know, but fortunately there are ways to deal with it.

Lumenbeing
08-07-2017, 12:15 PM
Others may disagree but "under-pitching" is not simply about the volume of must. It is about the concentration of sugar, and a must with a starting gravity of 1.134 (or a potential ABV of about 17.5 %) will have about 3.82 lbs of honey in every gallon. That is a concentrated solution for the yeast to be able to comfortably thrive within. Bottom line: you may indeed have under-pitched... :cheers:

Thanks for the info Bernard. That sounds logical enough, but definitely the first time I've heard about needing to pitch more than 5g of dry yeast for a 1 gal batch. Is there any way to calculate what you think would be adequate? Or is there a thread you could point me to where I could read more about it?

Back to the central question of this thread which I still don't think anyone has answered directly. Does one add Fermaid O to a batch that is fermenting vigorously, but smells like sulphur, if that batch has already received its total calculated nutrient requirement (possibly double) and is already way past the 1/3 sugar depletion point? Yea or neigh? And if yes, how much should I add?


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Dadux
08-07-2017, 12:20 PM
bernadrsmith, you are part right abut colume and SG being important both, but i'd think that 5 grams for a gal of that type of yeast enough for the gravity. And sulphur smell is caracteristic of lack of nutrients. I think to get it from underpitching you'd have to severely underpitch.

From both this cases maybe the problem comes from too much nutrients? you both dingurth and Lumenbeing should have cutted the ammounts but didnt. Before TOSNA and TiOSNA we added much more nutrients than we do now and yeast did ok, but it was not all organic. Maybe too much organic nutrient from FermO and the aminoacids from the fruit is the culprit.

Dadux
08-07-2017, 12:24 PM
Thanks for the info Bernard. That sounds logical enough, but definitely the first time I've heard about needing to pitch more than 5g of dry yeast for a 1 gal batch. Is there any way to calculate what you think would be adequate? Or is there a thread you could point me to where I could read more about it?

Back to the central question of this thread which I still don't think anyone has answered directly. Does one add Fermaid O to a batch that is fermenting vigorously, but smells like sulphur, if that batch has already received its total calculated nutrient requirement (possibly double) and is already way past the 1/3 sugar depletion point? Yea or neigh? And if yes, how much should I add?


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Short answer: usually for big sack meads (1.140+) double and add 10 grams. You cant overpitch, so adding more in meadmaking is the equivalent of "better safe than sorry". But EC is a very strong yeast. SO in your case as i said i think its enough.

And yes you can add the Fermaid O but as i said these cases are weird because I very much doubt they have a lack of nutrition (the most common cause for sulphur smell). AS long as its FermO you can add it if you think its gonna get consumed (you expect the fermentation to last a few more days).

Squatchy
08-07-2017, 02:58 PM
I keep on hand regular yeast hulls. You could also drop bread yeast into boiling water, cool and add it. It acts as a sponge to absorb some off flavors. I also doubt you little ones are underfeed per say.

Squatchy
08-07-2017, 03:07 PM
You might also benefit from an aggressive stir again. If the smell is left for too long it binds to the mead permanently.

Ogroat
08-08-2017, 09:30 AM
If the smell is left for too long it binds to the mead permanently.

Have you experienced this? I haven't had a sulfur smell in mead (yet) but I made a cider that I bottled too soon that smelled strongly of sulfur. It took six or seven months, but the smell eventually disappeared completely and left no noticeable effects after it did.

Squatchy
08-08-2017, 10:20 AM
That's interesting to know. I personally have only had a smelly batch once when I first started making mead. And it went away with aggressive stirring. In a mead class at UC Davis we discussed the binding issue.

Lumenbeing
08-08-2017, 12:51 PM
So once it's bound, can you still get rid of it with copper?


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Squatchy
08-08-2017, 01:23 PM
I don't know for sure. I have only had one batch that needed help the entire time I have been making mead. After the ferment was over I dangled an 8" piece of clean copper pipe in my carboy over night and it worked. I ended up learning the smell was from the dried apricots I added. They had been sulphurized to keep them from going off by the manufacturer.

Ogroat's post is the first time I have heard of it subsiding once bottled. Have you stirred it again aggressively to try and aerate it out?

dingurth
08-08-2017, 01:46 PM
Copper can get rid of H2S(produced by yeast) and mercaptans (slightly larger sulfur element, usually with burnt-match or cabbage characteristics). Degassing will help blow off H2S as its volatile and will get carried off with the CO2. What you don't want to do is add oxygen with too much splashing. Oxygen will cause the sulfur compounds to create more complex chains. The "benefit" to this is the more complex sulfur compounds have a lower sensory threshold, so it may seem like the problem is gone. However, in an oxygen deprived environment (inside your bottle for example), they can revert to the simple sulfur compounds and be smelly again when you open it up.

If copper doesn't remove the problem, it means you have high levels of complex sulfur chains. These can be fixed with copper and an addition of ascorbic acid (vitamin c), but may take months to be corrected. Thankfully, large sulfur compounds take time to create. So if you detect a sulfur problem, acting quickly will usually take care of things with little effort.

Lumenbeing
08-08-2017, 04:21 PM
I don't know for sure. I have only had one batch that needed help the entire time I have been making mead. After the ferment was over I dangled an 8" piece of clean copper pipe in my carboy over night and it worked. I ended up learning the smell was from the dried apricots I added. They had been sulphurized to keep them from going off by the manufacturer.

Ogroat's post is the first time I have heard of it subsiding once bottled. Have you stirred it again aggressively to try and aerate it out?

Yes I've stirred it aggressively with my drill/whip. It's down to 1.021 today. The sulphur I'm catching is fainter, and it's only coming trough the airlock, especially when I swirl.

When I took the sample today, I poured off a shot glass to taste and let it sit for a while as I took the hydrometer reading. The aroma off the shot glass was mostly honey. I could not really smell sulphur if at all.

So my theory is that this fig pulp/seeds just generates a ton of sulphur gas and its coming out of suspension along with the CO2. When I put my nose right up to the airlock I'm just getting a strong hit of it. But maybe when primary fermentation finishes, it will be okay.


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