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edacsac
05-28-2005, 04:59 PM
Hey everyone!

I'm not sure if this is a problem or not, but I wanted to get some feedback. I started two 1 gallon batches late Thursday night, and at this point I'm getting a bubble every 7-10 seconds out of one, and every 15-20 seconds out of the other. I've been reading many of the brewlogs here, and from what I'm seeing as average activity is 1-2 bubbles per second! My gravities for both are roughly 1.135, and I'm using k1v-1116, and the temperature of my area is 66 right now, but it has fluctuated between 62 and 68. My recipies are straight honey and water, with a dose of yeast energizer.

Am I going to have a problem here?

WRATHWILDE
05-28-2005, 05:22 PM
Did you add any nutrients or DAP? Did you follow the rehydration of yeast exactly? Was there a big difference in temperature between the yeast and must when you pitched? (too big a temp difference can shock the yeast). And finally did you aerate you must well over the 1st 72 hours? All of these things will affect how strong your fermenting starts off. Also I've found that when my temperature falls below 70 airlock activity slows considerably.

Wrathwilde

edacsac
05-28-2005, 07:15 PM
I added yeast energizer that contains diammonium phosphate, yeast hulls, magnisium sulphate, and vitamin B. Rehydrated yeast exactly as perscribed by lalvin. I don't believe htere was a temperature difference between the must and yeast, since I rehydrated the yeast in 2 ounces of water at 105 degrees for 15 minutes, and by the time I pitched it, everything was around the same room temperature of about 78 degrees. I aerated the must by quickly dumping back and forth between two buckets 10 times each before pitching yeast. I tried to do everything perfectly this time.

The weather seems to be a little off though, as I planned to have temperatures around 70-72 in my brewing area this time of year, but its a little coolor than expected right now.

It sounds like your saying by aerating over 72 hours, that I should crack these and stir them up again.

WRATHWILDE
05-28-2005, 08:24 PM
Yes, yeast need plenty of oxygen in the 1st 72 hours. other than that I agree your fermentation should be more aggressive than once every 10 seconds. Still I don't think it's cause for concern, you just my have to wait out a slow fermentation. Careful when you stir though, your yeast might only be waiting for more oxygen and decide to erupt into a volcano of fermentation when stirred... see my don't try this at home post.

http://www.gotmead.com/smf/index.php/topic,1082.0.html

Wrathwilde

edacsac
05-28-2005, 11:23 PM
Thanks Wrathwilde,

I gave them each a hardy stirring, and wrapped a towel around the two buckets to maybe hold a degree or two of extra heat in while the temp is low.

:-)

Oskaar
05-28-2005, 11:54 PM
So edac,

What was your original recipe? It may have some bearing on the current activity.

adTHANKSvance,

Oskaar

edacsac
05-29-2005, 12:05 AM
Hey Oskaar,

Pretty plain recipe. Two 1 gallon batches each with a different honey variety. Heres how it went down:

7 cups (tried to hit 5lbs for the 1 1/2 gallon primary) of honey and a 1/2 gallon of Absopure spring water for each batch, heated Basswood for 15 minutes at 145 degrees, Alfalfa for 10 minutes at 150. Skimmed foam very thoroughly.

Poured into 1.5 gallon buckets, and chilled to around 75 degrees.

Added more spring water to meet 5 quart volume. Gravity way to high at 7 cups each. Adjusted original gravity to:

Basswood - 1.137 (adjusted for temperature).
Alfalfa - 1.135 (adjusted for temperature)

Aerated by pouring quickly back and forth between two buckets 10 times per batch. I thought this would be super sufficient for aeration.

Rehydrated Lalvin K1V-1116 (one pack for each batch) per package instructions -

Added 1/2 teaspoon ID Carlson yeast energizer and rehydrated yeast for each batch, added yeast, stirred, sealed buckets, placed airlocks with half water - half vodka, and moved to temperature of 62 degrees.

Head space on the basswood is about 2 1/4- 2/1/2 inches, alfalfa is less, at about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches.

Here is my brew log for up to the minute activity:
http://www.gotmead.com/smf/index.php/topic,1110.0.html

I had also read that the darker the honey the higher possible nutrient content, but the lighter honey (basswood) is moving faster than the darker alfalfa.

BTW, temperature is 66F right now in the brewing area with a towel wrapped around the buckets.

Thanks!!

Oskaar
05-29-2005, 03:01 AM
I noticed that your must was 75 degrees F. What was the temp of your yeast inoculum?

When there's a difference of 18 degrees F or more between the must and the yeast inoculum it's a good idea to combine equal parts of the must and the yeast inoculum. The slower you add the must to the yeast slurry, the better.

This will help the yeast adjust to cooler temperature must, and aid in avoiding cold shock caused by rapid temperature drop exceeding 18F (10C). This is called atemperation (at least in Lallemand publications) and could need to be done in steps for very low temperature must.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar

Dan McFeeley
05-29-2005, 04:14 AM
I'm not sure if this is a problem or not, but I wanted to get some feedback. I started two 1 gallon batches late Thursday night, and at this point I'm getting a bubble every 7-10 seconds out of one, and every 15-20 seconds out of the other. I've been reading many of the brewlogs here, and from what I'm seeing as average activity is 1-2 bubbles per second! My gravities for both are roughly 1.135, and I'm using k1v-1116, and the temperature of my area is 66 right now, but it has fluctuated between 62 and 68. My recipies are straight honey and water, with a dose of yeast energizer.

That's difficult to say. I haven't been reading the Brewlog regularly but 1-2 bubbles per second is awfully fast! Think about it -- a rate like that is almost enough to generate audio frequencies!

Even with a strong yeast like K1V-1116, a starting gravity of 1.135 sounds a bit high. That might be the reason for what sounds like a sluggish fermentation. It's also a bit soon -- with a high starting gravity, give the yeasties a little time to settle down and start working.

Too great a temperature difference between must and starter can cause problems, as Oskaar pointed out. It generates what's called 'petite mutations,' along with the cold shock.

You mentioned the general rule of thumb, the darker the honey, the higher the acid, nutrient and mineral content is likely to be. That's an extrapolation from John W. White jr.'s honey analysis data, which generally holds true but, as in all things honey, there are always exceptions to the rule. ;D

WRATHWILDE
05-29-2005, 05:34 AM
When I started my chocolate Mead my 3 piece activity was 4 per second + which did surprise the heck out of me, my other batch of straight mead never went any faster than about 1 every three seconds. But I hadn't fed & aired it as well as I should have.

Wrathwilde

edacsac
05-29-2005, 11:50 PM
Thanks for all the replies everyone!

I'm not sure what my yeast temperature was when I pitched it, but it was probably higher then the must, although it shouldn't have been that much different. I rehydrated it at 105F for 15 minutes in 2oz of water like the instructions stated, and I would figure that in 15 minutes, 2oz of water would have cooled close to room temperature, but maybe not. I did end up stirring it up real good again, and now its bubbling at about 1 bubble every 4-5 seconds. I can live with a high gravity starting off slow. I just want to make sure I'm not heading for alot of problems.

The next two batches I will introduce the yeast to the must a bit slower, by adding must to the yeast slurry, and see if that makes a difference.

Thanks again! All the input and experience is greatly appreciated!

Dan McFeeley
05-30-2005, 01:16 AM
One way of bringing the temperature of the starter down to that of the honey must is to *slowly* add just a tiny bit of your honey must to the yeast/water, and by adding small increments of the must, gradually bring the temperature down to that of the must.

Be sure the yeasties are fully rehydrated before you do this. This is a very vulnerable stage for yeast -- the cell walls aren't fully functional and unable to regulate what goes in and out.

WRATHWILDE
05-30-2005, 02:43 AM
Also, I'd pick up some GoFerm to give your future yeasts every advantage when rehydrating. My second batch w/ goferm, DAP, and Fermaid K seems to have almost completed fermentation in 10 days. At this point it is at about the same stage as my 1st Mead, minimal nutrients, no DAP or Fermaid K, and that was pitched on April 3rd.

Wrathwilde