PDA

View Full Version : Bubbling rate



llewin
10-09-2004, 11:59 PM
OK. So my first batch of mead, which was actually a metheglin i supposes since i used tea and cinnamon in it... but anyway! :)

It started bubbling about 3-5 times a minute almost immediately but has not bubbled any faster since the beginning and may actually be bubbling slower... it seems to average 1 bubble every 15 to 30 secconds... Is this normal for a primary ferment?

Just as a bit of background I am making about 1 gallon of mead but it is in a 6 gallon primary.

*a bit worried as i'm new to this and dont know what normal would be for the fermentation bubbling...

Any help and guidance would be very helpful!

thank,

Llewin

Jmattioli
10-10-2004, 12:20 AM
1 gallon in a 6 gallon primary may be the problem. You have so much airspace to fill up and build up pressure and are probably getting bursts rather than steady bubbles which makes bubble rate deceptive. With 1 gallon batches , you don't need a large primary like that. Just put it all in a 1 gallon jug with airlock and 4 inches of airspace. After a day or so of foaming you top it off to about 2-3 inches and let it go to fermentation completion. I would recommend you get it out of the 6 gallon primary now and put in a 1 gallon carboy. Also, from one of your past posts I noticed you did not include nutrients and are using Montrechet with spring water. I would add some nutrients to be on the safe side if this is that batch since there is no fruit or other ingredient supplying nutrients. If you have none, add a handful of natural raisins as they will do wonders.
Joe

Pewter_of_Deodar
10-10-2004, 12:50 AM
I have an interesting thing occurring in my first batch (metheglin - orange blossom honey, few spices, EC-1118). The bubbling is slowing (still several bubbles a minutes) but the surface of the must has more foam on top now than it did the entire first week while it was bubbling more rapidly. Still a tiny amount, but I have to admit my surprise that it took a week for it to appear...

Anything to be concerned about?

Oskaar
10-10-2004, 12:54 AM
I wouldn't be worried about it. I've had this happen with high alcohol yeasts before. I'm not sure what causes it (the beasties may be metabolizing some protiens/carbohydrates that are the last stubborn hangers on?) but I haven't had it foul my batches.

I would rack it once your bubble rate slows to once or less per minute and leave the foam, if it is still there, in the primary.

Oskaar

Pewter_of_Deodar
10-10-2004, 01:19 AM
Thanks for the comments Oskaar.

I may actually rack a little earlier since I need to get a little more honey into the batch and have a second ferment occur in order to get the ABV level necessary to kill off the EC-1118 so that I don't have to sulfite before bottling....

Maybe I will just let this batch age and not worry so much since it will likely get drunk pretty fast...

Jmattioli
10-10-2004, 01:28 AM
Good luck Pewter, That Ec-1118 just doesn't like to quit before you have alcohol burn. I always let it stop and then stabilize to get my sweetness level, otherwise you are in for a long age time to lower the hashness.
Joe

Pewter_of_Deodar
10-10-2004, 01:56 AM
Joe,

At what ABV do you think the burn begins to be noticeable?

And at what ABV do you think the burn will no longer age out over time?

I'd like to think that we could achieve an 18 percent ABV mead that was smooth after a year or so... Am I dreaming?

Thanks,
Pewter

Jmattioli
10-10-2004, 02:39 AM
Joe,
At what ABV do you think the burn begins to be noticeable?
And at what ABV do you think the burn will no longer age out over time?
I'd like to think that we could achieve an 18 percent ABV mead that was smooth after a year or so... Am I dreaming?
Thanks,
Pewter
I notice it at 16%. Anything there or above detracts from the pleasure of drinking mead for me. I have tasted White lightning but I can't say it is a pleasure to drink unless you are naked in the snow on a cold winter day. But I don't know the answer to your question. Maybe someone else can relate their experience on that matter.
Joe

Oskaar
10-10-2004, 05:10 AM
Joe has a good point. At 16% meads get pretty bite-eey, and if you add more honey to that EC-1118 it isn't likely that it will stop until it hits about 20% or so.

I have used the dry Pasteur Champagne yeast from Red Star which seems similar in character to EC-1118, and have goosed them up to 20% ABV.

However, in it's "un-tweaked" state at 20%, it is like rocket fuel (which isn't a bad thing if you like stuff like Grappa, Rakija, Sljivovitz, etc.). So I stabilized at 38 degrees F for two weeks, filtered it and then backsweetened it to taste. It was good, but after only a glass or so it was time to crawl into bed and sleep. Generally I like to stay up and be sociable!

Oskaar

llewin
10-10-2004, 07:12 AM
1 gallon in a 6 gallon primary may be the problem..... With 1 gallon batches , you don't need a large primary like that.... Just put it all in a 1 gallon jug with airlock and 4 inches of airspace..... I would recommend you get it out of the 6 gallon primary now and put in a 1 gallon carboy..... Also, from one of your past posts I noticed you did not include nutrients and are using Montrechet with spring water. I would add some nutrients to be on the safe side if this is that batch since there is no fruit or other ingredient supplying nutrients. If you have none, add a handful of natural raisins as they will do wonders.
Joe



OK I dont have a 1 gallon carboy and the only thing i can think of is a cleaned out 1 gallon milk jug, but thats plastic. is this going to work or do i need scramble some coin together and go out to buy a 1 gallon glass carboy? Also is it really an issue for it to be in the large fermentor as far as how well it will ferment or does anyone know? The instructions i read actually suggested using the large fermenter.

As to the second part, I did actually use yeast nutrient in this batch, but i think i forgot to post it... sorry!

~joel

Jmattioli
10-10-2004, 08:47 AM
Well, yes, I would do something fairly quickly. You are going to need a one gallon glass carboy. Buy a gallon of cheap wine if necessary or a jug for $3.95 at the brew shop or a gallon OF APPLE JUICE IN GLASS FROM THE SUPERMARKET. I hope you have a bung and airlock for the jug. If you use the 6 gallon fermentor for 1 gallon you will end up with oxidized mead. The plastic gallon would be better for now. It is oxygen permeable but only over time. 3 weeks wouldn't hurt a thing. When you open your 6 gallon fermentor for whatever reason, you will expose it to oxygen and after an initial fermentation most people move it to a vessel that will be filled to within 2 inches of the top. Oxygen is good for the first few days or so but should be avoided thereafter. I doubt your 1 gallon is going to properly evacuate your 6 gallon conainer of oxygen from the CO2 each time you open it. If you were doing 3 gallons or more then your 6 gallon primary would be fine for the first few weeks but not for 1 gallon. Sorry for the long response but I would take action as soon as possible and all willl be okay.
Joe

JamesP
10-10-2004, 08:47 AM
I use PET (or PETE) bottles that fruit juice comes in (for drinking). They are 3 Litre (almost a gallon).

They are the clear plastic, not the cloudy white plastic like milk bottles.

The only problems is retention of aromas, but leaving some metabisulfite solution to soak the interior for a day or two usually fixes that.

Pewter_of_Deodar
10-10-2004, 06:13 PM
I just found two glass gallon jugs at the grocery last night that were filled with some so-so cider. They were the same price as the plastic gallons of cider. So I bought two...

They aren't in my primary-secondary-aging pattern yet, which is 6.5 gallon, 6 gallon, 5 gallon, but I may try collecting and filtering the remaining must after racking into these bottles or experiment with several 1 gallon batches of the same mead with subtle variations (like the yeast test that one individual here is doing).

llewin
10-10-2004, 11:17 PM
alrighty. I'll get it moved in to something then :)

Thanks for your help everyone, I dont mean to sound doubtful when I question, the only reason i asked for a double-check is because the original instructions I got didnt seem to have an issue with using the large containers.

Oh well, live and learn :) i'll move it on over and if it gets ruined then i'm only out a little honey :).

~joel

Jmattioli
10-11-2004, 12:03 AM
No problem Joel,
Its always better to question and get second opinions. None of us have the final word on what will work and what will not. Mead making is more of an art than pure science. I don't believe your mead is harmed yet. From your research on the web you will find for the most part, oxygen is an enemy of wine and mead. After an initial period yeast go anerobic which means they get their oxygen from the water in the must (H2O). Exposing surface area of the must to oxygen at this point is not desireable as it gives the wine or mead a sherry like taste and can promote unwanted bacteria growth. The Co2 given off by the yeast helps avoid both of these senarios. This is why you will see all the concern about topping off after racking on this and other forums.
Keep us posted on your progress.
Joe