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View Full Version : metabisulphite, sorbate and yeasts oh my!



Tsuchi
11-27-2004, 09:11 PM
Ok, so hello all. I'm new here and have a few questions.

Firstly, from what I have read on the subject, most sulphates can trigger and aggravate asthma. Which is something Iíd rather not happen? So far Iíve used the bleach and rinse and rinse and rinse till there's no more bleach smell. Is this method reliable in other people's experience.... Is there a better, even possibly more natural option? And though I understand the principal of knowing when your yeast will give up will remove/reduce the need for potassium Sorbate (another thing Iíd like to avoid) where can I find the parameters at which different yeasts give up their go. I looked on the LALVIN website but could find no specific references, only fluffy descriptions of what their yeasts are best for. The one I used in this, my first batch 5gal is two packs of lalvin ec-1118 (on the advice of local wine making shop) Iím looking for any helpful guides or opinions.

Thanks in advance.

Dan McFeeley
11-28-2004, 12:03 AM
Ok, so hello all. I'm new here and have a few questions.

Firstly, from what I have read on the subject, most sulphates can trigger and aggravate asthma. Which is something Iíd rather not happen? So far Iíve used the bleach and rinse and rinse and rinse till there's no more bleach smell. Is this method reliable in other people's experience.... Is there a better, even possibly more natural option? And though I understand the principal of knowing when your yeast will give up will remove/reduce the need for potassium Sorbate (another thing Iíd like to avoid) where can I find the parameters at which different yeasts give up their go. I looked on the LALVIN website but could find no specific references, only fluffy descriptions of what their yeasts are best for. The one I used in this, my first batch 5gal is two packs of lalvin ec-1118 (on the advice of local wine making shop) Iím looking for any helpful guides or opinions.

Thanks in advance.



Bleach as a sanitizer seems to work well. I've used it once or twice with no problems, although generally I prefer a sanitizer/cleanser and idophor.

On telling when the yeasts have given up the ghost -- it's a combination of observation and use of the hydrometer. If the yeasties have been plugging away for a reasonable length of time, then quit, no activity in the airlock, no bubbles, etc., then let it sit for a little while longer. If the mead clears on its own, wait until you can read newsprint clearly through the other side of the bottle. Rack to another carboy and while you're doing this, draw off a sample and take a hydrometer reading. The reading will tell you whether the mead finished out, got stuck, or if there is still a good amount of residual sugar left in the mead.

JoeM
11-28-2004, 12:17 AM
I use bleach exclusively. Itís cheap, easy to obtain, is relatively non toxic, and works well.

Talon
11-28-2004, 06:23 PM
Tsuchi,

Lalvin EC-1118 is a very agressive champagne yeast. One 5 gram packet is more than enough for a single 5 gallon carboy. If you upgrade to a 6 gallon carboy, then I'd suggest making a starter with one 5g packet of yeast.

Saves you buying more yeast than you need to. ;)

Talon.

Tsuchi
11-29-2004, 04:49 AM
"If you upgrade to a 6 gallon carboy, then I'd suggest making a starter with one 5g packet of yeast. Talon"


Thank you, I thought the Helpfull shopkeeper seamed a bit over-kill when he handed me 3 pks so i only used two of the three. Should i worry over adding too much yeast to start? Oh and my mistake about the carboy size, it is 6 gal ... had to check my notes as now is not the time to try and read the bottem of the jug. :)

On another note...
I'm Perhaps Overly excited that the SG is down from 1.075 to 1.020 in under 20 days... it still tastes quite sweet from a bit taken from the wine thief... i have to assume that a little differance in SG means a lot in sweetness.

Talon
11-29-2004, 06:09 PM
No, you shouldn't worry about adding too much yeast. The little beasties know how much they need to grow. Much of your lees, the stuff at the bottom, is yeast that has gone dormant and settled out, so you could add 10 packets of yeast and they will grow accordingly as they consume the sugar. Just using one packet is more than enough for what you are looking to do. ;) I've also heard that you should add 2 packets for 6 gallons, but like I said, use a good starter and you'll have no problem.

It's true, a small SG drop is a whole lot in sugar being consumed. Joe Mattioli or Oskaar would be far better at explaining how that works to you than I could as they have far much more experience than I at SG measurements.

Keep good records of your SG readings and when your SG readings don't change for two readings within a 2 week period, then I'd say you're good to rack your mead.

As for your primary question of more yeast info, I've found these links:
http://forgottensea.org/medievalbrewers/yeast.html
http://sca_brew.homestead.com/files/meadyeast.html#TheYeastsIndex

Hope this helps.

Talon.

Jmattioli
11-29-2004, 07:46 PM
Sounds like Talon has things well in hand. I would only add that you should continue your readings and tasting as SG and sweetness is a very subjective experience. Keeping good records is a valuable aid in improving your meads.
Joe