View Full Version : Lalvin D-47 the killer yeast ?

11-17-2005, 11:16 PM
Now that I have your attention ::)
Im/we are moving to a new location, I have 2 batches of mead going with, batch #1 is the batch in question,

Pitched September 3rd 2005
Lalvin D-47 to must 1.131

Racked to secondary October 14th 2005
gravity 1.008

Racked again tonight
gravity 1.004 :o 17.25% abv

I racked tonight for a few reasons,
havent seen any airlock action for a long time,
1/2" of yeast sediment, and clinging to sides of carboy,
this 5 gallon carboy has about 1 gallon headspace and I am trying to keep c02 on the brew as much as posible.

We are moving December 1st, and I am unsure what would be my best solution with this mead, Im pretty sure I dont want to be sloshing it around 2 weeks from now.

Top off with some fresh must and let fermentation slowly resume?
Top it up from Batch #2 same yeast gravity 1.018 and still active (OG was 1.020)?
Cold condition for 2 weeks, bottle forget about it for a year and pour carefully?
Any ideas?

I didnt think I would like a dry mead and intended this batch be medium sweet, the test sample tasted wicked hot/bitter, I poured the sample into a wine glass and put it in the fridge (open) for 30 mins, and wow what a differance, I think this first batch will be awesome after it ages a while, thanks folks, Cheers...John

11-18-2005, 12:06 AM
I'd Top it off with fresh must. More mead when your finished. ;D

11-18-2005, 07:50 AM
Hey Pawn,

Mind posting up those recipes for a better idea of where you started and where you are. I agree with Wrath, but it's always nice to know what the original gravity/brix was, and what the ingredients are in order to be a bit more certain of how you got where you are.



11-18-2005, 02:33 PM
this 5 gallon carboy has about 1 gallon headspace and I am trying to keep c02 on the brew as much as posible.

I've had the same concern at times, but I always told myself that the headspace is mostly CO2 by then, so the large headspace is OK. Is this reasoning sound?

11-18-2005, 03:01 PM
As long as there was some fermentation taking place after racking you should have a blanket of CO2. If you rack after fermentation has completed, then obviously you'll have no protection from the air in the headspace.


11-18-2005, 04:27 PM
I'd Top it off with fresh must. More mead when your finished. ;D

Hi Wrath, I was thinking the same but wasnt sure how much longer this would drag out the ferment/aging time, and I have read where some mead makers claim "feeding" a mead may have a bad effect on the finish product/flavor, or maybe this wouldnt be the same as feeding since the one gallon addition wouldnt increase the overall abv?

Heya Oskaar, sorry I forgot the ingredients were as follows,

#1 batch (5 gallons)
16-17 lbs honey
2.5 tsp DAP
1 tsp biotin
2 packets Lalvin D-47 (no starter)

OG 1.131
last gravity test November 17th 2005 1.004

I didnt heat anything, I pitched the yeast to 3 gallons of must (80f) and tossed the carboy out on the deck (must temp was 68f by morning), the next day I ran 2 gallons of must through the blender and topped off, during the strong ferment (about 2 weeks) the must temps were from 66-68f.
The clarity of this mead is simular to the D-47 test batch pic Oskaar posted up maybe slightly clearer.

BTW Thank You Oskaar (the yeast tests are great for a n00b like me), I have learned a lot from you and others in this forum!!!

#2 batch (5 gallons)
Honey (didnt measure) OG 1.120
Same as #1 with one gallon LalvinD-47 starter (sediment)(starter wort OG 1.062 oops)
I topped this carboy right to the neck, about 3 inches headspace, it was a little messy but not bad (used blowoff tube for first 10 days).

These meads were kind of my paranoid adaptation of the show mead recipes in the book "the complete meadmaker", I have read so much about stalled batches I think I may have become over concerned, and after seeing these two meads take off I am more than willing to try a natural mead ;D

I took the remainder of that 1 gallon starter OG 1.062 (clear), steeped 12oz of crystal 60, 1 cup Light DME, 6 grams Mt hood hops, and boiled for 60 minutes, cooled, then added honey to bring gravity to 1.048,added the wort to the mead and left it alone for 3 weeks Heh this stuff turned out great:)

Hi CosmicCharlie, and welcome, I have never worried to much about headspace with my beers (im new to mead), but then I never had to worry about hauling the full carboys across town either, lol, if my kegging stuff was ready (still need regulator) I might have just kegged the mead and relaxed a bit.

I did notice a lot of c02 coming out of this mead after racking so I feel Im ok so far, got to admit topping off and restarting fermentation would sure reduce some stress (on me), let me know what ya all think, thanks for getting me this far ;D

11-18-2005, 06:27 PM
It won't significantly add to your ferment aging time as long as you still have some viable yeasts left. If you're unsure... Pretend you're making a 1 gallon batch, pitch the same yeast you did originally, keep separate... aerate for 3 days just as if it were a new batch, because it is, when fermentation takes off let it go for about a week then transfer to fill the head space of your other mead. At least that's how I'd proceed.


11-18-2005, 08:22 PM
Thanks so much for the help Wrathwilde,

I sat and stared into that carboy (batch #1) for several minutes, and I saw several tough lookin little yeasties wearing leather jackets and Jack Daniels tee-shirts, I think I even saw a Hells Angels clubhouse go floating by.

Not a doubt in my mind this carboy will be rockin in a couple days ;D

Sorry for all the questions, but maybe just one more :P

If I added a one gallon must with a gravity of 1.080 and it stalled then in theory I would end up with 16 points (residual honey sweetness) per gallon leaving the mead with a combined fg of 1.020 (perfect semi-sweet mead I am told),
would this be a bad approach other than the fact only the mead gods would know for sure what the yeasties are going to do(I know I wouldnt dream of watering down a beer),might it have a negative effect on the finished mead ?

At anyrate thank you so much folks, Im going to go ahead and plan on making 3 gallons of 1.031 must, top off the carboy, and make some Joe's Ancient Orange with the procedes, Cheers...John

11-22-2005, 01:21 PM
I didnt get around to topping this mead off till last night, I was all set, took the towel off the carboy and noticed 5 , 3/8" diameter white daisy shaped white colored things floating on the surface, each flower has a very small clear spot in the center.

I recall hearing of something called flower of wine or something, is it posible I have an infected batch of mead?

I searched this forum and googled with very little result, Cheers...John

11-22-2005, 02:05 PM
Stop, drop and rack immediately. Once you've racked, sulfite and hope for the best. When you rack leave at least an inch under the floaties and DO NOT tip either vessel. Once you're where you've racked the proper amount, use a hose clip to stop the flow and pull the tubing out of the recieving vessel first.

Good luck,


11-22-2005, 02:25 PM
Hey Pawn
Any way we can see a pic of this for educational purposes? That is if you havent racked it already and it isnt too much trouble.

11-22-2005, 02:37 PM
Hey Im sure not going to miss this oppurtunity, after searching the web and finding nothing (no images).
I phoned my wife, she is picking up the sulfite agent and tracking down our daughter who has our digital camera ::)

Once I sulfite the mead should I go ahead and chill it as well?

Man I sure appreciate your help, Cheers...John

11-22-2005, 02:40 PM
Thanks in advance for taking pics, i noticed the exact same thing...no pics on the web.

11-22-2005, 03:32 PM
Since Pawn is going to post this photo for us to see, does anyone else have photos of other infections that we can see to learn from? Perhaps add them to a new topic in the Technical area.


11-22-2005, 06:03 PM

I'm saying to rack immediately in order to preserve your mead and get out from under the infection as quickly as possible. I can't speak for if it is flowers-of-wine, or another infection of some kind without something visual.

Hope that helps,


11-23-2005, 06:56 PM
Hmmm, my fist attempt uploading an image to this forum, it appears I will need to host the pic myself.

I will upload and link a pic soon, but may not have the time this afternoon (have to work).
Thanks for the help,
Oskaar, I racked into 4 one gallon jugs so Im hoping atleast the first 3 will be ok, I could see 3 layers beneath the surface, and the layers were a creamy white color and took up a total of one inch depth.

Unfortunately my daughter had our Camera, so I bought a disposable, took 30 pics, had it put on a cd, installed photo shop on my laptop, Oh did I mention I had to bottle yesterday, and worked last night too? ;D


Im Baaack,
I have 30 pics to dig through, I think I should be able to find a closer view hopefully with adequate quality.

Oskaar, 3 of the gallons are filled to the neck and have a fine ring of tiny bubbles around the rim, maybe from the sulfite?

11-24-2005, 05:31 AM
Bump ::)

11-24-2005, 01:38 PM
That's a whole lot of headspace ya got there. The pics are a bit blurry, got any more clearer ones?