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Thurisaz
04-23-2006, 01:12 AM
Heya,

it just occured to me that it might be a good idea to ask you for your opinions folks... here goes:

As I see it, my current 10 liter batch is almost done with (the main phase of) fermentation. At maximum speed my water trap burped every four seconds... now it's 21 secs at least (last measurement was yesterday, I've yet to take one today). Personally, I plan to wait until the burp time goes up to roughly one minute - that should be more than enough to consider fermentation all but done, no?

So, what's your opinion? What guidelines do you use to say "it's finished now"? After all, depending on type of water trap, carboy size et al, burp times will be very different from batch to batch - do you have your personal percentage value handy, like "burp time's up to ten times the previous low, it's time"?

Oskaar
04-23-2006, 01:50 AM
I don't use a catch all formula for my fermentations.

Most of my fermentations run between 10-15 days, and I decide based on the yeast and recipe if I'll let them sit on the lees for a while, so it's pretty much case by case for me.

With yeasts like 71B and EC-1118 I rack pretty quickly based on recommendataions from Lallemand, but with yeasts like D47 and D254 I let them go a bit. During the fermentation I aerate a lot and swirl the carboys as well to keep the yeast in suspension which helps to keep the fermentation strong and healthy. If I'm going to let them be exposed to the lees I'll continue to aerate once or twice a week for a few weeks, and then let them clear as the sit on top of the lees. Other times I'll leave them long enough for the yeast to floc and then rack. As mentioned above it depends on what type of yeast and what type of mead I'm shooting for.

So to answer your question. Maybe you can post up your exact recipe and we can give you our opinons of what you might expect to see, and maybe some options on when to rack. How's that sound?

Cheers,

Oskaar

Thurisaz
04-23-2006, 03:05 PM
Oh well, there's not much of a recipe involved. ;D

Five kilograms of forest flower honey, red wine yeast (I'd be stumped if you ask me for some letter-digit-code though, didn't care so far what code might be printed on the bag :o ), one teaspoon of yeast energizer, two teaspoonso of flour (see that other thread... ya know what I mean), filled up to ten liters total with nonsparkling table water.
I guess I'll have to get the stuff out of the corner of the cupboard to check for any coding ;)

Oskaar
04-23-2006, 07:47 PM
Mmmmm, forest flower honey! I have tasted European forest honey and it is quite good. I also like the Sweet Chestnut honey I've found there as well.

OK the main reason you want to find out about the name/type/maker of the yeast you have is because you'll want to know the the alcohol tolerance level of the yeast is. Reason being is because by knowing what the ABV tolerance of the yeast happens to be, you'll be able to design your must to a level that will give you sweet, dry or in between.

So if you like sweet mead, you'll always know the level of honey you'll need to use in order to make a sweet mead consistantly. Also, if you like dry mead, you'll be able to do that consistantly too.

There's also a very nice honey in Europe called Acacia that I think is False Locust honey and it makes some very good mead. A nice mixture of the Sweet Chestnut, Forest and Acacia honey makes for a very nice mead.

Prost,

Oskaar

Fwee
04-23-2006, 11:31 PM
Thurisaz, you might want to take a look at the chart available at this link:

http://www.homebrewheaven.com/yeast_selection_chart.htm

Actually, there are a couple of yeasts on that chart that are for red wines. Your specific one is bound to be on there somewhere I would think.

Thurisaz
04-24-2006, 04:03 AM
Mmmmm, forest flower honey! I have tasted European forest honey and it is quite good. I also like the Sweet Chestnut honey I've found there as well.

Hehe, my next batch will probably be made with Bihophar brand honey. One of my coworkers has happened to gain some insight into how it's made and processed, and what she told me sounds almost too good. After all, it's a quite cheap brand. Oh well, we'll see.

BTW my carboy now gives one burp every 36 seconds. I guess the coming weekend will see some racking action. :D

Thurisaz
04-24-2006, 04:05 AM
Thurisaz, you might want to take a look at the chart available at this link:

http://www.homebrewheaven.com/yeast_selection_chart.htm

Actually, there are a couple of yeasts on that chart that are for red wines. Your specific one is bound to be on there somewhere I would think.


Thanks for that link, unfortunately the only code I find on my yeast packages is WTRX50G, with X being "R" or "W" for red or white wine yeast. :-\
And the "50G" obviously just designates that there's 50 grams of yeast in the package.

Keln
05-16-2006, 10:05 AM
Any idea what the ABV tolerance of Fleissmanns bread yeast is? I happen to be making my first mead which is JAO and kind of wondering about when fermentation is stopped.

Especialy after reading someone's jug blew up because their fermentation wasn't actually done.

WRATHWILDE
05-16-2006, 10:38 AM
Keln,
Invest in a hydrometer, it is really the only way to know for sure. You can find them here. (http://morewinemaking.com/browse.html?category_id=1368&keyword=&x=1&y=1) With a hydrometer you can take precise measurements... if there is no change over several weeks then you know you're safe to bottle.

Hope that helps,

Wrathwilde

Keln
05-16-2006, 11:28 AM
This may seem a silly question, but is it possible to make a crude hydrometer? Seems as if there would be.

WRATHWILDE
05-16-2006, 11:50 AM
This may seem a silly question, but is it possible to make a crude hydrometer? Seems as if there would be.


Stuck in prison are you... can't get someone to smuggle in a hydrometer? LOL. Seriously dude, shell out the $10 and get the proper equipment. A hydrometer is essential. If you have fermentation problems with your batch the first thing anybody here will ask is what was the original gravity, and where is it now. If you can't afford a hydrometer... seriously you really can't afford Meadmaking. It's damned expensive unless you have a source for free honey, yeast, carboys, bottles, corks, food grade tubing, etc.

Wrathwilde

Keln
05-16-2006, 12:11 PM
lol, nah, I'm going out after lunch to buy some stuff, including a new hydrometer. Was just wondering if there's a way to make one. I like home-making things as much as possible :D

finburger
05-23-2006, 09:28 PM
Airlock activity is no indication that a mead is finished. All it means is that fermentation has slowed or stopped. Not good if the fermentation is stuck.
Thats why you need a hydrometer. You need to know what the original gravity was, the ABV tolerance of the yeast, and the current specific gravity to have an idea whether fermentation is stuck or finished.
Generally, meads will ferment to a gravity under 1.00. Though gravity could be from 1.010 to 1.020 for semi-sweet or sweet meads.