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Thread: Is fermentation done?

  1. Default Is fermentation done?

    I pitched this batch one month ago and racked today. Bubbling had slowed down next to nothing and I was ready to get it off the lees. Couple of questions though. After racking into my other carboy I have noticed more sediment at the bottom, does this mean I should rack it again to get completly rid of it? Also I started with SG of 1.104 and ABV of 14%, Im now at 1.036 and ABV of 5%. I added some LD carlson yeast energizer (DAP, yeast hulls, magnesium sulphate, and Vitamin B complex listed) hoping for fermentation to pick back up. As it is I am sitting at 9% alchohol and want to go to 12%. I don't really notice any activity. I used Lavlin K1V-1116 and I know that can go to about 16%. Any input or suggestions?

    Also Im planning on starting another batch soon with 18 lbs of honey and red star champaign yeast. Id like to take it as far as it will go. Im just not sure how to make the yeast keep converting all the way to their alcohol tolerance.

    Anyway, my recipe for the initial batch in question is

    5 gallons
    15 lbs. Wildflower honey
    1 1/2 tsp. Wine Tanin
    4 tsp. LD carlson yeast energizer
    5 tsp. acid blend

    I mixed and heated all ingredients to about 140 degrees F. Rehydrated my yeast in some of the must for about 15 min and pitched after the must had cooled to around 90 degrees. Really active fermentation for the first 2 weeks or so (1 to 2 blips every 3 seconds)

  2. #2

    Default Re: Is fermentation done?

    I love this question, don't we have a is fermentation done FAQ by now?

    I would say no. I think you jumped the gun by racking already. If I read your post right you made all of those additions to your mead after you racked? If you did, its a bit of an overkill. But it should all age out. A big question in my mind at the moment is what was the fermentation temp?
    1. Stir those lees up and get them into suspension.
    2. Warm it up a bit if you are on the cool side whcih I would say is 65 degrees or less.
    3. On your next mead skip the acid addition when you make the must, It will affect your fermentation.
    4. I have only used that yeast a handfull of times, with your posted SG I would expect it to drop down to .994 at least before its done. Others here have more experience with it and can tell you what to expect from it.


  3. #3

    Default Re: Is fermentation done?

    Quote Originally Posted by kace069
    I love this question, don't we have a is fermentation done FAQ by now?
    Good Idea, I nominate Kace69 to head it up.

    You been roped laddie.



    Wrathwilde

  4. Default Re: Is fermentation done?

    Quote Originally Posted by kace069
    I love this question, don't we have a is fermentation done FAQ by now?

    I would say no. I think you jumped the gun by racking already. If I read your post right you made all of those additions to your mead after you racked? If you did, its a bit of an overkill. But it should all age out. A big question in my mind at the moment is what was the fermentation temp?
    1. Stir those lees up and get them into suspension.
    2. Warm it up a bit if you are on the cool side whcih I would say is 65 degrees or less.
    3. On your next mead skip the acid addition when you make the must, It will affect your fermentation.
    4. I have only used that yeast a handfull of times, with your posted SG I would expect it to drop down to .994 at least before its done. Others here have more experience with it and can tell you what to expect from it.

    From what I understand 1 month is good time to rack though I havent seen any definate answer on this. The temp varies from 60 to 70 though I try to keep it closer to 70. I guess by your answer the lees still there after racking are ok but I thought its a bad idea to agitate the mead at this period, after 1 month is it ok to swirl it and mix the lees up? The only addition I made was 1tsp of LD carlson yeast energizer containing all the ingredients I listed, was this wrong to do, I have seen metion of adding nutrients at the 2/3 sugar break which I gather to be when 2/3 of your total sugar has been converted where Im at now. I'll post the full ingredients I intend for my next batch in the brewlog before I get started to get further input on that one but for now Im going to just sit on this batch and hope it keeps fermenting though I cant see any activity as of right now (about 5 hours after racking and adding energizer)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is fermentation done?

    Hey Justin,

    Racking should be a function of the fermentation activity and not a time schedule for the most part. Exception is if you have a recipe that you've made several times and have racked at a certain point because experience dictates that it will be ready to rack at that time. Different yeasts will ferment at different speeds in different mediums so a set timetable for racking is questionable at best in my opinion.

    Temp between 65-70 is fine, but try to keep temperature swings to a minimum as this will affect your fermentation. Temp swings are not good for the fermentation or aging and will present in off flavors, incomplete fermentation, cloudiness, etc.

    It's not a bad idea to stir your yeast back up into suspension during fermentation or even secondary. There are differences in how you should do it. In primary you are actively producing carbon dioxide and aeration is highly desireable to get oxygen into the must so the yeasties can use it to stay strong and healthy. In secondary if you intend to do some lees exposure, or just finish off a bit more fermentation it's still OK to stir the mead, just do it in order to resuspend the yeast and not to aerate. That is, slow steady stirring without agitating the surface of the mead is fine because you will be releasing gas and keeping the oxygen from overexposing to the surface of the mead and introducing oxidation early on in your aging process. Remember slow and steady, don't whip the crap out of it and break the surface.

    At the one third sugar break you should not be adding DAP or Energizer but rather a nitrogen source from amino-nitrogen (FermaidK for instance) as the yeast are looking for a different source of nitrogen in that part of their life-cycle.

    Hope that helps,

    Oskaar

    Is it tasty . . . precious?

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