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Thread: staggered nutrient additions, amount

  1. #1

    Default staggered nutrient additions, amount

    Hey guys,

    So, I'll be using Fermaid K and DAP on my first meads.

    Reading on Homebrewtalk.com, a guy named Hightest (maybe here too?) recommends (in a 5 gallon batch) adding 4.5 grams of each at inoculation, 2.8 grams of each at active fermentation and a further 1.8 grams of each at the halfway point (gravity drops halfway), so a total of 8.1 grams of each.

    Reading further here on Gotmead, I see a recommended amount of 1 g/gallon of Fermaid K. Which would be significantly less at 5 grams total.

    A friend of mine also warned me to be careful with nutrients as you can get a "flintstones vitamin" flavor from them if you use too much. And, reading a few threads here after searching, I saw some folks recommend NOT using DAP after the 1/3 point of fermentation, stating that the yeast won't use it and it may leave a residual salty flavor in the finished mead.

    So then, what's the word? Sounds like perhaps I should use a bit less than hightest recommends and then maybe not add any nutrients after the 1/3 point, or at least not use DAP after that.

    Any advice is recommended.

  2. #2
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    I think you're OK to add yeast energizer right when you pitch but the common thing around here is not to add DAP until after the lag phase is over because it can "burn" rehydrating yeast. Having said that, I used to always add it up front and never had a problem, but I think you're OK as long as you rehydrate your yeast first or if you're using a starter.

    I don't think you want to add much energizer after 1/3 of the sugar's gone either, unless your yeasties are throwing off stinkiness... but even if the yeast don't use it, I doubt you'd be able to taste the difference that 1/4 tsp would make spread out through a gallon.

    I'm too lazy to sanitize and measure everything out every time I open the lid, so I measure out my initial energizer dose and add it in, then measure out and mix the remaining total amount of DAP and energizer in a container and sprinkle a little in every time I aerate, I usually end up running out around the 1/3 break...

    The packages I use recommend 1/4 tsp per gallon (looks like 1 gram with my little scale) for energizer and 1 tsp per gallon of DAP (looks like 4.5g) for wines, and from what I've read, it's quite safe to double those doses for traditional meads because there's a lot less nutrition for the yeast in a honey must compared to a fruit or grape must.

    If I double everything and then multiply by 5 for a 5-gal batch, that's 5-10 grams of energizer and 22.5-45 grams of DAP. So if anything, I'd think that's a little light on DAP.

    Now, we'll just wait for Medsen to correct me, and tell you what concentration of yeast assimilable nitrogen you need and how to get there

    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chevette Girl View Post
    If I double everything and then multiply by 5 for a 5-gal batch, that's 5-10 grams of energizer and 22.5-45 grams of DAP. So if anything, I'd think that's a little light on DAP.

    Now, we'll just wait for Medsen to correct me, and tell you what concentration of yeast assimilable nitrogen you need and how to get there
    Naw, I won't argue with what works for you, but I think I'd choose to reverse the number and use less DAP and more Fermaid K.

    Matt, the amounts will depend on several factors including which yeast your are using, how high the gravity is, and what other sources of nutrient do the yeast have. Hightest's numbers are a good starting point and represent about the bare minimum that yeast need for fermentation. Personally I use more in most fermentations.

    If you can tell us which yeast you are using and the plan for the recipe folks should be able to help come up with a Marvelous* staggered nutrient plan for your batch.


    * I haven't seen Thor yet, but I'm looking forward to it - Norse gods are big around here.
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medsen Fey View Post
    If you can tell us which yeast you are using and the plan for the recipe folks should be able to help come up with a Marvelous* staggered nutrient plan for your batch.

    * I haven't seen Thor yet, but I'm looking forward to it - Norse gods are big around here.
    The puns are starting and it really makes me Thor.

    Now we all are going to get hammered with them.

    BTW.... The mead, as well as the nutrients, will get you staggered.
    Age improves with mead, even more than mead improves with age.

  5. #5

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    Heh heh. I actually worked on the Thor comic for almost the last year. I just left the book in late March (my choice!).

    I haven't formulated the first recipe yet. Awaiting the yeast's arrival in the mail, hoping for no troubles with customs. They're sometimes a pain. Hopefully this one gets through okay!

    Anyway, I think the first recipe will be Acacia. Dry traditional. I'll have to take a look and choose which yeast I'll use. I have a few different ones on the way: Lalvin D47, 71B, V1116, QA23, ICVD254. I'll formulate that recipe and post it in its own thread in the next week and ask for your advice then to do final tweaks, including nutrients and such.

    Thanks for the help, guys!

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    BTW, I just noticed your reference to Hightest in your original post. Yes, he's been doing quantitative meadmaking experiments over the past 8 to 10 years to develop his own optimal nutrient addition process, and although you might find slightly different numbers in his recipes as compared with what we've shared in recent years here on Gotmead, he's a good guy to reference. The numbers you're quoting sound like they are from an earlier version of his meadmaking spreadsheet, which he gives away to all who are interested over on his website: http://home.comcast.net/~mzapx1/

    He's not been as active in meadmaking circles since he got involved with his local city government (city council, if I remember correctly), but he leaves up his website as a resource, and he periodically updates it to this day.
    Na zdrowie!

    Wayne B.

  7. #7

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    Cool. Thanks. That spreadsheet varies the amount of nutrients based on OG.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattHollingsworth View Post
    Cool. Thanks. That spreadsheet varies the amount of nutrients based on OG.
    Yup. As do most of the most up to date variations on SNA that we use here. The simple summary explanation is that nutrients are added for two basic reasons. First and formost you want a yeast colony to build up to the point where it is self-sustaining during the vast majority of primary fermentation, and nutrients allow robust, healthy cell reproduction and development. Second, in high-stress musts (and sugar concentrations much above those found in natural juices - eg. wine grape juice is around 1.090 on average) a little extra nutrient helps the yeast tolerate the more stressful environment.
    Na zdrowie!

    Wayne B.

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