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Thread: Lag after racking?

  1. Default Lag after racking?

    Hi all,

    My fist batch, 6 gallon total (18 lb clover honey, K1-V1116 start sg 1.112) was started sept 24 of last year. After the second racking on dec 31, I saw no active signs of fermintation, except for an occasional bubble from the air lock every hour or so. A thin film had formed on the surface and on the sides which I attributed to yeast and maybe left over fermaid. I was considering stabilizing as the taste was great at the last racking, but I was surprised to see a pocket of yeast ( in just one area in the carboy) starting to produce a lot of bubbles in the mead. Since at racking the sg had just fallen to 1.0116, I wasn't surprised the v1116 wasn't done, but it did surprise me that it took two months after racking to see clear signs again. Is this normal? Is this just due to the v116 having to reproduce ( do they do that in 14% environments?) to get to the point where it's easy to see after a good racking?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default

    I would ask for some more details. Why did you rack during the middle of primary? What was the recipe? What was the Og? Why are you using airlock bubbles as sign of fermentation if you have a hydrometer?
    Angry Viking Hedgehog say "Give me mead or I poke ya!"

  3. Default

    I didn't. I waited until fermentation slowed down and then racked into a glass carboy. I have nothing wrong with my recipe, as I said the mead is perfectly acceptable now. My question is simply about lag after racking, more of a biological question about yeast.

  4. Default

    To be more specific, the bubbles I'm talking about are eminating from about a one half inch area on the bottom of the carboy, not the airlock. I was not concerned with headspace as I knew it wasn't completely done and would fill up with co2. It appears that only one little colony is chopping away on the remaing sugar full bore, which is kinda interesting. Maybe others will start soon, just wanted to know primarily do yeast reproduce once high alcohol is present.

    As a side note I'm liking D21 at this point better than 1116, got another batch with that that's cleared in the secondary in just two months! ( still fermentating away)

  5. #5
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    Default

    It's not uncommon for things to start back up, even years later, in mead with sugar to burn and yeast that's not quite dead yet. The yeast might not have necessarily budded recently, perhaps they all settled into the same spot?

    Usually a spontaneous restart like this is due to some environmental change, like the weather warming up a bit.
    Want to see something added to the GotMead Glossary? PM me! Didn't know we had a glossary? Check the top row of links.

  6. Default

    Hmm, good point about the weather, the carboy is on the floor over a crawlspace and while it's insulated the floor can get a little colder in that room. Looked at it this morning and another area has started where a lot of suspended yeast that stuck to the side slid down the wall of the carboy.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2008
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Broadside View Post
    Hmm, good point about the weather, the carboy is on the floor over a crawlspace and while it's insulated the floor can get a little colder in that room. Looked at it this morning and another area has started where a lot of suspended yeast that stuck to the side slid down the wall of the carboy.
    Bingo, that's your likely answer then.

    Personally, I don't rack when things are slowing, as it's an easy way to cause a stuck fermentation. I'd suggest that's basically what you did but it's now managing to unstick itself.

    K1V and D21 are both excellent yeasts for traditional meads (all I use....)

    I just follow the usual recommendations for the ferment i.e. rehydrate the yeast with GoFerm, the split the nutrient/energiser into 2 parts, the first goes in at the end of lag, the second part at the 1/3rd break. I aerate once daily until it hits the 1/3rd break when I'll give it its last aeration, then mix the nutrient measure with a little must and then pour it in. Airlock it off and leave it.

    Seems to work for me, but being in the UK, we don't usually get much in the way of excessively low temps and it's been fine just letting it do it's thing at room temp.........
    here's me home brewing blog (if anyones interested....)
    and don't forget
    What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away! Tom Waits.....

  8. #8

    Default

    I misunderstood the question, but I am with fatbloke. I don't do my first rack until I'm fairly certain my fermentation is completely done, not just slowing down. A handful of reasons, it can cause a stuck fermentation, can make an extra racking when it's unnecessary, so on and etc.

    I would say that if what you pulled from the lees was the very top layer, that's usually where any still active yeast cells hang out. Gently stirring that top of layer back into suspension is actually a tip to help with stuck fermentation. So when you racked and took that with what your mead, then put it in a warmer environment, hardy little KIV woke back up.

    I love KIV because it's such a workhorse without blowing all the delicate flavors and scents, but YMMV.
    Angry Viking Hedgehog say "Give me mead or I poke ya!"

  9. Default

    Yeah that makes sense, I racked it because there was a *lot* of sediment, over a half inch. I might have done a bad job when moving it from the bucket into the carboy, but man there was a lot. Both my other batches have less than half of what the first one did. Maybe it was the honey (though I've used the same company's honey for all batches)

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