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Thread: fusels

  1. Default fusels

    How can I avoid the hot alcohols that seem to show up in my meads. Am I underpitching, should I be fermenting at cooler temps, or should I be feeding the fermentation? I know aging should help but I recently tried a mead that was 4 years old and still had that hot alcohol character. Before I start my next batch I need some help. I have used D-47 wine yeast in the past. Should I switch that up? I have a bucket of orange blossom honey waiting to make something and could use some advice. Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Various sources of yeast stress can cause fusel production during fermentation, but excessive must heat is by far the most common cause. And D47 is one of the principal offenders - especially if your must temp is at or above 72F. I'd recommend trying ICV-D21 instead of D47. In my experience fusel production with D21 is virtually nonexistent throughout most of its active temp range, and you'll end up with one of the cleanest tasting meads that you've ever tried if you use D21 at 70F or lower (provided you feed it properly).
    Na zdrowie!

    Wayne B.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by wayneb View Post
    I'd recommend trying ICV-D21 instead of D47. In my experience fusel production with D21 is virtually nonexistent throughout most of its active temp range, and you'll end up with one of the cleanest tasting meads that you've ever tried if you use D21 at 70F or lower (provided you feed it properly).
    Jerk!!! Now you are forcing me to take a trip to my LHBS since I've never used D21. I don't do well at the LHBS, money just seems to disappear as soon as I walk in.
    " ...no sense hauling empty carboys around when full ones take up just as much space. " -TheFlyingBeer (on HomeBrewTalk)

  4. #4

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    [QUOTEIn my experience fusel production with D21 is virtually nonexistent][/QUOTE]

    This has also been my experience with K1V-1116, but I usually don't push it's max ABV. It is my understanding (but be warned, I'm no expert) that fusel alcohols are produced most during the latter portionof fermentation. So if you take a fairly clean, high alcohol tolerance yeast, like K1V or D21, and stop it's fermentation early (say 14%) you can avoid the production of fusels. I could be completely wrong here, but that I the way I understand it...

  5. #5
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    As far as I know, fusels can be produced throughout the fermentation process. It's just an alternate pathway for the sugar metabolism. Usually you get more non-ethanol products when the fermentation is going very quickly. The yeast will burn through the sugar as fast as they can and turn it into whatever. You see all sorts of fun alternate metabolites. Some can be further reduced once the yeast slow down and run out of sugar (like acetaldehyde and diacetyl), but others are stuck where they are (fusels, esters, phenols).

    One good way to get a quick fermentation is to increase the temperature. Thus the tendency for more fusel production (and esters, and phenols, and etc etc) with increasing temperature.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAKeyser View Post
    Jerk!!! Now you are forcing me to take a trip to my LHBS since I've never used D21. I don't do well at the LHBS, money just seems to disappear as soon as I walk in.
    I'm not sure I have ever seen that yeast in a LHBS. Many of the oddball lalvin yeast I end up mail ordering from More Wine.
    Bees stole my signature file!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by skunkboy View Post
    I'm not sure I have ever seen that yeast in a LHBS. Many of the oddball lalvin yeast I end up mail ordering from More Wine.
    Well if the LHBS doesn't have it than ordering is just as easy
    " ...no sense hauling empty carboys around when full ones take up just as much space. " -TheFlyingBeer (on HomeBrewTalk)

  8. Default

    What about the Wyeast sweet mead yeast - besides probably being more expensive?

  9. #9
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    You can get the same or better performance as the Wyeast/Whitelabs strains from the dry strains. Wine is the opposite of beer in this; in the beer world the liquid strain selection is larger and you can usually get higher quality. For wine (and we usually use wine strains for mead) the selection of dry yeasts is much larger and the performance is usually better. Oh and dry yeast is cheaper. Win!
    Want to see something added to the GotMead Glossary? PM me! Didn't know we had a glossary? Check the top row of links.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAKeyser View Post
    Jerk!!! Now you are forcing me to take a trip to my LHBS since I've never used D21. I don't do well at the LHBS, money just seems to disappear as soon as I walk in.
    <SIGH!>

    BTW, you can get it from MoreWine or from The Beverage People, via ordering online. Be forewarned - their online catalogs are as tempting as anything I find on my LHBS shelves...
    Na zdrowie!

    Wayne B.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by wayneb View Post
    <SIGH!>

    BTW, you can get it from MoreWine or from The Beverage People, via ordering online. Be forewarned - their online catalogs are as tempting as anything I find on my LHBS shelves...
    I would argue its even more tempting. Since the marginal shipping costs for the extra few items doesn't change much, I was convince myself its more economical to order several items to take advantage of just paying shipping costs once.

  12. #12

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    I still have a whole bunch of yeasts in my fridge that I need to do something with.

    Fortunately I should have time to work on this after my mom leaves for home in a few days. The Rhone 4600 is going to be used on my second run concord, and the D-21 will be used for a traditional I've been wanting to do for a long time.


    I also need to rack my christmas spice and the first run concord... SO much to do! I might have actually managed to make this damaging neglect as there were some off scents in the christmas spice the last time I checked.
    #! /bin/ksh
    export PATH
    CLI=`whoami`
    Signature()
    {for i in $CLI^Jdo^Jecho yes $i my .sig inhales^Jdone}

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by wayneb View Post
    I'd recommend trying ICV-D21 instead of D47. In my experience fusel production with D21 is virtually nonexistent throughout most of its active temp range, and you'll end up with one of the cleanest tasting meads that you've ever tried if you use D21 at 70F or lower (provided you feed it properly).
    Well I took your advice and ordered some ICV-D21. Also picked up some Clos and D21 based on the nice descriptions provided. Think I'll use the D21 on the Star Thistle Traditional and the Orange Blossom Traditional that I'll be making as soon as the yeast gets here.
    " ...no sense hauling empty carboys around when full ones take up just as much space. " -TheFlyingBeer (on HomeBrewTalk)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loadnabox View Post
    Fortunately I should have time to work on this after my mom leaves for home in a few days. The Rhone 4600 is going to be used on my second run concord, and the D-21 will be used for a traditional I've been wanting to do for a long time.
    Are you doing your second run concord with fruit that's already been fermented once, or are you using unfermented rinsings from the pulp or something like that? If it's already been fermented once, I'd suggest you make sure whatever yeast you repitch witth has a kill factor capable of ousting the previous yeast... If your second run's something that's never been fermented, please feel free to ignore me
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
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