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Thread: To Rack or Not To Rack - that is the question

  1. Default To Rack or Not To Rack - that is the question

    I started a Joe's 2 weeks ago, but I added cacao nibs. It is doing great and still bubbling (so I am guessing still fermenting - has a balloon on top). It's getting a lot of fallout on the bottom and I am tempted to rack it (especially as I want to try out all my new racking and siphoning and airlocks and carboy stuff, lol). Will it hurt it to rack whilst still fermenting?

    Honey

  2. #2

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    If you rack before the ferment is complete (or mostly complete) it can stall the fermentation. So, it's best to be patient, and if you're following the JAO recipe from this forum (if you used bread yeast) it's not going to hurt to leave it alone for a couple months and rack it then. Plus you'll be giving more time to allow those cocoa nibs to infuse some flavor.

    P.S. I bet TAKeyeser posts before I do!
    All the world's a nail to a child with a hammer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Honey View Post
    I started a Joe's 2 weeks ago, but I added cacao nibs. It is doing great and still bubbling (so I am guessing still fermenting - has a balloon on top). It's getting a lot of fallout on the bottom and I am tempted to rack it (especially as I want to try out all my new racking and siphoning and airlocks and carboy stuff, lol). Will it hurt it to rack whilst still fermenting?

    Honey
    Irrespective of whether you've varied the ingredients in the batch, if it's made to the JAO method/technique, then leave it alone till it's done.....
    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.....

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by HunnyBunz View Post
    If you rack before the ferment is complete (or mostly complete) it can stall the fermentation. So, it's best to be patient, and if you're following the JAO recipe from this forum (if you used bread yeast) it's not going to hurt to leave it alone for a couple months and rack it then. Plus you'll be giving more time to allow those cocoa nibs to infuse some flavor.

    P.S. I bet TAKeyeser posts before I do!
    You beat me to posting

    I agree with the advice though. Let it finish and you'll be happy you did. Time is Your Friend when it comes to mead making.
    " ...no sense hauling empty carboys around when full ones take up just as much space. " -TheFlyingBeer (on HomeBrewTalk)

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    [QUOTE=HunnyBunz;189130]...and if you're following the JAO recipe from this forum (if you used bread yeast) it's not going to hurt to leave it alone for a couple months...

    I am inferring from this that if I had used another type of yeast it would not be so good to just leave it? (I'm lost on yeast types, lol)... why would it make a diff had I used wine yeast (assuming it actually WOULD make a diff??)? And yes, I'll leave it alone (alas, I'll just have to start a new batch to use my new toys, lol).

    Honey

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    Quote Originally Posted by Honey View Post
    I am inferring from this that if I had used another type of yeast it would not be so good to just leave it? (I'm lost on yeast types, lol)... why would it make a diff had I used wine yeast (assuming it actually WOULD make a diff??)? And yes, I'll leave it alone (alas, I'll just have to start a new batch to use my new toys, lol).

    Honey
    Some wine yeasts are fine for aging on the lees, others - not so much. Lalvin 71B-1122 for example will start getting stinky at about 6 weeks. Others I've heard mixed reports on. Bread yeast usually does not impart any off flavors, I think partly because it has a low alcohol tolerance, and it is used in the JAO recipe with those points in mind.

    I'm still learning about the different strains of yeast myself, but you can learn a lot just by following all the advice given in these forums. Many of the people here are very experienced and very generous with sharing their knowledge.
    You might try doing a search on lees aging to get more information.
    Last edited by HunnyBunz; 04-13-2012 at 11:00 PM.
    All the world's a nail to a child with a hammer.

  7. #7

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    I don't know about low alcohol tolerances, but I just took two JAOV into secondary yesterday that should be between 14-15%. I had 15lbs of honey in one meth that went to 1.005, and 15lbs of honey+1 gal of fruit juice in another that went a point lower. I think bread yeast might really shock everyone on how tolerant it truly is.
    Angry Viking Hedgehog say "Give me mead or I poke ya!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soyala_Amaya View Post
    I don't know about low alcohol tolerances, but I just took two JAOV into secondary yesterday that should be between 14-15%. I had 15lbs of honey in one meth that went to 1.005, and 15lbs of honey+1 gal of fruit juice in another that went a point lower. I think bread yeast might really shock everyone on how tolerant it truly is.
    Yeah, I know that others have said that with proper fermentation management (which the JAO doesn't require) bread yeast would be able to last longer and produce a higher ABV mead.
    I should have just said that following the JAO instructions would produce a lower alcohol content, rather than referring to the alcohol tolerance.
    All the world's a nail to a child with a hammer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Honey View Post
    I started a Joe's 2 weeks ago, but I added cacao nibs. It is doing great and still bubbling (so I am guessing still fermenting - has a balloon on top). It's getting a lot of fallout on the bottom and I am tempted to rack it (especially as I want to try out all my new racking and siphoning and airlocks and carboy stuff, lol). Will it hurt it to rack whilst still fermenting?

    Honey
    You did a JAOM with cacao nibs? What's your recipe? It's now gotten me awfully curious...
    "The single biggest threat to our planet is the destruction of habitat and along the way the loss of precious wildlife. We need to reach a balance where people, habitat and wildlife can co-exist -- if we don't, everyone loses...one day...Since when has killing a wild animal, eating it or wearing it, ever saved a species?" - Stephen Robert Irwin (1962 - 2006)

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    Quote Originally Posted by THawk View Post
    You did a JAOM with cacao nibs? What's your recipe? It's now gotten me awfully curious...
    Me too, that's on my to-brew list but I haven't procured nibs yet...
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "Good grief! If someone wanted to murder you, all they would have to do is ship you a 55 gallon barrel of honey and watch you document working yourself to death!" - Vance G
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014

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