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  1. #1
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    Default Not frothing.. but bubbling

    Hello all! Thanks for taking time to read my newbie post.
    I have done a good amount of research before starting my first batch and gotmead was a very good place that answered a lot of questions.

    So I started my first batch last night,
    I was a little worried in the beginning about my yeast health but today it was bubbling I have not counted the bubbles per minute but it's somewhere around 15(if needed I can count it). My concern is that even though it is creating bubbles there is no "froth" in the head space. I think I messed up by adding all my energizer and nutrient in the beginning and not a SNA =/ .

    So my concern is the lack of "froth" even though it appears the yeast is working. Did I mess up by not doing a SNA? Is "froth" important?

    The recipe is as follows:

    Name: EXP1
    Yield: 3 gals
    Ingredients:
    Honey 7.2 pounds (apx, my scale was being weird)
    Water
    Yeast: levlin 1118
    Yeast rehydration:
    Warmed 100 ML of water to 108 F, 1.5 TSP of nutrient and energizer (all added to the 100 ML) then left to work for about 35-40 mins.

    I warmed 1 gallon of water to 150 F, turned of the heat and added warm honey for emulsification. I poured the must in to a glass carboy to add oxygen via a ladle, then poured the rest from the pot (1/2 gal).
    Added bottled water to target volume minus head space and took a SG at 80.5 F SG was 1.085.

    Once at temp 80.5 I added the Yeast to the must, added airlock and let sit until today when I check it.



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  2. #2

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    You wounded your yeast in the way you rehydrated it. You didn't learn that here. It would be best if you run things past us before you start untill you get the hang of it. If you go to the podcast I started a few weeks back walking through each step in making mead with today's modern methods and science. That would be a good place to start. "froth" is different depending on yeast strain as well as honey varietal. Right now I am making two side by side batches. Same yeast different honeys. On batch foams up 8" inside my trashcan. The other only half that much when I degass. When the foam drops back down several hours later one has no foam on top and the other has 2-3 inches. So it's different and doesn't really mean squat. Neither does bubbles. The only thing that will tell you anything worth knowing is hydrometer readings.

    Welcome to the forum. Welcome to the addiction
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  3. #3
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    Squatchy, thank you for your response, I used the calculator and it said to add 2 packs of yeast, then I read on the pack of yeast it will work with 1. I know I added to much water in the beginning.. and realized after added the Nutrients I messed up.

    Do you think the yeast will survive? Or any possible suggestions? I have no idea how to follow a podcast, but I will learn. I watched the Canadian Sasquatch after it was all said and done and felt about better, he said 1118 is quite versatile but I'd rather catch the mistake or at least fix it if possible.


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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aceaspade View Post
    Squatchy, thank you for your response, I used the calculator and it said to add 2 packs of yeast, then I read on the pack of yeast it will work with 1. I know I added to much water in the beginning.. and realized after added the Nutrients I messed up.

    Do you think the yeast will survive? Or any possible suggestions? I have no idea how to follow a podcast, but I will learn. I watched the Canadian Sasquatch after it was all said and done and felt about better, he said 1118 is quite versatile but I'd rather catch the mistake or at least fix it if possible.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    So those nutrients are toxic to the yeast if they are in the water when you place the dried yeast in it. They can only regulate what enters inside their cell once the membrane is established.

    If you click on the "forum" tab top left it will take you to the menu board. Click the Gotmead Live tab and it will take you to the place that you can click and listen to past podcast. The most recent one is this past weeks episode. You will want to listen to the one just after the Oaking episode
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  5. #5
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    Did you watch all of the Canadian Sasquatch's Meadology series? If so, it sounds like you missed the one about YAN and SNA (week 7?). Also, you should check out his BOMM Video.

    I think Squatchy was referring to you adding yeast nutrient and energizer to your yeast before pitching. Most likely the nutrient/energizer have DAP in them and is not something you really want to start your yeast out on. Check out something called Go-ferm, the gotmead podcasts starting 9-5-2017 and this website:

    http://www.meadmaderight.com/yeast-rehydration.html

    150F degrees is a little on the high side. You should keep it below 140F and actually closer to 130F, else you are losing some of the flavor and aroma from your honey.

    You should be doing daily stirrings/degassing.

    Read the newbee guide (top of the gotmead website page) and check out the podcasts. If you've never done podcasts before and can't figure it out, let me know (personal message) and I'll try and guide you through it.

    It's pretty hard to not get fermentation with EC-11118 and your starting gravities not very high, so you'll probably be alright, but I would definitely be doing the stirrings/degassing.

    dave

  6. #6
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    Dave,

    Thank you for your post, I actually have posted reposnes all day (3 of them) via the App.. however none are showing up here (on the website on my PC) please allow me to address your statements.
    As far as adding nutrient and energized goes, yeah messed that up a bit.
    stirrings and degassings have begun. i did mine around 3:00 pm today. took temp, SG and PH as well. Everything was sterilized and clean. (see below for info)
    As far as the Es-1118 going i'm certain that it is going. I literally found out about the Canadian Sasquatch YAN and SAN video to late..... I am now current on the concept.
    I dont want to post my question here until (besides the OP) I finish reading the newbee guide.

    To all who are following this or commenting Thank you for your responses and comments. It is appreciated.

    Degassing today and the results/data.

    done today at 1500/3:00 PM
    Temp was 76.1 Degree (based on graduated cylinder sample temp) bottle indicated 75 +/-
    SG was 1.070
    PH was APX 5.0

    I degassed using a wine degasser tool then took the sample for measuring.
    Earlier today mid morning I went to Lalvins website and check some info about the EC-1118. There I found that is indicates that this yeast is minimal froth, highly versatile, and has an ability to handle most PH (paraphrased of course) I also downloaded the Scotts laboratory manual (2016) and glanced over it. specifically about this strand of yeast.

    Based on my Calculations the sugar breaks should be as follows. and I am just under the second margin.
    Starting SG 1.085
    2/3 SG (current) 1.072
    1/3 SG Break 1.036

    If i understand this right when the 1/3 break happens or 7-10 days I can rack to the secondary and I should have mentioned this, once I go to secondary I will add fruits. Im going for a Melomel. with Blueberries and strawberry puree. They were all picked locally and been frozen for sometime (we had over 50 pounds at one time). Im thinking and i may be wrong but that should sugars and allow my SG to go back up a bit or at least maintain.

  7. #7
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    Ok thanks. I'll follow up. The nutrients were added about 10-15 mins after the yeast was added. I will check that post out


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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aceaspade View Post
    Ok thanks. I'll follow up. The nutrients were added about 10-15 mins after the yeast was added. I will check that post out


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    So that is different than what I had understood. You didn't hurt them then as I had suspected. You need to make sure the temps of the must and the yeast slurry are within 10 degrees of each other before you toss the yeast in or it will harm your yeast due top temp shock.
    And lastly you really do need to practice temp control and SNA to make a much better mead.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squatchy View Post
    So that is different than what I had understood. You didn't hurt them then as I had suspected. You need to make sure the temps of the must and the yeast slurry are within 10 degrees of each other before you toss the yeast in or it will harm your yeast due top temp shock.
    And lastly you really do need to practice temp control and SNA to make a much better mead.

    50/50 if it was with in 10 degrees of the must. The room temp was somewhere around 75F. But If I recall correctly, it may have been can't say for certain. Yeah when I was doing my research and taking notes it mis understood the SNA concept. I think I have it now but will do more follow up to ensure I have a base understanding. Thank you for your input. Much appreciated.


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  10. #10
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    Hi Aceaspade and welcome.
    Not to dispute a word anyone has said but you asked a different question that no one has answered. You asked about a "lack of froth" despite the fact that there was some activity in your airlock. So here is my quick and dirty response: "froth" only really appears when there is enough protein in the must to trap the CO2 (the carbon dioxide) being produced by yeast. If there is no tangled net of proteins then the CO2 simply bubbles up (or remains dissolved in solution). You find "froth" in beer wort (AKA krausen) because of the proteins in the solution. With honey there is virtually no protein and so no "krausen" or froth. There should be signs of bubbles in the carboy
    OK - You mentioned activity in your airlock. That is a sign of activity but not a very good one. No activity can mean that nothing is happening or it can mean that you have a poor seal between the airlock and the bung or the bung and the carboy. Much activity can mean that the yeast is currently very active or it can mean that they yeast WAS active and what you are seeing now is the CO2 the yeast produced earlier is now being released from solution. The only good way to know what is going on is to take hydrometer readings. If you have something to draw off enough must to measure and you have a measuring cylinder and an hydrometer and you have the chemicals to sanitize this equipment (K-meta is good) then you can take a sample, measure the specific gravity note if it is falling (or not) and you can return the sample back into the carboy. Mead ain't beer and brewers have apoplexy at the thought of returning a sample to the fermenter. But wort is a picnic ground for lacto-bacilli that will sour a brewer's batch. Mead makers are far less anxious about such spoilage.
    All that said, my advice - and no one has asked for it - would be to consider using a food grade bucket as your primary fermenter. No airlock and bung needed for that. And you want to stir (vigorously) your must for a couple of minutes a couple of times a day. This will help remove the CO2 and if there is CO2 you will certainly see "froth" if only momentarily...
    Mead making is fun. It should not be a cause of anxiety. You - we all do - make "mistakes".. but most mead making errors are not catastrophes... It's the learning from what we do - mistakes and all - that makes everyone better

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernardsmith View Post
    Hi Aceaspade and welcome.
    Not to dispute a word anyone has said but you asked a different question that no one has answered. You asked about a "lack of froth" despite the fact that there was some activity in your airlock. So here is my quick and dirty response: "froth" only really appears when there is enough protein in the must to trap the CO2 (the carbon dioxide) being produced by yeast. If there is no tangled net of proteins then the CO2 simply bubbles up (or remains dissolved in solution). You find "froth" in beer wort (AKA krausen) because of the proteins in the solution. With honey there is virtually no protein and so no "krausen" or froth. There should be signs of bubbles in the carboy
    OK - You mentioned activity in your airlock. That is a sign of activity but not a very good one. No activity can mean that nothing is happening or it can mean that you have a poor seal between the airlock and the bung or the bung and the carboy. Much activity can mean that the yeast is currently very active or it can mean that they yeast WAS active and what you are seeing now is the CO2 the yeast produced earlier is now being released from solution. The only good way to know what is going on is to take hydrometer readings. If you have something to draw off enough must to measure and you have a measuring cylinder and an hydrometer and you have the chemicals to sanitize this equipment (K-meta is good) then you can take a sample, measure the specific gravity note if it is falling (or not) and you can return the sample back into the carboy. Mead ain't beer and brewers have apoplexy at the thought of returning a sample to the fermenter. But wort is a picnic ground for lacto-bacilli that will sour a brewer's batch. Mead makers are far less anxious about such spoilage.
    All that said, my advice - and no one has asked for it - would be to consider using a food grade bucket as your primary fermenter. No airlock and bung needed for that. And you want to stir (vigorously) your must for a couple of minutes a couple of times a day. This will help remove the CO2 and if there is CO2 you will certainly see "froth" if only momentarily...
    Mead making is fun. It should not be a cause of anxiety. You - we all do - make "mistakes".. but most mead making errors are not catastrophes... It's the learning from what we do - mistakes and all - that makes everyone better
    Bernard, your response is much appreciated and welcomed. I counted the BPM last night it was 25. I do shake the must "not vigorously" though as to not aerate it to much. It's now Day 1.25 and was going to the Local brew shop and get a mixer thing. I do have a hydrometer and all the equipment to take SG reading. I use star-San as a sterilizer. The point you made about returning beer back to the pot makes sense, I went with the consensus that if it's clean on the way out and the way in it should be ok.


    As far as taking another SG, I was planning on taking another once the bubbling stopped or around 7-10 days. Would you recommend waiting till then or earlier?

    I was thinking about degassing today or tomorrow (with the tool) but I guess I need to know my SG too, maybe I answered my own question.






    For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.

  12. #12
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    I thought I replied to this earlier... I understand your statement on yeast being active or just co2 release.

    I do have sanitizer and the equipment to take SG readings.

    This is what I did today, I used a wine degaser after sterilizing everything I used the tool to degas the Mead and took a sample,

    My SG was 1.070 @ 76.1 F the PH was around 5.

    I went to levlin's website and it said that the 1118 has a wide ph and acidity tolerance. It also said low frothing .

    I re-sterilized my bung and airlock and re applied. The bubbling immediately after was like 9-BPM but I will wait some time and check again.
    According to my math I am at the second break. Let's lay this out

    initial SG 1.085
    Current SG 1.070 (actual break was 1.072)
    Third break should be 1.036

    Since i messed up the SNA (put it all in at once) I think my next step is to rack later right? I may be off on this I am going to go back and watch/listen to the pod cast.

    Also your opinion is asked for by me, other wise I wouldn't be posting, lol.

    I appreciate all the input and advice.

  13. #13
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    Can you see my previous responses (2)


    For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.

  14. #14
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    These are pics of the follow up and after removing the fruit from the secondary. Yesterday I stabilized it at 1.013. Check SG today it was 1.010 I will continue to check readings to make sure it stopped fully over the coming weeks. I also refiltered through a fine mesh bag to remove a lot more fine pulp just before stabilizing it. Taste ok, a bit hot at first but then settles down after the second shot. I am hoping aging will make this all blend out.


    For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.

  15. #15

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    Stabilized at 1.013? what exactly did you do? It's confusing because you said stabilized, but then right after that you said it continued to drop in SG and yo did not seem surprised by that. Stabilizing means keeping the SG stable and it's quite difficult to do mid-ferment. I never actually tried doing it myself mid-ferment but it seems you'd have to halt the ferment at least temporarily (placing in a fridge perhaps?) to make the yeast go dormant, then stabilize in order to hopefully stop ferment for good.
    You'll soon learn that allowing the yeast to take it dry and letting them go dormant on their own is much easier. First of all, it's much easier to stabilize a clarified must. With larger batches it's close to impossible to stop the yeast from eating mid-ferment and hence I never tried it. You might have some luck by placing the carboy in a very cold fridge...
    "Shouldnít we say wine is a mead-like beverage made with grapes substituted for the honey?" - Steve Piatz

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stasis View Post
    Stabilized at 1.013? what exactly did you do? It's confusing because you said stabilized, but then right after that you said it continued to drop in SG and yo did not seem surprised by that. Stabilizing means keeping the SG stable and it's quite difficult to do mid-ferment. I never actually tried doing it myself mid-ferment but it seems you'd have to halt the ferment at least temporarily (placing in a fridge perhaps?) to make the yeast go dormant, then stabilize in order to hopefully stop ferment for good.
    You'll soon learn that allowing the yeast to take it dry and letting them go dormant on their own is much easier. First of all, it's much easier to stabilize a clarified must. With larger batches it's close to impossible to stop the yeast from eating mid-ferment and hence I never tried it. You might have some luck by placing the carboy in a very cold fridge...
    Yes it was actually 1.013 Thursday afternoon, when I checked the SG Friday around 11:30 it was 1.010. That when I decided to stabilize with sorbate. I also added some Bisulphate for preservation. I wasnít surprised as by the time I had filtered, degassed and started the stabilization it only dropped a few (points) I donít have the ability to cold crash it yet. To be honest I am not 100% itís done done as itís only been 24 hours. But based on the recommended doses for sorbate it should stop it. The fermentation was dropping by 10 in a 24 hour period up til lol Wednesday/ Thursday then it slowed significantly, plus it was time to take the fruit out (6days).worst case I think I can put it in a bucket of ice and water to crash it over night and continue to degassing the crap out of it. I also might just suck at explaining what I did


    For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.

  17. #17

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    Hmm. The timings are still confusing. Anyway, if the SG continues to drop it will tell us clearly enough if the stabilization was a success or not without the need for a debate here. I'm a bit worried about what they call geranium taint which happens when you try to stabilize and do not succeed.
    As you can see there's plenty to read up on and I'd also suggest reading up the newbee guide, searching more info on these forums and listening to the podcast. Anyway, hopefully whatever happens you at least learn from this batch
    "Shouldnít we say wine is a mead-like beverage made with grapes substituted for the honey?" - Steve Piatz

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stasis View Post
    Hmm. The timings are still confusing. Anyway, if the SG continues to drop it will tell us clearly enough if the stabilization was a success or not without the need for a debate here. I'm a bit worried about what they call geranium taint which happens when you try to stabilize and do not succeed.
    As you can see there's plenty to read up on and I'd also suggest reading up the newbee guide, searching more info on these forums and listening to the podcast. Anyway, hopefully whatever happens you at least learn from this batch
    Agreed learning is learning


    For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.

  19. #19
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    @Stasis, yeah so in attempted a cold crash 24 hours after adding sorbat and sulfate. I guess it wasnít long enough it started bubbling again.


    For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.

  20. #20

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    So cold crashing alone doesn't do much. If I cold crash a mead that is still bubbling the chances are that it will continue bubbling once it warms up again. So if the stabilizing was unsuccessful MAYBE the cold crash can do just the trick to convince the yeast to go dormant for good but chances are that it won't. Unless I'm totally wrong about something. As I said I never did this myself, I'm just going on my knowledge of yeast.
    Cold crashing is something you do to reduce the amount of yeast in suspension. This is useful before stabilizing because your stabilizing chemicals (sorbate and sulphate) have less yeast to deal with. During the crash the yeast fall to the bottom of the fermentor and you can then rack off the yeast and stabilize a clearer mead. Cold crashing after you stabilize might help your mead become clearer but the chemicals have already been bound to the inactive yeast so it does nothing to help the stbilizing from a chamical pov.
    Unless you're absolutely sure what you're doing maybe the best thing to do now is do nothing. If you try stabilizing again and it fails the second time you're in greater risk of something going wrong. Read up and do the most informed decisions. Rushed decisions can be costly
    "Shouldnít we say wine is a mead-like beverage made with grapes substituted for the honey?" - Steve Piatz

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