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Thread: First batch

  1. #21
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    Lemon juice and "stick"(?) are not substitutes for nutrients. If you want to add them for flavor, I would do it after its done fermenting. You can do the primary (active) fermentation in a larger carboy, but you'll want to move (rack) it back into a smaller jug/carboy/growler when it's done fermenting. You'll want to do this when the a large portion of the yeast has settled out.

  2. #22
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    That makes sense. Flavors. I would love to put some cinnamon in there. So, maybe a stick or two after it's done fermenting.

    I'll move it to the larger bucket until I need to rack it into the smaller carboy.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by m0n5t3r View Post
    I guess it's not too late to add nutrients, if he started it yesterday? this is somewhat similar (gravity-wise) to my 1st and 4th batch (I think the 1st one was higher), and I've seen the yeast I have described as having an alcohol tolerance of 16% and 18% (same brand and product name), so it probably fits the bill for a champagne yeast

    on the 1st one I didn't have nutrients (but added the juice of a lemon and a few sticks of cinnamon, I was following the apocalyptic knights' recipe[1] loosely), on the 4th one I used pollen for nutrients; both of those should be easier to get from your local supermarket than amazon stuff

    I guess the results will depend on the yeast, but my first batch took a really long time to finish fermenting (started it in early September, ambient temperature about 28-30 deg. C, finished at the end of October), presumably due to the lack of nutrients, but it was decent when I racked and cleared it (finished rather sweet, though) and awesome when I drank the last bottle in late December / early January. Batch 4 took about a month to finish fermenting and was drinkable even before it finished, and awesome a month later.

    [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMeSGNBOUP8 - he gets some things wrong, but still, a decent starting point
    No wonder it took so long. Those are not nutrients. So not only does it take forever. It taste like hell when your done.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  4. #24

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    well, most likely "taste like hell" will depend on the yeast, temperature, water, local contamimants (I guess I got lucky with this one, the yeast I used is a tank with seemingly little nutrient requirements and huge temperature tolerance)

    I learned quite a few things since then; OP could probably improve things by dropping in ~60g pollen if the local grocery store or farmers' market has such things - pollen is pretty common here in .ro, fancy nutrients, not so much; I used 30g/l, but that was most likely overkill; I based it on a (report of a) research paper[1] I've read that didn't specify the yeast apart from the fact that it's S. cerevisiae (the champagne strains I've seen are bayanus, my yeast is bayanus as well, so I assume requirements will be similar to EC-1118, so low nitrogen), next time I'll go for 10g/l

    [1] https://georgiamead.com/blog/bee-pol...east-nutrient/

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by m0n5t3r View Post
    could probably improve things by dropping in ~60g pollen
    This concept is very intriguing. I can only see this enhance the flavors of the mead. Anybody try this method yet?
    Last edited by Chilkat; 05-13-2018 at 05:18 PM.

  6. #26

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    I used pollen in 3 meads so far, worked fine every time; on the best batch I got, the pollen taste and aroma were present at bottling (~6 weeks after pitch), but I couldn't really feel it one month later; maybe someone with a keener sense of taste could, though. I'm definitely going to experiment with it some more in the future.

    Anyway, yours will probably take a long time to finish (see my story about the 1st batch I did - came out good, but took 2 months to finish, and I got lucky with the yeast, looks like if I had one of the more finicky ones I'd have gotten nail polish remover or rotten egg perfume)

    My experience is rather limited so I have no idea how your yeast will react, but feeding it shouldn't hurt, even if it's a bit late; as I understand things you'll still have a long ferment because you don't have a strong yeast population (it needs oxygen and some nutrients to divide in the first phase after pitch - that's why the guides call for must agitation or blowing air / oxygen with an air stone and using goferm while hydrating), but at least it won't be as stressed, and whatever off-flavors it already produced may bubble out by the end of the fermentation.

  7. #27
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    So I got my Fermaid K today. I wasn't able to cancel the order so I'm going to keep the K and DAP for my ingredients until I can switch easily.

    So do I use some Fermaid K tonight? I won't hurt it now, so what dose do I apply to the must? The DAP is mostly for the start right?

  8. #28
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    Well, if you have the DAP, Fermaid K and Fermaid O anyway, once you get your feet under you with this whole mead thing, you could try making 3 batches with the same honey, same concentration, same yeast, and use a different nutrient for each batch and see if you can taste the difference in the finished product, or if you divide a big batch into multiple smaller batches you could also add combinations or different concentrations. Heck, even doing a massive overdose batch is valuable... Experimenting like this is good learning experience, and sharing your results helps the whole mead community, so if you want to give back, make sure you takes good notes! Just be aware that equal amounts of each thing will not give equivalent amounts of nitrogen to your must, so you'll have to do a little research to get good starting amounts.
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilkat View Post
    So I got my Fermaid K today. I wasn't able to cancel the order so I'm going to keep the K and DAP for my ingredients until I can switch easily.

    So do I use some Fermaid K tonight? I won't hurt it now, so what dose do I apply to the must? The DAP is mostly for the start right?
    Do you know what your specific gravity right now is, compared to where it started? That is the best indication of when you're still good to add what. I would only add DAP right at the beginning, but Fermaid K is fine up until your yeast have eaten 1/3 to 1/2 of the expected sugars.
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "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
    "I tend to....um, er, experiment, and go outside the box. Sometimes outside the whole department store." - Ebonhawk, 2014

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chevette Girl View Post
    Do you know what your specific gravity right now is, compared to where it started? That is the best indication of when you're still good to add what. I would only add DAP right at the beginning, but Fermaid K is fine up until your yeast have eaten 1/3 to 1/2 of the expected sugars.
    I'll check the SG tonight and post it.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilkat View Post
    I'll check the SG tonight and post it.
    Sg was 1.080

  12. #32
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    You're under 1/3rd sugar break (but still close enough). I would add a final feeding of Fermaid O or K at this stage, and then leave it to finish.

  13. #33

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    I would also add to try and agitate the hell out of it. A lees stirrer on a drill would do it. The yeast would do well right now if you gave them a big dose of O2. And then after this. No more oxigenation
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squatchy View Post
    I would also add to try and agitate the hell out of it. A lees stirrer on a drill would do it. The yeast would do well right now if you gave them a big dose of O2. And then after this. No more oxigenation
    So the last nutrient and leave it on it's own after today? Copy that.

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    I'm going to be out if town for a week starting the 21st. I'll wait a couple days and check SG. When should I rack it to smaller carboy? After it settles down and clarifies?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilkat View Post
    I'm going to be out if town for a week starting the 21st. I'll wait a couple days and check SG. When should I rack it to smaller carboy? After it settles down and clarifies?
    Yes. Leave it on the lees for now, it won't hurt it and racking too early can lead to a much slower fermentation and even sometimes get it stuck. All you can do when you go on leave is check if the gravity is still dropping, and if it is, get someone to just degas the mead once a day.

  17. #37
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    Default SG 1.070 today

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxxyc View Post
    Yes. Leave it on the lees for now, it won't hurt it and racking too early can lead to a much slower fermentation and even sometimes get it stuck. All you can do when you go on leave is check if the gravity is still dropping, and if it is, get someone to just degas the mead once a day.
    I checked it this morning and it's 1.070. It's slowed down but still gassed. I have it in a 3 gal carboy and shake it twice a day. Do I agitate it less now that it's lower SG?

    I don't rack to smaller carboy until it's .999 correct? Then I'll add the stuff to keep a second ferment and add honey as desired. It's really sweet right now still, so I'm curious how sweet it ends up to be when it's done.

  18. #38
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    When it's done, there's no sweetness left at all. All the sugar should then be gone (unless the yeast taps out before then). And yes, you just leave it be until it's finished. Degas once or twice a day still until it's done.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toxxyc View Post
    When it's done, there's no sweetness left at all. All the sugar should then be gone (unless the yeast taps out before then). And yes, you just leave it be until it's finished. Degas once or twice a day still until it's done.
    I was wondering about the degassing until it's done. Thanks.

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