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Thread: Quick question about TOSNA 2.0 and my fermentation

  1. #1
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    Default Quick question about TOSNA 2.0 and my fermentation

    Hey there everyone!

    Just a quick prelude: I have yet to brew anything outside of JAOM, but have been doing some research and even had a number of you look over my original "first batch" recipe months back. Well recently, I got the honey, and I started my first batch! The recipe is as follows, then I will get into my question.

    21.3lbs. raw blueberry blossom honey (Was an ounce or so above that)
    Water to 6 gallons
    Yeast: 71B

    OG:1.124
    Original BRIX:29
    Temperature was originally 81F
    My nutrition plan is the TOSNA 2.0 as per the TOSNA 2.0 calculator on MeadMakr's website, so 6.5g of Fermaid O at the 24, 48, and 72hr marks, and lastly 6.5g on the 7th day or 1/3 sugar break at 1.083 SG.
    Pitched the yeast at 8pm on 8/30/2018, and have aerated every 12 hours since. Here is my limited log:

    8/30: Pitched yeast and began fermentation
    8/31: 8AM: Aerated 8PM: Aerated and added 6.5g of Fermaid O
    SG: 1.116
    Brix:27.5
    Temp: 76-79F
    9/1: 8AM: Aerated 8PM: Aerated and added 6.5g of Fermaid O
    SG: 1.096 ((This was when I began to worry I would hit 1/3 sugar break before not only the 7th day, but before the 72hr mark))
    Brix:27.5
    Temp: 76-79F
    9/2: 8AM: Aerated 8PM: Aerated and added 6.5g of Fermaid O
    SG: 1.080
    Brix:18.5
    Temp: 72-76F

    So here's my question, it reached the 1/3 sugar break at the 72hr mark. The way the calculator words it, is my addition of nutrients at the 1/3 sugar break mark the final addition? Because originally, I would have done my 6.5g tonight (at 72hrs), and then again at 7 days or 1/3 break. So do I need to do another 6.5 grams of fermaid O? I am a tad concerned that it was fermenting a bit warm and so faster than intended (the room has been around 75F consistently, we dropped the AC to make it around 72 now). I have smelled no off flavors thus far. Smells very much like a cider actually in terms of the alcohol note.

    Any input would be appreciated!
    Thanks again,
    Roland

  2. #2

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    This is indeed why you have moved so quickly. Adding O2 makes things go quicker as does running at a warmer temperature. This then requires more food to keep the yeast fed well. You still need to feed it the last feeding. I would also drop your temps even more as your mead will run hotter than your ambient room temp.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  3. #3
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    In which case, just defer the timing of my last feeding to the 7th day of fermentation?

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    I usually hit 1/3 sugar break in 4-5 days so I do my TOSNA 2.0 additions daily. If you have one final feeding left, add it tomorrow morning rather than waiting until the full 7 days have passed. As the ABV rises, the yeast are less and less able to absorb nutrients from the must. The goal is to stuff them full of nutrition before they get there so they'll have some reserves to finish the fermentation under minimal stress.
    My complete mead log can be found here.

  5. #5
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    Though it may sound like heresy, I'm not yet convinced that you need to stagger the feedings when using strictly organic nutrients. Amino nitrogen does not get gobbled up all at once like DAP, and the yeast will take up the amino acids as they need them. All other things being equal, I think it may be better to have the nutrients all available early.
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  6. #6
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    I appreciate the input everyone. Definitely seems like the temp is evening out to 75. Regrettably, I am without too many means at this moment as I am limited on space, to lower the temp. I intend to setup a swamp cooler for future fermentation, and I am hoping by the time I've racked into the secondary I will have a cooler locale to allow it to bulk age.

    At any rate, the last of the Fermaid O is added, and today it is down to 1.064. So about 16 per day. I do anticipate some off flavors due to my lack of preparation. Bulk aging (or oaking if its particularly bad) in the secondary is typically the cure for such things right?

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medsen Fey View Post
    Though it may sound like heresy, I'm not yet convinced that you need to stagger the feedings when using strictly organic nutrients. Amino nitrogen does not get gobbled up all at once like DAP, and the yeast will take up the amino acids as they need them. All other things being equal, I think it may be better to have the nutrients all available early.
    I somehow doubt tosna will work the same if you front-load all nutrients. You might get a bigger growth phase => more yeast cells => more nitrogen needs => yeast ending up underfed in the end. Studies have shown that it is much more efficient for 100 yeast cells to digest sugars in a week than 700 yeast cells to do it in a day. This is because creating more yeast cells needs much more nitrogen than yeast cells need to repair their cell structure during a ferment.
    Also, Squatchy has shown studies which state that most yeast byproducts which contribute to taste is created during the growth phase (whether it's good or bad taste). A bigger growth phase might mean a less clean tasting ferment.
    In order for Fermaid O to work well with front-loading you might need more nitrogen and you might get more of a temp-spike and higher overall temps and shorter ferments.
    Anyway, such a test would be easy to make. Two side-by-side meads and blind taste tests
    "Shouldn’t we say wine is a mead-like beverage made with grapes substituted for the honey?" - Steve Piatz

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    I appreciate the input everyone. Definitely seems like the temp is evening out to 75. Regrettably, I am without too many means at this moment as I am limited on space, to lower the temp. I intend to setup a swamp cooler for future fermentation, and I am hoping by the time I've racked into the secondary I will have a cooler locale to allow it to bulk age.

    At any rate, the last of the Fermaid O is added, and today it is down to 1.064. So about 16 per day. I do anticipate some off flavors due to my lack of preparation. Bulk aging (or oaking if its particularly bad) in the secondary is typically the cure for such things right?
    You may get lucky as 71B may be able to do OK at 75F for some recipes. If you can’t keep it cooler in the future, I’d suggest using some other yeast like K1V or D21 that tolerate heat better. However, if it gets heat stroke and leaves a bunch of fusel alcohols, oak and aging will not cure it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stasis View Post
    I somehow doubt tosna will work the same if you front-load all nutrients. You might get a bigger growth phase => more yeast cells => more nitrogen needs => yeast ending up underfed in the end. Studies have shown that it is much more efficient for 100 yeast cells to digest sugars in a week than 700 yeast cells to do it in a day. This is because creating more yeast cells needs much more nitrogen than yeast cells need to repair their cell structure during a ferment.

    Anyway, such a test would be easy to make. Two side-by-side meads and blind taste tests
    What you are describing is what happens with ammonium nitrogen. Yeast don’t overeat amino nitrogen the same way. Having done quite a few batches using Fermaid O without staggering, I can attest that it does work with tasty results, but I think your point about some side-by-side comparison is a good one and needs to be done.
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  9. #9
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    After realizing how difficult it was to control the ambient temp, I immediately wished I had pitched in late fall and started doing a bit of research on warmer strains to use. Lessons learned! All the same, no sense in giving up on it. May as well ride it through and go through all the motions for the practice at the very least. Although I did sample the must this morning, still very sweet of course. I am unsure if I was able to really identify any fusel tastes. Had that lingering burn and hotness in the back of the throat but it didn't seem out of the ordinary to me, if not just an unfinished product. I know I've got the rest of the fermentation to worry about those fusels building up, though. Going to try and lower the ambient temp even more if possible if I can get the folks up stairs to agree.

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Medsen Fey View Post
    You may get lucky as 71B may be able to do OK at 75F for some recipes. If you can’t keep it cooler in the future, I’d suggest using some other yeast like K1V or D21 that tolerate heat better. However, if it gets heat stroke and leaves a bunch of fusel alcohols, oak and aging will not cure it.
    Lallemand/Lalvin say that 71B ferments between 15-30 C (59-86 F). I know it's not good to hold the ferment at either extreme of that range for too long, but as OP seems to have stayed in the mid to high 70s would he not be in the clear?
    My complete mead log can be found here.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Ghost of Thom Jones View Post
    Lallemand/Lalvin say that 71B ferments between 15-30 C (59-86 F). I know it's not good to hold the ferment at either extreme of that range for too long, but as OP seems to have stayed in the mid to high 70s would he not be in the clear?
    There is a big difference between the temperature range that a yeast can tolerate and the range in which it makes good meads. Mid to upper 70s is pushing it. 71B can do OK with some batches, and might do well with something like a berry mel, but I have seen it get heat-stressed in some traditional meads at that temp. It is best at this point to wait and see and give it time.
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  12. #12
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    As an update: I did manage to keep fermentation in the low 70s, between 70F to 73F. On day 9 now, and 71B (More than likely because of heat-drive sprint it was on for the majority of fermentation) Has well overshot the 14% mark, and is down to an SG of 1.008. With a BRIX of 2. Tasted it again today, it definitely has a hot (Given this is my first batch I am not sure exactly how hot I should be expecting with those fusels? I know theyre there, I can taste the difference between this and a smooth commercial mead) and a relatively acidic/almost sour taste to it. Debated racking, but at this point I am thinking I should likely just let the yeast do their thing and with luck they will clean up after themselves. Undecided if I will back-sweeten or not just yet.

    I have learned a number of lessons with this batch that will serve me well with my next, likely using K1V. However I do plan on enjoying this batch in the end, and continuing through the motions. Its drinkable and I am sure will be better after racking and clearing for a time, but I would love to hear suggestions on next steps in terms of how I might salvage/enhance.

    Thanks again!
    Roland

  13. #13
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    Most fresh mead doesn’t taste very good. Give it a few months to clear and mature and then you can judge it fairly.
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

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