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Thread: Too hot for my yeast

  1. Default Too hot for my yeast

    I followed a recipe that asked for two packets Yalvin D-47 yeast which needs to be in a fairly cool environment. My house's ambient temperature is about 78 degrees. I started the batch on August 29th and it's about a 4 gallons of water to 17 pounds of honey ratio after diluting it a bit from 20 pounds a few days ago. I used yeast energizer and nutrient. For the first few days, it was bubbling along rapidly. 6 days in, it's bubbling at about 25 per minute. I didn't have a hydrometer when I started so I don't have an initial reading, but I just got one today and its reading 1.040 which seems a little low. Or high? The ABV seems low. I'm probably not reading it right. I measured it directly from the carboy as I don't have any way of siphoning the must out at this time (though I'll have an auto-siphon for secondary fermentation).

    Anyway, I've sunk too much money into honey costs right now to abandon this batch due to wrong yeast. What can I expect from my yeast being hotter than ideal?

    Also, I have another thread on here asking about dilution which I've taken care of, and I've ditched the idea of making any sparkling mead for now. Due to the rules of this forum my reply either hasn't been posted yet, or I can't see my own replies for some reason. With that being the case, thanks in advance for any help you guys can give.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Markov41 View Post
    I followed a recipe that asked for two packets Yalvin D-47 yeast which needs to be in a fairly cool environment. My house's ambient temperature is about 78 degrees. I started the batch on August 29th and it's about a 4 gallons of water to 17 pounds of honey ratio after diluting it a bit from 20 pounds a few days ago. I used yeast energizer and nutrient. For the first few days, it was bubbling along rapidly. 6 days in, it's bubbling at about 25 per minute. I didn't have a hydrometer when I started so I don't have an initial reading, but I just got one today and its reading 1.040 which seems a little low. Or high? The ABV seems low. I'm probably not reading it right. I measured it directly from the carboy as I don't have any way of siphoning the must out at this time (though I'll have an auto-siphon for secondary fermentation).

    Anyway, I've sunk too much money into honey costs right now to abandon this batch due to wrong yeast. What can I expect from my yeast being hotter than ideal?

    Also, I have another thread on here asking about dilution which I've taken care of, and I've ditched the idea of making any sparkling mead for now. Due to the rules of this forum my reply either hasn't been posted yet, or I can't see my own replies for some reason. With that being the case, thanks in advance for any help you guys can give.
    That strain is a fusell king when it's not kept below 66F. You're better off placing it in a bath tub, (down stairs if you can) and fill it with cold water and let it stay in there to ferment. It will help to dissapate the heat some. You could drap a towel over it into the water so it would wick water. And run a fan on it and that would help a lot. Your going to have something that will not be drinkable for a very long time.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  3. Default

    I really wish D47 wasn't the first strain that pops up when someone Googles "best mead yeast". While I'm sure it's a great strain when you treat it right, it's a little temperamental for the first time mead maker. I did the same thing on my first batch as well. The mead wasn't great fresh out of the fermenter but it was actually drinkable after a couple months of aging. I think I'll come back to D47 in the fall/winter when things get cooler.
    My complete mead log can be found here.

  4. Default

    If it's something that's fixed with age and will eventually be good that's fine. I'm hoping to really drown out any bad flavors with 4lbs per gallon strawberries. Is masking it with something else effective or will the taste still be awful for awhile?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Markov41 View Post
    If it's something that's fixed with age and will eventually be good that's fine. I'm hoping to really drown out any bad flavors with 4lbs per gallon strawberries. Is masking it with something else effective or will the taste still be awful for awhile?
    So most judges I know would agree. It does get some better with age. But a half-ass pallet will always taste the footprint even if you age it for a decade. I hate when people think they can age away serious flaws in their mead. You can add enough honey to gasoline to eventually be able to drink it. But it still taste like gasoline. I wouldn't waste andthing on it to try and salvage it. I would burry it in a time capsule for 15 years.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  6. Default

    I appreciate you not sugar coating anything and giving it to me straight. I don't want to throw $40 of strawberries on it if its not gonna help so I may just leave it alone after racking it to secondary and start a one gallon batch properly in the mean time.

    Is Yalvin 71B a good choice for hot weather?

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Markov41 View Post
    I appreciate you not sugar coating anything and giving it to me straight. I don't want to throw $40 of strawberries on it if its not gonna help so I may just leave it alone after racking it to secondary and start a one gallon batch properly in the mean time.

    Is Yalvin 71B a good choice for hot weather?
    I would use D21 or K1V instead
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  8. #8
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    Default

    Here's another thought for you. If you can rustle up some one gallon carboys, airlocks and stoppers, you could take this batch and experiment with it. Use one gallon for the strawberries, and see what adding fruit does to your taste, clarity, fermentation, etc. Add some spices to another and see how long it takes for your spices to reach a flavor profile you like (then how those age) Add some oak to another -- et cetera.

    I see an opportunity do do a bunch of learning from this batch. You won't be saddened if the experiment comes out poorly, but you will be wiser (before you venture on a journey with really expensive honey). Plus, if a combination works for this mead, you'll end up with a better-tasting final product.

    Take copious, detailed notes so you can replicate what you liked, or avoid what you didn't.

    Shelley

    PS: in the end, if you like it, drink it. Everyone has their own palate, and one pretty consistent piece of advice is "let it age and see what happens". If you don't end up liking the mead, experiment with making a gourmet mead vinegar!
    Mead Magic
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    With our complete one-gallon kit!

  9. #9

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    If it tasted ok you could do what Shelly suggest. But the fussels never get to a place "as if they were never there". You'll taste them for life. Not a great medium to try and learn with. In my opinion.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  10. #10
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    Don’t feel too bad. My first batch of mead was fermented at room temp with D47. I’m still waiting for the fusels to fade after 10 years. The cost of tuition at the school of hard knocks ain’t cheap, but the education is priceless. If you find something that works to cover those fusels, let us know.

    Endeavor to persevere!
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Markov41 View Post
    ....I used yeast energizer and nutrient. For the first few days, it was bubbling along rapidly. 6 days in, it's bubbling at about 25 per minute. I didn't have a hydrometer when I started so I don't have an initial reading, but I just got one today and its reading 1.040 which seems a little low. Or high? The ABV seems low. I'm probably not reading it right. I measured it directly from the carboy as I don't have any way of siphoning the must out at this time (though I'll have an auto-siphon for secondary fermentation).
    So yeast energizer and nutrient are almost the same thing. Sometimes they are the same thing. One of them might be slightly better than the other because it has some mineral or vitamin B in it. But very often they are most similar to Dap. You will want to get your hands on Fermax, Fermaid K or Fermaid O. Preferably Fermaid O but Fermaid K is ok too. Fermax only if you have no other option but if you have enough time you can always order Fermaid O from somewhere.

    Bubbling doesn't mean much. Without an initial hydrometer reading it's very difficult to get an accurate abv reading and you can't get the value by simply using a hydrometer. When you read 1.040, that was your remaining sugars in the mead. Your initial reading would have been higher but the yeast ate sugars during the ferment. The abv reading on a hydrometer is just another value instead of SG. It tells you how much abv you can expect if your yeast eat those 1.040 of sugars. Your final abv will be close to what your initial reading would have been had you taken it. Apart from that initial reading to determine how much abv you'll end up with the abv scale on hydrometers is rather useless
    "Shouldn’t we say wine is a mead-like beverage made with grapes substituted for the honey?" - Steve Piatz

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medsen Fey View Post
    Don’t feel too bad. My first batch of mead was fermented at room temp with D47. I’m still waiting for the fusels to fade after 10 years. The cost of tuition at the school of hard knocks ain’t cheap, but the education is priceless. If you find something that works to cover those fusels, let us know.

    Endeavor to persevere!
    I'm of the strong belief that the footprint of fussel production never leaves and will always be present regardless of how long someone lets it age. Yes. It might become drinkable. But I hate when people think they can make crap and expect it to become great with time. Just doesn't happen.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  13. #13
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    I have to agree with you. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
    The only batch of bad fusels I’ve ever tamed was in my Meadeira (see Patron’s Meadlogs). That resulted from Uvaferm 43 at room temp (bad idea). But trying fortify, sweeten, cook and age a batch is not something many folks will want to do.
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medsen Fey View Post
    I have to agree with you. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
    The only batch of bad fusels I’ve ever tamed was in my Meadeira (see Patron’s Meadlogs). That resulted from Uvaferm 43 at room temp (bad idea). But trying fortify, sweeten, cook and age a batch is not something many folks will want to do.
    I followed your progress with that mead. It was fascinating.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

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