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  1. Default

    Well, it turns out those kits expired in 2011. I tried them anyway, though. Unfortunately, the bochet is so dark that you can't see any difference. I did more tests on a 10% solution but the high/low SO2 readings weren't consistent with each other. I don't know how accurate these things are, over a year past the expiration date.

    I bought an oxygenation kit, thinking I could dispel some SO2. By the time the kit arrived, I opened the primary to find a thin layer of bubbles on the surface (the Uvaferm's been in there all this time). Perhaps it was a really long lag phase. I pumped in the O2 for 30 seconds, prepared a fresh EC-1118 starter, and poured it in. The next morning, the airlock was bubbling and still is two days later. The progress is still slow, though. The gravity has only changed about 0.006 since adding the un-caramelized honey but at least that's progress.

    Oxygenation:
    http://youtu.be/6t6C4vkVrSo

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    It's been a couple of weeks since my last post and the bochet is still fermenting. I've been stirring up the contents from the bottom almost every day to prevent stratification. It's currently about 7% ABV but the rate has slowed down considerably. During the first week it was yielding almost a full percentage point per day but now it takes several days for that to happen. One time the cup inside the airlock sank to the bottom until the next time I stirred it, at which point it started bubbling again. I've got that oxygenation kit--should I use that again? The kit's instructions warn against using it after the yeast have begun fermenting because it can impart off-flavors in wine, but this is mead and seems to play by its own set of rules.

    In any case, it tastes good so far. It's complex and cloyingly sweet, obviously, because of the enormous amount of honey I started with.

  3. #23
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    Default

    What's the current gravity?
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  4. Default

    1.124

    Original was about 1.178 (an approximation, since my hydrometer doesn't have graduations above 1.170).

  5. #25
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    Default

    I didn't realize your starting gravity was off the scale. That's why this batch was slow in starting. Unless you dilute it, it will likely stall early leaving it very sweet.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  6. Default

    Well, initially it was 1.112 but it wouldn't get started for the longest time, not even with Uvaferm 43. I thought maybe I had caramelized all the sugars into something the yeast couldn't use so I tried adding additional (non-boiled) honey, which is what brought the gravity up so high. But that didn't work either. It wasn't until I aerated it with a diffusion stone that it started to go.

    By how much would you recommend I dilute it? It's currently about 5.75 gallons. I should point out that I have absolutely no problem with it having a high final gravity, as long as the ABV is appropriately high, like a port. But if it's going to run out of steam at only 7 or 8% then I'd definitely want to split it into two batches and dilute it.

  7. #27

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    I just made a Bochet with all carmalized honey and it had no problems getting started and finishing. Any chance you might have added sorbate instead of sulfite? WVMJ

  8. #28
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    Well you can try giving it more oxygen, and adding some yeast hulls and a bit more nutrient and see where it goes. If it stops early, you can dilute it and try to get it to finish, or you can consider fortifying it like a port.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  9. Default

    @WVMJack: definitely not sorbate. I've only used a stabilizer once (sodium benzoate) and only because I had a gallon jug of banana wine fermenting in my office at work and everybody was clamoring to get it bottled ASAP. Ordinarily, I prefer to let time and gravity finish the job.

    I'll try aerating again and adding some nutrients. The bochet seems to be hovering around 1.120 right now (just under 8%).

    Sent from my DROID3 using Tapatalk 2

  10. #30

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    You must have a COOL office if you can have a fermentor in there!! Silly question, but what kind of pot did you burn your honey in? WVMJ

    Quote Originally Posted by duffrecords View Post
    @WVMJack: definitely not sorbate. I've only used a stabilizer once (sodium benzoate) and only because I had a gallon jug of banana wine fermenting in my office at work and everybody was clamoring to get it bottled ASAP. Ordinarily, I prefer to let time and gravity finish the job.

    I'll try aerating again and adding some nutrients. The bochet seems to be hovering around 1.120 right now (just under 8%).

    Sent from my DROID3 using Tapatalk 2

  11. Default

    It was aluminum. The local supermarket had these enormous stock pots for sale at a fraction of the cost of stainless steel so I picked one up--probably not the best choice, as the bottom became warped and discolored after boiling the honey for 2½ hours.

    Yes, my office is pretty cool. It's one of those internet start-ups where they try to foster a "fun" work environment. Making booze is fun for me and I'd say the end result had a positive effect on company morale, too.

  12. #32

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    Can you taste the metal in your must yet? WVMJ

  13. Default

    I don't taste that. Why do you use the word "yet?" Will it rear its ugly head later?

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  14. #34

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    A couple of years ago some folks who had been winemakers for a couple of years gave me a bottle of the best wine that they ever made. I popped it open and took a taste and it was all metallic taste over everything else, spit it out and dumped the rest. They had always used an aluminum funnel to pour their wine into the bottles since they started making wine and thought that part of the taste was normal. They thought I was crazy telling them not to use a metal funnel bottling their wine. I dont waste my time trading bottles with them anymore, I guess mine tasted funny to them without that metal taste.

    Its possible, especially as you described how cheapo your pot is that it already warped on you, that you might have boilied an acidic fluid (mead) in a reactive aluminum pot and released enough aluminum to inhibit your yeast, I dont know if that is correct or not, but you seemed to have done everything else pretty good. Hit your mead with a huge dose of nutrient, rehydrate a fresh packet of EC1118 yeast, keep it warm, if that doesnt work your probably have something in there they yeast dont like.

    WVMJ

    Quote Originally Posted by duffrecords View Post
    I don't taste that. Why do you use the word "yet?" Will it rear its ugly head later?

    Sent from my DROID3 using Tapatalk 2

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by duffrecords View Post
    . The hydrometer says it's about 1% alcohol so far. Feels like this is going to be one difficult batch.
    Duff, what do you mean its 1%? What is the actual real hydrometer reading now? WVMJ

  16. Default

    That's an old post you're quoting. The original gravity was 1.112. Nothing happened for over a week so I feared the sugars were all caramelized. I added more un-boiled honey, bringing the gravity to 1.178. Still nothing happened. But then I aerated it with a diffusion stone and that woke it up. As of this afternoon, the gravity was 1.020 but airlock activity was minimal. I added 5 tsp of yeast hulls and aerated it again but the airlock was inactive after that. We'll see how it is tomorrow.

    Sent from my DROID3 using Tapatalk 2

  17. #37

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    Got news for you, your mead was done fermenting a long time ago, its very hard to go from 1.178 to 1.00. Next time you need to post your actual gravity readings so folks can get a better idea what is going on. Put this puppy to rest for a couple of months in a nice cool place and let it clear. WVMJ

    Quote Originally Posted by duffrecords View Post
    That's an old post you're quoting. The original gravity was 1.112. Nothing happened for over a week so I feared the sugars were all caramelized. I added more un-boiled honey, bringing the gravity to 1.178. Still nothing happened. But then I aerated it with a diffusion stone and that woke it up. As of this afternoon, the gravity was 1.020 but airlock activity was minimal. I added 5 tsp of yeast hulls and aerated it again but the airlock was inactive after that. We'll see how it is tomorrow.

    Sent from my DROID3 using Tapatalk 2

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by duffrecords View Post
    As of this afternoon, the gravity was 1.020
    Is that 1.020 or 1.120?
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  19. Default

    @Medsen Fey: My mistake--I meant to say 1.120. It's interesting that it appears to be coming to a stop only 0.008 away from the original gravity of the boiled honey. Must be something wrong with that stuff, whether it was caramelization or a reaction with the aluminum.

    @WVMJack: The gravity readings were mentioned in the first post and in several other places.

  20. #40

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    Dude, I think you are screwed, get another pot and try again, everything the same but start at a lower gravity and use a nice pot. Its been a long time since this was started, it could be the pot, other people have scortched their honey a lot more until they had black smoke coming out of it and it still fermented so I dont think you cooked it to long to kill the sugar. Sorry but I thought you didnt post any gravity readings that showed the drop to 1.02 but which was really 1.12, your bad at typing and I cant remember everything Unless there is some parameter all the people on this thread have missed it might be time for the big dump, dont put it where any bees will drink it, the burnt honey is not good for them. WVMJ

    Quote Originally Posted by duffrecords View Post
    @Medsen Fey: My mistake--I meant to say 1.120. It's interesting that it appears to be coming to a stop only 0.008 away from the original gravity of the boiled honey. Must be something wrong with that stuff, whether it was caramelization or a reaction with the aluminum.

    @WVMJack: The gravity readings were mentioned in the first post and in several other places.

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