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Thread: Enough Yeast

  1. #1

    Default Enough Yeast

    Hello All,
    I've made a batch, 1 gallon, of basic mead. I bought 3 lbs. of pure honey from a place in western NY. It is a very dark honey with a bit of a molasses flavor, (quite nice tasting!). The yeast was Red Star Premium Blanc dry yeast. I used a 5th of the yeast, (package was 5 grams by weight so I measured out a gram). The package was for 5 gallons.
    I forgot to measure the SG before dosing with the yeast. But did the day after and got 1.00.
    I'm only getting a bubble in the lock every 14 seconds or so. I can see little bubbles in the must. Is that adequate? I've read where folks get like one every 5-6 seconds.
    Thank you in advance for replies.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Well, one thing you need to do is learn how to read your hydrometer. A reading of 1.000 means you either forgot to put any honey in your batch or it’s already finished fermenting.

    You say you bought 3 lbs of honey, did you use it all? If so, 3 lbs in a 1 gallon batch (total), should give you an SG = 1.108.

    Who says that a 5 gram batch is good for 5 gallons?

    You’re probably alright, but you would have been better off using 2 grams per gallon. Also, dry yeast is fairly inexpensive, where as honey is expensive, so don’t try and save money by skimping on yeast. Nothing wrong with using the whole package of yeast.

    Are you using any nutrients?

  3. #3

    Default

    Thank you for the reply.
    Will do! (on reading the hydrometer). I'll check it again now.

    Yes I used all the honey.
    The package instructions said it was for 5 gallons. So I used 1 gram. I wasn't trying to go cheap by any means. I just figured if 5 was for 5 then 1 gram would be for 1 gallon. And your right, the honey was expensive and the yeast is not! Can I add more now? (Batch is 3 days old).
    No, no nutrients.
    Last edited by Killick; 08-10-2019 at 02:26 PM. Reason: additional verbiage

  4. #4

    Default

    you are correct. the actual SP is 1.1

  5. #5

    Default

    I use the entire 5 grams in a gallon. It will only help. and saving 75 cents isn't a thing. It degrades over time once it's opened
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squatchy View Post
    I use the entire 5 grams in a gallon. It will only help. and saving 75 cents isn't a thing. It degrades over time once it's opened
    Thanks for the reply Squatchy. Really? Again I'm not being cheap. Trying to keep things as directions say. I've asked before but can more yeast be added afterwards?

    Thanks

  7. #7
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    I don't see how adding more of the same yeast will hurt the mead. I would rehydrate it properly (according to package instructions) and add it.

  8. #8
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    Well, the batch is 5 days old at this point, so while you can add the yeast now, if it's been fermenting (bubbling) away all this time, I'd probably just leave it alone.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by darigoni View Post
    Well, the batch is 5 days old at this point, so while you can add the yeast now, if it's been fermenting (bubbling) away all this time, I'd probably just leave it alone.
    This. If it's happy, leave it. Check for off flavours, which could be a sign of underpitching.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toxxyc View Post
    This. If it's happy, leave it. Check for off flavours, which could be a sign of underpitching.
    Again thank you all you have replied. I checked the fermentation again this morning before leaving on a business trip. It is still bubbling away at the same rate, once every 13-14 seconds. She's bubbling away! I'll check the SG at the end of the week and see where it is. I'm keeping it dark and at a temp of approx. 73-76F. Thanks Toxxy. I'll do that tomorrow when I return.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toxxyc View Post
    I don't see how adding more of the same yeast will hurt the mead. I would rehydrate it properly (according to package instructions) and add it.
    So you might have a problem of putting fresh yeast in an alcoholic environment. It could cause them harm and they might possibly make off-flavors.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squatchy View Post
    So you might have a problem of putting fresh yeast in an alcoholic environment. It could cause them harm and they might possibly make off-flavors.
    Would they still create off flavours if they're rehydrated and introduced into the mead after acclimating them? Serious question, because I know some practices, not specific to mead or anything, sometimes asks for the pitching of a different strain of yeast closer to the end of the fermentation. I've seen people do it before, but never thought about it much.

  13. Default

    Ignore the air lock, all it tells you is presser changes between the outside an the inside.
    Lets say you have a gallon of mead sat in your cellar for a or three year, in the cold, bring it up in warm kitchen will make it bubble, but the yeast is done.
    Take hydrometer readings for the truth.

    The amount of yeast that is in-between enough to work well and too much is a fairly large amount.
    Once you start to include dead yeast as a nitrogen source ( around 10% nitrogen per gram) one can easily be adding 10+ grams per litter and avoiding the stress of competition and starvation.

    “Yeast produce 33 times as much alcohol per cell during the growth phase than it does in the stationary phase.
    So there is an advantage to keeping the yeast growing as long as possible.
    There is also an advantage to adding the DAP in as many increments as possible.
    This keeps the yeast growing as long as possible and also keeps a fresh supply of nitrogen available for the yeast to metabolize and build up its protein content.”
    Clayton Cone, Optimizing Honey Fermentation by Ken Schramm

    A step feed with a mix of dead boiled yeast an honey could be a major bonus to a ferment, i'm just not sure at what abv yeast stops useing the added nitrogen.

  14. #14

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    So 9% for DAP and 10% for organic =/- based on specific strain.

    Boiling yeast is not effective as you ruin the yeast during boiling
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toxxyc View Post
    Would they still create off flavours if they're rehydrated and introduced into the mead after acclimating them? Serious question, because I know some practices, not specific to mead or anything, sometimes asks for the pitching of a different strain of yeast closer to the end of the fermentation. I've seen people do it before, but never thought about it much.
    You'd likely be fine if you acclimated the yeast, but originally you had only said to rehydrate it according to the package, and acclimation is a few steps further than rehydration. Generally you only want to add more yeast to a partially fermented batch if there's something wrong with how the fermentation is going, or, as you suggested, if you want a different strain taking over the end of the fermentation.
    "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

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Funkmachine7 View Post
    Ignore the air lock, all it tells you is presser changes between the outside an the inside.
    Lets say you have a gallon of mead sat in your cellar for a or three year, in the cold, bring it up in warm kitchen will make it bubble, but the yeast is done.
    Take hydrometer readings for the truth.


    A step feed with a mix of dead boiled yeast an honey could be a major bonus to a ferment, i'm just not sure at what abv yeast stops useing the added nitrogen.
    Good advice about airlock bubbles vs hydrometer

    As I recall, yeast don't much use DAP after about the first third of fermentation (hence your 1/3 sugar break). I don't think you'd be doing your must any favours by adding more nitrogen, even a non-DAP organic source like boiled yeast or yeast hulls or Fermaid-O, with step feeding honey additions because by the point you'd be step feeding (which would be after more than half your ferment if you don't want to stress them out with high sugar amounts), your yeast colony should be as big as it's going to get, and unless it's showing signs of distress, it will not have a lot of use for more nitrogen and the excess would just hang around in your must waiting for spoilage organisms...

    And if anyone's ever found any studies to the contrary, I'm interested in hearing about them, since I Do step feed!
    "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

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toxxyc View Post
    I don't see how adding more of the same yeast will hurt the mead. I would rehydrate it properly (according to package instructions) and add it.
    Well. You have to take certain measures to pitch the yeast in a mead half baked. It's the alcohol that is an issue. So there are certain methods. So you can do it. But it needs to be a certain protocol.

    Search the Scotts Lab handbook for "restarting a stuck fermentation"
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

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