Re: Simple Mead in a Hot Climate

Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:50 pm

Ozwald wrote:Don't worry about the amount of alcohol as much as the actual gravity number. With your numbers I'm calculating that you're sitting around 1.059, is that correct? How did you prep your yeast before pitching? Rehydrate? Nutrients? If you just sprinkled the dry yeast on top, it's probably stressed & pooped out. It may not have a very high alcohol tolerance either. 7 grams is considerably underpitching, which would add to the yeast stress as well. Without knowing more details my first thought is you need some nutrients & a better pitch of yeast.


My OG was 1.129 and the gravity after 10 days was 1.074, which is approx. 7.2% ABV. I don't have access to nutrients unless they are things you can pick up in your average grocery store. Got any suggestions?

When I initially pitched I put the 7g of dry yeast directly into the fermenter and then stirred it thoroughly. The leap directly into the honey, water, and fruit mixture may have shocked my crappy baker's yeast and killed a lot of it...

What I failed to mention in my last post was that after I took the gravity reading on day 10 I panicked and added 2g more yeast, but this time I let it sit in 2 tablespoons of water for 15 minutes, then added a couple drops of honey and let it sit another 20 minutes before introducing the yeast to the fermenter. Again, I stirred it up gently. I then added 100ml of honey in and stirred it up again. Fermentation has picked back up for the past 2 days now.

I'm really just wondering if it is normal for mead to hit 7% ABV in 10 days (is this too slow, too fast?), and how long it typically takes to get to 11% or more.
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Re: Simple Mead in a Hot Climate

Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:26 am

I apologize, I was in a hurry & did the math for ABW not ABV. You are correct.

It's really hard to say what's 'typical' - a lot of parameters are going to change from brewer to brewer. IMO the only way to find out what's typical is to dial in your personal process & note the trends. Definitely nothing wrong with them chewing through that many points that quickly if they're able to. Don't panic, just let it do its thing & stop trying to fix it before it's broken ;) Joking aside, some of the best meads are fed nutrients in steps to help them keep going. Honey is damn close to 100% fermentable, so I wouldn't be adding more food to the buffet they are already having a hard time finishing. My bet is that the baker's yeast by itself is going to crap out early & that nutrients might help push it along a bit further. The first one I can think of is dead yeast. What you really need though is some zinc in there & I'm not coming up with anything off the top of my head that's readily available in the average grocery store. I've gotta run back out to the brewstand, but I'll think about it while I'm brewing today. Hopefully someone else might have a gem to add.
Lee

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Re: Simple Mead in a Hot Climate

Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:16 pm

Ozwald wrote:I apologize, I was in a hurry & did the math for ABW not ABV. You are correct.

It's really hard to say what's 'typical' - a lot of parameters are going to change from brewer to brewer. IMO the only way to find out what's typical is to dial in your personal process & note the trends. Definitely nothing wrong with them chewing through that many points that quickly if they're able to. Don't panic, just let it do its thing & stop trying to fix it before it's broken ;) Joking aside, some of the best meads are fed nutrients in steps to help them keep going. Honey is damn close to 100% fermentable, so I wouldn't be adding more food to the buffet they are already having a hard time finishing. My bet is that the baker's yeast by itself is going to crap out early & that nutrients might help push it along a bit further. The first one I can think of is dead yeast. What you really need though is some zinc in there & I'm not coming up with anything off the top of my head that's readily available in the average grocery store. I've gotta run back out to the brewstand, but I'll think about it while I'm brewing today. Hopefully someone else might have a gem to add.


Thanks. I've heard that boiling baker's yeast to kill them and adding them to the ferment is a good nutrient. How many grams should I add?

What about chopping up some more raisins?
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Re: Simple Mead in a Hot Climate

Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:16 am

I wouldn't add any more sugars to it (the raisins). I've heard dead yeast work well, but I've never tried any experiments with it. If I were going to try it, I'd start with 0.5 - 1g multiple times, every week or so when fermentation started to slow down. That may not be enough, but I'd start small & work up. Watch the fermentation & make adjustments.

The bigger problem is the zinc (zinc sulphate heptahydrate). Beer wort has small amounts, but not typically enough for a perfect fermentation, hence adding the nutrients. Honey has zero, making the need for nutrients pretty much essential. There's commercial nutrients made with dead yeast cells, such as Servomyces, but that yeast is packed to the gills with zinc before the massacre. Most of the others have zinc added in one way or another. Other than ordering it from a homebrew shop or chem lab, I wouldn't know how to get it into solution. It's found naturally in several meats & nuts, but I wouldn't recommend dipping your left one in the fermentor... for zinc purposes anyways.
Lee

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Re: Simple Mead in a Hot Climate

Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:28 am

Ozwald wrote:I wouldn't add any more sugars to it (the raisins). I've heard dead yeast work well, but I've never tried any experiments with it. If I were going to try it, I'd start with 0.5 - 1g multiple times, every week or so when fermentation started to slow down. That may not be enough, but I'd start small & work up. Watch the fermentation & make adjustments.

The bigger problem is the zinc (zinc sulphate heptahydrate). Beer wort has small amounts, but not typically enough for a perfect fermentation, hence adding the nutrients. Honey has zero, making the need for nutrients pretty much essential. There's commercial nutrients made with dead yeast cells, such as Servomyces, but that yeast is packed to the gills with zinc before the massacre. Most of the others have zinc added in one way or another. Other than ordering it from a homebrew shop or chem lab, I wouldn't know how to get it into solution. It's found naturally in several meats & nuts, but I wouldn't recommend dipping your left one in the fermentor... for zinc purposes anyways.


I took another gravity reading today and my mangosteen mead has barely changed (7.5% ABV), while my clementine mead is doing a little better (8.5%). I want to add some dead yeast asap to help them out...

My question is, is there anything special I should know when killing the baker's yeast (add to boiling water, or bring the yeast to a boil? Let it cool to room temperature?)
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Re: Simple Mead in a Hot Climate

Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:42 am

Boil it, cool it, add it.
Lee

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Re: Simple Mead in a Hot Climate

Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:57 am

I had a thought yesterday about the zinc. I've never tried it, but most health food stores & a lot of supermarkets carry dietary supplements including zinc. I would think if you rehydrate the yeast, make a small starter with some zinc, let the starter finish out & then kill them, it could possibly work as a DIY nutrient. It's all theory at this point & would require some experimentation. I wouldn't bother since commercial nutrient is cheap & I make a couple orders every month, but if you're still trying to avoid the shipping costs it could be worth some invested time. Just pay close attention to whatever else is in the dietary supplements.
Lee

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Re: Simple Mead in a Hot Climate

Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:57 am

Try a web search to find a local winery.
http://travel.cnn.com/bangkok/play/week ... urs-470613
Maybe they would share some yeast nutrient with you or tell you where you could get it.
From the books I skimmed looking for a home remedy for yeast nutrient most said honey
had the least (compared to grapes and barley) and needed it the most for a good fermentation.
Good luck and let us know what you find. :jnj
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