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Old 02-05-2009, 03:24 PM   #1
Karred
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Default Bad batch? smells? iunno!

Ok, I started a one gallon batch of just straight mead (has nothing but honey, water, and Flieschmans... seemed pretty simple hey?) a couple weeks ago, and the first thing I noticed was that the smell after a few days was exactly like sourdough bread, this I liked, I enjoyed this smell for about a week and a half, and it had a nice head of foam on the top. Then the middle of last week the smell turned..sharper? I'm not sure how to describe it, its the first time I've come across the smell before! the foam dissapated, which I had expected, but after a few days there seemed to be a kind of small fungus growing on top, it doesn't seem to have grown any, but it does seem to be staying there. There also seem to be a bunch of 'stuck' bubbles just underneath the surface, I would upload a picture, but after looking at the quality that the camera on my phone has, I don't think you would be able to see inside the jar, let alone any bubbles inside! I think that it is still fermenting, when I shine a light into it I can still see it making billions of bubbles inside near the surface. I also will not have anything to check the weight for another three weeks, so Any help to let me know how badly I've screwed things up would be grand!

Thanks in advance!

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Old 02-05-2009, 04:06 PM   #2
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Your problem seems to be the same as in the post I just answered - nutrient starvation.

While I do not use (or recommend a bread yeast) for any mead, it does not negate the fact that honey offers little it the way of yeast essential nutirents - primarily YAN [The Mead FAQs will explain this].

You need to add both Fermaid-K & DAP [also discussed in the FAQs] - be careful of the foaming that typically results when you add them...

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Old 02-05-2009, 05:16 PM   #3
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Default hrm.

I don't have a LHB store, so that would be three weeks out as well. Southwestern Kansas apparently doesn't have very much in the way of such things... Something my dad mentioned to me about when he used to make beer years ago, was he would add a peeled diced potato for every gallon he used so that the yeast would have something to eat on, would that work here? if so, would carefully putting them in without disturbing the surface too much be the proper way to go about things? and would I have to worry about disturbing the yeast on the bottom of the jar?

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Old 02-05-2009, 06:26 PM   #4
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hightest - couldn't the OP boil up some water and drop yeast in that, creating his own yeast nutrient? It seems to work for beer, so why not wine? I'd rather see him do that than throw potatoes into his fermenter. OP - You sure your dad didn't boil the potatoes?

-OCD

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Old 02-05-2009, 06:38 PM   #5
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+ 1 on what HighTest said. You can either wait till you can get some yeast nutrient/yeast energizer & some DAP; or you can improvise. Either way, you may, or may not get some off flavours. I'd say chance it & get your supplies from a HBS; but if you REALLY feel the need to improvise, you might try crushing a vitamin tablet (for humans) & disolving it in a cup of warm water, then add that to your must. It's NOT the best way to add nutrients, and you are likely going to get some off flavours from it in 1 gallon of must, but it will provide some B complex & depending on the brand, some amino acids, as well as a few trace minerals. It won't add nitrogen, but then it's not S.O.P. either. Good luck, GF.

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Old 02-05-2009, 06:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerocd View Post
hightest - couldn't the OP boil up some water and drop yeast in that, creating his own yeast nutrient? It seems to work for beer, so why not wine?
Yes, that would add some nutrients, but even that concoction is absent the essential YAN. That's where the DAP comes into play (Fermaid-K also adds some YAN).

Please, no potatoes...
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerocd View Post
hightest - couldn't the OP boil up some water and drop yeast in that, creating his own yeast nutrient? It seems to work for beer, so why not wine? I'd rather see him do that than throw potatoes into his fermenter. OP - You sure your dad didn't boil the potatoes?

-OCD

yeah, pretty sure, according to him it was:
1 can of any kind of malt
5 gallons of water
5 potatos
1 packet of red star baking yeast


boil the water in six gallon pot, dump the malt in, stir till mixed well, remove heat, cut up potatoes and dump in the water, cool in sink full of ice till >70 degrees, mix well, dump packet of yeast on top, let sit for thirty minutes, stir like mad for five minutes, cover and wait for a week, then bottle.

Thanks for the dead yeast idea, I'll give it a shot!
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:57 AM   #8
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not 100% sure on this but won't fresh orange juice work in a fix. if I am wrong I hope someone lets me know

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Old 02-06-2009, 01:00 AM   #9
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That is an interesting recipe for beer.

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Old 02-06-2009, 03:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tusch View Post
That is an interesting recipe for beer.
I know, Innit? Goofy recipe, but he said it made pretty decent beer at about 8~12% ABV, though He said he couldn't remember if he used pre-hopped malt or not, but I certainly think i'll be giving it a shot once I get this seasons barley and hops harvest in!

also, Hightest, why shouldn't I use potatoes? funny taste maybe? or the fact that starches break down cleanly into sugars and might make it too strong for the yeast to handle?
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