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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Curious if anyone else has done this....
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:57 PM   #1
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Default Curious if anyone else has done this....

First day posting, I've learned a ton from reading the forums, respect and appreciate all of the experience on here.

I am wondering if anyone else does or has harvested the yeast from a primary and repitched it?

Little background and reason why I did it....

On 01/27/2012 I made my first 1 gallon batch of mead, very simple recipe. 3 pounds of clover honey, 1 tsp. of nutrient, bottled spring water, Wyeast sweet mead smack pack, warmed water, warmed honey in hot tap water bath to make pouring/mixing easier, nothing over 100 degrees F, mixed, cooled, added nutrient, used wisk in pot to aerate/oxygenate the crap out of it, moved to primary, pitched yeast from extremely bloated smack pack, added airlock and set in top of kitchen cabinet, nice and dark, consistent temps in the 69-71 degree range.

Within 24 hours the activity was exciting (first batch so was very happy to see it working right) over the next 17 days it bubbled and progressively slowed, it cleared so much more than I expected, I was pleasantly surprised. Now the airlock all but stopped but looking closely there was still some activity in the fermenter. Decided I would rack to a secondary. keeping everything meticulously santitized I used a racking cane to transfer, kept the swirling and splashing to a minimum, It looks gorgeous already colorwise, smell is great, airlocked and returned to to its dark quiet happy place.

I didnt have a hydrometer when I initially made it (shopping oversite) so I don't know the OG, but I have one now, excited to see the reading..... 1.030...hmmm..... the temp was 68.6 its clear, sample tube and hydrometer was even sanitized and air dried thoroughly.

Taste it....sweeter than I expected, not cloying, not syrupy, if I was a real sweet wine fan, it might even be pleasant, the sweetness fades rather quickly into a dryer finish and late warmth in the back of the throat.

It's just sweeter than I wanted sooo....since I don't have any of the Wyeast, bought Lavlin for next batches (simple orange blossom and a cherry vanilla melomel are planned) I decided to be adventurous.

As if with beer brewing I poured the yeast cake slurry into a sanitized jar, added some boiled and cooled water and let it settle, poured of the top, added more sterile water let it settle again, gave it a nice bath then mixed it with some water that was fortified with a tsp of nutrients, not a true starter but...I pitched it anyway last night...

Today my airlock isnt jumping but there is ALOT of activity, being as clear as it had gotten and using a flashlight there is a pretty and non stop curtain of bubbles and spires of yeast rising, actually looks kinda surreal and amazing, I'm guessing the pressure will be built up and have the lock moving soon.

So all of that lengthy and long winded description really is just so I could ask a simple question, Does anyone ever harvest yeast or have they ever repitched it like this in a pinch?

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Old 02-14-2012, 09:21 PM   #2
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I've certainly heard of people doing it with beer, so in theory there's no reason you can't do it with mead. The only issue is that if the yeast was close to its alcohol tollerence much of it might be dead or at least very stressed which I have heard increases the risk of off flavours. Be interesting to see how your second batch compares to the first.

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Old 02-14-2012, 09:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Insomniac View Post
I've certainly heard of people doing it with beer, so in theory there's no reason you can't do it with mead. The only issue is that if the yeast was close to its alcohol tollerence much of it might be dead or at least very stressed which I have heard increases the risk of off flavours. Be interesting to see how your second batch compares to the first.
I'll definetely post updates on this batch and then compare it with the next similar batch, but right now the next is going to be orange blossom instead of clover honey and Lavlin D-47 instead of the Wyeast smack pack...and probably started tomorrow
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