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Old 01-02-2011, 11:32 PM   #1
KoedBrew
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Default First Mead Have questions!

So I tried my first Mead on 1-1-11!
I did JAOM recipe that is all over the place, but I tried something different as well.
I did 1-one gallon batch exactly the way it is described.
I did 1-one gallon batch exactly the same except I used Wyeast Dry Mead yeast.

Completed the both at like 2pm yesterday and now it is 6pm a day later and the batch with the Mead yeast hasn't bubbled once??
The bread yeast batch is bubbling like crazy but nothing from the mead yeast?
Now since it was a slap pack for 5 gallons I only used like 1/4 of the package...

How much longer until I should worry?

If the Must was still pretty warm when I pitched will that be a problem?

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Old 01-03-2011, 02:22 AM   #2
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I wouldn't worry for a couple days, sometimes takes those yeasts awhile to catch on. I don't know Wyeast's nutrient requirements so that's something to look into as I"m pretty sure the JOAM recipe does not call for nutrients when using bread yeast.

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Old 01-03-2011, 02:30 AM   #3
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I agree. Let it sit for a couple more days and see where you are at then. I've had mead ferments start slow then come on strong later on.

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Old 01-03-2011, 10:28 AM   #4
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Ok, well basically, the same as the other 2 comments, let it alone it should still start OK.

But as a side note, what on earths the point on trying to "use a quarter of a pack"???

You're not the only person who's done that. A lot of people mess around doing that with both liquid and dried yeasts.

The whole point of those packs is that they're designed to be used on quantities "UP TO 5 gallons"! the mentality of trying to only use part of a pack and saving yourself maybe what ? I don't know ? 50 cents ?

They're packed in conditions that are designed to keep them for a certain amount of time i.e. the use by date. As soon as some one opens the pack then that's pretty much void isn't it.

Yes, it's not impossible to keep some for a short amount of time, but it's also very easy for it to get contaminated, or with dry yeast get damp/chilled/heated/etc and kill the yeasties.

So what's the point of trying to use part of a pack.........

Ok, end of "soap box frustration".

As the smack pack is open already, then just pour the rest of it in. On the basis that the extra yeast cells will help get the colony of yeast in that batch big enough for you to see some signs of fermentation.

Oh, and a quick search of the net about JAO, would have given you enough info, well links to forums with mega long threads about JAO, explaining that once you change the recipe in any way, "Joes guarantee" is void. Plus, that wine yeasts will ferment it dry, and it's not very nice dry. It's a recipe that works very well, "as is", most of the mods leave you with something that's just not very nice.

regards

fatbloke

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Old 01-03-2011, 01:34 PM   #5
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Default thanks?

Thanks for the info guys.
@Fatbloke - I just wanted to try something easy but wanted to see if I could get it dry and compare the 2....Isn't that the point of homebrewing to try things different and see what you like?
As for the Yeast I wasn't trying to save money I thought that too much yeast, since it says for 5 gallons, would make it too dry?
Just a thought I had "my bad" if I was wrong about that.

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Old 01-03-2011, 02:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
I just wanted to try something easy but wanted to see if I could get it dry and compare the 2....Isn't that the point of homebrewing to try things different and see what you like?
Yes...it is!
Quote:
As for the Yeast I wasn't trying to save money I thought that too much yeast, since it says for 5 gallons, would make it too dry?
Just a thought I had "my bad" if I was wrong about that.
In general, the degree of dryness is more a function of the yeast strain and it's alcohol tolerance rather than the pitching rate. As previously suggested, it's far easier to underpitch (which can lead to sluggish/unhealthy fermentation and higher chance of off flavors) than overpitch.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by biochemedic View Post
Yes...it is!

In general, the degree of dryness is more a function of the yeast strain and it's alcohol tolerance rather than the pitching rate. As previously suggested, it's far easier to underpitch (which can lead to sluggish/unhealthy fermentation and higher chance of off flavors) than overpitch.
My rant wasn't supposed to sound like a rant, more of "shoulder shrugging exasperation". Only because there's lots of info out there that's been posted by people who figured that a 5 gramme pack could be split into 5 x 1 gramme. to try 5 x 1 gallon batches or just save some etc etc.

It's just a little frustrating, as the only potential way of doing this would be to make something like a large starter, then splitting it when you're satisfied that it's fermenting well and evenly mixed.

From some stuff I was reading a while back, there's been some work done and published about "over pitching", which it seems, would be impossible. Because all you might be doing would be adding enough active yeast cells for the ferment to be completed as fast as is "chemically" (might be the wrong word, maybe biologically would be better, not sure) possible.

Didn't really take much notice as I can't really recall the size of batch, but the basics of the result was that to be beneficial, in a 5 or maybe 10 gallon batch, to "pitch high", you'd be talking using something daft like 20 or 30 sachets of yeast, not just 3 or 4.

Plus the very nature of the packaging that the yeast comes in, irrespective of whether it's dried or liquid, most packs of "home brew" size, are designed as a 1 hit pack for "UP TO" 5 gallons (again some debate, as whether they mean 5 imp gallons or 5 US gallons - I use imp gallons and never had any excessive lag under normal circumstances).

As I mentioned, as soon as the pack is opened, the pack environment is contaminated/violated, which is why it's basically a pointless exercise trying to stretch a yeast like that.

Of course, you could always make a large starter, and if you have the appropriate control conditions to keep it running Ok, pitch part of that and then feed the rest of the starter to keep the colony going.

In practice, it's cheap enough just to pitch the whole pack, because as biochemedic points out, it's not about how much yeast, it's about the type of yeast that dictate what's gonna happen during fermentation. Unless you're deliberately gonna stress a yeast to learn from what the difference of a good/smooth fermentation and poor/bad/stressed fermentation come out like......

Either way, sorry if it sounded like a flame/rant/criticism, it wasn't supposed to sound like that (see above).

regards

fatbloke
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:47 PM   #8
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Default Yeast learning

Don't worry about it Fatbloke...I know I need to learn a lot more about brewing in general but especially yeast. I heard that yeast is one of the most important topics you can learn about for brewing and I just haven't spent much time on that yet....So my lack of knowledge encouraged your response

As for the Mead I think either my carboy lid/airlock is leaking or the yeast is working, because I am still not getting anything as of Tuesday morning and I pitched Saturday afternoon. I will probably take a gravity reading tonight to find out if it has fermented at all.

I think I had a fairly low OG at 1.060 even though I used 7 pounds of honey for 2 gallons of mead?

So next is the question...IF that yeast just doesn't work...is the batch trash or can I throw the teaspoon of bread yeast in and let that do its business? Since its working in the other batch?

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Old 01-04-2011, 03:46 PM   #9
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I had a phantom fermentation in one batch. It started at 1.080 and I left it for two weeks in a fairly warm place and there wasn't a bubble, not even any noticeable pressure difference i the airlock. I opened it up to repitch to start it going and thought I'd take the gravity while I was doing it. It was 1.000. I reckon it must have been a crazy fast fermentation that started and finished in a day or so while I wasn't paying attention.

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Old 01-06-2011, 11:19 AM   #10
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Default Boo-Ya!

Check this out, the Dry Mead Yeast started working!

It took 4 days but it is kicking out some CO2 now!

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