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Old 03-05-2012, 09:33 PM   #1
Jukas
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Default First Mead Starter, How long?

I threw together my first mead starter today.

I re-hydrated 10g on 71B in 2 cups of warm water for 15 min, then stired into suspension and added to my 1L flask. I then took another 1 cup of warm water and dissolved 1 tbsp of honey and 1/2tsp of of fermaid-k and added it to the starter and put it on my stir plate with a total approximate volume of 900ml.

The only thing I'm not clear about is how long a mead starter needs to reach optimum yeast reproduction before I put it in the fridge prior to decanting?

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Old 03-05-2012, 10:33 PM   #2
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First, the good news...it sounds like you have excellent ability to make a starter (when it's necessary), stir plate and all...

The bad news is you don't *need* to make a starter with dry yeast...if you need to increase pitch rate (which you very well may need to do with a mead...I generally use 15 gm of dry yeast for my 6 gallon batches of mead) you can just pitch more yeast.

Additional bad news is you've only added 1 tbsp of fermentable sugar to a liter, so you're not really making starter...a 1 liter honey starter should probably have roughly 5 ounces of honey to give you the recommended 1.040-1.050 OG for a starter. You will not get any significant growth with the amount of fermentable sugar you've added...in order to rescue the situation, I'd add a few more ounces of honey now, and give it 24-36 hrs to ferment out as you would any other starter before allowing it to settle (or you can just pitch the whole thing into your must before topping off to full volume.)

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Old 03-10-2012, 04:28 PM   #3
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Biomedic,

Thanks for the reply. I knew that making a starter wasn't required for dry yeast, but I chose to make one anyways as I was anxious to use my DIY stirplate and wanted to see if it would shorten lag time, while increasing pitch rate.

I ended up adding an extra 4oz of honey to hopefully get between 1.030 - 1.040 and let it go for 36hrs then moved it to the fridge overnight to help the yeast settle out. I then decanted all but 200ml an brought to room temp. I swirled it up and transfered to a 250ml flask and put it back on the stirplate for 45min to get some oxygen into it and hopefully 'wake up' the yeast.

I pitched into a Raspberry Melomel last night at 10pm and had active fermentation by 8am this morning.

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Old 03-10-2012, 11:27 PM   #4
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Sounds good...I need to build myself a stir plate too...

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Packaged: A bunch of random stuff...*and* American Pale Mosaic SMaSH
Recent Meads: Mead Day '11 Ginger Metheglin, Mead Day '12 Traditional (orange blossom) Mead, Fresh Simple Cyser '12
Primary: Hopefully being refilled next week!
Secondary: Why do I keep this line here...?
Bulk Aging: Cocobochet
Planned: Hop Metheglin #3 (NZ hops), Trad. Gesho T'ej
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