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Old 08-04-2012, 03:24 PM   #1
ErinRae
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Default lag phase - staggered yeast nutrient additions

Hi,

I started a 3 gallon batch of cranberry/blackberry melomel about 36 hours ago. My must was too warm so I didn't throw in the yeast starter till 24 hours ago...when the must was around 70-72F. 24 hours later (now) I have a thick nasty swelled looking yeasty layer on the top..with very very quiet random noises coming out of it. So I'm assuming this is the lag phase?

I wanted to try the staggered yeast nutrients and just don't know where to start adding in. I'm using Nutravit which is a mix of nutrient and energizer. I've already added 1 tsp to the starter (my starter grew quite large). When should I add my next addition, I was thinking of using 1/2 tsp as my additions. Do I wait until this lag phase is done and I can hear active fermentation? Also do I stir it up a lot when I add in. I shouldn't stir the lag phase nasty stuff right?

I'm used to making wine kits and would never of stirred a fermenting must..so this makes me nervous and I'd hate to ruin the mead

Thanks a lot...any words of wisdom would be a major help!!!

Erin



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Old 08-04-2012, 04:50 PM   #2
amandabab
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stirring it won't hurt it, you need to get oxygen in at the beginning anyways.



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Old 08-04-2012, 05:06 PM   #3
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Did you use just the juice, or the entire fruit in your mead? If you used the entire fruit, then that stuff on top is the fruit cap. You need to punch down this cap multiple times a day, or it could build pressure and erupt on you.

Stirring the mead is actually recommended for the first few days to get oxygen into the must.

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Old 08-04-2012, 06:14 PM   #4
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I boiled the fruit a bit till it split up then dumped the fruit and the water (that I used to boil the fruit) into the fermentor. I'm using a fermentor bucket with a plastic sheet that is elasticed around the top instead of an air lock. Which is what I use for wine making all the time. I just punched the fruit cap down and mixed a bit and added a 1/2 tsp of energizer/nutrient.

I'm going away for the weekend (2 days) today and didn't really consider the fruit cap exploding lol...does this really happen? and will it still since im using a plastic sheet instead of an airtight lid. Also how long does it take before it explodes?? I guess i'll cross my fingers that it doesnt explode while im gone!!

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Old 08-05-2012, 12:19 AM   #5
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Yes, it happens. Typically the cap has to dry out a bit before the gas can't escape and could erupt. The method of dealing the bucket probably had no effect on the cap.

I'm not sure how often it happens (never has to me, but I keep my caps wet and punched down).

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Old 08-06-2012, 11:59 PM   #6
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The fruit cap never exploded!! thanks goodness lol. Another question I'm wondering about is: when you ferment at a lower temp..68-70F does fermentation take longer? It's definitely a quieter fermentation then I'm used to. Since Friday the SG has dropped from 1.1-1.072 so I added my next nutrient/energizer addition.

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Old 08-07-2012, 11:12 PM   #7
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Lower temperatures can cause longer fermentation times, but 68-70 isn't really low. That's a common temp range for fermenting.

Depending on various conditions (temp, nutrients, Ph, yeast, etc), primary fermentation can take a few days to several months. I wouldn't be worried yet.



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