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Old 10-11-2012, 08:45 AM   #1
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Default Wyeast 4184

The concept if wyeast 4184 interests me. I have heard some bad press though.

I have started my fresh batch of sweet mead using said yeast. Can anyone please tell me what the average fermentation time may be? I hear 1 month to as long as a year. Im hoping for closer to 1 month. Any constructive criticism would be awesome

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Old 10-11-2012, 10:52 AM   #2
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knowing your batch size, recipe & original/starting gravity reading will help us answer your question. As a general answer Most of my brews are completly done fermenting in no more than 1 - 2 months. But I bulk age at least another 2 - 3 months. Bottle and then try small 11 oz samples monthly untill I like the brew.

Wyeast 4184 is an ok yeast & there are people that use it all the time. If you want the yeast to hit its alcohol tolerance of 10% - 12% ABV. Then you need to use double the nutrients compaired to what some of the more popular Lalvin/red star yeasts need, step feed the nutrients to the yeast rather than putting it in all at once & have a good degassing regiment for the first week to keep the PH from getting to low.

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Old 10-11-2012, 11:10 AM   #3
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I did a 5 gallon mix . 4 water and 15lb honey. No flavoring by choice. My start gravity was 14%. It has beed active for 3 1/2 weeks and smells amazing. Hasnt started clearing yet. I suspect that will take a couple weeks.

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Old 10-11-2012, 02:40 PM   #4
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OK so the gravity reading should have ben about 1.108 give or take a couple points. If you just added honey, water & yeast it will be good for your yeast to get you down to the 1.02 - 1.03 gravity area which should be there now or soon. Have you taken any additional gravity readings? That gravity area will be pretty darn sweet. As mead ages it sems to get "Sweeter" so this may be a little cloying after a while. With proper nutrients and technique this may drop as low as 1.014 which is where I like my meads. Clearing takes a while, I let mine clear pretty much 99% of the way in primary and rack to secondary to finish and bottle from there. That takes 2 - 3 months. Some will rack every time they notice 1/4 in. of lees in the carboy and rack 3 - 4 times befor really clear. My way prevents oxidation & I think has no ill effects. the other way keeps your must off of dead yeasts which may give "off flavors". I have never noticed.

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Old 10-12-2012, 02:43 AM   #5
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Thank you very much. You have cleared up alot of questions.

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Old 10-12-2012, 02:45 AM   #6
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Ill post a gravity reading tomarrow. My goal is to have an exceptionally sweet mead this go around. I'm just hoping to get alcohol percentage to about 10%. If i cant ill drink it anyway.

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Old 10-12-2012, 02:38 PM   #7
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After a refresher course on how to use a hydrometer. I started at 15% (1.115) and now after 4 weeks have 11% (1.085). There is no activity, its very cloudy, i have another wyeast 4184. Should i pitch it?

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Old 10-12-2012, 08:05 PM   #8
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It sounds pretty classic for the Wyeast sweet mead yeast. I think you have a stuck fermentation. I would suggest a different yeast like Lalvin K1V-1116 or Lalvin EC-1118 to re-start this but that will take you dry which means you will need to stabilize with Camden and potassium sorbate to allow you to add more honey to taste when the fermentation has stopped and cleared.

If not keen on back sweetening then you can try re-pitching more sweet mead yeast but will need to make a nice starter first.

Question? Do you have any DAP/yeast nutrients/yeast energizer? I'll provide some instructions on if you can use the commercial stuff or if it is not easily available.

Starter:

First Smack the Smack pack as the instructions give and wait the full 2 hours.
In the mean time prepare the starter must.

2 cups warm water
1/4 cup honey or sugar (Honey prefered since it lowers PH a bit)
1/4 tsp of yeast nutrients
10 fine chopped raisins

Mix all that together and pitch the yeast into it after the first two hours, cover with paper towel and rubber band & wait one hour. You should see it foaming up. Next add in 1/2 cup of your must from the 5 gallon batch & wait 2 hours. Fermentation should not look like it is stopping. repeat that step 3 more times so you have just over 4 cups of total volume. After all that pitch the yeast along with 2 tsp of yeast energizer. It may take 24 - 48 hours to take off strong but that should get your yeast going.

If you do not have access to the yeast nutrient/energizer then the following can be used.

Befor making the starter take your 2 cups of water and mix in 1TBS of bread yeast. Boil that mix for 30 minutes. The resulting mix will have plenty of amino acids and proteins for the yeast to munch on as nutrients. Just take that liquid and mix in water to bring back to 2 cups and let cool to a warm room temp. The rest of the starter goes as normal just without the yeast nutrients. When you pitch the yeast starter into the carboy if you have any B-6 tablets, they do wounders to help yeast matabolize protein for duplicating. Five 100mg tablets crushed up & mixed in well with the must should work well enough for the yeast energizer.

Good luck and keep us informed,

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Old 10-12-2012, 11:09 PM   #9
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Thanks ill get what i need and get started.

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Old 10-13-2012, 05:51 AM   #10
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Im hoping this will work.

Fermax Nutrient?

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