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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Yeast nutrient
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:36 PM   #1
mrmcdowe
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Default Yeast nutrient

Is mead yeast nutrient different then nutrient for beer or even wine?

Do you make a starter for mead. I am using wyeast 4632 dry mead yeast.

Gathering supplies for one of my first meads.

Thanks in advance

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Old 05-10-2011, 05:04 PM   #2
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The term "yeast nutrient" is very broad and encompasses many different kinds of formulations ranging from pure Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) to mixtures with autolyzed yeast, vitamins, minerals and so forth. However the yeast need the same things regardless of whether you are making beer/wine/mead. The difference is that when making beer, the wort usually contains enough nutrients that you don't have to add any, and when you make wine, the grape juice contains enough they you may not need very much. Honey is so nutrient poor, than when you mix up a batch of honey must, you can safely assume it has virtually no nutrient, and you need to add enough to totally provide for the yeast, so you wind up needing more.

If you can tell us what type of nutrient you have, and what size/gravity of batch you are planning, folks can give you some specific recommendations on nutrient amounts.

With liquid yeast, it never hurts to make a starter, but it is not essential because you should be aerating the must during the first few days of fermentation which will allow the yeast to develop maximal biomass.

The most important ingredient to gather is good honey.

Medsen

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Old 05-10-2011, 10:23 PM   #3
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Thanks,

I don't have the nutrient yet. I have been looking at brewingtv and they have a mead recipe there I was going to try and follow. I have wyeast 4632 dry mead yeast though.

21 lbs Wildflower Honey
12 lbs Triple Berry Mix (Blackberries/Raspberries/Blueberries)
6 lbs Strawberries
96 oz Black Currant Juice (free of preservatives)
2.3 gal Water
3 tsp Yeast Energizer/Nutrient Blend (Fermaid-K and DAP)
10 g Lalvin Narbonne Yeast (71B-1122)
Approximate OG: 1.158

Target FG: 1.030 - 1.040

Estimated ABV: 15.8%


I am actually making my first starter tomorrow for Saturday for an bitter. How would I do it for mead? The same way using dme?

Thanks for your help.

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Old 05-10-2011, 11:51 PM   #4
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The tricky part, as already mentioned, is some nutrient is 'just vitamins' and some has nitrogen and some even has yeast hulls added.

For a mead though, the nitrogen component is REALLY important because honey has almost no free nitrogen (unlike beer wort and wine must).

I don't use DME for a mead starter (if making a mead starter at all) just because it'll lend those malty flavors into the mead unless you crash cool and decant it.

of course your berries will hide the malt so you could do it on this batch pretty easy.

or, make some with honey...or...just rehydrate the yeast and pitch it. that's usually all I ever do.

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Old 05-11-2011, 01:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmcdowe View Post
Is mead yeast nutrient different then nutrient for beer or even wine?

Do you make a starter for mead. I am using wyeast 4632 dry mead yeast.

Gathering supplies for one of my first meads.

Thanks in advance
I've always used the same nutrient/energizer/DAP for both mead & wine, no problems.

I don't bother with a starter for mead unless I'm using a liquid yeast; with dry yeast just follow the rehydration directions & you're good to go.
Regards, GF.
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Old 05-11-2011, 02:50 PM   #6
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That recipe should work well with just about any nutrient you have. 71B is a yeast with very low requirements for nitrogen. If you can tell us exactly what kind of nutrient/energizer you have available we can help you dial it in exactly.

That recipe should be quite good, but it probably won't have more than 14% ABV (that being the yeast's tolerance level). Don't let the starting gravity fool you. You are adding about 1.5 gallons of berry juice that will have a gravity of no more than about 1.040 so the effective starting gravity is somewhere around 1.130. I started a batch recently where I mixed up 5 gallons of must with a gravity of about 1.180 or so, and added about 60 pounds of berries and fermented it dry. It doesn't have 24% ABV. The berries produced 5 gallons of liquid (with a gravity of about 1.040) so the effective starting gravity was around 1.115 and I should have about 15% ABV.

You can make your starter with a little honey, with malt, or whatever you like. My personal favorite is a little apple juice, to which I will add some of the must in steps.

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Old 05-13-2011, 09:33 PM   #7
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Ok here is the final recipe;

22.4 lbs of Alberta honey (wild flower)
13.2 lbs mixed berrys
8.8 lbs Whole strawberries
97 oz. Berry Juice
2.3 gl water
wyeast 4632 DRY mead
wyeast beer nutrient blend

I have 2 smack pack of the same dry mead yeast. I wanted to make 10gl batches but due to the cost it will be 5gl of mead. I can not make a starter because I have 2 beer starters going now for the weekend. So the question is can I just put 2 packs of yeast in the must?

Thanks in advance...

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Old 05-16-2011, 11:14 PM   #8
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OK, if the berries are going in the primary, you'll have a pretty good bit of nitrogen from them (perhaps 75 ppm) and can use less nutrient. The wyeast nutrient gives about 30 ppm YAN when dosed at 1 gram per gallon. So If you add 4 grams per gallon (roughly 1 tsp), you should have plenty. That's the way I would approach it.

You can add two packets of yeast, but be sure to aerate it well for the first couple of days to help them build the biomass needed.

I hope it turns out great!

Medsen

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