Can Voss kveik die at its alcohol limit in a sweet mead if left too long.

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Jokester

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My 3rd batch of mead which I bottled last sunday (july 31) was 12.5% or so sweet mead. I had 15 lb honey in 5 gal of must. It tastes delicious albeit sweeter than I like.
That was the 3rd batch because my first batch yeast cake was used to start the 2nd batch, which was near identical to the 3rd batch. So same yeast for 3 batches. The first batch was a 12% that had the yeast flocculate extremely well in the primary before I put it in the 2ndary and started the 2nd batch on that yeast cake.
2nd batch also finished fine but its flocculation was poor. I thought it was due to leaving the house at 55F when I was in India.
3rd batch I started March 10th 2022 with the same yeast cake and it was ready to bottle before memorial day, but I was too busy with 2 jobs and an upcoming canada trip.
It flocculated a lot better than batch 2 which really may not have had the time.
However batch 4, 1 week in seemed to have no activity. So I have added 11gm more voss kveik.
Can yeast die from sitting too long in high abv mead with residual honey ?
 
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Jokester

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That cold batch is long done fermented to 1.00 and it was cloudy but I still drank it (freeze distilled some but its all down the hatch months ago).
But 97F ??? That's a little high - but yes it does say 95-104.
I'll have to buy a fermentation blanket - let me look, they have electric ones right ?

Anyway Batch 3 with same yeast was fermenting and finished at under 1.00, it also flocculated fine - Started March 10th 2022, ready to bottle by May 30th, which I delayed to July 31st.
12% abv but it had 15lb honey, so it has 3lb unfermented honey in 5 gal. That batch was never in a house less than 75F and most of the time it was over 80F (courtesy of a non working AC downstairs).

My question is about the 4th batch started on a yeast cake that worked well for batch 3. It seemed to not start fermenting on the yeast cake that was fine for the prior batch.
I added 11gm Voss Kveik and within 2hrs I see floating raisins and bubbles rising.

So how did VK yeast work in batch 3 (which was always warm enough) and fail in batch 4 which also was warm for the week before more VK was added.

I guess I'm looking for a fermentation blanket. I have the big round water thing but I am using a fermenter with a tap and handle and that takes the standard 5 gal water jug. Wont fit my fermenter.
 

jpitz31

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If you purchase a fermentation blanket, (electric blanket, make sure it does not have a shutoff timer) purchase one for brewing, (Amazon) You just need a temp controller. If you are re-pitching yeast, make sure you follow sterile procedures, Use an alcohol lamp or a propane torch and work under the flame. Sanitize your equipment. Feed your yeast with fresh wort and yeast nutrient and let the yeast stabilize to ambient temp. Let the yeast grow for a few hours before you pitch.

Repitching yeast should only be done several times as the yeast can mutate and might pickup undesirable traits. Here is a good article, it is for dry yeast, but practices also apply to captured yeast.

https://www.lallemandbrewing.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/LAL-bestpractices-Repitching_Eng_A4.pdf
 
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Jokester

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That looks the part ? Shuts off at 100, the yeast can hit 105 and work fine, so I'll be fine ??
Now how do those temperature color chars work ? You glue it to the side of the fermenter ?
 
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Jokester

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If you purchase a fermentation blanket, (electric blanket, make sure it does not have a shutoff timer) purchase one for brewing, (Amazon) You just need a temp controller. If you are re-pitching yeast, make sure you follow sterile procedures, Use an alcohol lamp or a propane torch and work under the flame. Sanitize your equipment. Feed your yeast with fresh wort and yeast nutrient and let the yeast stabilize to ambient temp. Let the yeast grow for a few hours before you pitch.

Repitching yeast should only be done several times as the yeast can mutate and might pickup undesirable traits. Here is a good article, it is for dry yeast, but practices also apply to captured yeast.

https://www.lallemandbrewing.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/LAL-bestpractices-Repitching_Eng_A4.pdf

I've located a fermentation pad, temp based shutoff, not timed.
I did follow sterile procedure but not used a propane torch etc. Let me look at that process in the link.
I just threw in a packet of yeast I got from the fridge straight in and stirred in with sterilized wand. 2 hrs later another strong stir getting all the lees mixed back in well. Now many many raisins are floating and tiny bubbles are rising.
I've repitched for the first time ever in anything.
 
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Jokester

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If you are using dry yeast, let the yeast saturate for over 15 minutes before stirring. You do not want to rupture the yeast cells.

Didn't do that either, and its definitely going now. At the start of the previous batch about 1 week in with the TOSNA DAP additon the must was fermenting like it was boiling in an 80+ degree house. I'm sure I'll know by tomorrow if its flying or crawling. All that dead yeast is massive nutrient for it, and I've been adding DAP once a day for a week. Its about to take off full of all its food and catalysts.
 

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Put a sleeping bag over your fermenter and some bottles of hot water that should get your temps up. Kveik likes lots of nutrients, I use double the dose I'd use for normal yeast.
 
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Jokester

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Oh, 2X the nutrient ? OMG I'll do more DAP, btw there is so much dead yeast in the bottom, and its put the whole lot of raisins into the top. Its definitely now moving fast. In a day or 2 I'll know if it will get to that "boiling" state. Then I know its flying. Heat - yea I'm working on it, but the place is near 85 in the daytime and not getting under 75 nights.
 

jpitz31

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That looks the part ? Shuts off at 100, the yeast can hit 105 and work fine, so I'll be fine ??
Now how do those temperature color chars work ? You glue it to the side of the fermenter ?
Yes, you stick the temperature sticks to the fermenter. The 100F cutoff is perfect for Kveik.
 

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Average strength beer, repitch for multiple generations. 12% mead on the other hand is too stressful for kveik, and most beer yeast, to continue repitching. Plan to get less and less desirable outcomes with each subsequent use.

If you are using dry yeast, let the yeast saturate for over 15 minutes before stirring. You do not want to rupture the yeast cells.
Standard practice seems to be to follow manufacturers recommendation on rehydrating. Some suggest it, some don’t. @Jokester its probably not as consequential as was believed to be at one point.

Dead yeast at the bottom is normal.

You mean dormant, not dead, right? Dead yeast produce some pretty undesirable flavors.
 

jpitz31

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Average strength beer, repitch for multiple generations. 12% mead on the other hand is too stressful for kveik, and most beer yeast, to continue repitching. Plan to get less and less desirable outcomes with each subsequent use.


Standard practice seems to be to follow manufacturers recommendation on rehydrating. Some suggest it, some don’t. @Jokester its probably not as consequential as was believed to be at one point.



You mean dormant, not dead, right? Dead yeast produce some pretty undesirable flavors.
@Kickass, I indicated "when using dry yeast" I was not referring to rehydrating yeast before pitching. I have done both without ill affects. https://www.lallemandbrewing.com/docs/products/bp/BEST-PRACTICES_REHYDRATION_DIGITAL.pdf
 

jpitz31

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Hey @Kickass, I recall reading about not stirring yeast until you let it saturate. But in searching there appears to be some controversy about stirring after pitching yeast. Some indicate it is fine others indicate it can wash the yeast up onto the side walls of the fermenter. Also the added risk of contamination. So not sure of the true validity of this one. Thanks for questioning.

Cheers
 
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Jokester

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Average strength beer, repitch for multiple generations. 12% mead on the other hand is too stressful for kveik, and most beer yeast, to continue repitching. Plan to get less and less desirable outcomes with each subsequent use.


Standard practice seems to be to follow manufacturers recommendation on rehydrating. Some suggest it, some don’t. @Jokester its probably not as consequential as was believed to be at one point.



You mean dormant, not dead, right? Dead yeast produce some pretty undesirable flavors.

I think you've nailed it, atleast what I was hoping it was. It was 12 lb in 5 gal batch 1, fermented and flocculated beautifully. 14 lb in 5 gal batch 2, fermented to 1.00 but didn't flocculate (this was the 55 edgree house for 2 months - BTW I doubt it went to 55F very much, likely stayed in the 60's and 70's) and I got impatient and bottled it. 15lb batch 3 fermented and flocculated well enough. And batch 4 with a week where it seemed to do nothing, a new packet of VK went in yesterday and man is it fermenting like its boiling now.

No off flavors in any of these, they even taste a lot less yeasty for something this fresh from the fermenter. Yea a commercially made and pasteurized and filtered tastes less yeasty but that's not the point is it.
 
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