Mead Nutrients Confusion

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Travel_mon

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Greetings.

I'm fermenting my second batch of mead ever. My first batch was a short peppermint mead that ended up really dry. The FG was 1.01. Pretty much all of the sugars were converted. Currently, I'm fermenting a sack blackberry mead, 1 gal batch. 4 lbs orange blossom and 12 oz. fresh blackberries that I pureed myself.

Here's a few questions about nutrient(s):

What is the difference between yeast energizer and yeast nutrient?

Do you use both or do you prefer one over the other?

What other nutrients do you add to your mead?

What is Diammonium Phosphate (DAP)? what does it do? and when do you use it?

Same thing with Fermaid-K?

Any other nutrients to consider?


Lastly, if making a sweet mead is the goal, do you stop fermentation prematurely so there still are sugars present? or is it dependent on the type of yeast you use?


As always, the wealth of knowledge in this forum is appreciated.

Cheers
Travel Mon
 
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check out hightest's FAQ's in the mead section. It will have all of your answers and then some...

there is confusion over "nutrient" and "energizer" mainly due to how the companies market it. Fermaid-K is a commercial name; DAP is your nutrient.

If you want a sweeter mead, you can ferment it 'till it's done; then stabilize with camden tablet(s) and potassium sorbate and then back sweeten.

keep reading - you'll find what you need; and if not, post away -- there's a bunch of expert meadsters on here (me NOT being one of them! :D)
 

giligson

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Yes, yeast needs nitrogen sources: DAP is the standard nutrient. Different manufacturers have various strategies to sell you their product. Some include Vitamin B, some include yeast autolysis products or trace minerals etc - most of it is marketing.

Another approach to less dry cider is to use a yeast thats poor at eating up the last remnants of sugar in an alcoholic environment. I have recently been using Wyeast 1968 to good affect (but you have to stir or shake up the fermentor a couple of times since the yeast is very flocculent or your cider will wind up TOO sweet)
 

wayneb

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Yes, yeast needs nitrogen sources: DAP is the standard nutrient. Different manufacturers have various strategies to sell you their product. Some include Vitamin B, some include yeast autolysis products or trace minerals etc - most of it is marketing.
Not really. If you surf over to the Lallemand website, you'll see there are lots of links to technical studies of fermentation kinetics, and they have spent a significant amount of $$ studying just how, when and why yeast look for particular nutrients at certain times during the fermentation process. If you're naturally suspicious of a manufacturer's own studies and data (and by rights you should be), then you can find similar study results published by UC Davis' Enology labs.

For one thing, DAP is an inorganic nitrogen source, which yeast cannot assimilate once the ethanol concentration in a must gets up above about 8% ABV. For additional nitrogen supplementation past that point (say, to reduce a yeast's production of H2S), you need to use amino nitrogen from an organic source (such as autolyzed yeast). Likewise, in order to maximize the ethanol tolerance of your yeast and minimize the production of off-flavor creating byproducts during fermentation, various vitamins and minerals are needed throughout the yeast's lifespan.

Beer brewers needn't worry so much about the finer points of yeast nutrition -- basically all the micronutrients that yeast need are usually found in grain-based wort, so a little nitrogen supplementation is usually all that is necessary, and DAP is perfectly fine for that. Even grape wine producers typically don't have to be as concerned -- grapes provide similar micronutrients, and a goodly amount of amino nitrogen, so often only some additional supplementation with DAP is needed -- although some yeast strains benefit from additional amino nitrogen and additional micronutrients.

But meadmakers -- we're the poster children for managing problematic fermentations, since honey supplies only the sugars needed for fermentation, and scant if any additional yeast nutrients.

Bottom line is that you can get a fermentation, of a fashion, from a honey must with no additions. You'll get a much more complete fermentation with a little DAP added early on. You'll get an even faster, more complete and more "clean" fermentation from a careful regimen of nutrient additions if you understand what you're doing when you make those additions.

The choice is yours.
 

CBBaron

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If you are looking at the LD Carson "yeast nutrients" and "yeast energizer" then "yeast nutrients" is a urea and DAP based source of nitrogen need by the yeast in a mead ferment. However urea is considered by some to be a poor source for the nitrogen and this is not recommended. I have used some LD Carson "yeast nutrients" in the past but now avoid them. "yeast energizer" is DAP with the addition of vitamins and trace minerals. It is similar but not the same as Fermaid-K. This is a considerably better product but is somewhat of a generic product without the proven testing of Fermaid-K or Redstar Superfood.

The stickies at the top of the forum have some great information on what nutrients to add and when. Look at SNA (Staggered Nutrient Addtions).

Craig
 
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