New, confused, and overwhelmed

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

OP
specialkayme

specialkayme

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2015
Messages
430
Reaction score
164
Location
Central North Carolina
So I waited till the SG in the 1 Gallon mead was down to 1.040, then I added Yeast Nutrient and DAP to the 5 gallon batch and combined the 1 gallon into the 5 gallon carboy. That was as of last Friday, and it's still heavily fermenting. Which is good.

I would say I have between 3/4 and 1" of leeds on the bottom of the 5 gallon carboy already. Which has me a little concerned. Should it?

The Cyser is coming along just fine. About two more weeks till I rack it and add some cinnamon and cloves.

Yesterday I started a 1 Gallon JAOM. It makes me very nervous using bread yeast, but oh well. We'll see how it turns out.
 

stella_tigre

Queen of the Upper Mississippi
Joined
Jan 20, 2015
Messages
784
Reaction score
296
Location
Harpers Ferry
I would say I have between 3/4 and 1" of leeds on the bottom of the 5 gallon carboy already. Which has me a little concerned. Should it?
Don't worry about the amount of lees during primary. (Which, in essence, this is, in spite of the whole shenanigans you've been dealing with!) Once your mead is slowing down, and hopefully the SG is down below 1.010 or so (if it can make it that far!) then you start to "worry". You can let that sucker sit for several weeks, clearing, and that is fine. Some yeasties cause more issues than others, but I don't think any of them are an issue until the timeframe is into a couple of months.

The rule of thumb that I understand is:
Rack to secondary after the SG is less than 1.010. Later is OK. Some don't rack until there is significant settling and clearing of the yeast.

Rack again if there is more than 1/4 or 1/2 inch of lees. Campden every other racking. (That is the winemaker's rule, but from what I've seen here, it's also done by some mazers.)

After you rack, and lees quit accumulating, you can think about bottling.
If you want to backsweeten, rack onto campden and sorbate, wait a bit, add sweetening, check SG, wait a bit, make sure SG is not falling.

If you aren't backsweetening, and your SG is above dry (1.000ish) then understand that you still might want to sorbate to make sure something doesn't get going again - just bottling the product can wake it up, I think it must be that oxygen is getting mixed in....We both know that one!
 

gratus fermentatio

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2008
Messages
13,493
Reaction score
4,059
Location
Montana
I would say I have between 3/4 and 1" of leeds on the bottom of the 5 gallon carboy already. Which has me a little concerned. Should it?
Just let it be for now, check the SG in a week or so. I'd wait till the SG hits 1.005 or thereabouts, before racking off the lees. Then just wait till it clears, or it has over 1/2 inch of lees, rack again & bulk age or bottle when its clear enough to read a newspaper through.

About the spices you mentioned, avoid using powdered spices, they make a mess & cannot be removed without filtration. Use whole, cracked, chopped or sliced spices instead. You can easily contain them in a hop sack & weigh them down with a couple of sanitized marbles if you feel the need. That way you can remove them when your desired flavor profile is achieved.
Regards, GF.
 
Top