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Nutrients at different stages of fermentation

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KyleinMN

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Hello,

I just started my first ever batch of mead and after doing some reading I'm planning on utilizing yeast nutrient and yeast energizer to help the fermentation and hopefully speed up the process required to have an enjoyable drink. I added yeast nutrient and energizer when I started a couple days ago and would like to add more at the 2/3 and 1/3 sugar break.

Here is the recipe I used:

15lbs wildflower honey
Water to bring it to about 6 gallons
1 packet of Red Star Premier Classique yeast which I activated for a couple hours in some honey water with a pinch of nutrient before pitching.
Starting gravity was 1.10 so I'm thinking that'll be a potential alcohol of 13.125% if fermented dry. This yeast can supposedly go to 13% but I imagine it will likely ferment out completely.

Fermenting temp in the mid to upper 60s.

It has now been 5 days and it is still fermenting rapidly. I am not sure how to determine exactly when the sugar breaks occur without taking the SG again but with the rapid fermentation going on right now I believe that adding anything to it and stirring will certainly cause a foam geyser to blast out the top of the carboy. I'm a rather inexperienced brewer so I'm curious if I will notice fermentation slowing down by the first sugar break allowing me to degass and add nutrient or if I am likely around there now. Thoughts/advice on adding nutrients at the correct time without making a mess?
 

Dan O

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First of all, do you degas regularly for the first 2 weeks? I give mine a swirl daily to get some of the cO2 out of suspension & that helps the yeast get back to work. No degassing, for my own personal experience, has resulted in longer fermentations. Others may say differently.
To figure out your sugar beaks, take the OG minus 1.000 divided by 3. (1.100-1.000=.0333333)
1.100 - .0333= 1.067 (1/3 sugar break),
1.067 - .0333= 1.033 (2/3 sugar break)
Degas, GENTLY, (by swirling the carboy around a little @ a time, being careful, of eruptions), BEFORE you add nutrients. You will almost certainly have an eruptive reaction if you don't degas beforehand.
I make a slurry of nutrients & spring water...maybe 1/4 cup, so there's no clumping, & add the nutrients a tablespoon @ a time, waiting a few seconds in between additions to make sure there's no eruptive reactions.
At 5 days in, I would check your gravity right now.
Good luck & happy meading!! :cool:
 
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KyleinMN

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Thank you for the advice. You're right, I checked my gravity and it had already moved down to 1.05!

I have been shaking and swirly the carboy daily, stopping as soon as it foams up and waiting for the bubbles to go down before repeating the process. I did it for probably 10 minutes today but still ended up with an eruption!?! 😑

Anyway, it's all good now and ready for the 2nd sugar break. Since I was already past the 1st one should I let it go down a bit more then 1.033 to add the 2nd round or continue as planned?
 

CKuhns

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At this point I would continue as planned, Yeast have difficulty taking yo the nutrients if > 9% Alcohol your probably just throwing the nutrients away as they will have little impact.
 
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