Starting fermentation speed and nutrients

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patrick767

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Yesterday I started a one gallon batch of mead with 2.5 lbs of honey and a gallon batch of cider with apple juice and 17 oz of dextrose. OG of both is near 1.090. I'm using Red Star champagne yeast in both and added 1/2 teaspoon of yeast nutrient to both.

It's now 22 hours later. The air locks are both bubbling about every 3 1/2 seconds. Is that a solid rate or slow for early fermentation? I want these batches to hit 1.0 or less SG (about 12% abv). Then there will be some back sweetening.

Is there any need to add more yeast nutrients?

Funny part so you can laugh at me: today I decided to shake the gallon carboys to provide a little more aeration. I took out the airlock from the cider, turned the carboy on its side while covering the stopper hole and shook. Yeah. Really. Sssssppppprrrrrttttttttttt. Pressurized apple juice shot onto my shirt, pants, and floor. I changed clothes, wiped the floor, re-topped off the batch with some apple juice, and resolved to find something long and skinny enough to STIR these gallon batches instead of shaking them. :p
 

Arpolis

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That seems absolutely fine on the fermentation speeds. The cider may not need any additional nutrients. Honey however is void of many nutrients apple juice would bring. You can probably finish this as is and might be a little better with 1/4tsp of DAP (your assumed yeast nutrients) at the 24 & 48 hour marks. But mead really like yeast energizer or yeast hulls. Those give a natural source of nitrates, amino acids & protien. Adding that at 1/4tsp at the 24 & 48 hour mark will help keep the yeast colony large and healthy to avoid as many unwanted by products of fermentation as possible. Even just boiling a little bakers yeast in water for about 30 minutes to kill them and break them down for the wine yeast will do good here.

Oh and I think we have all had that sssppprrrttttt moment before. Those memories make this hobby fun.
 
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patrick767

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Thanks for the response. The yeast nutrient is a small bag of coarse white granules sold in bulk, so unfortunately I don't know offhand exactly what it is.

It seems I missed some juice in the cleanup and spread it around while walking. The kitchen floor is sticky all over the place. Bah!
 

Arpolis

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That stuff is diammonium phosphate (DAP). It is used all the time. It works really well while the yeast are in the replication phase and they are spending most of their time dividing and building the colony size. With mead though it is nice "but not always necessary" to have the fine tan powder like substance often sold as yeast energizer. There is also a product that is just dead dehydrated yeast marketed as yeast hulls that is not as complete as the yeast energizer but can do the trick. If you are like me your pantry always has a little bakers yeast in it. Just take a tsp of that and boil that in a cup of water for 30 min or until most of the liquid is boiled off. Add that in tonight or tomorrow and that will help ensure the mead has a healthy ferment. If you can't do that then go ahead and add 1/4 tsp of your DAP now and tomorrow night.
 
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