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Thread: Top fermented?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Reno, NV USA
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    Default Top fermented?

    I made a 40 gallon batch of mead with honey cappings and EC-1118. The acid was adjusted to 0.9 g/L and pH to 3.4. Fermentation took about two months at 60F. I now have a mat of what appears to be a top fermenting yeast. It smells wonderful but I am not certain what is really happening. Does anyone else understand this phenomena?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
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    3,027

    Default

    If the mead was not boiled it's likely proteins you're seeing on top. Quite normal. Eventually as fermentation slows they'll fall back into the mead and the long road to clarification will begin.

    That's a fairly seriously acid must, both in pH and TA. This sounds like it's meant to be a very dry, tart finished mead (depending on the initial gravity)? The pH has likely dropped even more as the yeast consume buffering minerals, so you'll want to check to make sure the yeast can still work. A must between 3.7 to 4.6 is considered a healthy compromise between where yeast can survive and where bacterial development is retarded. If it gets too acid for them the fermentation may stick or the yeast may start to indicate stress with some funk, but the 1118 is a strong champagne yeast so just keep an eye on it.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Reno, NV USA
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    2,310

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Brewcat View Post
    If the mead was not boiled it's likely proteins you're seeing on top. Quite normal. Eventually as fermentation slows they'll fall back into the mead and the long road to clarification will begin.

    That's a fairly seriously acid must, both in pH and TA. This sounds like it's meant to be a very dry, tart finished mead (depending on the initial gravity)? The pH has likely dropped even more as the yeast consume buffering minerals, so you'll want to check to make sure the yeast can still work. A must between 3.7 to 4.6 is considered a healthy compromise between where yeast can survive and where bacterial development is retarded. If it gets too acid for them the fermentation may stick or the yeast may start to indicate stress with some funk, but the 1118 is a strong champagne yeast so just keep an eye on it.
    Thanks Ben,

    The acid and pH were chosen from experience with grape wine and ignorance of mead making. The floating mat has been there for a few months now and really looks like the top of a lager fermentation.
    You are right, I didn't boil.

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