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  1. #1
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    Jan 2011
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    Default fermentation speed

    I am making a mead using Lavlin EC-1118 yeast and specific gravity starting at1.100 and where it sits it is about 65 degrees. The gas check is liberating gas about fifty times a minute. This is day 3. Is this normal fermentation speed. Should I have that yeast at a warmer temperature? My first batch so I could use some advice. Thanks..

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Lemont, Il U.S.A.
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    118

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    68F minnimum for proper fermentation. Lower temps will take longer to finish and have different effects on the finished product.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2011
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    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Thankyou.

  4. #4

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    The gas check is liberating gas about fifty times a minute. This is day 3.
    It sounds like it's fermenting just fine to me.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
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    463

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    As long as it is burping along, I think you are fine, too. If I think it is too slow, I often toss in a little yeast nutrient during the fermentation. Mead fermentation is much slower for me than beer. Even once it is done with visible fermentation, I am finding leaving it in the carboy for a month or four is a good improvement to the final product. But for your first batch- drink it up and make more.
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Lyons, CO
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    3,027

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Speed depends on a lot of things, especially temperature, but also strain, nutrient levels, pH, even atmospheric pressure in the case of airlock activity. 65 to 68 is a general all-purpose temp; above there and some strains start getting their funk on.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  7. #7

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    I agree that all sounds well, except for the fact that it is only a first batch. Time for the 2nd and 3rd.

  8. #8
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: fermentation speed

    I snuck a thimbleful of my mead and I think the horse has diabetes! I have made fruit wine many times and it never tasted this rank! I should have gotten enough for a hydrometer reading I guess. It is still working too much to rack into a carboy I think. I am prepared to give it all the time it needs and i can see it will be no time soon.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Brainerd, MN
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    533

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    With mead it is very important to aerate and blast it with nutrients. Some would argue that you should even cover with a cloth during the first week and aerate daily. You also need to add nutrients. It is best to break this down into 3 stages. Some at the beginning, about 1/3rd done, and again about 2/3rds done. I generally don't do the additions down to an exact science, but just try to add my nutrients in 3 different stages. This is important as honey lacks the vital nutrients for a healthy fermentation. If you do not provide the correct circumstances for a healthy fermentation, your yeast will be stressed. Stressed yeast creates fusel alcohols, resulting in a poor finished product.

    This is a sticky at homebrewtalk.com from hightest.

    http://home.comcast.net/~mzapx1/FAQ/SNAddition.pdf

    Looks like they discuss nutrients in the sticky here, but there seems to be a lack of staggered additions, which IMO is essential to meads.

  10. #10
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    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: fermentation speed

    So I am two weeks in to this fermentation. I added nutrients per recipe from The Compleat Guide to Meadmaking by Schramm. I still have fermentation going on as the fermentation lock is still letting gas out several times a minute. Should I rack it and add nutrient then?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Lyons, CO
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    Default Re: fermentation speed

    The staggered noot addition regimen is differet than Schramm's; I wouldn't keep adding. Let 'er roll and see where it goes. Over-fertilizing can lend some pretty exciting off flavors IMO.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Brainerd, MN
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    533

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Ken Schramm knows what he is doing. So if you followed his recipe you should be ok. You could always degass once. I wouldn't rack it until your gravity is reaching its goal.

  13. #13
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Thanks. I also was advised by the local brew shop proprietor to raise my temperature where the mead is and thoroughly shake it up to help it finish fermentation. I am beginning to see that mead makers are almost as opinionated and varying in their opinions as beekeepers are! What do you say to that? I know my mead is fermenting in temps on the low side ((66-68 degrees) but would not changing temps radically, result in negatively effecting the ecology that has developed at that temperature? I am inclined to let her be and not add variables. That way I learn something. If I change course, it's a crap shoot and I learn nothing. Is this wrong thinking or has this ground been thoroughly ploughed by others? I hope this is understandable!

  14. #14
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    May 2010
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    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
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    463

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    I find that placing buckets or carboys on tile, rather than say carpet, towels, coolers, etc, lowers the temp by several degrees. from the ambient room temp. If you are straight onto tile- maybe placing something under the fermenter would give you a degree or two? Then you have the piece of mind that your temp is ok.

    I still think 66+ is fine. It just may take a little longer= but you gotta set at least a bottle aside for a year anyway...

    follow a recipe, take notes- eventually you'll know what you want to try and replicate or avoid
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  15. #15
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    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: fermentation speed

    I know about basement floors. It is off the floor by the water heater. If I moved it up on the main floor it would be warmer but the temp would be more variable and I don't think that would be good. I know this is a long term thing. I am going to start another batch as soon as my 71b-1122 yeast comes in that is supposed to finish much faster. The main thing is< I am having fun. I guess this takes up less room than hauling out the toy trains again.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Erwin, TN
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    22

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Roaming off topic, just a tad, but I discovered something helpful this year. This is about my 4th batch of mead & this time, I aerated the initial must by using a fishtank bubbler stone. I let it run for about 10 minutes. WOW ! The fermentation really took off. Mead can be notoriously slow, but this one was completely fermented in 19 days. That airlock was going crazy too. The yeast was Premier Cuvee. Temp not measured, but probably a consistent 75 degrees.

    Robert

  17. #17
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    Default Re: fermentation speed

    I thought of that but how do you sanitize it? I guess if you bought a new pump it would probably be pretty free of wild yeast.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Erwin, TN
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    22

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    I soaked the bubbler stone in some kmeta solution for a while before and after using. The pump was just blowing air, so I wasn't too concerned about "germs" from it. I don't believe that any must is 100% sanitary (surgically clean), but close enough.

    Robert

  19. #19

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Aeration: I suspect my pouring honey and water back and forth between two 5 gallon buckets is sufficient. Some geeks love all the gadgets and gotta have more, I prefer simplicity.

    Nutrients: if a mead has addition of fruit one likely has enough. For straight meads a little goes a long way, perhaps as part of a well planned starter. I do not plan well.

    If a thing is fermenting it is working and I leave it alone.

    Temperature: I ignore it. I have read the books, know that certain yeasts have temp ranges that work well, but the simple fact is I love the variation in the air.

    If I had a stuck fermentation, and I have, I consider and or do the following:
    Repitch, generally with champagne. Consider started
    Rack, this adds minimal aeration
    some nutrients
    put on a heating pad if in winter

    I find time heals many issues with meads.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: fermentation speed

    I have yet to try my hand at a mead and the wife wants to keep it simple so she is reluctant to go with nutrients. she keeps telling me the egyptians made mead so how hard can it be? I know what is going to happen if at the end of a year or so we end up with a batch of battery acid. I am all for keeping it simple but I need some convincing arguments for using nutrients if they are really needed.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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