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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Bow, NH, USA
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    I've heard that if you want mead that tastes good, you'll have to keep it at least six months to a year.

  2. #22

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Acebird, making mead is easy. If you do not ferment well without nutrients you can always add them later. But you will then be waiting longer.
    So, if you want to make a straight mead and drink it sooner rather than later, perhaps take advice from here or read the Schramm pseudo science book on meads. Otherwise you can learn from your mistakes.
    Nobody has to argue or present arguements to you, it is either true or not. Ignoring fact and experience of others is permitted.

    I believe it is about the nitrogen!

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,419

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    I suppose I could phrase it differently and not use the word arguments and say discussions. I am trying to lean from the experts and what most newbies come across in beekeeping and now mead making the experts don't agree. The question is which advice a newbie should take but first you have to get that advice.
    I read in this topic about agitation, aeration. I thought oxygen was bad. Very confusing...
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  4. #24

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Oxygen is essential for fermentation, for the yeast to grow: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC152411/

    Once a beverage has fermented then it is bad: http://www.preservino.com/oxidation.aspx
    also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wine_fault

    so the rule of thumb is: aerate to start healthy growth of yeast then minimize exposure to oxygen once fermentation is complete.

    The "advice" to read the pseudo science book by Schramm is excellent advice. He made a lot of mead, did the footwork for us. His comments on nutrients reference what the yeast suppliers say to use. So in that regard, it is simply following the directions.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,030

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Exactly. Oxygenation: good at the right time. Oxidation: bad.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,419

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Should it be agitated more than once at the beginning? We have a carboy of cider working and it has come to a stand still sooner than expected. I was under the impression that once you pitched the yeast you didn't want to agitate but maybe I have it wrong.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,196

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Take a gravity reading to find out where it's at. Guessing doesn't work too good.
    Regards, Barry

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,419

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    I got a hydrometer but how do you get it in and out of the carboy? Then what is the reading going to tell me? This is cider now, not mead.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,196

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Not having made cider, I'm not sure, but if you used yeast, I assume this is hard cider? One wouldn't take a gravity reading from the whole batch and risk contamination. You would always siphon off a bit into a beaker for measuring.
    Regards, Barry

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,419

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Yes, hard cider. Then I take it what is in the graduated cylinder is discarded?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,419

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Is there any harm in letting the first stage fermentation, go longer than it needs?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,196

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Well the cylinder isn't graduated, the hydrometer is. Yes, the brewmeister enjoys his work by drinking the sample taken and not pouring it back in the carboy. Did you just decided to start brewing one day and winged it? I'm surprised you're this far into it and don't know how to use the hydrometer for measuring your gravity and how that relates to ABV. I would suggest getting a basic book on brewing, either beer or wine, depending on which one you like. A hydrometer can tell you if your fermentation is still active or has stopped, but if you didn't take an initial reading . . .
    Regards, Barry

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,419

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Yup, I winged it. I convinced the wife to get a hydrometer but that doesn't mean she would let me use it. She hates being scientific, I am quite the opposite. The trouble is pitching the must in a carboy didn't give me a good way to take a reading. I would like to have some answers if this experiment doesn't work so the next time we can do it right. Actually, this is the second attempt. The first time she pitched the yeast into the hot must which probably killed the yeast instantly because nothing happened. On the next shot of yeast after it cooled down it started almost instantly.

    You can actually drink the sample? I thought an unfinished product would knock your block off. Isn't it going to taste like crap?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Chittenango, NY, USA
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    If it tastes like crap then don't drink it but you'll never know if you don't try it. I think apple cider is yummy while still fermenting - sweet and fizzy!

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,419

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    I used to drink it when I was a kid but we didn't do anything to it. It went hard on its own. When the wife said she wanted to make hard cider I started to laugh because I never heard of brewing it. To me this is like a dry run for making mead so some of the goofs that we alread made are behind us. I will have to get a cylinder so I can take a reading when we do the mead.

    I just didn't give it a thought that you could drink a sample that was in the fermentation phase.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,196

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    I'm hoping some of these guys that make mead and wine will step in, as I only brew beer, and cider is more in line to winemaking, but tasting the different stages of brewing/fermenting really helps one to know how a process is going. I've yet to not drink the whole vial of liquid from all the samples I've taken. When you pitch, that is the time to take a temperature reading (to comply with your yeast temps) and gravity (sugar content). Simply siphon some out of the carboy with a piece of tubing.
    Regards, Barry

  17. #37
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    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    When you pitch, that is the time to take a temperature reading (to comply with your yeast temps) and gravity (sugar content).
    I read that part in the book and so did she but the irish tend to be a little impatient. No worries. She won't do it again. I would like to hear from some of the brewmeisters that make mead. Do you taste the samples as you go along?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,030

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Always! It takes a while to develop the experience to know what the early tastes can imply for the finished mead though. Don't despair at something you don't enjoy... it's green. You wouldn't be bummed if your ninth-grader's short story was dreary, prosaic and self-absorbed... be patient with your mead/cyser/cyder too . If you siphon, be sire to do a sterile start (never use your mouth) as described in the intro stickied thread. You can also get a couple different kinds of "thief" doodads for pulling a sanitary sample out of the fermenter. One is like a large straw: lower one end into the mead, plug the top end with a finger, lift out and drain into your hydrometer sample jar. http://morewinemaking.com/view_produ...hief_-_Economy


    For the slightly more daring, there is a kind that, if WELL sanitized along with the hydrometer, is essentially a long sample jar but with a valve at the bottom. When lowered below the level of the mead, it opens and allows the thief to fill. Fill until the hydrometer floats, take the reading, and then touch the filler valve against the inside of the fermenter to drain the contents back. Example.

    And if you were to tell us the recipe for the cider, or at least the fermentables, we could infer the starting gravity from it with a pretty good degree of accuracy depending on the ingredients.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,196

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Brewcat View Post
    If you siphon, be sire to do a sterile start (never use your mouth) as described in the intro stickied thread.
    Hey Ben -

    I know this is commonly stated, but I still do it the mouth way and haven't had any problems with it. If done right, I don't see where contamination can take place. Your thoughts please.
    Regards, Barry

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,030

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Well, the human mouth is a festering cultivator of a number of organisms that can contaminate beverages, including and especially lactobacilli. I also know some folks who will gargle with listerine or 151-proof before suck-starting, but I'm too type-A . Even if one avoids getting bev in the mouth and spitting it, there's lip contact on the outside of the tubing which can lend bacteria to the flowing bev and be lowered into the receipt vessel. The contamination may not necessarily ruin a bev, but might cause a flavor to not shine or the overall impression be kinda bleh or a lot of other sub-threshold ways. To me, not worth the risk when there's such an easy alternative.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

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