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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,197

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Ah, yes, I wouldn't recommend doing it if you were transferring the batch to another vessel. I'm talking strictly about taking a sample for the hydrometer. The mouth touches the tubing and gets the flow started, when almost filled, the tubing is pinched near the mouth end, pulled from the carboy, and the remainder allowed to empty into the vial. Tubing is then put back into the sanitizer. You can guess what type I am!
    Regards, Barry

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,417

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Brewcat View Post
    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.
    Two gallons of unpasteurized apple cider
    1/2 pint raw honey (late season probably has golden rod and purple aster)
    5 ml Lalvin Bourgovin RC 212 yeast
    Heat cider 45 min. medium heat (no boil) add honey to combine

    *pitch yeast to must when temperature is below 68 deg F

    As I said we goofed on the pitching yeast and realized the mistake a day or two later. So we pitched another 5 ml packet into the same must.

    Questions about siphoning off for racking:

    Step 6 of this cider recipe:
    After 2 months the juice should be decanted off, the container washed, and the juice put back into the container. Do not use siphon hose closer than 4" from bottom of container as this is where all the sediment is resting.
    Does this mean I will have to throw away 4" in the bottom of a 5 gal carboy? and is that normal for making mead?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,030

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Well let's call that about .75 lbs of honey @ 36 PPG ((specific gravity) Points per Pound per Gallon), for 27 gravity points. Then you have 2 gals cider @ about 40 PPG for 80 and a total of 107. But is it a 5-gallon batch, meaning the must was diluted to a 5-gallo volume with water? That would be a starting gravity of only 1.021, for a potential alcohol of about 2.7%. If it was undiluted, 1.107 will yield a potential alcohol of a little over 14% which is more in the "typical" range. For more on these gravity reckonings, see the Intro stickied thread.

    Yes racking incurs volume loss, which is part of the reason I don't subscribe to the frantic racking schedules that many recipes recommend. Let the lees settle until they're firm (compact) before racking to reduce how much you have to leave behind, especially in small-volume batches like 2 gallons.

    And Barry you're completely correct; your process where the siponate is being discarded (or consumed) doesn't pose any risk to the remaining batch. My misunderstanding.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,417

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Not diluted so it aught to have a little kick. How do I tell the lees are firm? Can you see it? If I can see it how far should the siphon be from the visible layer?

    I was wandering if I tip the carboy sum the day before I siphon will the lees settle in the corner of the carboy so I don't loose as much of the batch?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,030

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    You can totally tip the carboy, but if you wait until the lees have settled they won't shift. If you do it now, and leave it that way they probably will. You can tell just by the look, but it'll be a firm, dense whitish cake on the bottom rather than the kind of interspersed fluffier lees you probably have now. It'll shrink with time as it compacts.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,417

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Thanks a bunch. These little details really help.
    Sorry I took the topic off track but I needed help and I knew somebody in here had the answers.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  7. #47

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Get an auto-siphon. When I use one it takes most of the good stuff and litttle of the bad stuff. Some of my bottles end up with a touch of sediment but by the time you reach the end of a mead your liver is happy for the added nutrition. I try not to disturb it once I put it in, aim for a side. At the end of transfer I just put a cutting board on the opposite side.

    Picture this: Get a gallon of water, throw in some dirt and shake. It is cloudy like an active fermentation. Let it sit 5 minutes or so and it starts to clear, this is akin to a month or two into the fermentaion. Now let it sit undisturbed for a day, all of the mud is on the bottom with a barely imperceptible transition point from solid to liquid. This is like a >6 month period in the carboy. That is how you know. Time and patience are the friends of a good mead.

    A local winery, educated in the chemicals of this stuff, makes the wine in the fall (Sept/Oct) and bottles in April. Home meadmakers, without advanced chemistry (I understand some of it but want a chem free drink) should wait at least as long as the pros do to bottle.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,417

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    Well that is what we want. My wife gets migraine's from the sulfates in wines so we only buy organic but even some of them have sulfates. The cider and mead is a way of knowing what is in the brew.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,197

    Default Re: fermentation speed

    No problem, brew beer.
    Regards, Barry

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