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  1. #21

    Default Re: Yup, messed up again...

    Well, "yeast nutrient" is basically a combination of dried yeast cells and hulls, nothing synthetic or nasty. Same can be said about most "yeast energizers" out there. I don't use DAP or nitrogen-based nutirents as those are usually produced in some sort of chemical lab. I'm not a fan of sulfates, either.

    Calcium carbonate is a naturally found mineral - it's not going to hurt you and will likely increase your mead's quality - not to mention that if it is a pH issue (which I'm betting it is), a few tsps of calcium carbonate could mean the difference between a fully-fermented mead and some watered-down honey.

    I would avoid raisins at this point - while they will increase the nutrients in the solution, they will also add more sugar and effect your pH further.

    More yeast never hurt, really - it will all settle out in the end!

    Best of luck!

  2. #22
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Re: Yup, messed up again...

    It has had two packets of yeast already so is the yeast nutrient going to help if it is primarily yeast? I will have to get a test kit to check the PH.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  3. #23

    Default Re: Yup, messed up again...

    I misspoke (or miss-typed). Yeast nutrient is usually a form of phosphate that delivers nitrogen to the yeast cells, increasing their hardiness, energy and longivity - basically making them better yeast cells, but also providing nutrients needed for the yeast cells to multiply and do their job (eat sugar and make alcohol). Yeast Hulls (another form for nutrient, and often labeled as nutrient) are good in soaking up auto toxic by-products that might be inhibiting your yeast, as well as strengthening the cell walls of the live yeast.

    Other good products are Fermaid K (a yeast energizer, basically yeast nutrient, yeast hulls and other minerals/vitamins/etc that help increase yeast activity) and Go-Ferm (another blend of nutrients, this one usually added while re-hydrating the yeast before pitching, but still a good nutrient to add in small quantities if you have a stuck fermentation).

    One thing to realize with these products is that you're adding a very small amount relative to the finished batch, it all settles out in the end, and they are used by most hobbyists - it doesn't harm your finished product or add any toxic or weird chemicals.

    Here's a good article for you: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Win...yeasthulls.htm

    I'd try the yeast hulls, fixing the pH and you will probably be alright. If not, move onto the nutrient and energizers.

    For the pH, just get some test strips - no need to get a big expensive kit (unless you want to, of course). You just want to make sure you're in the right ball park.

    Cheers,
    Joshua

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Yup, messed up again...

    Our whole premise for making mead is to avoid phosphates so that ain't going to happen. I will have to see where we can get some test strips.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  5. #25

    Default Re: Yup, messed up again...

    Yea, I hear you. Yeast Hulls are a good option, though - they are all-natural and will help your stuck fermentation. That and the pH.

    Good Luck!

  6. #26
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    Mar 2011
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    Fort Worth, TX, USA
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    Default Re: Yup, messed up again...

    I'd start with a 1 gallon recipe and perfect it from there. As a matter of fact, that is what I did, in 1987, using ye olde fleischmann's yeast. No one complained til one of my grown daughters tried to make a slightly dryer version last year. Vinegar has more sweetness than her mead, but I think it got used in pot roast recipes in place of cooking wine. I didn't get an SG meter til I started my reef tank. Let me know if you want a simple recipe.
    Stuck in Texas. Learning Permaculture in drought, guess I will teach permaculture in drought. The bees are still alive.

  7. #27
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    Oct 2004
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    Lyons, CO
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    3,046

    Default Re: Yup, messed up again...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFermenteer View Post
    Yeast nutrient is usually a form of phosphate that delivers nitrogen to the yeast cells, increasing their hardiness, energy and longivity - basically making them better yeast cells, but also providing nutrients needed for the yeast cells to multiply and do their job (eat sugar and make alcohol). Yeast Hulls (another form for nutrient, and often labeled as nutrient) are good in soaking up auto toxic by-products that might be inhibiting your yeast, as well as strengthening the cell walls of the live yeast.


    Cheers,
    Joshua
    Be careful about additives: many are called one thing but actually contain what you'd usually expect in something else. Many "nutrients" are actually just hulls, some are concoctions of things yeast need for strong replication, some are actually "energizers" which is totally different.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  8. #28
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Re: Yup, messed up again...

    Most of what we read about mead says to stay away from bread yeasts so we did. Much of what we read said it requires patience which I have. The local brew store is a good distance from us so I won't be going there for test strips so maybe I can find something online. After the holidays we can take another sample and if nothing else we will enjoy the honey water. It is starting to clear and show quite a bit of sediment in the bottom of the bottle (about 2 inches).
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  9. #29
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    Aug 2011
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    Landing, NJ, USA
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    Default Re: Yup, messed up again...

    Don't take this as a recommendation, My knowledge of mead making could be written on the head of a pin with a magic marker. Egg shells are about 95% calcium carbonate, the other 5% contains calcium phosphate and magnesium carbonate. Posters above are suggesting calcium carbonate and phosphate so crushed eggshells are a potential source. Somebody else please say if this is appropriate.
    Bill

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Yup, messed up again...

    Yes, please do because we have plenty of organic egg shells.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  11. #31
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    Jun 2009
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    Montgomery County, NY
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    Default Re: Yup, messed up again...

    If you continue to have difficulty with fermenting out your mead without using nutrients you might be better off making a braggot. The braggot will have zero issues fermenting out and you can make them fairly mead like if you do it correctly.

    Also I found with meads is they love being stirred every day to work out all CO2 for about the first week and a half.

    Good luck. Let us know your progress.

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Yup, messed up again...

    Quote Originally Posted by whiskers View Post
    Don't take this as a recommendation, My knowledge of mead making could be written on the head of a pin with a magic marker. Egg shells are about 95% calcium carbonate, the other 5% contains calcium phosphate and magnesium carbonate. Posters above are suggesting calcium carbonate and phosphate so crushed eggshells are a potential source. Somebody else please say if this is appropriate.
    Bill
    That would probably depend upon how fine you crush your egg shells as what they offer at the brew shop is dust. I smash my egg shells with a mallet to feed back to our chickens. That is of course after we baked them to sanitize the shells.

    You know back in the day (before scientific measuring devices) they used to boil the mead with eggs in them. I believe the purpose of that was to tell when they had ample honey in the water as the eggs would float. Maybe doing this also boiled off enough nutrients into the must for proper fermentation.

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Yup, messed up again...

    Hmm. Seems as though the boiling would reduce the SG so it would be harder to float the egg.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Yup, messed up again...

    It completely makes sense heating up the must will reduce its viscosity. I don't think it would affect its SG though the two are definitely related in how they are measured. Not ever experimenting with it its hard to say how accurate they were as measuring honey as we are now. It was in a history of mead section of some mead making book I once read. Im pretty sure they boiled it in with the honey and water.

    It is possible they just used it prior to boil as well. again its been a while since I read the book and I never wanted to put eggs in my booze.

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Yup, messed up again...

    I like pickled eggs and beer.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Yup, messed up again...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFermenteer View Post
    You want it in the 3.7 to 4.6 range, but even 3.0 should be enough.
    Progress update:
    Last night we tested the batch (finally got the test strips). The PH was between 3.5 and 4.0 based on the color chart and the SG was 1.034. If I am reading the hydrometer right that should be around 9% alcohol and indeed it does have more kick. It almost has a champagne fizz to it on the first taste. I am not a favorite of champagne but this stuff is tasting good. My wife says by the time this batch is finish we will have nothing to bottle as she slugs down the second glass.
    It is still on the sweet side and it smells like heaven but it is still coming down so we are going to let it sit.

    Other unrelated fermentations:

    The hard cider we didn't check last night but the last time we did it was hard.
    The organic apples fermenting to make vinegar is pure vinegar.
    And the rutabaga slaw is well on its way.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Yup, messed up again...

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Hmm. Seems as though the boiling would reduce the SG so it would be harder to float the egg.
    Boiling evaporates water and increases the SG of the wort. You should know that.
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Yup, messed up again...

    You are right. As I see on my hydrometer when the temperature goes up you adjust the SG to the plus side. I am not sure I understand that. If a fluid expands it seems as though the SG would go down not up.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Yup, messed up again...

    You are right... but you need to realize it.

    You are correcting your reading to the standard temperature for comparison.

    Colder liquid is more dense. Hydrometer floats higher...
    Warmer liquid (molecules farther apart) , the hydrometer sinks lower.

    Adjust to 60

    You're right... just think about it.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Yup, messed up again...

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    You are right. As I see on my hydrometer when the temperature goes up you adjust the SG to the plus side. I am not sure I understand that. If a fluid expands it seems as though the SG would go down not up.
    OK you initially mentioned SG and boiling in the same sentence. Anyone familiar with home brewing knows the constant issue of hitting your target gravity after the boil and loosing water to evaporation. In the context of home brewing, SG goes up when you boil.

    From a thermal expansion aspect, you are right. When you heat a liquid it expands and the SG goes down. But IMHO (and here is where I always get into trouble with the homebrew mavens out there ) SG changes due to thermal expansion just aren’t worth worrying about. Mainly because a typical homebrew hydrometer is a really crappy instrument and is realistically only accurate to maybe 2 to 3 gravity points (0.002 to 0.003), if that. Secondly, the temperature correction tables that are found on every homebrew site ever put up on the internet lists correction factors out to 4 or 5 significant digits. So now you are tacking on unnecessary and useless digits to an inaccurate measurement.
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

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