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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Cheneyville, Louisiana
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    11

    Default One packet versus two of Yeast

    I made my first batch of mead today and only put in one packet of yeast, should I go back and add the second? It is a five gallon batch.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cambridge, MD, USA
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    110

    Default Re: One packet versus two of Yeast

    It's been a long time since I've made mead, but generally those packets are good for 5-6 gallon batches. Personally, I like to make a yeast starter; I've found that when it comes to yeast, more is better.

    If you just pitched the yeast, I'd say aerate it well and pitch the second packet so they both go through the lag phase together and kick off the anaerobic phase together.

    Again, my 2 as I've not made mead in about 6 years.....however, I've got honey set aside TOO make mead this year.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
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    1,525

    Default Re: One packet versus two of Yeast

    Yeast starters are the way to go. I made a magntic stirrer out of a pc fan. I use to brew alot of all-grain beer. Meade and wine is a totally different animal.

    Im not a big fan of dry yeast, if you don't pick a good yeast for meade the final product can taste like rocket fuel very harsh. One packet should be fine. I like to use wyeast smack packs. The cost a little more but are worth the price imo. The sweat meade produces a wonderful result.

    Also make sure you add yeast nutrient, you may want to add a 2nd dose 1-2 weeks after fermentation starts. Meades turn acidic very quickly killing the yeast population so I also buffered the ph up twice during primary fermentation. Not sure if it matters too much but fermentation did increase after bringing the ph up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,035

    Default Re: One packet versus two of Yeast

    In general, no... dry yeast has very high cell numbers. If the mead is very high gravity maybe, but I'd let it roll a few days and see how it goes.

    If you do pitch more, be sure to hydrate properly: in 100-degree water, not juice or must, and give at least 10 minutes: just follow the directions.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Cheneyville, Louisiana
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: One packet versus two of Yeast

    Thanks for the Info, we hydrated and added the second package of yeast.

  6. #6

    Default Re: One packet versus two of Yeast

    Quote Originally Posted by Deck III View Post
    Thanks for the Info, we hydrated and added the second package of yeast.
    I've never needed to add a second packet. But...it obviously won't hurt. I think the most important thing was suggested already....add some yeast nutrient.
    Just my opinion...worth every penny you paid for it.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Jefferson Co., WV, USA
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: One packet versus two of Yeast

    What kind of yeast did you use? WVMJ
    Meadmaking with WVMJ at Meads and Elderberry Winemaking

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Cheneyville, Louisiana
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: One packet versus two of Yeast

    It was a Lavkin 1122b or something like that.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
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    1,525

    Default Re: One packet versus two of Yeast

    Based on the tech sheets it looks like you picked a good yeast for meade.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    mt. airy, surry county, nc
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: One packet versus two of Yeast

    one thing you can remember about yeast is, it multiples. it really doesn't matter how much yeast you put in, it will grow. you could put a teaspoon or a pound. the only difference is the time it takes to make alcohol or to get the process going.

    of course the quicker it starts up the quicker it will finish
    "Any fool can learn, the trick is to understand - Einstein"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Federal Way / Wenatchee, WA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: One packet versus two of Yeast

    71B-1122 is a nice yeast

    Makes really nice, floral-type wine/mead when you ferment at a lower temp (59-65) for a longer period.
    It will also metabolize a portion (25-40%) of any malic acid present (not a big deal with mead, but could be with melomels)

    Low/average nutrient needs, low/average SO2 production, no H2S worry if fed properly

    Doesnt sound like many here have had issues adding a second packet of yeast, but I'm guessing you guys also front-load your yeast nutrient additions, all at once, in the beginning... It can lead to issues though - both, adding 2 packets, and front loading all your yeast nutrient... I practice staggered nutrient additions, personally, as this gives one more control over the speed of the fermentation (and by relation, the heat generated from fermentation kinetics).

    This can get really complex, but to keep it simple - I add the first 1/2 of my nutrient @ starting, & the second-half 1/3 through fermentation (If SG starts @ 1.090, 2nd addition is @ 1.060). You never want to add DAP-based yeast nutrient passed the 1/2-way mark ( Starting @ 1.090 SG, no DAP passed 1.045) - long story short, the yeast wont utilize it and it becomes food/fuel for spoilage microbes. If you have a batch of mead, and it gets really low, but stalls & you want to add something - Fermaid-O would be best. It's an organic-nitrogen based yeast nutrient made from specific parts of particular yeast strains. If you want to learn more about this than you thought possible, PM me - it gets reeallly in-depth.

    Long story short - if you add 2 packets of yeast to a mead that you've only dosed 1/2 of your nutrient into, then the yeast will build up & stress out before the SG is ready for the next nutrient addition. This will throw you off for the whole process, as you just threw the staggered nutrient schedule out the window lol


    burns375 - How old was the mead you mentioned tasted like rocket fuel? Sounds young... Any mature wine/mead, should only have a throat-warming sensation, no matter what yeast was used. Mead takes much longer than wine, to become 'mature'.

    Any idea what temp the mead fermented at, and what yeast you used? The 'very harsh' part could be fusels, made from the yeast being stressed (usually from the temp raising; fermentation kinetics on some yeasts can put them in the 90F+ area even if the room is only 65-70F).. These fusels dont tame down with age, giving the wine/mead, that "vodka-taste" with the mouth burn and all that - one of many reasons I stagger my nutrient additions.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
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    1,525

    Default Re: One packet versus two of Yeast

    Quote Originally Posted by papa bear View Post
    one thing you can remember about yeast is, it multiples. it really doesn't matter how much yeast you put in, it will grow. you could put a teaspoon or a pound. the only difference is the time it takes to make alcohol or to get the process going.

    of course the quicker it starts up the quicker it will finish
    Not really true. Best practice is to start with a strong populations of yeast, ideally in a starter. If you don't care about flavor or outcome and just interested in alcohol wild yeasts will ferment sugars just fine. No yeast packets needed as honey has plenty dormant spores. If the target yeast population is too low wild yeasts will become the majority and may produce undesirable results.

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