Mead Lover's Digest #1408 Wed 11 February 2009

Forum for Discussion of Mead Making and Consuming
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor


Yeast not clearing ("Spencer W. Thomas")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1407, 29 January 2009 ("Dennis Key")
unwanted pettilence (
re-pitching yeast (

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Subject: Yeast not clearing
From: "Spencer W. Thomas" <>
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 13:54:08 -0500

In my experience, adding gelatin encourages yeast to drop clear.
Dissolve a teaspoon or so of plain gelatin in a small amount of water
and add to the fermenter. Stir well. It will usually drop clear in a
few days.

(I can't answer the yeast-specific question about Cote de Blanc, though.)

=Spencer in Ann Arbor

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1407, 29 January 2009
From: "Dennis Key" <>
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 17:58:53 -0700

> > Ken Schramm was also kind enough to include
>>> > > >
>> > > Subject: Aeration after the start of fermentation
>> > > From: Scoville Steve <>
>> > > Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2009 23:28:04 -0600
>> > >
>> > > Recent posts, writings, and mead making instructions seem to indicate
>> > > that in addition to multiple additions of nutrients to the must,
>> > > multiple infusions of oxygen are also advisable to maintain the health
>> > > of the cell wall.
>> > >
>> > > I come from the beer making background and it is counterintuitive to
>> > > add O2 due to the concern about oxidation of the newly produced
>> > > alcohols.
>> > >
>> > > Can anyone comment on this concern?
>> > >
>> > > If there is no real concern, is it OK to use pure O2?
>> > >
>> > > Thanks for the comments.
>> > >
>> > > The Earl of Sorta
>> > >
>> > > Steve Scoville
> > Steve,
> >
> > I don't use pure O2, it's too fussy for me, and frankly unnecessary. So
> > I can't comment on that. But I do open the fermentation jug and give it
> > a few minutes with a hand held blender a couple of times over the first
> > few days. So far I've had no issues. At this stage the fermentation
> > isn't so far advanced that O2 is an issue, and in fact the yeast make
> > good use of it. Any remaining that is not used will be scrubbed out
> > during the more rapid fermentation. Beer fermentations are more rapid,
> > I would not use this technique with beer brewing.
> >
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Ken Taborek

I have occasionally used a sanitized air stone (used to aereate an
acquarium) and bubbled pure oxygen through the must for 20-30 minutes before
pitching the yeast. It seems to give it a quick start. I have access to
medical oxygen tanks but any industrial-grade O2 (from welding supply
dealer) should work very well. Don't do this after alcohol is being
produced or you might get vinegar.

Dione Greywolfe
Dragonweyr, NM

Subject: unwanted pettilence
Date: Sat, 07 Feb 2009 21:26:50 -0500

I have unintentionally pressurized bottles that need
an explanation. The recipe was

4 gallons of water (well)
15# honey (mixed wetland)
2tsp of yeast nutrient (Fermax)
2tsp of yeast energizer (Carlson)
D47 yeast (Lalvin)
Original SG = 1.127
Final SG – 1.029

primary fermentation was 34 days
racked to secondary at SG=1.029
re-racked 87 days later, SG=1.029
aged in carboy for 271 days, SG=1.029

bottled by siphon without having moved
the carboy in which the entirely clear
product with an entirely stable SG had
sat for 271 days in this its third carboy

today is 70 days post-bottling, and three
out of 24 bottles have been opened at random
and all are highly pressurized

the only ingredient that could change would
be the introduction of oxygen in the bottling
process, if that

there is no haze

theories? theories that can be tested?

  • –dan

Subject: re-pitching yeast
Date: Sat, 07 Feb 2009 21:32:30 -0500

Is anyone else re-pitching yeast, that is
to say using the yeast from batch N for
batch N+1 after racking batch N out of
its primary fermentation?

I've talked at some length with a micro-
brewery's brewmaster and they re-pitch up
to 12 times, using White Labs for analysis
at re-pitch #6 then at each of #9 through
#12. He is re-pitching as he attempts to
select strains that do what he wants them
to do, and uses White Labs to not only
analyze but also to maintain a failsafe
culture from his selection process.

While I am not yet remotely near that level
of scale and precision, my question stands:
is anyone here doing re-pitches? I would
include anyone who is keeping a stockpile
of regularly re-fed starter from which the
pitch per batch is withdrawn (and replenished).

  • –dan

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1408