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a sumb newb question

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B

Beowolf

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Ok so i got my 7 gallon bucket with a 5 gallon batchh in it and im getting one "blurp" out of the oxygen seal every 4-5 seconds after aout 48 hours is this normal or no?
 

Dan McFeeley

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Beowolf said:
Ok so i got my 7 gallon bucket with a 5 gallon batchh in it and im getting one "blurp" out of the oxygen seal every 4-5 seconds after aout 48 hours is this normal or no?
Sounds ok, just keep an eye on it.

Could you post your recipe, along with starting gravity? That would help the folk on this forum if you need to ask more questions.
 

jab

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Gravity is a measure of the amount of sugar in the solution.

According to Ken's book:

Gravity: Numerical representation of the amount of solid (in our case sugar from honey) dissolved in a liquid. Can be expressed in degrees Balling (Brix), points of specific gravity, or Plato.
You usually use an instrument called a hydrometer which has a scale on the side. You float the hydrometer in the must and take a reading of the gravity.

If you don't have one I would suggest picking one up (usually $20 or less, I got mine for $12), however, in the meantime you can estimate it. 1 pound of honey will add about 38 gravity points per gallon. So for a 1 gallon batch with 3 lbs. of honey you could estimate the original gravity to be 1.14. Again that would be an estimate.

In the end you can't estimate the final gravity because that will depend on your fermentation, yeast used, temp., etc. So again I suggest picking one up.

Do you need to know the gravity at all? No you don't. I would caution you though that there are some good uses for that information:

  • Figuring alcohol content
  • Determining if fermentation is complete. (the hydrometer reading won't change any more if the yeast are done)
  • Insuring your OG isn't too high. (many yeasts won't be able to manage above certain sugar levels)
  • In troubleshooting a mead most people on the board here will want to know your gravity readings. :p

Let me know if that doesn't clear it up a bit for you.
 
B

Beowolf

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ok well i got a hydromiter however how can i put it in my mead without opening the container? that would allow oxygne in wouldnt it?
 

jab

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That is up to debate. I generally don't open mine unless I am racking or if I am messing with the flavor. Others open up and take a sample weekly or even more often.

I think you would be fine. It would probably be best to take out a small (or large *grin*) sample and test that rather than putting your whole hydrometer into the fermenter.

There are also mini-hydrometers (http://www.listermann.com/Store/Details.asp?ID=764) that you can buy and just dope in and leave them there. I have never used them but others on this board have and seem to like them for a quick eyeball reading.

As long as you don't mix/agitate/swirl the must you shouldn't have a problem with oxygenation. Especially at the beginning. Many people, including Ken Schramm, preach agitation/oxygenation once a day for the first 3-4 days to give the yeast the optimum amount of O2.

Don't sweat it too much. Mead is pretty darn forgiving. A little O2 won't kill your mead.
 

pain

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Guys, remember that in the initial fermentation, the yeast *wants* oxygen. Its in the secondary you have to be careful. I always agitate the crap out of mine when I pitch it, to make sure *lots* of oxygen gets into it. I have yet to have a fermentation not take off within 48 hours, and I don't do yeast starters, I just toss in the dry yeast.

Vicky - nearing the end of the shopping site from hell project
 

Oskaar

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Here's another one of my best kept secrets for testing your SG and tasting all in one fell swoop!

http://www.fermtech.on.ca/

Also, as Vicky mentioned oxygenation in the first 48-72 hours is very important to keep your yeasts from becoming stressed and undergoing a slow, prolonged primary which will impart some off tastes to your mead due to autolysis.

Cheers,

Oskaar
 

jab

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Right, but only the first part of the process, which isn't even called fermentation but respiration. After all of the oxygen is used up the next stage of yest life begins which is called fermentation. The yeast use oxygen for reproduction, after that it starts to eat and convert the sugars into alcohol. At this point you no longer want oxygen in the mix. The time it takes to move from the lag period (which is where the yeast get acclimated to their environment) through the aerobic (respiration) stage to the fermentation stage is variable. It depends on a lot of factors (yeast, temp, pH, etc.) but is usually over by the 3rd or 4th day.

So yeah, oxygen is a good and even necessary thing at the very beginning, but once your bubbler is going crazy you want to keep the oxygen levels to a minimum...even before the secondary.

Remember too though that oxygenation is kind of an overblown subject. Don't freak out if you get a little air in there. You are not likely to ruin your mead. Be as careful as you can and that is all you can hope for. Remember, if it doesn't taste good put the stopper back on and forget about it for 6 more months. ;)

Glad to hear you are about done with the shopping site Vicky!
 

Oskaar

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Actually there are a growing number of winemakers here in California that are using microoxygenation systems to infuse a controlled amount of oxygen throughout the primary, MF and into the ageing phases of winemaking. I'll be speaking to some of these folks in the next couple of weeks to see what their strategy is.

As I understand it, aeration provides a nutrient (oxygen) that aids in the growth and development of stronger yeast, which is more able to finish the fermentation. It also appears to enable control of redox potential in the fermenting must which minimizes the production of reductive characters such as hydrogen sulfide. Also, proper aeration appears to minimize green vegetal characters in the wine, some related to sulfides other to short chain aldehydes.

More when I have some better information,

Cheers,

Oskaar
 

Oskaar

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Yup, I stopped using them so long ago I keep forgetting people actually still use them! LOL
 

pain

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Oh, I dunno. I use them to get my auto-sizing pages. It just isn't there yet in CSS, unless you're counting on *all* your users having the latest browsers. Since many of mine use older browsers, I work with nested tables to give me autowidth pages.

V - who has done far too much with webbing and not enough meading lately
 

jab

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Heh, if you/they have users using browsers so old they can't do CSS then I think the last thing they should be worried about it how the pages look. They should be more concerned about how many holes their browsers have open to the hackers!

Point taken though, especially when you are working for someone paying the bills, you have to do it their way, even if their way is old and busted. *glares angrily in the direction of the people who write my requirements at work*
 

Oskaar

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Hmmmm, just downloaded Cold Fusion MX. This looks like fun 8)

Where did I put my glass of mead ???
 
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