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First Mead (was Oops)

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Dmntd

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I think I killed it. Pitched the yeast then added sorbate by mistake, thought I had the yeastx. Is there any hope of salvage?

D
 

lostnbronx

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Re: Oops

Dmntd said:
I think I killed it. Pitched the yeast then added sorbate by mistake, thought I had the yeastx. Is there any hope of salvage?

D
Sorbate doesn't kill yeast -- it just prevents an inactive fermentation from restarting again. However, if you added it in at pitching time, well, your yeast probably were not too active yet. You may want to try making a big-volume starter with a new packet of yeast, then repitch. My theory here is that if you have a large enough and healthy enough population of yeast cells that are actively fermenting already, they might be able to take over when added to the original must.

-David
 

Dmntd

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Re: Oops

Recipe is 15lbs clover honey blended into 2 gallons filtered water pasturized at 140 degrees f. for 30 min. cold water to make make 5 gallons, champagne yeast and yeastx. O.G. 1.118

I put 2 fresh packets of yeast in a cup of water and let it sit a couple of days, last night I pitched that into 3 quarts of the must in a gallon jug. This morning theres about 1/2" of foam on the must in the gallon jug. Any thoughts as to how long I should wait before adding this to the rest of the must?

Anthony
 

Dan McFeeley

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Re: Oops

Dmntd said:
Recipe is 15lbs clover honey blended into 2 gallons filtered water pasturized at 140 degrees f. for 30 min. cold water to make make 5 gallons, champagne yeast and yeastx. O.G. 1.118
Fifteen pounds of honey blended into two gallons of water? That's 7.5 lb.s/gallon -- are you sure that's right? This would certainly yield an OG higher than 1.118.
 

Dmntd

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Re: Oops

"Recipe is 15lbs clover honey blended into 2 gallons filtered water pasturized at 140 degrees f. for 30 min. Cold water to make make 5 gallons, champagne yeast and yeastx. O.G. 1.118"
 

Dan McFeeley

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Re: Oops

Dmntd said:
"Recipe is 15lbs clover honey blended into 2 gallons filtered water pasturized at 140 degrees f. for 30 min. Cold water to make make 5 gallons, champagne yeast and yeastx. O.G. 1.118"
Ok, got it -- thanks for the correction!
 

Dmntd

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Re: Oops

No problem Dan,

This is my first shot at this, kinda flying by the seat of my pants. Your question got me to go back and make sure I hadn't missed something.

Anthony
 

Oskaar

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Re: Oops

D,

Which specific yeast we talkin here?

Generally you don't let the yeast sit for more than 15 minutes, stir and pitch. Leaving your yeasts for a couple of days without any nutrients, or food source, other than themselves is asking for trouble. The yeasts will be looking for something to eat once they've been awakened, and if they have not been innoculated into the must after they've been rehydrated, they will stress out, get into disputes with other yeasts, and generally begin to behave badly. All of this can contribute to producing off tastes in your yeasts, or in a worst case scenario a very slow, very long and beleaguered primary with a lot of stressed out and cranky yeasties.

Was the cup covered? If not, you may have picked up some other microbiological organisms that might compete with your yeasts for dominance of your must.

In your place, I would combine your innoculated and un-innoculated must, rehydrate some K1V-1116 yeast exactly as the manufacturer suggests (this is why it is important to state specific yeast types here), repitch with an additional 2 teaspoons of DAP and 1 teaspoon of Nutrient and oxygenate like it's going out of style.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar
 

Dmntd

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Re: Oops

Red Star Pasteur Champagne Yeast, rehydrated in a stopped beaker with 5oz 78 degree F. water.
 

Dmntd

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Re: Oops

As luck would have it, that was the end of what I had.

Anthony
 

lostnbronx

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Re: Oops

Dmntd said:
I put 2 fresh packets of yeast in a cup of water and let it sit a couple of days, last night I pitched that into 3 quarts of the must in a gallon jug. This morning theres about 1/2" of foam on the must in the gallon jug. Any thoughts as to how long I should wait before adding this to the rest of the must?

Anthony
Anthony,

Sorry, I should have explained what a yeast starter is. Basically, you want as big and as healthy a population of yeast cells as you can get with which to inoculate your damaged must. Ideally, what you would have wanted to do was rehydrate the yeast in the cup of water for fifteen minutes or so, then pour that into your gallon jug along with a fresh sugar source. In this case, you might have wanted a half cup of honey dissolved in a quart of water, along with some more nutrients (too many nutrients can lend off-flavors to the must, but half a teaspoon wouldn't hurt anything, and besides, this is an emergency). Some people would say that several quarts is a better starter for five gallons, with the rationale being that if a little is good, then a lot is better. They might be right, but I've had good luck like this. You shake or stir this up really well, then put an airlock on this jug. Set it in a warm place for 12 to 24 hours. You should have plenty of activity by this point, and a booming population. Once you see that you do, you pitch the entire quart of healthy starter into the big fermenter, and cross your fingers.

You say that you're seeing foam at the top of the jug right now? Personally, before you add anything else to the main fermenter, I'd wait a day or two and see if you get any action in your gallon jug. Since the must you used for this multi-quart starter has the dreaded sorbate already in it, this will be the test you need. If the yeast can't make a go of it here, then they wouldn't do well in the big fermenter either. Oskaar has a valid point about airborne nasties maybe having set up shop in the rehydration cup. For that reason, it would be something of a crap shoot to add the starter you're currently brewing to the big batch. Personally, I think I might try it -- but I'm the passionate sort, and often let my emotions take control (not always for the better). A smarter approach might be to make a fresh starter and inoculate your main fermenter with it, and let the gallon jug ferment on its own. You'll be able to see, then, if you had any microbial hitch-hikers in there -- albeit, at the end, when it really doesn't matter any more.

-David
 

Dmntd

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Re: Oops

David,

Thanks, I'll see what happens in the next day or two, wore case, I start over from scratch.

Anthony
 

Dmntd

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Re: Oops

The starter (about three quarts of the damaged must + fresh yeast) worked. I added it to the main fermentor friday afternoon. This morning there's a good head (maybe a little over an inch) on the must in the carboy.

In other post I've read about using a "blow off tube" rather than a fermentation lock. Whats the likelyhood of 5 gallons of must (15 lbs honey / two packets yeast / five gallons must) over flowing a 6 gallon carboy?

Anthony
 

lostnbronx

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Re: Oops

Dmntd,

By and large, having a gallon of head space in your fermenter is enough -- however, there are many exceptions to that rule of thumb. If you've been following the Jasmine Mead discussion elsewhere on the Forum, you'll see a prime example of a mead for which a blow-off tube would be handy. It's a combination of many factors, including yeast type, ingredients, temperature (overly warm musts tend to ferment more violently, and produce more foam -- and "overly warm" is determined by the yeast type).

Anyway, sorry to be pedantic. What yeast did you use? For a straight mead, I'd probably be satisfied with a gallon of head space, but there are a few yeasts for which that would be cutting it close. Actually, this response might be moot by now, because you'd know early on if it you had enough room in there. Almost certainly, if it doesn't over-foam in the first week, you'll be okay from there on.

-David
 

lostnbronx

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Re: Oops

Dmntd,

Red Star Pasteur isn't an exceptional foamer, as I recall -- I'll think you'll be fine. Keep us updated.

-David
 
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