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Smells

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Antoespiga

NewBee
Registered Member
Apr 16, 2012
10
0
0
29
Toledo, Spain
Hello everyone, first of all sorry about my english; it´s not my main language.
I´m trying to make a beer-like mead in terms of alcohol and carbonation.

It´s a 5.8 gal batch with around 13lb of honey. I boiled it and added rehydrated safbrew S-33.

I also thrown into the fermentor some raisins, hops, and since i had no yeast nutrient I added 1/2 oz of yeast extract to the must.

Well, it started bubbling around 5-7 hours after pitching the yeast, now it has a foamy top mainly krausen.

Today the airlock is bubbling each 1.5-2 seconds but i tested the gravity today and smells acidic, just bad and perhaps a little bit like vomit. the smell is pretty subtle, but is still there.

I made beer before and i think that just sanitized everything the right way.

Anyone knows what could be the reason of that smell, and if there are any thing i coul do?

Thank you very much.

Edit: The Og rounded 1070-1080. Today it´s been 4 and a half days since the fermentation started and its 1053.
 
Last edited:

Chevette Girl

All around BAD EXAMPLE
Moderator
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Apr 27, 2010
8,398
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0
Ottawa, ON
Twice I've had batches smell and taste like vomit during fermentation. I don't know what does it or what it means, but for both my barfy batches, I fed it more nutrients and energizer and it went away as soon as fermenation was done.

I'm not sure exactly what effect hops in primary has on a fermenting brew so that might be the source of it, both my yucky batches contained fruits, and they both turned out fine at the end. What was your starting specific gravity, and what is it now? That'll give us a better idea on how your fermentaiton is progressing.

Your English is perfectly understandable, where are you from? If you list your location in your user CP settings, we can make suggestions about local sources for nutrients and energizers and everything. If your yeast extract isn't the salty-tasting kind, I'd suggest adding a little more.

And welcome to the forum!
 

Antoespiga

NewBee
Registered Member
Apr 16, 2012
10
0
0
29
Toledo, Spain
Thank you so much for the answer, and greetings about the forum. The best place i´ve found about mead. Im from Spain (just added it at my profile) And all kinds of homebrewing are just a stange and uncommon hobby here, so it´s difficult to get yeast nutrients unless you want 10kg, and it´s too much for me.

The Original gravity was around 1070 - 1080 closer to 1080. Now it´s 1053.
The yeast extract isn´t the salty one, so i will add some more to the must.

The hops doesn´t really smell that bad and i have read that infections from hops just doesn´t happen. But It is my first batch of mead, so i really don´t know.
 

machalel

NewBee
Registered Member
Feb 1, 2012
115
0
0
Australia
Hi there!

One thing you can add as a substitute for nutrients is actually more yeast (kinda). If you get some bakers yeast (for making bread) and add it to some water and boil it for 10 mins or so, then add this to your fermentor.

Although, I've never used it, so I'm not sure how much exactly you need, anyone else want to help on this? I have read to use about 5g dry yeast per litre, does that sound right?


P.S. I had my first Spanish Sidre last night... it's really good!!! ;D
 

Antoespiga

NewBee
Registered Member
Apr 16, 2012
10
0
0
29
Toledo, Spain
hello! I have a lot of winemaking yeast that maybe could work, but i think that yeast extract it´s just the same without the yeast hulls.

I really like sidre and im glad you liked it too :D
 

Valhalla Mead

NewBee
Registered Member
Apr 12, 2012
39
0
0
So the aromas and tastes of sulphur are by products of stressed yeast. The main issue is usually lack of nutrients, vast temperature changes or incorrect fermentation temps, infection and fusels adding off flavors.

Try adding some tea mixtures, yeast nutrients, lemons or raisens for a helping hand to make those yeastie buddies happy.
 

Antoespiga

NewBee
Registered Member
Apr 16, 2012
10
0
0
29
Toledo, Spain
Hm. I read somewhere that a somewhat high temp is good for mead fermentation. The top range temp for my yeast is 24 ºC and i have it around 20-23.
Maybe the off flavor appeared because i moved the fermentor the second day from 17-18 Cº to the place it is now.

Ill try to controll the temp, and i will add everything you said :D tea mixture, lemon juice, more raisins and yeast extract.
Let´s see how it goes.
 

Valhalla Mead

NewBee
Registered Member
Apr 12, 2012
39
0
0
Careful on how much you add of each since a little goes a long way. And for lemons use a whole lemon or two chopped finely. It won't add any lemon flavor so long as this is 5 gallons or more.

GL and hope it come out well!! Feel free to ask me if you have more questions.

Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk
 

Antoespiga

NewBee
Registered Member
Apr 16, 2012
10
0
0
29
Toledo, Spain
Thank you so much! I was thinking about taking the juice of half a lemon, 1/2 oz yeast extract, some raisins and a little infuse of tea.

Perhaps overfeeding the yeast? :confused:
 

HunnyBunz

NewBee
Registered Member
Dec 29, 2011
178
2
0
Salem, OR
Hm. I read somewhere that a somewhat high temp is good for mead fermentation. The top range temp for my yeast is 24 ºC and i have it around 20-23.
Maybe the off flavor appeared because i moved the fermentor the second day from 17-18 Cº to the place it is now.
Fermentation will usually go quicker at higher temps, and a quick ferment is good because generally that means that the yeast is healthy and not getting stressed. But, higher temps can also cause more fusels and off flavors - even if it's within the yeast's specified tolerances - every yeast strain is different.

The general consensus on this forum is that lower temps usually make for a better tasting mead that won't need as much aging to get rid of the hot alcohol taste. As long as you aerate, add the proper nutrients at the right time, and take care of the fermentation, a lower temp may take a little longer to finish (2-2.5 weeks) but it will be better tasting in the long run.

I know you're using the celsius scale, but I usually try to keep my ferment temps in the 65-72 fahrenheit range.
 

Chevette Girl

All around BAD EXAMPLE
Moderator
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Apr 27, 2010
8,398
18
0
Ottawa, ON
I'd steer away from adding lemon or lemon juice at this point, honey has its own acidity and often too much acidity already.

I don't know that the tea will actually do anything for the yeast either, but I do add tea somewhat regularly for the tannins.

Raisins are also good for yeast nutrition, it's best to chop them or at least cut them in half so the yeast have access to what's inside them.

Taking cheap bread yeast and microwaving or boiling it is also an alternative to nutrients and energizer, but I's assume the yeast extract is just as good. Oh, and do make sure your yeast extract doesn't contain things like potassium sorbate...

Unless you're adding DAP crystals or energizer powder or heavy doses of yeast extract, I don't think you'll be able to overfeed the yeast with raisins and boiled yeast, I suspect anything that's not consumed will just settle out and be left behind when you rack it.

Also, have you been aerating this batch? Splashing it around a lot in the first half of fermentation can really boost your yeasties, and also it lets some stinky compounds out of the carboy.
 

Antoespiga

NewBee
Registered Member
Apr 16, 2012
10
0
0
29
Toledo, Spain
I´m keeping it now around 68-73 fahrenheit range, i´ll try to move the fermentor to a place with a slightly lower temp.

The nutrients i added were chopped raisins and 1/2 oz yeast extract, and i did that at the beginning of the must preparation, just after boiling a bit.

And well, maybe the aeration is the problem with this; i aerated it only the two first days, twice the brewing day, and a third time the day after but i was afraid of infections and, since the fermentation had already started an had krausen, I aerated it no more.

The yeast extract i added were only yeast extract without any type of chemicals. I read at the mead section of "the complete joy of homebrewing" that 1/4 oz is what i should add, and i put in twice of that quantity.

The airlock is bubbling a lot, each 1 to 2 seconds, so:

Should i add more nutrients? Maybe raisins? The temp is ok, or a cooler place would be better?

Thank you all, it´s the first time that someone helps me at a forum about that kind of questions
 

Valhalla Mead

NewBee
Registered Member
Apr 12, 2012
39
0
0
It sounds like you'll be fine now just make sure you aerate, continually taste test and gravity measure.

Usually if your sanitation is great you can open ferment for a lot of the primary which not only makes it easier to degass but to monitor and stagger nutrients. The c02 levels will be high enough that air and other less favorable yeasts will not mingle in the mix.

Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk
 

Chevette Girl

All around BAD EXAMPLE
Moderator
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Apr 27, 2010
8,398
18
0
Ottawa, ON
You might be better off with your fermentation at 17-18C, I'm not familiar enough with your yeast to tell you if it's one of the ones that prefers to be under 70F, but there are a few... Slowing the fermentation down a little by dropping the temperature has been shown in a number of members' experiments to produce better meads than letting it blast away at a high temperature.

And as Valhalla said, as long as you sanitize whatever you're using for aeration, you shouldn't have to worry about infection. A vigorously fermenting must is pretty inhospitable to most other organisms.

And as for yeast extract, well, you already know more than I do on the subject as I don't have that book yet :) but sometimes the amount of nutrients required can be affected by the kind of yeast you're using, some yeasts need more nutrients than others. If you're getting a stinky must, another 1/8 oz probably won't be out of line. But I suspect a few good aerations might take care of some of your must's smell.

As you will hear from everyone repeatedly, trust your hydrometer, not your airlock... and you'll find not all meads will make a lot of foam, some of them look like the surface of a carbonated drink, others look completely still, it's whether there's a change in SG over time that tells you whether fermentation's going at a good rate or not.

And you'll find we're pretty friendly at this forum. We really do all just want to help! We also want to hear about what works, so we know more for next time, so please do report what seems to work and what seems to have no effect!
 

Antoespiga

NewBee
Registered Member
Apr 16, 2012
10
0
0
29
Toledo, Spain
Well, just aerated the must stirring hard with a sanitized plastic spoon suited for that.
The CO2 activity seems to have stopped quite a bit, at least the 5 next minutes.
I´ll add microwaved bread yeast tomorrow and a new aeration.

Now the fermentor is in a colder place around that 18ºC (64.4 ºF)

Thank you all for the support, and let´s see how it comes out :)
 

Valhalla Mead

NewBee
Registered Member
Apr 12, 2012
39
0
0
I'd steer away from adding lemon or lemon juice at this point, honey has its own acidity and often too much acidity already.
It's more about the zest and pith than the juice. If this was a starting primary, yes, you would need to watch your ph levels and make sure you're within range for the yeast you're using.

Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk
 

Chevette Girl

All around BAD EXAMPLE
Moderator
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Apr 27, 2010
8,398
18
0
Ottawa, ON
It's more about the zest and pith than the juice. If this was a starting primary, yes, you would need to watch your ph levels and make sure you're within range for the yeast you're using.
It's still within the first half of fermentation, the last SG reported was 1.053 from 1.080. I still wouldn't recommend adding anything acidic until it's complete.
 

Antoespiga

NewBee
Registered Member
Apr 16, 2012
10
0
0
29
Toledo, Spain
I added the dead yeasts and aerated the must, now the SG is 1043.

It is bubbling steadily, each second or half a second, the acidic tastes and smells have almost disappeared. Now it tastes mostly just like honey and water :)

I want to aerate the must only one more time since it is reaching the half of the fermentation.

Thank you all, Looks like everything it´s ok by now. temp rounding 63-68 ºF.
 
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