Yeast starter - should I add nutrient?

Discussion in 'Coffee, Kombucha & Mead Forum' started by Tribble, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. Aug 9, 2017 #1

    Tribble

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    My second batch of mead...

    I'm going to do a big batch (got 11.5kg honey to use :D ) so I'm making a 2L yeast starter with 10g of D47. I'm rehydrating with Go-Ferm, as per the instructions.

    I'm not sure whether I should be adding any nutrient to the starter though, once I've added the rehydrated yeast to the starter must (about 300mL of honey to 2L total volume).

    I have DAP and [FONT=&quot]Tronozymol (Fermaid-K equivalent I believe).

    Should I add anything?

    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]Edit: From a good googling, looks like the answer is yes.[/FONT][/FONT]
     
  2. Aug 10, 2017 #2

    Zephyr259

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    I assume your mead starter will be honey and water? If so then I'd add nutrient as otherwise the yeast will still struggle just like they would in a big batch. I've been thinking along the same lines that Tronozymol is our version of Fermaid-K, glad to see someone thinking the same. Where did you get your Go-Ferm from?
     
  3. Aug 10, 2017 #3

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    Aye, honey and water. My concern about adding nutrients was because I had read so much about not adding anything to the yeast at first, while it's rehydrating. Of course that gets done in the Go-Ferm though, once I thought about it all.

    I got my Go-Ferm from ebay: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GO-FERM-N...ient-Wine-Making-Home-Brew-24G-/232439534107?

    I added 340g of supermarket Rowse honey (saving my good stuff for the main must) to about a litre of water and pasteurized. While that cooled in a water bath (the sink), I made up 12.5g of Go-Ferm in 200ml water, added 10g of D47 and let it sit for 20 minutes. I made up the must to about 1.8L and gradually added it into the yeast.

    After half an hour (just to make sure things were settled) I added 1g of Tronozymol and 0.5g of DAP. Probably could have added more but I didn't want to overload things. (still new to this :) )

    It's been about 24 hours now, and the yeast definitely got lively quite quickly and remains so. I swirl the flask every time I walk past it; not been working today so that's probably every hour.

    I'll be doing my must and setting it going tomorrow.
     
  4. Aug 10, 2017 #4

    Zephyr259

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    Thanks for the link. Might try some Go-Ferm one of these days but not sure I can be bothered as not had an issue yet. Sounds like you're good to go, what size is the full batch and what OG you aiming for?
     
  5. Aug 11, 2017 #5

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    I'm aiming for about 32 litres at 1.107 OG. According to one of the calculators that should be able to finish dry at FG 1.005 and 13.5% ish... or thereabouts.

    That should rack into my remaining seven demijohns nicely. As you can probably tell I'm working it all out around what I have on hand. My honey is just enough for my seven demijohns and I have two buckets for the primary. It all fits nicely.

    Regarding the go-ferm, I just figured that I might as well give things the best chance, since I found some for sale. I need all the help I can get :D

    Just got back from the supermarket with a car full of spring water, so I'll be making it up shortly.
     
  6. Aug 11, 2017 #6

    Zephyr259

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    Yeah, when making a 32 L batch you definitely want to give it the best chance. With that in mind will you be doing staggered nutrient additions, I used to think it was a bit of a gimick but it definitely seems to help. I'm going to try it on my next batch.


    That finishing gravity should give a very tasty mead. I have a 7% mead made with orange blossom honey and fermented with safale S-04, it's nice, I stabilised it early between 1.007 and 1.004 (can't remember and lost the note) and it's nice, just a touch of sweetness (off-dry?) and a mild orange blossom flavour which seems to emphasise the sweetness. The extra honey in yours should give a stronger flavour and the extra booze should balance it nicely.
     
  7. Aug 11, 2017 #7

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    Yeah, I have my SNA all worked out for the next few days with a final at the 1/3 break. Yours sounds a good mead; just a touch of sweetness is how I like it. Not cloyingly sweet like a lot of the commercial offerings. I used orange blossom too. I bought a 13.6kg tub from Paynes after failing to find anyone local with honey for sale.

    One of my buckets is already bubbling away after six hours; the other (actually a keg) doesn't seem to be active yet. Strange because I actually mixed it all up in the keg, then poured half into the bucket and made both up to the OG with spring water.

    It's probably be alright by tomorrow. If not maybe the nutrient addition will kick it.
     
  8. Aug 11, 2017 #8

    Zephyr259

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    Ah cool, I'm planning on buying a bunch of honey from Paynes soon. I want to try out their Mexican and chestnut honeys with orange blossom or clover as a more standard option. Since it's so cheap I was gonna get of their blossom honey and caramelise it for a bochet.

    Hope you keg kicks in soon.
     
  9. Aug 12, 2017 #9

    BeerCat

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    I am not an expert but should you not use more yeast for so much honey? For 2kg i would use a 5g pack even with a starter. Perhaps that is overkill.
     
  10. Aug 12, 2017 #10

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    You might well be right BeerCat. The trouble with internet research (as I've been doing) is every page seems to contradict the previous one.

    I read that 1g of D47 was enough for a gallon batch, but that people add the whole 5g packet just because it's there. That makes my 10g about enough. Besides, two packets is what I had on hand and I was itching to get started. In retrospect, I would have used a couple of extra packs if I had thought about it fully. It's not worth risking that amount of honey (and time) for a few quids' worth of yeast.

    I'm keeping it well aerated, twice per day, to give the yeast more chance to colonise for the first few days.

    It's certainly bubbling well. The seemingly 'stuck' keg wasn't at all. The lid doesn't seal so nothing was going through the airlock. I wrapped the threads with some cling film today and got instant rapid bubbling.
     
  11. Aug 12, 2017 #11

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    I nearly went for the Mexican myself, and I liked the sound of the Chestnut. The Orange Blossom though was a shade over £100, so free delivery; the price was right for what I wanted.

    If this all works out and I continue, I'll try something like the Chestnut next time.

    I nearly bought Buckwheat honey. Someone local was importing it from Bulgaria, and it was cheap. When I read somewhere that it smells like a farmyard when fermenting though, it put me off :sick:
     
  12. Aug 12, 2017 #12

    Zephyr259

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    Yeah, I'm going to get a couple of the 3.17 kg tubs so I can try a few things for £50 - 60. Yeah I've read about the Americans using buckwheat honey and how strong it is.

    The packs of yeast say they are good for 5 - 23 L so 10g in a starter with good nutrient should be fine. I'm guessing that folks pitch more since the wine yeast is so cheap compared to the honey.

    Have you come across the BOMM (Bray's one month mead) on the Gotmead forums? They ferment it with Wyeast 1388 Belgian Strong Ale after testing a bunch of strains. I've got some Belgian Ardennes which I'm going to test out, it was almost as good as 1388 in the tests but it sounds like they got a dodgy pack as it didn't swell as much and then the ferment took a good while longer. I'll be making a starter so should be good and healthy.
     
  13. Aug 13, 2017 #13

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    Aye, I came across BOMM and nearly made that as my first batch as I wanted something quick. I can't remember now why I went for JAOM instead... I think I was struggling to find all the ingredients at first, so decided on JAOM is it didn't need them. Then I found them but forgot about the BOMM option :doh:

    I'll certainly give it a try some time though, when I get more honey (and demijohns... I plan on scouring the car boots around here). I would like to know how yours turns out with the Belgian Ardennes.

    I'm currently listening to the music of gurgling fermenters. If I leave the door to my brewing den (a.k.a the dining room) open I can hear it throughout the house. It's theraputic :D
     
  14. Aug 13, 2017 #14

    Zephyr259

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    Haha, that sound drives my wife nuts and attracts the attention of the tiny ones... Better now that I have a fridge to keep things in.

    I'll be doing a full write-up of the BOMM when I get round to it, probably won't be for a month or 2 since we've only drank two 750 ml bottles of the 10L batch of mead I last made.
     
  15. Aug 14, 2017 #15

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    I'll look out for your write up. It will be at least that long before I'm ready to do more anyway. The only little one I have to worry about is the cat. She's not allowed in the dining room (she does bad things in there) but I accidentally left the door open yesterday and found her asleep on top of my bucket!

    My mead is really going for it tonight. There's a continual gurgling and burping as the pressure builds against the water head, then blows out all at once. Every few seconds, alternating between the batches. In between those there's the gently plip of the two demijohns of JAOM.

    They had the last feed today, and a slight pH tweak with some KHCO3 as it was below 3.2 after stirring to release the CO2. Brought it up to 3.6. I didn't know if I should just leave it alone, but it's certainly bubbling more tonight so I've not hurt it.

    Just waiting for the 1/3 break now, and hoping it will foam a bit less so I can actually read the SG inside the thief.
     
  16. Aug 15, 2017 #16

    Zephyr259

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    Sounds like all is well, but a cat sleeping on the fermenter is a new one....

    Where did you find potassium carbonate? I searched all over and all I can find is bicarbonate which is fine but not as potent. Not really that fuzzed since it's £2.50 for 100g which will last forever.
     
  17. Aug 15, 2017 #17

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    KHCO3 is the bicarbonate (-HCO3). K2CO3 is potassium carbonate. Sorry for dropping into symbols; ex chemistry teacher and lab geek here :ugeek:

    I found potassium carbonate, but food grade was pricey and technical grade can be full rubbish. The bicarbonate was food grade, cheap, and from a legit supplier (http://www.intralabs.co.uk).

    Yeah, just use twice as much bicarb. I think it's easier to measure when dealing with small quantities like a few grams.

    I've just checked my SG and it's already at 1/3. Didn't know it would be that quick!
     
  18. Aug 15, 2017 #18

    Zephyr259

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    Haha, I'll put that one down to a 4 hr nap before a chopper home after 3 weeks of nightshift. Don't worry about symbols, I've a degree in chemical engineering and spent 6 months last year doing the PGDE for Chemistry, unfortunately it didn't work out and I'm back offshore.

    Ah good, I was dubious about buying chemicals online, but intralabs is the trader I found.

    Folks say the sna and constant degassing really speeds up fermentation. Seems true enough.
     
  19. Aug 15, 2017 #19

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    Ahh... Aberdeen. I guess you're on the rigs then. I nearly went that way myself, way back, switching from geology to geochemistry. I got into teaching by accident; never was qualified in teaching but it was a private school so they followed their own rules.

    I had to put a few ice packs around my brewing corner today. Temperature was creeping up to 21C. First time I've complained about it not being cold and wet here. It's hovered around 19C most of the time.

    Enjoy your break and stay safe out there!
     
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