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Hesster1977

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So I am about to try my 2nd batch of Mead, and learned some things from my 1st attempt. I followed some Newbie Mead Maker guidelines, and followed the yeast supplement regimen closely, but as stated in my other post it blew through fermentation in just a few days, and I think it has a lot to do with maybe overfeeding the yeasties with Fermaid K and DAP. So further research into TONSA schedules and calculators has provided me with more guidance, but with some more questions.
I have found a couple of TONSA Calculators, one on MeadMakr site, and one on Meadmaderight site. The Meadmakr Batchbuildr tool provides the option for 1) Fremaid O (Tonsa 2.0), 2) Fermaid K/DAP, and 3) Fermaid K/Fermaid K/DAP. So this tool provides the options of choosing different supplement combinations, and seems the one I could use.
So as recommended to me maybe I should stick with just Fermaid O as the supplement, given my "explosive" fermentation on my first batch with Fermaid K and DAP.
But, when selecting just Fermaid O as the supplement in these tools, it seems different amounts of Fermaid O can be calculated, of course depending on inputs, like Low/Medium/High Nitrogen requirement, and Sweetness Level. I assume it will ferment to Dry at 1.000? Then I can back sweeten as desired.
Example - for a 5 Gal batch with 18% ABV Yeast (K1V-1116) and a target 1.134 Starting Gravity fermented to dry @ 1.000 the total amount of Fermaid O that will be added to the must is 27.9g. The nutrients will be divided into 4 staggered nutrient additions @ ~7g each?
I am going to add Tart Cherries to my Primary. and understand how this is entered into the Mead Calculator, but DO NOT know what impact this may have on calculating Fermaid O addition amounts, or if it matters.
So can some seasoned Forum Members clarify direction for me, so I use this tool properly?
 

Raptor99

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I prefer a combination of Ferm-O, Ferm-K, and DAP. I think that 100% Ferm-O would work as well. Note that DAP is 100% DAP, not the "Yeast Nutrient" that also contains a lot of urea. From what I have learned, it is best to start with Ferm-O, and then add some DAP after the yeast gets started. Ferm-K contains some DAP. I'm sure there will be various opinions on this.

There are quite a few different calculators for setting up SNA. The best resource I have found for SNA is Travis Blount-Elliott's spreadsheet. His paper is a great resource for learning how this works: Advanced Nutrients in Meadmaking. He has created a spreadsheet that is more detailed and more informative than most of the others: YAN Nutrient Calculator 2.1 . It is a Google Doc, so you need to make a copy of it so that you can edit it. The spreadsheet has a field for the yeast YAN requirement (look that up on the yeast datasheet). It provides the total amounts for Ferm-O, Ferm-K, and DAP. Then the SNA schedule goes like this:
  • Rehydrate with GoFerm
  • At 24 hours add 1/2 of the Ferm-O
  • At 48 hours add the rest of the Ferm-O
  • At 72 hours add 1/2 of the Ferm-K and 1/2 of the DAP
  • At the 1/3 sugar break add the rest of the Ferm-K and DAP
It is difficult to estimate the YAN in fruit additions such as tart cherries. If the amount of fruit is not large, I just ignore that and calculate the SNA without it. If you are adding quite a bit of fruit, you could add 30-40 points to the YAN offset to account for the YAN provided by the fruit. One thing I like about this spreadsheet is that it gives you a lot more information, and allows you to adjust for things like this.
 

Raptor99

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The calculator at BatchBuildr - MeadMakr uses the Travis Blount-Elliott protocol for Ferm-O/Ferm-K/DAP SNA if you select Ferm-O/Ferm-K/DAP, so if you don't want to get into all the details, just use that.

It's important to determine and correctly set the yeast YAN retirements. For K10V116 it is low to average, so I would use the Medium setting on the calculator
 

Hesster1977

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Thanks guys. I see that the Dap that I purchased has Urea in it as a ingredient. So would I be better served to not use it, or adjust its usage? What do they include it in a yeast nutrient package?6AD0AEA5-6EFB-45A2-B635-518ED73360DF.jpeg
 

Raptor99

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That is what I used for quite a while.. until I read this: LD Carlson 'Yeast Nutrient' may be as much as 5/6 urea and provide north of 500 YAN at package dosing

My two takeaways:
1. I don't want to add urea to my wine. It has been banned in commercial winemaking for 30 years in the U.S.
2. "Yeast Nutrient" provides way more YAN than pure DAP (500 mg/g vs 210 mg/g), which means that we are likely providing way too much. Too much leftover YAN is not a good thing because it can influence the flavor and provide nutrients for spoilage organisms.

Because of this, I have stopped using "Yeast Nutrient" containing urea.
 

Hesster1977

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That input is why these forums are valuable, and a lesson learned. Beware of generic yeast nutrients!. No wonder why my first batch was like Vesuvius:) so I put piss in my 1st batch.
 
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Rice_Guy

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What I have read says that we get a more uniform fermentation with higher cell density by using Fermaid O. After having one of my problems diagnosed in the vinters club followed by his Fermaid O > K fix I stopped using yeast nutrient/ DAP.
why? cost of goods
Thanks guys. I see that the Dap that I purchased has Urea in it as a ingredient. So would I be better served to not use it, or adjust its usage? What do they include it in a yeast nutrient package?
 

David Violante

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I've had great success with the calculator @Raptor99 suggested. He and @Rice_Guy have a lot of good information here. Below is what I've used as yeast so far and what their sites have indicated as nutrient requirements. If you're unsure, I think it's better to give them slightly more nutrients than less, as the stress, I think, is worse than having some extra nutrients in there.

QA23 Low
K1-V1116 Low
D47 Low
71B-1112 Low
EC1118 Low
RC212 Medium
D254 Medium
 

Hesster1977

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That disgusts me in even putting that Urea crap out there for purchase. Again, missed that in my research.
So I selected K1-V1116 as my yeast cause it is supposedly a work horse, but really I have no clue what the "best" selection would be. Is it OK to stay with this yeast selection @ 18 ABV? What is the "Low" or "Medium" mean - nitrogen level selection in the Batchbuidlr calculator - I see that would Reduce the amount of Ferm O each addition.
Appreciate all the guidance after spending a lot of $ on Orange Blossom Honey, as well as becoming Amazons best customer in Mead supplies and equipment:)
I am making 5 gal of Dragons Blood Mead, calling for ~ 14.5 Lbs Honey, and I will add 195 oz of Tart Cherries in the primary with 32 oz of Tart Juice, ferment it down to dry (1.000 or so) then go from there with back sweetening, etc. I put all of this into the Mead Calculator., with a target of 1.115 or so OG. Love this technical stuff, as in the past I used Charlie P's book recipe's and threw everything in a bucket, and got less than stellar results. My Bro and I drank it anyway as it was potent. BUT - Wanna get it right this time.
 

Raptor99

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K1-V116 is one of my favorites. The data on this yeast is here: Lalvin ICV K1-V1116 | Lallemand Brewing It is tolerant of adverse conditions, so mostly a trouble-free yeast.

The nitrogen requirement is the YAN (Yeast Assimilable Nitrogen) required by the yeast. For V1-V116 I would select Medium. The alcohol tolerance is "up to 18%" depending on conditions. It might stop before that.

Congratulations on producing something drinkable for your first batch of mead. That was my starting goal as well. Now we work on making it better... and better... and better. The SNA (Staggered Nutrient Addition) schedule is one of the keys to good tasting mead, and to reducing the aging time before it tastes good.
 

Hesster1977

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So just a FYI follow-up on my lessons learned from my first batch. Researched some tips from podcasts and forums on another web site, and learned from some very seasoned Mead Makers that they do not ever use Yeast nutrient like DAP or certainly UREA, and some don't even use Ferm-K, They stay with Fermaid-O only on a Tonsa schedule. So I started my batch Saturday and mixed my K1 yeast with Go Ferm, and pitched it. Next morning was getting Bubble lock action, nice and slow and steady. Have completed 2 rounds of 7g Ferm-O with drill stirring, and getting nice controlled steady fermentation with the SG start of 1.126 marching down steadily to 1.094 taken today. My last batch at this point was already at 1.000! So will do another Ferm-O tomorrow, and one more if I can catch the 1/3 sugar break. This is more like it!
 

Hesster1977

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So now that my batch of Dragons Blood is marching along in an orderly fashion, I will patiently wait until it ferments out dry ~1.000 or so. Then My plan is to rack it onto some Tart Cherries to back sweeten it up, rack it off, age it, then bottle.
So this brings up the next item that the "Newbie" would appreciate input on - Sulfite additions. I have read countless articles and read many forum recommendations on the process, and when and how much to use. I understand you should measure the PH and test for Sulfite levels to correctly add a prescribed amount, but really, I don't want to spend a bunch on a PH meter and SO2 test kit stuff, nor go back to College for a Chemistry degree to sort this out. I see #grams, Tsp amounts, # Tabs, charts on PPM to ml to Gallons, etc. I am looking for a simple approach, but don't want to ruin my batch with chemicals.
SO - I purchased some Potassium Campden Tabs on Amazon, and it says "550 mg Active PMB/tab, use 1 per Gal when racking". But the recommended amounts in the Forums are all over the map - 1/4 tab/5 gal, 1/2 tab/ 5 gal, 1 Tab/Gal, etc.
Questions -
1. Do I add any and how much at the 1st racking onto the Cherries? % or # of Tabs?
2. Then, certainly before bottling, but how much? % or # of Tabs?
 

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Rice_Guy

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* any time you do an operation which introduces oxygen you should add some form of metabisulphite. ,,, racking, bottling, I don’t when pulling a sample and wouldn’t if there is active outgassing adding Fermaid.
* the pigment in cherry is sensitive to SO2 do not add K meta directly to the cherry.
* this is a powder answer, ,,;( not a tablet answer, ,,, I add 50ppm when I add, this works out to 0.19 gram per gallon. Years ago at 25ppm I had flavor issues/ translated to I was sloppy learning what was important. I have had flavor issues at 100ppm after treating a film forming organism but 90% plus of club members don’t recognize that flavor, ,,, and with time flavor decreases.
* Tablets can be crushed and some make a 1/10 concentrate.
* the pH meter is worth while since it is a one time expense and then operation is “free” plus it gets involved in mixing all wines ,,, FOREVER
* testing SO2 ? with red grape with polyphenols you may detect some over time. Whites and country wine seems to eat SO2 so a quick and dirty is assume zero.

! AWW ;( , , , college chem was fun
 
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Hesster1977

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"I add 50ppm when I add, this works out to 0.19 gram per gallon"
So, with some math: 0.19g x 5 gal = .95 g/5 gal, and if (1) tab (of what I purchased) = 550 mg, then
550 mg x 2 tablets = 1100 mg = 1.1g. Then 1.1 g - .95 g = .15 g extra if using 2 tabs, so -
Use slightly less that (2) tabs to yield 50 ppm addition?
From "More Wine" : Post-ferment, you will want to augment the SO2 level during your transfers by another 25-50 ppm. Finally, you will add another 40-50 ppm at bottling time.
This seems to be aligned to your recommended amount of 50 ppm (on the high side).
 

Raptor99

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stickman

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@Raptor99 that's correct, the .19 g/gal is 50ppm Kmeta, which is only 57% active so the .19/.57 is .332g per gal for 50ppm active addition.
 

Raptor99

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Thanks. Just to clarify for others reading this:
50 ppm (mg/L) free SO2 = 0.19 g/gal free SO2 (3.7854 L per gallon)
= 0.332 g / gal of Kmeta powder (Kmeta powder is 57% SO2)

So you need to add 0.332 g of Kmeta powder / gal to get 50 ppm free SO2

[Edited for clarity]
 
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Hesster1977

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R-99 - I think I get this now - BUT can you clarify the "Active" thing?.
The key thing you point out is "the .19 g/gal is 50ppm Kmeta, which is only 57% active ".
"So you need to add 0.332 g of Kmeta powder / gal to get 50 ppm Kmeta"

I know on the K-Meta Tablets I purchased it says 550mg of ACTIVE K-Meta. So crush up some Tabs, weigh them for .19Grm x 5Gal, or 0.332 Grm x 5Gal?
This batch is fermenting perfectly so far, and unlike my first batch which I will probably use as a fuel additive in my Supercharged Camaro, I don't want to ruin it only by using too much or too little Sulfites.

Given that, I am purchasing a digital scale that can read mg's for accuracy, and am researching buying a PH meter, which open up a whole 'nother can of worms given all of the comments on what to get and cheap versus better (like a Beverage Doctor Pen Style or the Milwaukee Pen style's VERSUS the Milwaukee MW102. If I know the PH, that will at least get me closer to a proper dosage w/o spending big bucks on a SO2 meter.
 
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