Weird problems with first batch of Pee

Discussion in 'Skeeter Pee' started by KCCam, Jan 30, 2019.

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  1. Jan 30, 2019 #1

    KCCam

    KCCam

    KCCam

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    Maybe I’m not patient enough, but on day #21 SG is stuck at 1.008.
    This is what it looked like on day #4, SG hadn’t changed - still at 1.070. I’ve never seen yeast clump like that. No bubbles.
    0D81DA40-C51D-4089-B320-47E8944CAB49.jpeg

    I’ve been lurking for a couple months now and finally got a chance to foray into the SP/DB universe! I’ve read the entire DB thread and a lot of other stuff here. I have lots of ideas about what to try next, but would like some expert opinions.
    I’ll try to keep this short so it will get read, but made copious notes and some pictures in case it will help.
    • Basically I’m following the SP recipe to a T, except I pitched the yeast (EC-1118, not slurry) too soon, 18 hours after everything was in the primary, at the same time I pitched the yeast into my DB.
    • 3 days later, no action and no drop in SG (pic above). My DB was going fine.
    • So I put another pack of 1118 into 2 oz of warm water with a bit of sugar, then added 2oz of must when it got going, and doubled it every time it looked like it was bubbling well, until I had a quart, then added to the primary and it took off right away.
    • 2 days later, at 1.050, I added the rest of the Realemon, nutrient, and energizer.
    • Things kept going for a few days then stuck at 1.015. I added more nutrient & energizer, splash-racked a couple times, whipped it good. Didn’t help.
    • So a couple days later I repeated the “unstick” process with another pack of 1118.
    • That worked for 3 days. Now it’s been stuck at 1.008 for 4 days.
    • I racked to a carboy yesterday so I could keep a closer eye on it. Kept about half the lees. No action in the air lock, no visible bubbles, 1/2” layer of sediment.
    I was trying to keep this short, lol, but I wanted to include as much info as I could.
    Original SG: 1.070. Temp: upper 70’s to low 80’s. Yeast: EC-1118. Never any bad smells. Stirred & whipped twice a day.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. Jan 30, 2019 #2

    cmason1957

    cmason1957

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    Well you don't want to add more nutrient or energizer, of that I am certain. Probably shouldn't have added the amount you did at 1.015. Pitching the yeast a bit soon, probably didn't hurt you any. Usually, when I make skeeter pee it does slow down quite a bit there at the end, I didn't think you added the third bottle of RealLemon until you racked to put into the carboy, but I am going from memory and haven't looked at the recipe in a good long time. One thing you might think about doing is just finish it off from where it is. the alcohol is little bit low, but not horrible. It's at about 8.3 or 8.4 now, depending on the method you use to calculate it. If you were to get it restarted and get it to go until 0.996, you would have 9.8 or 10. Just don't add as much sugar to backsweeten.

    When you say nutrient and energizer, I bet you mean you added something DAP. Fermaid-K or -O are better products and help the yeast out a bit more. Those are the only things I can think off off the top of my head. Oh and rehydrating yeast, you really shouldn't add sugar at that point, you want to add Go-Ferm or nothing. Adding sugar at that point almost stresses the yeast out, sort of like a triple shot of espresso coffee. That may not have helped the yeast develop a healthy, happy colony.
     
  3. Jan 30, 2019 #3

    ThreeSheetsToTheWind

    ThreeSheetsToTheWind

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    Hopefully just a fluke. I've never had a problem with SP fermenting, whether I used a slurry, starter, or just pitched the yeast right in.

    I have however stopped adding the third bottle of lemon juice. And I've dropped the abv to 7%. I feel it's a lot more enjoyable with the reduced acid, I also don't need to backsweeten as much and I don't need to watch the people I serve it to so closely. SP lite lol
     
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  4. Jan 30, 2019 #4

    KCCam

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    Cmason, thank you. The recipe says to add the third bottle of lemon juice, nutrient, and energizer at 1.050 and “after a couple of days” to rack to a carboy. I left it in the primary, and had my first volcano. Lots of CO2. Can’t imagine how that would have been in a carboy!
    I’m not sure what’s in my nutrient and energizer. My local store must order bulk and repackage it. There’s no info on the package. I’ll have to get the info from them or order it online.
     
  5. Jan 30, 2019 #5

    cmason1957

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    DAP is a white crystalline item. Fermaid is yellow powder, with potentially some white flecks in it. Yes, skeeter pee can volcano quite well.
     
  6. Jan 30, 2019 #6

    KCCam

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    3858081C-C063-4F01-A35B-71FB02D2C387.jpeg My nutrient is crystalline, so looks like maybe DAP. My energizer is yellow-ish. Is Fermaid also a nutrient, or is it the energizer?
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
  7. Jan 30, 2019 #7

    ThreeSheetsToTheWind

    ThreeSheetsToTheWind

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    Yeah that looks like DAP.
     
  8. Jan 31, 2019 #8

    cmason1957

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    Fermaid is both an energizer and a nutrient. Nutrients are like vitamins energizer is like caffeine. And I forget which one fermaid-Of or K. It's preferred for what. Hopefully someone else can remember better than me. And I only use fermaid, no dap or energizer.

    What I do is a small amount soon after yeast pitched. A 1/2 batch or more at 1/3 of the sugar gone. Final amount around 1/2 the sugar is gone. None after that. The yeast won't use it after that.
     
  9. Jan 31, 2019 #9

    KCCam

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    Thanks for that. I’ve done a little reading, and Go-Ferm and Fermaid-K (-O is the organic version with no DAP), seem pretty popular. I’ve seen DAP referred to as “junk food for yeast”. Kind of like potato chips for us - it’s food, lots of calories, but no real nutritional value.
    I think I may just stabilize and clear this one as is. I’ll get some better nutrient for the next batch.
     
  10. Feb 2, 2019 #10

    KCCam

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    I recently read, “An old wine industry adage says, ‘The best way to restart a stuck fermentation is to bottle the wine.’”
    1.008 has me worried. I’ve only ever done kit wines, until this one, and they’ve always gone to 0.990. I don’t want any bottle bombs. But this has been at 1.008 for a week now. It seems stable.
    So I vacuum racked (thanks, Steve/@vacuumpumpman, your AllInOne Wine Pump has paid for itself after 2 batches) onto Kmeta, made sure it was fully degassed, and mixed in the SuperKleer (Chitosan 20 minutes after Kieselsol). Once it’s clear, I’ll sweeten to taste, add Sorbate, give it a week to ensure no refermentation, filter, and bottle.
    Is that all done in the right order? Sound like a plan?
     
  11. Feb 2, 2019 #11

    cmason1957

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    That order seems just a smudge wrong. I thought the time period between Chitosan and Kiesol was an hour, but I haven't read those directions in a long time. Then once clear, rack add sorbate, sweeten, filter (but why with skeeter pee), bottle
     
  12. Feb 3, 2019 #12

    KCCam

    KCCam

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    I have never filtered until I got my AllInOne vacuum pump and whole house filter. Now it’s so easy, why not?

    And yes, there seems to be some debate about when to add Chitosan. The instructions on the Wine Kitz “Claro K.C.” I have says to wait 24 hours. I’ve always wondered about the varying instructions in the kits I’ve made (a few minutes, 15-30 minutes, 24 hours, 48 hours — never one that said 1 hour).

    A few years ago Dave did a Super Kleer vs Sparkaloid comparison. In the discussion he mentioned he had a gewurstraminer that he followed directions with (1 hour between) and was still waiting for it to clear 3 weeks later. Then with 3 batches of DB he stirred in the Kieselsol for 3 minutes and then immediately stirred in the Chitosan. By the time he was done the last one, most of the lees had fallen to the bottom in the first one. For DB at least, it looks like you don’t have to wait. I’m seeing similar progress with my SP and DB with a 20 minute wait.
     

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