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Wine versus Mead making protocols question

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BeeMad

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I joined this group back in October to learn how to make mead and someone suggested I check out Gotmead. I'm back now that I've "got mead" aging and want to make some wine with the blueberries stuffed in my freezer. The protocols seem different for the two, though. I don't see the emphasis on rehydrating the yeast with go-ferm, aerating twice a day for three days, or using staggard nutrient additions starting at 24 hours after pitch. From what I've read/watched so far, there is no aeration, only degassing, and the nutrients are added upfront when the yeast is pitched. My understanding is that the DAP in the nutrients is toxic to the yeast at the beginning stage (unless using Fermaid O, which has no DAP). Am I right about the two protocols, or am I missing something?

I have Fermaid 0, Fermaid K, and Fermax. If I'm to add a nutrient up front, I'm tempted to use Fermaid 0. Am I concerned over nothing?

Thanks to anyone who can clarify my understanding here.
 

cmason1957

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Most wine fruit brings a little bit of the nutrients along with them, so the importance of the staggering nutrients is less, but I always do a staggered addition anyway. About half as the fermentation starts and the other half about the time of 1/3 sugar depletion. Either way really works. With meads, you generally start with just honey and water so you need to be more careful.
 

Stressbaby

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DAP is toxic to yeast? I've never heard that.

On all my fruit wines I rehydrate with GoFerm, step feed with Fermaid K, and really only use Fermaid O if I need a nutrient addition after 50% sugar depletion. Aerating (stir twice a day, punch down) is conventional wisdom around here, though white wines can be made without doing that.

Blueberries have a reputation for being a little tricky. You need enough fruit for flavor, I like about 5#/gallon. There are reports of stuck fermentations, possibly related to pH, possibly due to some other antimicrobials naturally found in vaccinium sp. You will likely have a much lower pH than with your mead, just make sure it is in the yeast's range.
 

Johnd

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I still keep a little DAP around and use it occasionally, mostly early on in a ferment when I know it will all be depleted. Also works great to knock out an early detection of H2S, small shot of DAP followed by some Fermaid O or K does the trick. I’ve never seen any signs of DAP toxicity to yeast.
 

BeeMad

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Most wine fruit brings a little bit of the nutrients along with them, so the importance of the staggering nutrients is less, but I always do a staggered addition anyway. About half as the fermentation starts and the other half about the time of 1/3 sugar depletion. Either way really works. With meads, you generally start with just honey and water so you need to be more careful.
I'd read that fruit already has YAN, so adding nutrients is of less importance in wine than in mead making, but from what I'd read so far, recipes called for less than I expected and right up front. This fits more in with what I suspected.
 

BeeMad

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DAP is toxic to yeast? I've never heard that.

On all my fruit wines I rehydrate with GoFerm, step feed with Fermaid K, and really only use Fermaid O if I need a nutrient addition after 50% sugar depletion. Aerating (stir twice a day, punch down) is conventional wisdom around here, though white wines can be made without doing that.

Blueberries have a reputation for being a little tricky. You need enough fruit for flavor, I like about 5#/gallon. There are reports of stuck fermentations, possibly related to pH, possibly due to some other antimicrobials naturally found in vaccinium sp. You will likely have a much lower pH than with your mead, just make sure it is in the yeast's range.
Apparently, the yeast cell walls need time to unfold and thicken before being exposed to DAP. It's something stressed in the Gotmead podcasts, but I don't remember the exact science behind it.

I'd heard that about blueberries being tricky and plan to use K1 V1116. I'll have to add some extra berries, and will no doubt need to back sweeten later. I have a pH meter and will make sure the must doesn't drop too low. Thanks for the tip!
 

BeeMad

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I still keep a little DAP around and use it occasionally, mostly early on in a ferment when I know it will all be depleted. Also works great to knock out an early detection of H2S, small shot of DAP followed by some Fermaid O or K does the trick. I’ve never seen any signs of DAP toxicity to yeast.
It's good to know. Thanks!
 

BeeMad

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I'm starting the must and will let it sit 24 hours after adding the camden tablet. The S.G. was 1.076, which is too low in my opinion, so I added another pound of sugar and another pound of crushed blueberries, bringing it up to 1.100. The pH is at 3.3, and although the recipe I'm following calls for adding acid, I'm thinking I should wait and add it at the end, if needed (thanks, Stressbaby).
 

BernardSmith

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I think there are different protocols for pitching yeast. Many on Gotmead like to rehydrate using Goferm, but some labs don't seem to recommend rehydrating their yeast (perhaps because of the possibility that wine and mead makers are likely to use Fermaid O or K as they rehydrate and that is contra-indicated). Me? I sometimes rehydrate and sometimes I simply scatter the yeast atop the must. But I don't count the number of viable cells or measure differences in lag time. But then most of my batches are 1 or 3 and occasionally 5 gallons..
 

BeeMad

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I think there are different protocols for pitching yeast. Many on Gotmead like to rehydrate using Goferm, but some labs don't seem to recommend rehydrating their yeast (perhaps because of the possibility that wine and mead makers are likely to use Fermaid O or K as they rehydrate and that is contra-indicated). Me? I sometimes rehydrate and sometimes I simply scatter the yeast atop the must. But I don't count the number of viable cells or measure differences in lag time. But then most of my batches are 1 or 3 and occasionally 5 gallons..
I'm using Lalvin's K1-V1116, and according to the Scotts labs handbook, the Lalvin procedures are to rehydrate with Goferm. I'm actually waiting for it as I write this and will pitch it as soon as it's ready. I just won't add nutrients to the must for 24 hours. I figure it won't hurt since the yeast won't need it during the lag phase anyway. There's my alarm! I'm off!
 

Scooter68

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Don't forget to allow for volume loss due to lees. Normally with blue berries the amount will be moderate at first racking (During fermentaion - from bucket to carboy) but there will be much more to come once fermentation is completed.Safe side is to allow for about 1/4 volume loss due to lees. On the plus side blueberries break down quite well so there isn't much 'pulp' mostly skins and seeds.

Acidity is always tricky with blueberries. Mine are homegrown here and I've never had a ferment fail to start by the numbers can be scary. 3.08 3.18 not unusual at yeast pitching time. I use mostly K1-V1116 but I have also successfully used Montrachet and EC-1118 successfully with blueberries.
 

BeeMad

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Don't forget to allow for volume loss due to lees. Normally with blue berries the amount will be moderate at first racking (During fermentaion - from bucket to carboy) but there will be much more to come once fermentation is completed.Safe side is to allow for about 1/4 volume loss due to lees. On the plus side blueberries break down quite well so there isn't much 'pulp' mostly skins and seeds.

Acidity is always tricky with blueberries. Mine are homegrown here and I've never had a ferment fail to start by the numbers can be scary. 3.08 3.18 not unusual at yeast pitching time. I use mostly K1-V1116 but I have also successfully used Montrachet and EC-1118 successfully with blueberries.
Good to know I'm on the right track! I'm using a two-gallon bucket about 3/4 full, figuring I'd lose some. My bushes give me about 7+ gallons of blueberries a year, but having to pick them myself, I didn't want to waste any in my first attempt at wine making, which is why I chose to go with K1-V instead of 71B, which is what I first thought I'd do. I understand that 71B can be tricky but is good for fruit.
 

Scooter68

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For a first go- round I wouldn't worry too much about the yeast variety as long as it's good enough the pH and ABV ranges you have in mind.

I raise my own blueberries and right now have about 30 plants in various ages some 10 plus years others a couple of years old (age since I planted) In an ideal world I have the potential for about 300 lbs of blueberries/year but then weather conditions and other factors make that just a max possible amount. I also taste test, a lot, as I pick so about 1/5 of a day's pickings never get bagged up for the freezer or sharing with others. my bad.
 

BeeMad

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Thanks for the reassurance, Scooter68! I do appreciate it!
My bushes were already tall when I bought my house 20 years ago, so I really don't know how old they are, but I'm grateful to the previous owners because they've consistently produced many gallons of fruit every year. My wife and I usually turn most of it into jam, but even after giving away a lot, it still takes us a couple of years to clean it out, so we're not inclined to make jam every year. Turning it into wine is a great way to use it up.
 

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