Sunday, February 01, 2009

Kiwi Melomel - latest...

Well it looked like I'd fucked up big time with the Kiwi melomel as it didn't seem to be fermenting. It was bugging me like hell because I'd followed the various instructions and guidance I could find - particularly on using GoFerm to rehydrate the yeast.

I was about to rehydrate another yeast pack, on the basis that I must have done something to kill the yeasties in the first one when I noticed that the damned stuff had started bubbling. Hell it's only been a week - normally when I rehydrate a yeast with GoFerm, it's a matter of hours, because the GoFerm has caused the yeast to multiply it's cells into a nice vigorous starter. So it looks like it was just a long "lag phase" (where the yeast is multiplying and before it starts fermenting the sugar in the must into alcohol) the only thing I can think of is temperature, but that doesn't really make sense because the yeast pack says that the water should be between 40 and 43 degrees C (ideally), whereas I had it at about 37/38 degrees C which shouldn't be so cool as to affect the yeast. I don't know.

Anyway, because it seemed to be fermenting, I added about 3 grammes of FermaidK instead. That was mixed in a little must and then added to the main batch. I also sanitised our electric hand whisk so I could whisk the main batch of must to get some more air/oxygen into it. You'd normally, if aerating the must, do that at the time of the original mixing, but there are also various fermentation regimes that I've read about at GotMead that aerate periodically until the must has fermented down to a certain level of gravity, the must then being allowed to go into the "anaerobic phase" of fermentation.

I'm not using those techniques "per se" but figured that it wouldn't harm the must and as it had already started to ferment (signalling the end of any lag phase) that it was time to add the FermaidK nutrient and that aeration would be Ok.

Either way, it's bubbling away nicely so I'll check the gravity in a couple of days - it should show a respectable drop from the original 1100 that the must started at. Hell I might even aerate it again, it depends on where it's at.....