Fermaid-O is an organic source of nitrogen and nutrients, vs Fermaid-K and DAP which are not. I used DAP in past batches, but the thought of urea-derived ammonium salts kind of grosses me out. Fermaid-O is, well, at least it’s derived from yeast.

from Scott Laboratories’ site:


Fermaid O is the latest nutrient developed by Lallemand’s winemaking nutrient research team headed by Dr.
Anne Ortiz-Julien. Fermaid O is a blend of inactivated yeast fractions rich in organic nitrogen. Fermaid O does
not contain added ammonia salts (DAP) or added micronutrients.
The importance of organic nitrogen from yeasts is well known as a highly efficient nutrient source for wine yeasts,
especially when compared to inorganic nitrogen from DAP. In addition, Fermaid O consistently produces lower levels of
negative sulfur compounds, compared with DAP. With its high content of organic nitrogen, Fermaid O can help
winemakers achieve steady fermentations, while limiting temperature peaks. When inorganic nitrogen (DAP) additions
are NOT desired, the use of Go-Ferm® or NATSTEP™ and Fermaid O is recommended. With this combination, Go-Ferm or
NATSTEP provides needed micronutrients during yeast rehydration, and Fermaid O supplies critical nutrients and
survival factors to help the yeast avoid stressed conditions. Note: In low nutrient situations, yeast available nitrogen
(YAN) may be insufficient to avoid fermentation problems.


400 ppm 40 g/hL 3.5 lb/1000 gal

From this we see that for 400ppm YAN we need 40 grams of Fermaid-O per hectoliter. A hectoliter (100 liters) is 26.4 gallons. If we divide the 40g by 26.4 we get 1.5, so we need 1.5 grams per gallon of must. For a staggered nutrient addition schedule, that’s .75 grams per gallon at lag phase and .75 grams per gallon at the 1/3 sugar break.

Brewlog: Meadowfoam

18lbs Meadowfoam honey

5g K1-V1116

10g Fermaid-O


6 gallons water


OG: 1.11

ABV: 13.4%


Rehydrate the yeast in Go-Ferm

mix must

pitch yeast


at lag phase add 5g Fermaid-O


I didn’t measure pH at the beginning, probably should have. After 1 week the ferment got stuck at 1.050. Since it was right at the 1/3 sugar break, I fed it another 5g Fermaid-O and aerated it. pH was at 3.2 – the low end of the generally accepted range but that shouldn’t have been low enough to stun the yeast. Aerated it daily for the next few days, fished a few stupid fruit flies out, still nothing. Added enough Potassium Bicarbonate to bring the pH up to 4.0, still nothing. fished a few more fruit flies out. Meh. Prepared an acclimated starter to repitch with some DV-10, dosed the must with some K-Meta to ward off the looming acetobacter infection. Came back the next day to draw more must for the starter and it was going again. It didn’t taste or smell like vinegar so I racked it to a carboy and airlocked it. now it’s at 1.015 and still chugging away – K1-V1116 should take this dry eventually.

Brewlog: Plum something or other

30 lbs mixed (elephant heart, santa rosa and stanley) plums, frozen and thawed (about 2/3 pitted, left 1/3 of the pits in)

5lbs montmorency cherries (pitted), frozen and thawed

12lbs orange blossom honey

2lbs buckwheat honey

10g RC-212


10g Fermaid-O as needed

3g Rapidase Maxi-Fruit

water to 6 gallons

OG: 1.110

ABV: 13.8%


defrost 20lbs of plums, cherries mixed with rapidase in a sparging bag overnight.

rehydrate yeast in Go-Ferm

mix must to 1.110

pitch yeast

cover with a sanitized towel

at lag phase, add fruit and 5g Fermaid-O


Preserved lemons!!!!

I spent the morning working through several things we’ve had hanging around – tomatoes, chilies, eggplants and cukes from the plot, etc. I’ve also had a bag of Meyer lemons that my friend Linda gave me sitting around for a week, had to do something with them. So, Moroccan preserved lemon time!

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it’s really easy. Sterilize some jars, cut the lemons into eighths leaving 1/2 inch at the stem end so the segments are attached. rub the flesh and juice out into a bowl, rub some pickling salt into the rind and move on to the next one. Pack them into the jars firmly so they won’t float when you add liquid. stir 2 tsp more of salt to the bowl of lemon juice, pour over the lemons making sure they’re submerged. Add more lemon juice if there’s not enough. Pour 1 tbs of olive oil over the brine in each jar, lid and stick somewhere room temperature for 3 weeks. Boosh, preserved lemons!

Brewlog: Cherry Business!

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30 lbs montmorency cherries, pitted, frozen

3 lbs sweet black cherries, pitted, frozen

25lbs orange blossom honey

5lbs buckwheat honey

1 gallon tart cherry juice

10g RC-212

10g Fermaid-O, more as needed


1/4 tsp K-Meta

5g Rapidase Maxi-Fruit

water to 10 gallons


OG: 1.120

ABV: 14.3%



defrost 20 lbs of montmorency, 3 lbs of black cherries in a sparging bag. add 1/4 tsp K-Meta, cover with a sanitized towel and let sit for 12 hours

bucket of fruit

bucket of fruit







add 4g Rapidase in 2 cups of water, let sit for 12 hours

rehydrate yeast in Go-Ferm solution

mix must to OG 1.12, pitch yeast

at lag phase, add 5g Fermaid-O and bag of fruit

add another 5g Fermaid-O the next day, more as needed to keep yeast happy

remove fruit when primary fermentation is done, rack to 2 5-gallon carboys



SG: 1.005

racked off fruit into carboys.



SG: 1.005

the yeast is flocculating like mad, yeast cakes were pretty much done hours after racking to secondary. racking off the yeast into new carboys.

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Big bucket of grape juice

Last week the 5-gal bucket of Chenin Blanc juice came in. I waited for it to warm up to 60 degrees, rehydrated the yeast and pitched.

The juice didn’t smell at all how I expected it would, it had a very mineral smell. The taste was great however, and now that it’s fermenting it smells very clean and floral with citrus notes. Looking forward to this!

Brewlog: Basic Orange Blossom Traditional

this is ending up as my go-to basic off-dry mead.

12lbs Orange Blossom honey

2lbs Buckwheat honey

water to 5 gallons

8g DV-10

Go-Ferm, Fermaid-O

American Medium Toast oak cubes



rehydrate yeast per instructions, add to Go-Ferm slurry

mix must to SG of 1.10

pitch yeast, aerate like crazy

cover bucket with a sanitized towel


Brewlog: Mixed-berry Melomel

Everyone makes a mixed berry mel, right? This was my first attempt at it.

Costco Clover honey

6lbs frozen blueberries

6lb Cascadian Farm Antioxidant Blend

.75 gallons Vintener’s Havest Black Currant

8oz dried elderberries

1lb dried apricots

1lb dried figs

handful of raisins

15g RC-212


Fermaid K, DAP



defrost frozen fruit in a bucket overnight, covered with a towel


rehydrate yeast, add to Go-Ferm slurry

mix wildflower honey and water to 6 gallons, SG 1.14

pitch yeast

aerate like mad

add fruit in a sparging bag

cover with sanitized towel



at lag phase add 3g Fermaid K, 3g DAP


add another 3g Fermaid K and 3g DAP


at 1/3 sugar break add another 3g DAP


SG 1.08

transferred to a 6.5gal carboy with airlock


SG 1.04


SG 1.03


SG is 1.011, the yeast is probably done.


taste is nice, lots of deep black currant with other berry notes. taste is still a little hot, will let this one sit for a while then oak it.


added 3oz Medium French oak


Tasted it, delish. racked off the oak, will let it sit for a bit longer then bottle it. Time to start another batch!

Brewlog: Blueberry Mel

From Oskaarz “You Bleu My Berries”

20 lbs blueberry honey

20 lbs frozen blueberries

32 oz blueberry juice

32 oz cherry/pomegranate juice

10g Lalvin RC-212



pectic enzyme

SG: 1.14

ABV: according to meadcalc this ends up at 17.6%. the tolerance of RC-212 is 16% so there will be a fair amount of residual sweetness.



poured 20 lbs frozen blueberries with 2tsp pectic enzyme into a bag to thaw


rehydrate yeast with Go-Ferm

mix 3 gallons water with 20 lbs honey and the 64oz of juice

pitch yeast, aerate like mad

add blueberries

cover with sanitized towel



foam is forming due to the beginning of the lag phase. Aerated and dosed it with 9g Fermaid-O.



added another 20g Fermaid-O


I think my calculations were off – for 200ppm Yan I’ll need close to 100 grams of straight Fermaid-O. Yikes.

added another 20 grams which brings the total to 40.


added another 60 grams, bringing the total to 100 grams of Fermaid-O.


SG is 1.018 – it’s not dropping as fast as I’d expected, but it tastes good – sweet and tart.


SG is 1.005 – much better. tastes hot and has a weird bitter note, adding some more Fermaid.


SG is .995 and still burping. I’d have thought this would finish higher, interesting.


SG is still .995

I think the massive nutrient schedule has thrown the taste, now there’s a mineral saltiness to it. Not sure how to make that go away, time for Google.



I massively miscalculated the amount of nutrients needed, to fix I pitched another 6-gallon batch of Blueberry Mel with K1-V1116, one of the killer yeasts. Didn’t have blueberry honey so I used Costco’s Clover with another 20 lbs of frozen blueberries. Dang, only 10lbs left for secondary now.

After primary started, I added in the original batch and the fruit. It fermented dry in about a week, took out the fruit and racked to 5 gallon carboys. Tastes much more like I expected, only it’s really hot – I have no idea how to measure the ABV but it’s higher than 14%, that’s for sure. It’ll take some Medium French/Medium Hungarian oak and some aging but this batch should be ready for secondary fruit in about a year.

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