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!

2014-09-04 12.42.11






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!

2014-09-06 10.13.16






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.

2014-09-13 14.42.30_1










Blueberry honey

Oooh, the honey is here. 2 gallons of Blueberry Honey from BeeFolks in MD.

I started thawing 24 lbs of frozen blueberries with some pectic enzyme last night, should be ready to pitch a batch of blueberry mel tonight.

Bottling Day

Bottled 1 gallon of the Cranberry Poser and 1 gallon of the Dark Mel to free up a couple of carboys. Using 16oz swingtops for the first time, I’m not planning on long-term storage so they should be fine. Also filled a couple of 350ml bottles of each for submissions.

Also backsweetened 3 gallons of Strawberry Mel – 1 lb of honey took it from .995 to 1.006. It should be clear and ready for bottling in a couple of weeks, in time for summer festivities.