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Fuzzmaster
08-03-2006, 12:17 PM
Help. I can't figure out why my fermentation won't start. I brewed my must 4 days ago. Here's how it went:

Boiled 5 gallons of water
Turned off heat
Added 12 lbs wildflower and orange blossom honey
Steeped 25 minutes
chilled to 75F
racked into glass carboy with airlock
aerated with bottled oxygen and air stone
added 2 tsp yeast nutrient
added 2 tsp yeast energizer
pitched a swollen smack pack of Wyeast Sweet Mead yeast

Must has been sitting in the carboy at about 70F for 4 days with virtually no fermentation activity!

WHAT THE HECK HAVE I MISSED??????

Please help. Thanks.

--Fuzzmaster

insanity
08-03-2006, 12:24 PM
Hmmm...

Just a few questions.

Did the Smack pack expand like it says on the instructions before you pitched it.

And you say "virtually no fermentation activity". What happens if you shake up the mixture. Do you get airlock activity then?

Fuzzmaster
08-03-2006, 12:28 PM
Yes, the smack pack was fat and happy.

By "virtually none" I mean one bubble in the airlock every 10-15 minutes or so. I get a couple bubbles if I shake the carboy.

Any ideas?

Thanks!

JayH
08-03-2006, 12:42 PM
It seems OK, the only thing I can think of is double check your SG and what is the PH?

Cheers
Jay

WRATHWILDE
08-03-2006, 01:27 PM
And double check your airlock to make sure it's sealed properly. A few other questions... what type of nutrient and energizer did you use, did you use tap water? A number of water companies have switched over to a new type of chlorination that cannot be boiled or filtered out. If you used municipal tap water that may be your problem, it's killing off your yeast. Best to use bottled spring water.

Wrathwilde

insanity
08-03-2006, 01:34 PM
My bad! Welcome to Got Mead.

I need to learn how to read as you had the smack pack answer in the original post.

And sometimes they take time. When Iíve used Wyeast Sweet Mead yeast, fermentations seem pretty slow compared to other yeast strains but they do make nice mead.

You have a lot more patience than I if you're able to wait and stare 10-15 minutes between blips. I'd get bored and cheat (set up the camcorder and fast forward through the video) to see how long it takes.

Dwhite
08-03-2006, 06:58 PM
From my experience with smack packs ,which primarily involves brewing beer, the smack pack itself is never enough to get a fermentation going quickly. When brewing beer I'd start my Wyeast a week ahead of time and do at least a 1 quart starter to step it up.

Just my 2p

All the Best,
Doug White

Fuzzmaster
08-04-2006, 11:33 AM
Well it looks like the yeast is FINALLY waking up [:)] After 4 days of waiting I decided it was time to start panicking, but apparently it really just NEEDED that fifth day before it decided it was ready to show up for the party. [:D] I'm now getting bubbles in the airlock once about every minute and I've got a thin layer of bubbles on the surface. After leaving messages on several boards, it appears this might just be a characteristic of the this yeast (Wyaeast sweet mead). Something for everyone else to be wary of!

Thanks for all the help!

--Fuzzmaster

Oskaar
08-05-2006, 05:00 AM
Thank you for joining the growing number of people who keep re-affirming (albeit unknowingly) why I don't use Wyeast products any longer!! >:D

Cheers,

Oskaar

Fuzzmaster
08-05-2006, 12:24 PM
What kind of yeast do you guys reccomend?

WRATHWILDE
08-05-2006, 07:25 PM
Lalvin by far!!! The best place to get most all of them is Morewine.com (http://morewinemaking.com/browse.html?category_id=1314&keyword=&x=1&y=1&PHPSESSID=98778533ba657126605542b7dd82392c)

Here's the best quick reference chart for lalvin yeast. (http://www.lallemandwine.us/products/yeast_chart.php)

And here's the best listing of Lalvin Yeast characteristics. (http://www.lallemandwine.us/products/yeast_strains.php)

Wrathwilde

Fuzzmaster
08-05-2006, 07:51 PM
How do you pick?

Oskaar
08-05-2006, 07:53 PM
Start by reading the descriptions of the yeasts.

Honestly I'd start with what I consider the basics:

D47, 71B for Sweet/Semi-Sweet Traditional and Show Meads
K1V, RC212 for Dry Traditional Meads
71B for berry melomels
K1V for Cysers (although many people use EC-1118 and I use D47 also)
RC-212 for dark grape pyments
DV10, EC1118 for sparkling mead base
K1V, D47 for Metheglins

Hope that helps,

Oskaar

GrantLee63
08-19-2006, 07:56 AM
I would like to add the following based on the recommendations I received from fellow forum members when making the following:

White Grape Pyments = R2
Acerglyns = D-254

- GL63