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EFaden
08-21-2006, 06:03 PM
So I have had this in the secondary for about a month and I can't tell if I should bottle it yet. It is the Austin Homebrew Sweat Mead Kit. I have all of the details and a full log of the brew. But my problem is that it was supposed to have around a 1.005 F.G. and I am seemingly stuck at 1.010. My question is, is it done? Should I bottle it? Or what should I do?

akueck
08-22-2006, 12:43 AM
How long has it been "stuck"? It could be very slowing kicking along without you noticing. No harm in leaving it in secondary for a while more; it should only help. And if it does stay at 1.010 for another few weeks, I wouldn't sweat the last few points. Everything I make seems to end up a few points above the predicted final gravity, and it always tastes good anyway.

Angus
08-22-2006, 08:31 AM
Efaden,

Couple of questions. First, where did the 1.005 FG figure come from? Was this part of the instructions that came with the kit? If this is a sweet mead kit, then 1.005 is getting low on the residual sugar level, making it more dry than sweet. Second, does it taste good to you? If it does, then you could consider it "done", although Akueck is right in that it could still be slowly fermenting, which would make it not done.

Can you post the recipe?

Angus

EFaden
08-22-2006, 08:28 PM
Alright... the F.G. figure came from the instructions with the kit. The kit is from Austin Homebrew Supply (AHS). The recipe was 15 lbs of honey (whatever they send with the kit). I brought 2 gallons of water to 185F and then added the honey. I then heated it to 180F for 15 minutes to pasturize the honey. At this point I took the bag of stuff labeled AHS Sweet Mead. What exactly was in here is a mystery, but it seemed to contain something dark brown, something whitish, and something tanish (like nutrient). I then cooled it in a sink of ice to 80F and moved it to the primary. I topped up to 5 gallons with water. O.G. was 1.112. I then pitched the WLP720 from a 500ml starter. The dates are

Boil: 06/25/2006
Fermenation Start; 06/26/2006 (approx. 12 hours)
Secondary: 07/05/2006
Tertiary: 07/21/2006 (this was mostly due to my siphon issues transfering to the secondary... siphon picked up a lot (most) of the trub).

When I pulled out a sample the other day it was at 1.010 and seemed to taste pretty good. If I shake it up every so often it seems to pickup and push some CO2 out of solution (airlock bubbles).

Thoughts? Sorry this was long, but it is everything I have done so far.

-Eric

Angus
08-23-2006, 08:38 AM
Efaden,

It sounds like it is still ticking along very slowly. If you let it sit for a couple of months and test the gravity again, you will probably find that it has dropped. The question you have to answer is whether you want it to get any dryer or if it is just the right sweetness for you. If it is, then stop fermentation using either the 'cool and rack' method, or chemicals.

Angus

aarossell
11-05-2006, 11:57 PM
...ACTUALLY...

If you want to stop it, cooling and racking isn't a good idea because refrigerating the mead will only make the yeast dormant. Not dead. They WILL start up again after bottling if the temperature is brought back up, and if fermentation was still going slowly. The thing about mead is that it does take a long time. It isn't wine, and it is certainly not beer. People just need to have more patience, and let it go..sometimes 6-12 months. Aging in the carboy is a good idea, too by the way.

If you REALLY want to stop the fermentation then yes, you should refrigerate it BUT then add a small amount of sorbate (potassium sorbate) to keep the yeast from starting again. Too much and it will taste horrible.

-Aaron

Oskaar
11-06-2006, 01:35 AM
Actually, chilling in a refrigerator for two weeks at about 38 degrees, then racking to another vessel is a very good way to stabilize your mead. You will put the yeast to sleep as mentioned below, and rack carefully from above the flocculated yeast into a new vessel. This won't clear your mead of all yeast, but it will slow them down to a point where you can rack off most of the yeast and then stabilize with K Metabisulphite and K sorbate.

Note that using K sorbate without using K Metabisulphite presents a risk of infection by Acetobacter sp. which is typified by a Geranium aroma. Note the pH and sulfite with an appropriate dose, then proceed with an appropriate K sorbate addition in order to keep the yeast from restarting fermentation.

If you want to do it without sorbate and sulphite, then crash it for four weeks at about 38, then rack carefully into another vessel, and let it stand in bulk aging for another two to three months, noting the gravity weekly for any changes that would indicate cessation of yeast activity. From there, I would leave my mead for the better part of a year to ensure that your yeasties have quit completely on you. Even this does not guarantee that there will not be yeast that can kick off, but it really does cut down on the possibility.

Sterile fltering is another option that eliminates the need for chilling and sorbate/sulphite additions. Using a filter that is sufficiently rated to remove yeast and bacteria (.45 micron) and your job is done.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Cargirl
11-09-2006, 04:34 PM
Actually, chilling in a refrigerator for two weeks at about 38 degrees, then racking to another vessel is a very good way to stabilize your mead. You will put the yeast to sleep as mentioned below, and rack carefully from above the flocculated yeast into a new vessel. This won't clear your mead of all yeast, but it will slow them down to a point where you can rack off most of the yeast and then stabilize with K Metabisulphite and K sorbate.

Note that using K sorbate without using K Metabisulphite presents a risk of infection by Acetobacter sp. which is typified by a Geranium aroma. Note the pH and sulfite with an appropriate dose, then proceed with an appropriate K sorbate addition in order to keep the yeast from restarting fermentation.

If you want to do it without sorbate and sulphite, then crash it for four weeks at about 38, then rack carefully into another vessel, and let it stand in bulk aging for another two to three months, noting the gravity weekly for any changes that would indicate cessation of yeast activity. From there, I would leave my mead for the better part of a year to ensure that your yeasties have quit completely on you. Even this does not guarantee that there will not be yeast that can kick off, but it really does cut down on the possibility.

Sterile fltering is another option that eliminates the need for chilling and sorbate/sulphite additions. Using a filter that is sufficiently rated to remove yeast and bacteria (.45 micron) and your job is done.

Cheers,

Oskaar


Once again, you've answered a question I've pondered and pondered about. Printing your comments on cool-and-rack now. :icon_salut:

Rhianni
11-19-2006, 11:16 AM
That packet of stuff you added in sounds like nutrient and energizer.

The difference between 1.010 and 1.005 isnt much. It will taste sweeter obviously but nothing bad. Personally I try to have mine stop at anything under 1.010.
There are many factors why its not getting that last out not limited to too much honey or too little water in the messurements.

To answer your question "on is it done" That a matter of personal choice. Is the level of sweetness something you want or do you want it a bit drier? Let your taste buds be the judge and not the paper :)