View Full Version : slow fermentation?

11-10-2007, 08:37 AM
Hi! i'm new to mead brewing and I have some questions.

I followed the main recipe on the site and did following:

I mixed 1 litre of honey and about 3 litres of water. After that I inserted 6 grams of wine yeast and started with open fermetation for first three days. after that I put on an airlock and left the must to fermentate.
After about a week, I added 3 grams of yeast because my fermentation was very slow (about 2 bubbles in a minute) It went well for few hours, but now it is very slow again.
What am doing wrong? can I fix it, or must I start all over again?

Thanks in advance, and sorry for my bad grammar and european metric units. :)

Cheers! :cheers:

11-10-2007, 12:13 PM
Welcome to GotMead!!!

You will find everything to answer all your questions, already covered in several message threads in the Newbees section. Look here: http://www.gotmead.com/component/option,com_smf/Itemid,412/topic,3495.0
Wrathwilde, one of the most prolific contributors here at GotMead has written up an excellent summary of the modern meadmaking process, including most of the things we'd suggest for a problem free fermentation.

Oskaar, the single biggest contributor, moderator, and patron saint of GotMead will ask you to post a detailed description of your exact recipe and process -- take a look at other recipes here to get the idea. We need not just the honey/water ratio; we also need to know the strain of yeast that you used, your process for preparing the yeast and pitching, what if anything you have done to prepare the must, any nutrients that have been added (and when), any measurements of SG, temperature, pH, etc. We can then diagnose the issue more comprehensively.

I would suggest, if you have not done so previously, to always rehydrate yeast per the manufacturer's directions, and be careful about temperature. Do not rehydrate in water that is too hot or too cold, and do not pitch yeast into a must that is radically different in temperature than that of the rehydration... either wait until the rehydration mixture cools a bit, or attemperate the yeast by adding small amounts of the cooler must at regular intervals (every 15 mins is good) until the yeast temperature is near that of the must.

Also, in general, yeast in a honey must (assuming you have a proper ratio of honey to water) need three more things for success:
1) Plenty of oxygen when the fermentation starts -- the process is anaerobic later, but early on the yeast need to breathe!
2) Nutrients that are not found in honey -- notably a source of assimilable nitrogen, and various vitamins and amino acids.
3) A proper pH balance. Yeast thrive between a pH of 3.4 and 4. Musts outside of this range will stress yeast, resulting in slow or stalled fermentations.

If you have not used a hydrometer to measure the specific gravity of your must, I suggest that you find one and do that without further delay. We cannot tell exactly what is going on without knowing something about the state of the current fermentation. It may be hard to believe, but properly nourished musts can ferment nearly to dryness in as little as 7 to 10 days! Yours is probably not one of those, but I don't know that for sure without knowing what the current value of your SG is.

11-11-2007, 09:55 AM
Thank you for answer. I hope I will be able to get hydrometer in time. I'll keep in touch, and thanks again. ;)