View Full Version : Slow Ferment or Stuck?

01-08-2008, 04:15 PM
I made a traditional mead using 5# clover honey and 2gal of water.
I stirred well with a lees stirrer and added 1tsp of Wyeast yeast nutrient.
I rehydrated a packet of D-47 in about 90F water for 15min and then pitched the yeast in the must.
I left the mead in a plastic bucket for 2 weeks before transferring to 2 - 4liter glass jugs with air locks and a 22 oz beer bottle I covered with aluminum foil and placed in the fridge (I underestimated the volume of the must).
When I racked the must into the secondaries the gravity was still 1.070 and tasted very sweet as expected given the gravity.
Worried that the yeast needed more nutrient I added 1/2 tsp nutrient to each jug.
The air locks are still bubbling but very slowly, less than 4/min.
My basement is about 64F, is this too cold?
Am I stuck?
Do I need to do anything or do I need to just relax?


PS From the Wyeast web site describing the nutrient:

Product: Supplemental nutrients for propagation & brewing
Description: A blend of vitamins, minerals, inorganic nitrogen, organic nitrogen, zinc, phosphates and other trace elements that will benefit yeast growth and complete fermentation. Additional nutrients are most valuable during yeast propagation and sluggish or stuck fermentations. Supplementing with nutrients will reduce lag time, improve viability and provide consistent attenuation rates.
Usage Rate: 1/2 tsp (2.2 Grams) per 5 gallons (19 liters) of wort.

01-08-2008, 09:05 PM
I'm roughly guessing based on the mead calculator that your OG was 1.080. Sounds like your yeast aren't doing their job. Did you aerate the mead since pitching? That and more nutrient might do the trick. I know I've used D47 at these temps and it ferments fine. The other thing to check is the pH, but with just honey and water it shouldn't be too low for the yeast unless the water you used was fairly acidic already.

On the other hand, I might just pitch new yeast since it's already been 2 weeks. Something like EC-1118 or another crazy-wacko killer strain. ;D

Yo momma
01-08-2008, 11:08 PM
If you are going to repitch, make sure you aclimate your strain ( EC-1118 is a killer strain) before the repitch. I, in the past, ruined my repitch due to over exposure to a violently alchoholic must to fast. I never did save that batch. YMMV

01-08-2008, 11:24 PM
True, acclimation is important when repitching. It's probably less an issue here, with only about 1% ABV produced so far. But, it certainly can only help.

01-09-2008, 09:51 AM
I did not realize my starting gravity was so low. But I think you are correct that is probably started around 1.080.
<edit>Just checked my notes and realized I added 8oz of local Holly flower honey which bumps my estimated OG to 1.088.
I did aerate well before pitching but I havn't since. I did swirl the fermenter (6.5 gal bucket) several times the first week but apparently that was not enough.
The must was very cloudy and there was a significant amount of trub settled out of the must so I thought the yeast were busy. Since racking the must it has starter to clear some with additional yeast dropping out.
Is it possible that the must had separated some and when I took my sample from the bottom of the fermenter I got alot richer must than the must in general? I took my sample using the first must that came out of my auto siphon when racking to the glass jugs.
I have some Red Star Cotes des Blanc in the fridge I could pitch this evening, or I could wait a day or two for my order to arrive that includes some EC-1118? I also included some yeast nutrient and yeast energizer in the order, should I add either of these to the musts when I repitch the yeast?
Thanks for all your help

01-09-2008, 11:01 PM
The mead does appear to be stuck as the bubbling has slowed to about 1/min however things were not as bad as I originally thought. I took a reading on the mead in the 22oz bottle I put in the fridge. The OG on that mead was about 1.036 much lower than the 1.070 I thought I was at. I doubt the mead in the fridge dropped much from when I put it there so I have to guess that my original reading was erroneous. Still its not near being done. The jugs in the basement have continued to clear and I can almost read through the jug.
Unless I here different I will try to stir and add yeast energizer tomorrow evening when my delivery arrives. There is plenty of yeast sediment so I don't think more yeast is necessary.


03-07-2008, 11:11 AM
Update on my mead.
I transfered the meads to new 4l jugs as there was considerable sediment in both batches.
The spiced version had been bubbling away slowly for over a month before stopping. The SG one this one was 1.000 so it finished. However I should have listened to all the warning about the cloves. That was the only flavor or aroma I got from the sample. It wasn't horribly over powering so maybe it will turn out OK after some aging.
The show mead never really bubbled and it was still sitting at SG 1.016. So it fermented some but not to dry. However it tasted wonderful. I am tempted to add some sorbate and bottle it as is. I would worry about bottling this at the current gravity without stabilization because it is well under the alcohol tolerance of the yeast.

Over all I am happy with the results even if they are not what I expected.


03-07-2008, 12:38 PM
well if your happy with it thats all that matters right?