View Full Version : do mini bubbles mean fermentation?

12-12-2008, 04:22 PM
OK so I made my first mead awhile back, the recipe and instructions can all be found at the link below.


When I racked from the primary I just filled the empty space at the top of the carboy with filtered water because I was a noob, well moreso than I am now.

Then when I racked into the tertiary I added some about a half of a pound of honey in enough water to top off the mead. Ever since then, it has been bubbling, but not like usual. There is no airlock activity, and there isn't any kind of violent or even noticeable fermentation going on, I don't think. But there are TONS of miniscule bubbles coming up to the surface of the mead every second. The bubbles are smaller than typical soda carbonation bubbles. The thing is, this baby has been bubbling like this for more than a month now, I was thinking of bottling on Sunday. Is it safe? And why is it still bubbling???

12-12-2008, 04:49 PM
I wouldn't worry about it honestly.

What you have is a combination of a secondary fermentation and some offgassing of the mead. This is pretty common in secondary/tertiary vessels when honey has been added earlier, or another fermentable sugar has been introduced into the mix.

It could be malo-lactic fermentation, but that is doubtful at this point unless you introduced some LAB into the mix when racking. My advice would be to check your pH, get a current gravity reading, and then smell and taste the sample you pull. If you get any buttery, oily or fake popcorn butter aromas you have a malo-lactic ferment activated. If the sample smells like listerine, alcoholic or rocket fuel-ish you had some strong secondary activity when you added the honey (probably due to the addition of the water previously).

If you have sulfur-y components or reductive odors then you have some stressed yeast and a few grams of yeast hulls (about 5 in a 6 gallon batch) will help to adsorb those flavors and aromas along with providing some amino nitrogen for your yeast as they are in the last stages of their productive life cycle.

At this point your next step should be to pull that gravity sample and proceed as described above.

Hope that helps.

12-12-2008, 04:52 PM

It's still fermenting due to your adding more honey. If it's as active as you say it is, I'm sure there's airlock activity but at such a rate you're not noticing it.
What's the SG? That will tell you what's going on. You might be stressing the yeasts at the far end of the tolerance scale and end up with a higher alc % than originally designed.
Just my .02 worth.



12-12-2008, 04:59 PM
oooook, thanks a lot guys, ill do that soon as i can get back home, really, thanks a lot!