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westfall
12-18-2009, 02:20 PM
Just took a gravity reading after a month and she seems to be stuck at 1060. the batch is as follows
13 lbs honey with 4 gallons distilled water
Champagne yeast
2 tbsp yeast nutrient
OG 1100
Fermenting at 65 degrees
plenty of aeration
Just learned about ph readings so I dont have that yet..
Is it possible to get this puppy going again?

wayneb
12-18-2009, 02:27 PM
Welcome, westfall!

Given what you've told us thus far, I'd suspect pH first, but a more detailed description of your entire process would help us to rule out (or reconsider) other possibilities.

Check that pH, though! ;)

westfall
12-18-2009, 03:53 PM
pasturized honey for 15 min at 160...poured in distilled water to make 5 gal.
cooled to 70, while that was going on, rehydrated champagne yeast .
after pitching yeast in must at 70 degrees...aerated...then dissolved yeast nutrient in distilled water and pitched into must. Put airlock on and let sit in basement fermenting room for one month, basically forgot about it until yesterday. Decided to take hydrometer reading, and turned out to be 1060. Now i am used to beer making so i know after a month it should be lower than that. What i am not used to is taking a ph reading. if it is more acidic what do i need to add. and after i add it what else do i need to do to get it back to fermenting?

akueck
12-18-2009, 04:22 PM
If necessary, you can increase the pH of your mead using any number of bases. Potassium (bi)carbonate is a good choice because it dissolves easily and won't leave a salty flavor. Calcium carbonate can also be used but will dissolve more slowly. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) works too, but you might be able to detect the sodium in the flavor profile. Additions on the order of 1 g/gallon are a good place to start.

A good range for pH is about 3.2-3.8. If your mead falls outside that range, make adjustments and you might see the yeast pick back up without any further changes.

westfall
12-18-2009, 04:31 PM
Since i am going to be racking the 5 gallons into individual 1 gallon carboys to flavor 5 different ways in the secondary...do you think i should do this in the primary or wait until racking?

wayneb
12-18-2009, 05:35 PM
I would do it in primary, because that way you will have re-established fermentation before racking to secondaries. If you do so after the racking, you'll have 5 different batches to try to re-start (unless you like them very sweet).

Also, for future batches, you might want to be more involved in the first 1/3 of primary fermentation. Setting it aside after pitching yeast isn't the best approach for meads or other high initial gravity batches. Wine yeast manufacturers have recommended for years that wine musts be aerated until the yeast have fully developed their ethanol tolerance (which takes some time as the yeast develop enough integrity in their cell walls to survive in the higher concentrations of alcohol near the end of primary fermentation). Vigorous stirring of the must, exposing it to the air, during the first 1/3 of primary is usually enough to accomplish this. All that added O2 will be used by the yeast, so unlike with beer ferments, oxidation from aeration during that time is not an issue.

westfall
12-19-2009, 02:11 PM
Thank you WayneB. I finally understand the 1/3 ferment. Since all I think about is beer fermentation, the last thing i wanted to do was open up my fermenter and introduce oxygen. So after OG reading you have to stir until the hydrometer reads 1/3 OG. Much appreciated on this new knowledge...It was never explained to me properly, either that or I just didn't believe you stir after ferment started. I have to get out of the beer mentality when doing mead.v

fatbloke
12-19-2009, 02:34 PM
Thank you WayneB. I finally understand the 1/3 ferment. Since all I think about is beer fermentation, the last thing i wanted to do was open up my fermenter and introduce oxygen. So after OG reading you have to stir until the hydrometer reads 1/3 OG. Much appreciated on this new knowledge...It was never explained to me properly, either that or I just didn't believe you stir after ferment started. I have to get out of the beer mentality when doing mead.v
Just to make sure there's no mix up.

The intro of oxygen is done by stirring, yes, but your post says about stirring until it reaches 1/3, once or twice a day for a couple of minutes is plenty.

Some even have a sanitised stainless airstone and use an aquarium pump or even locate supplies of compressed O2 - that's going a little OTT for my liking, I just give it a stir once a day (oh and a wine thief that will take a hydrometer is also handy, as you can take a gravity measurement more easily)