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Ceol
02-16-2010, 08:39 PM
I pitched a batch of mead on the 13th (three days ago), and I'm a bit concerned that it's fermenting more slowly than it should. The exact recipe is:

10lb clover honey, heated just enough to dissolve thoroughly in water
Water up to 3 gallons
2 packets 71B yeast, rehydrated in warm water for 15 minutes before pitching
~2oz dried elderberries
1/2tsp Fermax nutrient

My starting SG was 1.120. Twleve hours after pitching, some foam had accumulated at the top and it was bubbling nicely (1 blurp every few seconds through the airlock, and a steady stream of tiny bubbles visible around the top of the must). I checked the SG again 24 hours after pitching, and it was still 1.120 (spun the hydrometer around to dislodge the bubbles on it). I checked a second time just now (72 hours after pitching), and it's only dropped to 1.118. Is this abnormally slow, or am I being paranoid? I was planning to add more nutrient at 1.080 SG (the 1/3 break), but perhaps it needs it sooner?

Thanks!

Medsen Fey
02-16-2010, 09:21 PM
Welcome Ceol!

What temperature are you maintaining? 71B can have a long lag phase and a slow start when it is cool, but it eventually gets rolling strong. For your next reading, shake the sample to de-gas it well to make sure you aren't getting a high reading.

A little more nutrient probably would be helpful. I'd use at least a full teaspoon. At the 1/3 break I'd give it another 1.5 teaspoons. And be sure to aerate it some more.

I hope you get a great result.

Medsen

Ceol
02-17-2010, 11:35 AM
Thanks for the welcome, Medsen. :)

This batch is sitting at about 72 degrees, and I went ahead and added another 1 tsp of nutrient this morning. I'll take another SG measurement in a day or so and see where it is.

This is actually my third batch of mead, but I have high hopes for it being my first good batch. I made a bunch of mistakes with my first batch, and it came out with some definite off tastes. I made fewer mistakes with the second, but still didn't do it right, and it came out okay, but kinda bland and watery. This time I'm using more honey, keeping the fermentation temperature down (as compared to the first batch in my Phoenix AZ apartment in the summer), and I made sure the honey was thoroughly dissolved in the must.