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tenchu11
03-31-2010, 12:44 AM
Hello I started my first batch of mead about 3 1/2 days ago. I decided to keep it simple used 15lb of honey for 5 gallons of water with a liquid yeast for Sweet Style mead. My gravity reading said 15% alcohol, I seemed to of had some trouble with the yeast. Its the slap kind that is suppose to puff up it didn't really puff up so i decided to rehydrate it with some warm water. Now this is where my noobieness probably screwed me over. I mixed the suggested amount of yeast nutrient and enegizer with about a cup of warm water and the liquid yeast. After about and hour of sitting the mixtured looked like it was cracking the manila color liquid had half a dozen jagged lines from the center of the bowl to the edges of the bowl. I was told by a fellow baker that it was little micro yeast bubbles developing. So I decided to pitch my yeast since all it seemed to do is have micro bubble lines. Over the last 3 days I've been feeling the lid of the bucket and it seemed a little puffy like a small amount of pressure was against it yet no bubble activity in my 3 piece air lock (unless I pressed down lightly on the lid).
I opened the lid today for a whole 3 seconds to make sure the yeast wasn't dead. It had a strong yeasty,honey and alcohol smell to it and all i could see from the liquid was half a dozen long yeast colored clouds reaching from the depths of the bucket staying around 4 inches from the surface. Best possible way to describe how the yeast clouds looked well it looked like eagle nebula. To sum it up is this normal for the yeast to cloud up in long skinny columns and to have no air lock activity but definite light pressure on my lid. Also did i kill my yeast or hurt it by mixing it with yeast nutrient and energizer in a bowl then pitch it? Its been almost four days I just hope my first batch is not a dud. Thank you all!

Medsen Fey
03-31-2010, 08:59 AM
Welcome to GotMead Tenchu11!

It sounds like your yeast are working. It is normal to have some foam and bubbles on the surface. I would suggest that you take the lid off the bucket and take a sanitized whisk or large fork or spoon, and stir the must (gently at first so it doesn't erupt) and then more vigorously for at least a minute. The air will help the yeast grow and develop the biomass to complete fermentation. The liquid sweet mead yeast can be very finicky and frustrating so they need all the help they can get. Opening the bucket will not harm the mead nor will it cause contamination.

Putting your yeast into a concentrated solution of DAP and energizer is probably unhealthy for them, but they are pretty hardy organisms and can overcome many of our potential errors.

Bucket lids often leak, so you may have very active fermentation and have zero bubbling of the airlock. The surest way to track your progress is to measure the gravity with a hydrometer (you have one right?).

I would also suggest reading the NewBee Guide (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=108&Itemid=14) as it will provide you lots of good information to help you succeed.

I hope your batch is great!

Medsen