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shmoab
04-25-2010, 01:38 AM
I have two stalls. JAO at 1.044 (OG ~1.110) and Kyiv at 1.050 (OG 1.124).
I'm going to attempt to get them going again because as-is they are undrinkable, too sweet. Here's my question. Have any of you tried to distill the alcohol out of the initial amount of mead to help with acclimation?
Maybe you have some other tips concerning stalls.

fatbloke
04-25-2010, 03:16 AM
I have two stalls. JAO at 1.044 (OG ~1.110) and Kyiv at 1.050 (OG 1.124).
I'm going to attempt to get them going again because as-is they are undrinkable, too sweet. Here's my question. Have any of you tried to distill the alcohol out of the initial amount of mead to help with acclimation?
Maybe you have some other tips concerning stalls.
If you heat treated a stalled mead, you'd find that you don't end up with the same stuff, minus the alcohol, you find that the heating messes up the taste/flavour completely.

I appreciate that it's one of those "I wonder if....." type questions, but if you think about it, in winemaking generally, we don't tend to subject our efforts to unnecessary processes unless we really have to. Because there is so many variables that can affect the taste and make it too unpalatable.....

I'd suggest that if you want to try modifying these without masking or altering the flavour very much, I'd be thinking about fortifying with high % alcohol (everclear or similar). Because the JAO is actually not that far off the higher end of commercial "dessert" meads sold here - and you'd need something like EC-1118 or similar to get it re-fermenting and dry JAO isn't very nice, it usually requires back sweetening.

I can't say about the second one you mention as I can't think of what recipe the abbreviation represents...........

Hence if you really insist on trying to get them going I'd just suggest using the usual methods i.e. diluted must/ferment and then adding more until it's got it fermenting the remaining sugars - I'm too lazy to work out what % they will have already reached so you'd need to check to make sure that you're not stuck with two batches that you won't manage to get fermenting again anyway.

Also, you need to examine your method/technique to try and understand why it might be that they've stuck and take corrective action during other ferments to avoid this issue.......

regards

fatbloke

Arcanum
04-25-2010, 09:12 AM
One of the first things to check on a stalled mead is the pH. Buy a pack of pH test strips from your local homebrew store (or online, if no store is available) and test the musts.

If the pH is below about 3.2, your yeast probably went dormant due to too much acidity. Add a very small amount (1/4 teaspoon for a 5 gallon batch) of potassium bicarbonate (LHBS again), stir gently, and test the pH again. Repeat until the pH comes up to about 3.4-3.6. Your fermentation should restart in short order.

Dan McFeeley
04-25-2010, 09:55 AM
It's an interesting idea, but I don't think distilling would work. You'd leave the dry components behind, which will be needed for the fermentation, i.e., minerals, sugars, and so on.

I don't check the final gravity of my JAOs regularly since I've been getting consistent results, but when I do, I get a high finishing gravity also, about 1.030, dessert wine range. The sweetness of the finished mead is balanced off by the orange rind. Yours does sound a bit high at 1.044.

If the pH isn't the problem, you can try restarting with a fresh infusion of a vigorous yeast strain, hardy, high alcohol tolerance, low nitrogen needs. Lalvin's KV-1116 is a good one for restarting a stuck fermentation, although I wouldn't recommend it for the JAO. JAO is what it is, works best with the basic ingredients used in the recipe, including the bread yeast.

Maybe a fresh injusion of bread yeast might work -- rehydrate it as a starter and see what happens.

--

shmoab
04-25-2010, 08:08 PM
The PH on both is within limits ~3.4

Here's my plan.
I'm going to make a 2 gal batch of JAO with 1118 to get is really dry and mix the two, hopefully it will bring it down to the drinkable range.
For the Kyiv I'm going to restart it with mentioned techniques but I'll also get it accustomed with distilled mead, to see if it works.
I knew I shouldn't have used White Labs mead yeast.

Oskaar
04-26-2010, 04:12 PM
Here's a link to my restart stuck ferment (I wrote it for someone with a stuck cyser, but the process works fine for most stuck ferments)

Click here (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showpost.php?p=113817&postcount=30)for the process.

Cheers,

Oskaar

shmoab
05-05-2010, 04:41 AM
Well, I got it going again. I used the procedures from, http://home.comcast.net/~mzapx1/FAQ/StuckFerm.pdf but slowly brought it on with distilled mead and kept the temperature lower. I'm very pleased. It's fermenting at a pretty good rate considering it's passed the 50% sugar depletion mark and completely stopped fermenting almost a month ago. Let's see how far it's brought down.


Thanks for the tips. I'll definitely bookmark that post, Oskar.


BTW Would it be unwise to aerate the new yeast?

wayneb
05-05-2010, 09:01 AM
Further aeration (once you've pitched the acclimated starter must into your main batch) isn't necessary, since your goal is not to build up the colony numbers but rather to finish out fermentation in an already alcoholic must. There will be some O2 introduced just from your adding the starter to the stuck must and that is about all that would be of use to the yeast at this point. If you aerate more as the fermentation proceeds further, you risk some oxidation.

BTW, both Oskaar's and Hightest's restart protocols share a lot in common, both are derived from guidance provided by the technical team at Lallemand, and both have been tailored specifically for meads. They both work (and I say that from experience). ;D