View Full Version : Fermentation over too soon?

09-30-2010, 03:56 PM
Started four 1 gallon batches of mead...two show, one blueberry, one peach. Used 3 pounds of honey each gallon and one package of Lalvin D47 per gallon with 1 tsp of DAP per gallon per the instructions.

Fermentation began last Monday, September 20th. I checked everything on this past Tuesday (27th) and things were going great. Lots of bubbles and very cloudy must. Today...nothing...maybe one bubble every 20 seconds. Also there is a lot of settlement on the bottom of all four gallons where there was none apparent two days ago and the must has cleared quite a bit compared to Tuesday. Did something go wrong or can it just be over that fast? If something is not right...anything I can do?

09-30-2010, 04:11 PM
If you have a hydrometer, you should take a gravity reading and make sure over the course of some days/weeks that that gravity doesnt change. Then you can be sure it is done. Bubbles in airlocks are not a sure way to tell (leaks would prevent bubbles for instance). I didnt check the mead calculator, but I think that should ferment dry so if your hydrometer reading is around 1.000 that would be a good indication that fermentation is done (or almost done).

Sedement at the bottom is a good sign, nothing to worry about as is your must clearing. All that is normal.

09-30-2010, 07:50 PM
Thanks...that gives me a little relief. I don't have a hydrometer yet...ordered one though. I started my meads before I knew I needed one...made the mistake of learning from a youtube video...lol...but now I am here and I can learn the correct way of doing things. I guess in all fairness the videos where good...just not quite detailed enough.

So should I just leave it alone until I get my hydrometer or can I/should I go ahead and rack it since there is a ton of sediment in the carboys?

09-30-2010, 08:00 PM
Id say you are ok to leave it since its only been 10 days and I dont think D47 is particularly bothered by sitting on the lees for a short time. But maybe a more experienced Gotmead member can weigh in. I personally like to rack as few times as possible, so making sure fermentation is basically over is a priority for me, but that may just be me.

09-30-2010, 08:21 PM
... learning from a youtube video...

Out of curiousity, could you post the link(s) to the video(s)?

And, agree with triarchy, you can hold off a bit in racking these, as they will continue to drop sediment for awhile, and every time you rack you potentially expose the mead to spoilage organisms, O2, etc. D47 shouldn't throw any off-flavors from sitting on the lees.

09-30-2010, 08:30 PM
Yeah...let me grab the links...like I said...I think the videos are good...just very basic I guess.

Here is the link to part 1...it's an 8 part series.


09-30-2010, 09:13 PM
I think Will did a real good job on those videos. He does a lot to introduce mead to the public. They are quite basic, but I guess you could make a very good mead following his instrutions. I'm sure people have made mead with a lot less to go on.

Here's to GotMead? :occasion14:

10-01-2010, 12:22 AM
Wow! I had no idea there were videos of this high a quality available for the beginner meadmaker. He's got his nutrients, he starts out with a traditional, uses a yeast that's very tolerant of being mistreated... And he wisely leaves out the hydrometer, arguably the scariest piece of brewing equipment to the uninitiated.

We should ask this fellow to do a how-to on the hydrometer, if he hasn't already ;D

Thanks for the link Nubster!

10-01-2010, 12:25 PM
I don't know if leaving out a hydrometer is necessarily wise... might be intimidating but it is fairly important, especially for newb's who are making sweeter meads and are impatient to get it bottled early - liable to get a face full of schrapnel without being able to monitor if the ferment is truely done.

Good vid though.

Medsen Fey
10-01-2010, 01:02 PM
He has a video about bottling, and discusses stabilizing with sorbate and sulfite so I think the chances of him hurting someone are minimal.

10-01-2010, 01:12 PM
Ah, I'd missed that, now I'm embarassed!

10-01-2010, 01:18 PM
Yeah...I watched ALL his videos which are pretty numerous on mead making and he definitely knows his stuff. If I would have known about a hydrometer before ordering my first set of supplies I would have gotten one and had readings from day one which would be helpful for my current situation. It's all good though because first, he is what got me into mead making, second, you guys are helping me continue through my first "problem" as well as just a bunch of other great info that I will need for the future.

10-01-2010, 01:34 PM
No matter. If it hadn't been the hydrometer it would have been something else. If not now, then later. It's called learning.

Knowledge + Experence = Wisdom

That's why we hang out on awsome forums like "GotMead?", right? For the shared wisdom of the group.

Live, learn, share!

Medsen Fey
10-01-2010, 02:01 PM
Yeah...I watched ALL his videos which are pretty numerous on mead making and he definitely knows his stuff.

Sort of.
I'm not trying to be overly critical, and I do appreciate that he has put a lot of work into making the videos so nicely, but there seem to be quite a few gaps in his knowledge. The hydrometer is a biggie, and even using sorbate and sulfite may not guarantee refermentation does not occur. Quite a number of us have seen that firsthand. Then he goes on to talk about how the sorbate is there to preserve color and flavor, which is incorrect. Then when he talks about bottling with the siphon he say you don't want to aerate it when doing so (true) because it will cause the yeast to restart (it would be bad if this were true). His discussion of carbonating meads is a bit off as well, and may be difficult with D47.

I am not trying to sound arrogant, and I hope that is not the way this is coming across. I certainly recognize that there is room for many variations in approach when it comes to mead. Perhaps he is just trying to keep the presentation as simple as possible for new mead makers.


10-01-2010, 02:06 PM
Yea I found his "Storm the Castle" site before I found this Site..I did like the videos..they kinda showed me that I could make mead and that it wasn't the big scary process that I had heard about. I did a lot more research before I started as I didn't want to waste all that honey.

Already had a hydrometer and I car pool with a Wine Maker, so I had the process explained to me about a dozen times before I mixed my first must...lol

Good luck on your must...

10-05-2010, 02:11 PM
Ok...got my order in from Midwest and tried out my new hydrometer. If I did it correctly it appears that the specific gravity of the sample I tested from one of the two show meads I made is right on 1.000. I used the tube the hydrometer came in and made sure it was not touching the sides. So according to the hydrometer it's done and ready to rack?

10-05-2010, 02:59 PM
Yup, go right ahead. It might drop a bit further (ethanol has a lower SG than water, so sometimes dry meads end up lower than 1 gravity) but this is plenty done for your purposes.

10-05-2010, 04:48 PM
Great...everything is racked and went as good as....well....lets say it went....lol....only concern is out of two gallons of the show mead I only racked about 1 1/2 gallons. So one of my gallon jugs is half full. I am going to try and scrounge up a 1/2 gallon glass cider jug asap and transfer so that I can reduce the headspace on that one and pick up some marbles to reduce the others which really are not bad. Had to add a little water to two of them. I just hope these four gallons turn out ok...but even if they don't for some reason it has been a great learning experience. I think I might even start a couple more gallons tomorrow...blackberry being one and maybe some Joe's Ancient Orange.