PDA

View Full Version : HELP 1st Batch Not Sparkling Tastes Yeasty



msteel13
11-20-2010, 07:10 PM
Please Help, I am afraid I ruined my first batch of mead, 14 months in the making.
I mixed 15 pounds of clover honey, water, 2 packets of Lalvin 716-1122 Yeast.
After 13 months it was done fermenting it tasted good and sweet and was 12 per cent alcohol. I looked at the instructions in the complete meadmaker book and it said to make a mead sparkling to add 1/2 a packet of the yeast you used when creating your must. I added 1/2 a packet and 3/4 cup of priming sugar and bottled in champagne bottles and capped with plastic corks with wire racks on top.
After a month there is no carbonation and the mead tasted like yeast. Any way to rescue this ? I read on a forum that you could keg and force carbonate then re-bottle Is there any other methods ? How can a rid the mead of the yeast taste?
Thanks Michael

akueck
11-20-2010, 09:07 PM
Hi there and welcome to GotMead!

Do you happen to have specific gravity readings you could share? What was the total volume of the batch? If it was 5 gallons, I would guess that your mead stalled out a little early if it only got to 12%abv. Adding more yeast and sugar wouldn't have helped to un-stick it, thus the flat results. Also, did you prepare the yeast you added for priming before adding them, or add them into the must straight from the packet? Rehydrating dry yeast in finished mead is likely to kill off most of the cells, it is better to rehydrate them first in plain water and slowly mix in the mead to get them used to the alcohol environment. Lastly, 71B is not a good yeast for extended lees contact (like bottle conditioning). DV10, EC-1118, Pasteur Champagne, or others are better choices.

Force carbonating is probably the easiest way to get this mead sparkling. You could try to restart it with another yeast, but for that you'd want to keep in under airlock for several months or more before bottling it again. If you are successful in restarting the mead, there is probably enough residual sugar in there to exceed the strength of a bottle--exploding bottles are not fun. Racking the mead off the sediment will stop it from tasting more yeasty. Although it might always have a yeasty flavor, it should diminish with time.

If you could get a SG reading, and if you can a pH reading, that can tell us where you are now and perhaps point to the best way of going forward.

msteel13
11-24-2010, 08:16 PM
It was a 5 gallon batch . I re-hydrated the yeast before adding to mead. The SG now is 1.014. I would be open to putting mead back into carboy and trying to restart if that would give me the best chance of rescuing the batch. Thanks

AToE
11-24-2010, 10:43 PM
It was a 5 gallon batch . I re-hydrated the yeast before adding to mead. The SG now is 1.014. I would be open to putting mead back into carboy and trying to restart if that would give me the best chance of rescuing the batch. Thanks

1.014 is far too high to make a sparkling mead. To make it sparkling you need to start with a mead that has finished fermenting to 1.000 or lower, then add priming sugar to 1.002-1.004 (the amount you added would be good). You added priming sugar to a mead that had stalled at around 1.010, so if the yeast couldn't finish the sugar they already had, why would they eat the sugar you added for priming?

Now, conversely, if the yeast DID wake back up and start eating sugar again you'd be in serious trouble, because they'd have no reason to stop at any point, and could easily keep going until they blew up your champagne bottles and any wall/people standing near by!

So in the future, sparking mead/wine must be totally dry before bottling/priming, so that you can very carefully control how much sugar is fermented in the bottle.