View Full Version : 71B Slow Start

01-24-2011, 09:19 PM

Made my first melomel yesterday - strawberry. 18.75 pounds of strawberries and 21 pounds of wildflower honey for an og of 1.139. Pitched 10 grams of 71B into it after properly rehydrating in go ferm.

Had a few signs of life at 12 hours but it is not really picking up at 24 hours. Is this normal for mead and this yeast in particular? I am just so used to seeing my beer ferments completely take off in about 8 hours.

I gave it plently of oxygen. Is my temp too low for this yeast? I am sitting at about 63.5 ambient so I am assuming this is the must temp? It says 60 degrees is fine.

I am probably worrying too much .... I know I know.... Relax don't worry...

I just want to learn how wine yeast behaves and would like to know other people's experiences.

Thanks for the help!!

01-24-2011, 09:45 PM
That is a high gravity, but not too high. You might try to raise the temp a bit, as the high gravity is more challenging to the yeast and a higher temp will make things easier to start. Maybe also check your pH.

Id also say to make sure you are aerating around 3 times a day and you are measuring your gravity with a hydrometer to determine if the fermentation is moving. Once lag is over, you should be thinking about adding nutrients (DAP and Fermaid K or equivalent).

Anyways, I dont think I would worry for at least 48 hours, so you have some time yet. Good luck.

01-24-2011, 10:18 PM
I've seen 71B take off slowly when kept cool (mine were closer to 67F) so I wouldn't sweat it. You keep on top of aeration and stirring and take a hydrometer reading at least once a day and you should be good.

I think this will be a very sweet mead, but strawberries are pretty acidic so that should balance well. All in all I think this should turn out to be a pretty killer mead, good choice on the yeast as well.

01-25-2011, 12:10 AM
I brought it to an area where ambient was about 68 and it is picking up pretty nicely. 71B must like to start a little warmer especially in a fairly high gravity must. I need to chill out but when you are new and paraoid and you have $130 in that bucket it is not easy!

Here is kind of a petty, stupid beginner question. I was stirring the must with my lees stirrer and I got caught on my grain bag (containing fruit) a few times. Not fun trying to get it off. any tips/trick to help avoid this? I suppose I could trim the bag a bit to make sure thereis not so much excess? I am fermenting in a bucket and it is pretty much full. any veteran tricks here? Do I need to use the bag? I just thought it would be better to kind of contain everything.

Thanks for the help!

01-25-2011, 10:49 AM
I was stirring the must with my lees stirrer and I got caught on my grain bag (containing fruit) a few times.

This has happened to me a few times, i use a spoon that i use for stirring and hold the bag against the bucket while I use my lees stirrer witht the other hand