View Full Version : Did I add too little nutrient? Also, PH.

03-20-2011, 12:35 AM
First-time mead making

Traditional Clover Mead (Semi-sweet)

2 gal. Spring Water
6lbs Clover Honey (Walmart)
1 Lalvin D-47 packet
0.5 tbsp nutrient (Furmax)
0.5 tbsp energizer

The must came out to 2.5 Gal in the fermentation bucket.

I aerated the must for 5 minutes with a stirring spoon after pitching the yeast. 1.09 OG. I sanitized all utensils with one-step, but did not heat the must (though Walmart honey was probably pasteurized).

It has been about two days now and the air-lock (three-piece) is bubbling at about 10 bubbles a minute (depending how you read it several bubbles per "bubble", making it 25-30 bubbles per minute, I guess).

I'm concerned I added too little nutrient. I intended to put in 1 tsp. I am also concerned that PH might get low. Can I wait until I rack it, about two weeks later before adding calcium carbonate if it needs it?

I don't know what opening the bucket would do besides exposing it to wild yeasts - does it restart the aerobic phase?

03-20-2011, 01:36 AM
Welcome to GotMead!

1/2 tablespoon (=1.5 tsp) might be enough. I can never remember the approximate weight of measured volumes of nutrients, but you should be able to search for it. For blended nutrients (tan powder with white crystals, e.g. Fermax, Fermaid) you're looking at something in the neighborhood of 5-10 g/gallon. With DAP (white crystals) you need only half that. "Energizer" is usually micronutrients and vitamins.

I wouldn't worry too much about pH unless you measure it below 3.2 and the fermentation is unusually slow. If both of those are true, raising the pH could help.

Opening the container won't hurt it. The risk of contamination is low unless you leave it open for a long time (on the order of at least a few hours). In fact, primary fermentations are often conducted totally open. Cultured yeast vastly out-compete wild yeast in controlled fermentations. You can safely open it up and take a sample with a sanitized instrument.

Aerobic and anaerobic phases are oversimplifications of the stages of fermentation. Yeast will use molecular oxygen if they have it, or use alternate pathways to get what they need if they don't. As long as you don't add more oxygen than the yeast can consume, you shouldn't have problems with oxidative off-flavors.

03-20-2011, 04:07 AM

I tasted it using the tap first. The mead tasted pretty sweet and good. About 8 APV according to the hydrometer. Like a lightly carbonated alcoholic drink. pH of 3.2-3.6. I added 0.5 tsp of calcium carbonate to increase the pH a bit. I hope that's enough. I added 0.5 tbsp of nutrient and 0.5 tbsp energizer and stirred it a bit.

03-20-2011, 05:43 AM
I checked the pH again. Its about 4.0. Its about 18 bubbles a minute.

Dan McFeeley
03-20-2011, 11:41 AM
A pH of 4.0 is just about right. You might see a figure of 3.7 come up on searches but it's nothing to get anal retentive about. A pH of 3.7 comes from the published work of Roger Morse and Keith Steinkrause in the 1960s -- still a good figure but they pointed out that it was arrived at as a compromise between a pH high enough for healthy yeast fermentation but still low enough to inhibit bacterial contamination.