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rowland86
06-20-2011, 06:24 PM
I have just recently started my first batch of mead this past weekend. it has been fermenting for about 4 days now. My problem is that my mead is not bubbling enough right now, about one bubble ever 20 or 30 seconds, so it is fermenting. I am wondering if this is the normal rate for just 4 days or if I should take some step to correct this. My recipe is simple 4 gallons of water and about 14 pounds of honey with two packets of lalvin d-47 yeast. Any help would be appreciated. thanks!

Medsen Fey
06-20-2011, 06:47 PM
Can you tell us what the gravity is now? and what it was at the start?

Have you provided any nutrients for the yeast?

rowland86
06-20-2011, 08:12 PM
my temp is 75 f and I had 11% potential when I started and it's now at 16%. And I haven't used any nutrients. Any suggestions that I won't have to order off the internet?

kudapucat
06-20-2011, 08:21 PM
Meads can be finishing ferment after 4 days.
They can also be stuck by the same logic.
OG would be nice, current SG is essential
did it start with more bubbles than this?

4 gal should normally have a higher bubble rate if it's not finished, but bubbles are dependant on your volume, the amount of liquid in the airlock, the type of liquid in the airlock, the temperature etc.

Get a hydrometer if you don't have one, and measure your gravity.

My guesstimates say your OG would have been 1.09 if your honey was good (assuming 1.4 SG of honey)
So this is going to be a dry mead, and may have finished this quick. Take a measurement, if it's finished it will be 1.0 or lower.

Medsen Fey
06-20-2011, 08:37 PM
I would have expected you honey/water amounts to give you a start closer to 13% potential alcohol. One of your readings is probably incorrect as the gravity generally doesn't go up during fermentation except when the honey wasn't all stirred in. What usually happens is the CO2 bubbles stick to the sides of the hydrometer and cause it to read higher than it would. If you spin the hydrometer that may help, but personally I find taking the sample and shaking it until the bubble stop and then taking the reading gives me better accuracy.

When you make a mead, honey has very little nutrient for yeast, and the yeast can take months and months to ferment, and it will probably stick with it still sweet. If you take your batch and add about 2.5 tsp of DAP (yeast nutrient) and 5 tsp of Fermaid K (yeast energizer), the yeast will have something to eat and will finish the fermentation in a few days.

I would encourage you to take a look at the NewBee guide (see links in the column to the left) as it will give you a lot if info.

And Welcome to GotMead!

rowland86
06-20-2011, 08:43 PM
my starting gravity was at about 1.085 ish. My current is at about 1.122. The liquid in y airlock is just plain water and holding temp is 75~ degrees. The bubbles have been about the same no real change to the bubbles.

kudapucat
06-20-2011, 08:48 PM
my starting gravity was at about 1.085 ish. My current is at about 1.122. The liquid in y airlock is just plain water and holding temp is 75~ degrees. The bubbles have been about the same no real change to the bubbles.

That OG matches my estimations.
Ummm it shouldn't get heavier. it should get lighter.
Are you sure you're not reading 1.022????

rowland86
06-20-2011, 09:19 PM
okay, I just took a sample and i'm reading at 1.09. I suspect that there were some bubbles on my hydrometer. And I can see in my sample that is not the case now. Are there any natural nutrients such as fruits or what have you that would have the same benifits as the nutrients that were listed before?

kudapucat
06-20-2011, 09:46 PM
Many things have nutrients in them. A lot of recipes call for raisins or sultanas, but these will add a flavour to your mead.
DAP is natural, it's a mineral taken straight from the ground. Fermaid is also natural, being a mix of dead yeast, DAP and a couple of other things.

If you want it to be additive free, then you're making a 'show' mead. these have very little purpose other than to prove you can, and have been known to take 12 months to ferment... Just add the DAP and plan your second batch with nutrient of your choice.
The yeast will get a little stressed without nutrient, so don't make it hard for them, give em the stuff they can eat easily, and read the Newbee guide, a couple of times.

rowland86
06-20-2011, 10:39 PM
thanks for the help.

Medsen Fey
06-21-2011, 09:09 AM
There are a lot of things you can add to provide nutrients to the yeast other than the commercial products, but they will add various flavors which may be good or not depending on what you want.

One of the easiest things to add is some chopped up raisins - about 1 good handful per gallons should help. Other dried fruit can be used. Bee pollen is another option at about 1-2 ounces per gallon. Using other yeast (they are cannibalistic) which have been boiled - so bread yeast or brewers yeast from the health food store can be used - somewhere around 1 ounce per gallon. These are options that will work.