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snikje
06-23-2011, 01:48 PM
hey,

i started a new batch this week. and it seems to be very slow in fermenting.
at first i figured that it might be low on nutrient and because the yeast was a little old (i think about 10 months, stored in fridge) i also added extra yeast the next mornign when i noticed that not much was happening.
but now its still only slowly bubling along. is there somthing i did wrong or is it just me being impatiant.

3kg creme wildflower honey. (got that stuff from someone who heard i made mead)
water to 8L
2 ts champagne yeast (unknown brand, alc tolerance 12-13% and high sweetness acording to label)
1ts yeast nutrients

added another 2 ts of each yeast and nutrient on the morning after
airated daily with stirring attachement on power drill.

starting SG: 1.102
current SG: 1.094 and occasional bubling in airlock so yes it is doing something but it isn't going at it as well as i hoped.

any advice?

AToE
06-23-2011, 02:02 PM
How many days has this been fermenting, and what's the temperature at (even a rough est would be good)?

snikje
06-23-2011, 02:07 PM
temp is at about 21-22 degrees (C)

did a ph readign and that gets ma around 3.5 ish meybe a little less

fermenting for a good 3 days now

Chevette Girl
06-23-2011, 02:08 PM
It's hard to argue with your yeasties, a slow fermentation isn't necessarily a bad thing, you may retain more of the honey's delicate aromatics which would otherwise be blown off with the CO2 of a vigorous fermentation :)

Another teaspoon of nutrients wouldn't hurt, a ballpark is 1 tsp per gallon and it looks like you've got two gallons going on there. Also, the recommended amounts for nutrients can safely be doubled for a mead since they're assuming you're fermenting grapes, which have a lot more in them for the yeast to use.

I also like using yeast energizer, (ballpark 1/4 tsp per gal) I only started using it in the last few years but I find I get much more steady fermentations.

How many days has it been now? Some meads do take a while to really get going.

I'd keep on with the aeration until it's at least down to 1.066 or therebouts (1/3 sugar break) but other than that, as long as it's doing something, just keep encouraging it!

Medsen Fey
06-23-2011, 03:15 PM
It looks like it is moving and may have just had a long lag, especially if you didn't rehydrate the yeast. If it doesn't pick up, and if your nutrient is DAP (white crystals), you'll find that adding some energizer that is made from autolyzed yeast (tannish powder) may be helpful. The yeast hulls, sterols, potassium, amino acids, and buffering agents may get things moving faster.

Oskaar
06-23-2011, 06:23 PM
hey,

i started a new batch this week. and it seems to be very slow in fermenting.
at first i figured that it might be low on nutrient and because the yeast was a little old (i think about 10 months, stored in fridge) i also added extra yeast the next mornign when i noticed that not much was happening.
but now its still only slowly bubling along. is there somthing i did wrong or is it just me being impatiant.

3kg creme wildflower honey. (got that stuff from someone who heard i made mead)
water to 8L
2 ts champagne yeast (unknown brand, alc tolerance 12-13% and high sweetness acording to label)
1ts yeast nutrients

added another 2 ts of each yeast and nutrient on the morning after
airated daily with stirring attachement on power drill.

starting SG: 1.102
current SG: 1.094 and occasional bubling in airlock so yes it is doing something but it isn't going at it as well as i hoped.

any advice?

Things to consider:

I'd check on that "creme" honey. Here's a link (http://campbellshoney.onsugar.com/What-Creamed-Honey-4079037)to check out

I see that you've added about 3 tsp of nutrient so far. Your batch size is about 2.1 gal/us. That is about 15 grams of nutrient which is a lot to add to a 2 gallon recipe. If you get salty, metallic flavors you'll know why.

Your starting gravity would have been about 1.113 which gives you a potential ABV of about 14.72 so you might end up with a nice sweet mead since the yeast ABV tolerance is arout 13% at the top-end.

One of the posters below mentioned that a slow fermentation is not necessarily a bad thing. If you are in a cold weather location or your must temperature is between 65-70 degrees, the fermentation will be slower. However if your fermentation is above seventy degrees and it's slow that's not a good thing. Slower fermentations mean more possibility for off-flavor, stalled fermentations, incomplete fermentations or infections.

I see that you didn't mention rehydrating your yeast before adding it into the must. See my posts here (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showpost.php?p=169975&postcount=10)and here (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showpost.php?p=170029&postcount=23)for yeast rehydration and why you should do it.

OK, now for the encouragement part of the post. Mead is a pretty resilient animal and with some TLC it generally ends up being pretty good so just stay on top of it during the remainder of the fermentation. I would not add any more nutrient, and just do some gentle stirring so as not to aerate, but only to re-suspend the yeast up into the must so they can chomp away on the remaining sugar.

Hope that helps, and best of luck,

Oskaar

tweak'e
06-23-2011, 09:25 PM
this sounds like yet another case of unknown ingredients equals unknown results.
my pick here is its most likely yeast related. it could just be the yeast used. it may be a very slow yeast or one that requires warmer temps. that the trouble when you use an unknown yeast, you have no idea of what its going to do or the results.

i would just keep stirring it for the next few weeks, then leave it alone for a few months.
or repitch in a killer yeast.

Loadnabox
06-24-2011, 07:44 AM
I would tend to agree with others that have mentioned it's related to not rehydrating the yeast. Especially with an old unknown yeast it's quite likely the viable cell count was harshly reduced by directly adding it to the must from yeast that was already reduced due to age.

snikje
06-25-2011, 05:30 AM
thanks for all the advice.

i intended to add 750gr to 1kg each of redcurrant and blackberry then water up to make a 10L batch after primary fermentation. any advice on how long i should wait to add them or suggestions that might help to avoid the metallic taste oskaar warned about.

also , that link on creme honey was helpfull, i think that might explain the slow fermentation. the yeast probebly has to work hard to break down the sugar.
fermentation is still moving along. ill do another SG measurement somewhere today and keep stirring daily.

AToE
06-25-2011, 03:21 PM
Wait, what's the issue with creamed honey? I read that article and didn't see anything that to me would cause problems in a ferment. I use the stuff all the time with no problems.

snikje
06-28-2011, 08:44 AM
i can imagine that creamed honey,which according to hat i read from the article is made by crystalizing teh sugar content of the honey, is more difficult to ferment then honey in wich the sugar isnt crystallised.

i am not saying it makes it impossible but i would guess it takes the yeast more time/effort to break down crystallised sugar the disolved sugar.

AToE
06-28-2011, 02:09 PM
Why would it make any difference though? Either way all the honey is going to be dissolved into the water before fermentation starts (unless someone is using the "leave the honey sitting on the bottom" method).

wayneb
06-28-2011, 03:17 PM
"Creamed honey," or honey that has become crystallized, may be slightly more difficult to dissolve into a must than honey that is still liquid throughout, but that is an insignificant difference.

One other thing to pay attention to if you do use crystallized honey - it is theoretically possible that spoilage organisms can begin to thrive in the liquid that is left as the honey crystallizes. That is so because as sugar crystals form in the supersaturated solution that is your liquid honey, then the remaining liquid that is trapped between all those sugar crystals is lower in SG than the honey was before it began to crystallize. If that SG becomes low enough, then there is some potential for spoilage. I have heard of a couple of cases where this has happened and people have made off-tasting mead as a result, but personally I've never experienced it here in Colorado, and I use crystallized honey all the time. Now I don't use very old honey, and that may be one factor in my favor, but I suspect that we have such low relative humidity here that any low SG liquid near the surface of the honey would be almost immediately dried, thus increasing the SG and killing off any potential spoilage organisms in the process. Depending on your environmental conditions wherever you are in the world, YMMV.

In general, though, if your crystallized honey smells and tastes good, you can expect to make good mead with it. Spoilage gives off funky or acetic acid aromas, and if you don't detect any, you probably have no spoilage.

AToE
06-28-2011, 03:24 PM
That's one thing that I like about creamed honey, other than being able to scoop it, is that it prevents the honey from seperating into crystals and watery liquid honey on top, so you never have to deal with solid blocks of crystal, nor with thinned out top honey that may start spoiling.

I was just curious because it seemed like Oskaar may have been suggesting that it would cause problems, but I can't imagine why it would.

snikje
06-30-2011, 03:59 PM
dunno what oskaar had in mind maybe he can clarify when he reads this thread again.

as far as the mead is concerned. its still fermenting.
current SG: 1.064

anyone have an answer on my question of when best to add the fruits?
also considering i want this thing to end up sweet i did some playing in the calculator and figured i need to add another 0.5kg of honey else the yeast would ferment it dry. since the final batch size is going to be 10L adding another half a KG would bring it back to around the same starting SG value as i started out with

Oskaar
06-30-2011, 04:07 PM
Just information. A lot of people use creamed honey, but I figured I'd put up the link for those that didn't know what it is.

Wayne's post is another reason I put it out there. Spoilage can creep in if you're not managing your stock.

Cheers,

Oskaar

snikje
06-30-2011, 04:12 PM
mine was fresh. or at least it appeared as such :).