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View Full Version : Traditonal....Stuck.....*censored*!



dover157
07-24-2011, 12:27 AM
My first batch of traditional has been in primary for around 3 months now and has been stuck for over a month at 1.090. I dont have the recipe any more, due to that note book being lost somwhere in the vortex of divorce, so I cant post the exact ammounts of honey or the inital pitch date. I do know that I used K1-V118 and have since re-pitched 3 times rehydrating with 3/4 cup water and about 1/4 cup of the must each time just to make sure the yeast are playing along. I have tryed everything I can think of to get this thing to finish, including adding nutritents, energizer, stirring, thought the temp may have been to high so am using the swamp cooler method of temp control with no avail. Ph is holding around 3.8 - 4.0.. Im out of ideas, no off flavours, just really sweet with a strong honey taste to it. I think im going to rack into carboys this week and use the lees to start a batch of "skeeter pee" as soon as I can afford the lemon juice. Hopefully after being put into a carboy it will finish before I forget where I hid it....... Needless to say this one is pi$$ing me off.....

Chevette Girl
07-24-2011, 07:42 PM
Sorry to hear about the divorce vortex, hope it eventually spits out your logs!

Do you at least recall if it was a higher-gravity batch (over 1.125) or how much of what nutrients you've added now?

Looks like your best bet will be an acclimated starter... Similar to how you rehydrated your yeast (I think the EC-1118 instructions say to use 1/4 cup of water) and added some must, but keep doubling the volume by must additions ever hour or so once you can see things bubbling away, if you've got a spare carboy, once you've done a few doublings (I start mine in a 4 cup measuring cup, once it's full, I pour into a carboy) you can put your starter in the bottom of a carboy and just rack or pour it a bit at a time into the new carboy... Oh, and remember to aerate the bejeebus out of the starter. Not sure how big this batch is but if it's 5 gal I'd definitely make sure to have at least a gallon of acclimated starter before pouring the whole lot in. You probably don't need any more nutrients if nothing's changed since you last added some.

Good luck!

Loadnabox
07-25-2011, 08:38 AM
Check the Ph of the must too.

Too high add some acid additions. Too low add something to bring it up.

Medsen Fey
07-25-2011, 11:52 AM
If your pH is 3.8-4.0, that's in a good range. Is that measurement with strips? If so, have you checked to make sure the strips are accurate?

If would help a lot if you could tell us more about the recipe? Do you know what the starting gravity was? How high did the temp get? etc.

To get it going again, the best yeast for a restart is Uvaferm 43 (and the encapsulated version has restarted things I didn't think could be restarted). If you treat the batch with a at least 1 gram per gallon of yeast hulls, and acclimate a starter using Uvaferm 43, you'll have the best shot at getting it to finish. If that won't do it, you can dilute it down and try again, or you've got yourself a nice batch of blending stock.

Endeavor to persevere!
Medsen

dover157
07-25-2011, 10:42 PM
Ahhh the think tank to the rescue lol. Thanks for the responses, I happened to find the log today while cleaning up and here is the original recipe

5 gal batch
20# southern gold wildflower honey from SW Texas
2 tsp acid blend
1 tsp tannin
5tsp yeast nutritent (post lag)
Water to 5 gal us
Yeast K1-V1116
No boil
O.G 1.155
p.h. 3.8

pitch date 5-5-11

Ph is holding steady, and yes I am using strips to test with. I have added I belive an aditional 3 tsp nutritent and as stated have repitched several times.
Just checked again today,
s.g. 1.080 ph 3.8 temp 78 F
Has fermented some in the last week, will put more ice in the cooler bucket to bring the temp down a bit. Starting to taste hot, but still has a choke you with a wax comb honey sweetness lol. After stirring I noticed something strange floating on top of the must. I sanitized my handy dandy reuseable coffe filter (never used for coffee of course) and skimmed them out. Looks like Cactus needles and insect parts. Oh the joys of using un filtered honey. Dont imagine it will hurt anything, at least now I have an idea what wildflowers this honey came from.

Medsen Fey
07-26-2011, 09:28 AM
Is the yeast nutrient you are using just DAP (white crystals that look like salt)? If so, using some energizer product that looks like tan powder will give yeast hulls and other micronutrients that may help. Adding some yeast hulls may also be helpful.

And how high did the fermentation temp get?
Have you been aerating it?
Can you check those pH strips with a bit of vinegar?

High gravity starts can give lots of trouble sometimes, especially if they are not pampered a little.

dover157
07-26-2011, 07:09 PM
Medsen

I Belive that it was DAP, but I threw the bottle away when empty, I plan on hitting the LHBS for supplies next week when I get paid and nutritent and energizer are both on the shopping list. Just checked a strip in vinigar and it came out at 3.0, is that good? The temp in the house without A/C has been in the 90's during the day, and as I sit in the airconditoned bedroom typing this I have a bit of a facepalm moment. I think this batch as well as a few that are aging in carboys will be moved in here tonight. Now that I live alone there is no one to complain lol. I have been aerating it, but prolly not enough. Man I love how much fun this hobby can be even when it stresses me out lol.

Chevette Girl
07-26-2011, 11:25 PM
Just checked a strip in vinigar and it came out at 3.0, is that good?

Sounds like it's within tolerances then... The pH of table vinegar ranges from 2.4 to 3.4 according to Wikipedia.

Medsen Fey
07-27-2011, 09:22 AM
It sounds like the pH is fine. Using a balanced nutrient that contains autolyzed yeast with yeast hulls and necessary trace minerals can be important, especially with stressful fermentations. And fermenting high-grav at high-temp is definitely stressful.

I think I would treat this batch with some Fermaid K (or something similar) and a big dose of yeast hulls (at least 1 gram per gallon). I might also add a pinch (about 1 gram) of Epsom salts. Then I'd try to build up an acclimated starter and repitch. IF you can keep the temp cool, Uvaferm 43 should get this done, but it gets very stinky at high temps in my experience. If it has to stay hot, I'd stick with the K1V and keep adding must until I had a starter that is going strong at 2-3 liters, then pitch.

I hope that helps.

dover157
08-06-2011, 09:29 PM
Well I picked up some more DAP and energizer, forgot to get the yeast hulls.... Thought I had it going again, but it stalled back out at 1.080. Was starting to upset me so I racked it off the lees so I could get a batch of "Skeeter Pee" going and this is the only thing I had in primary. Filled my 3 gal carboy and added 1tsp each of DAP and energizer and will hope it kicks off again. Got lucky and found strawberries on sale so I cleaned and cut up 4 Lbs sprinkled with a little petic enzyme and let it sit over night. Put the berries in a mesh bag placed into my 2 gal bucket. Then racked as much of the remaining as I could fit in the bucket. Put the last 1/2 gal in a 1 gal carboy in the fridge to top off with when I take out the berries. If I used it right the mead calculator says that 2 gal with an SG of 1.080 with 4Lbs strawberries should equal an SG of 1.086, that sound right to you? The lees of this batch looked like coffee.... figured what the hey and used them to start my Pee (man that sounds wrong) Good news is after 48 hours of nothing the Pee is fermenting away nicely and S.G. has droped 10 points, so the yeast are still alive, have not been brave enough to check the 3 gal carboy so just hoping its doing something. The good news is I have the time to wait however many years it takes for this batch to finish and age. Still no signs of fermentation in the strawberry bucket, but it is pulling the color and sent of the berries out nicely. When the berries have given their all I will let it sit for another week and if still seems stuck will try some more doctoring to bring it back to life. I know that racking this early may have been bad for the few yeast that are in suspension, but I have no problems doing a repitch with a good starter and some fermaid K this time. Wish us luck lol.

Chevette Girl
08-07-2011, 01:05 PM
If I used it right the mead calculator says that 2 gal with an SG of 1.080 with 4Lbs strawberries should equal an SG of 1.086, that sound right to you?

Good Luck!

I haven't tried using the mead calculator to estimate anything with respect to fruit, but my experiences with strawberries is that they're more water than sugar and will drop your SG, not raise it. You might want to check the SG in that batch now, and again in a few days to see if there's any change.

AToE
08-07-2011, 01:19 PM
Yeah, the calculator is assuming that the juice in the berries are part of the total volume, not added onto the total volume. So if they are added on top of the total volume, they will lower your SG instead of raising it.