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View Full Version : Primary fermentation still going after 2 weeks but lots of sediment, racking time?



NecroAsh
08-29-2011, 10:13 PM
I started my first batch of mead exactly 2 weeks ago as of today. The primary fermentation was going pretty well at first and after 2 weeks the airlock is still bubbling at about 1 bubble every 5 seconds. Initially I thought I was going to rack it to the secondary when the airlock was bubbling about once every 20 seconds but I was a little concerned that I had too much white sediment on the bottom (yeast I would imagine). So tonight I racked it and gave it a little taste. It tasted like it was strong so It may not have been a bad idea to rack it. What should I normally do? Will the yeast at the bottom give it a undesirable flavor or should I let it stop fermenting before I rack? I need to get a new hydrometer so I cant measure the gravity.

used 15 lbs of clover honey for a 5 gallon batch. Some raisins and lemons and the yeast seemed pretty happy.

Thanks,

AToE
08-29-2011, 10:17 PM
What kind of yeast did you use? You're probably safe to leave it on the lees if you think it's still fermenting, in fact that's probably a better idea than racking off the lees (which could cause it to stall if it's not gone far enough yet) if it's still going. EDIT:oops, missed that you'd already done it!

Tough call without a hydrometer!

EDIT: re-read your post. In the future you don't want to be counting bubbles, bubbles can be very misleading. You'll want to just use hydrometer readings only and rack when it's stopped changing SG.

NecroAsh
08-29-2011, 10:41 PM
Thanks for the response. I used Red Star Champagne yeast for this batch. I've been experimenting with a few different kinds for my other batches. I agree about the hydrometer but after I got home from the brew supply store the first time the freaking hydrometer was broken and when I got back from another supply store the second time they gave me the wrong one (proof scale) ahhh frustrating. I think I'm going to get a refractometer and do the calculation to account for the ethanol that it can't read. Thanks for the advice... I will let my other 5 batches ferment until they stop or I read the gravity

I'm feeling like it will be ok because it does have that strong alcohol feel to it so I probably didn't stop it too early.

Thanks again!

NecroAsh
08-29-2011, 10:47 PM
Actually I just checked it... about 2 hours after racking to secondary. There are lots of bubbles near the top and the airlock is going again so looks like I should learn to be patient.

TheAlchemist
08-29-2011, 10:49 PM
Welcome to GotMead!

Medsen Fey
08-30-2011, 01:39 PM
I think I'm going to get a refractometer and do the calculation to account for the ethanol that it can't read...



Welcome NecroAsh!

Though I love using a refractometer, there is enough error in the readings and calculations that I wouldn't depend on one to tell me when the fermentation has stopped. You still need a hydrometer.

chams
09-03-2011, 10:59 PM
Actually I just checked it... about 2 hours after racking to secondary. There are lots of bubbles near the top and the airlock is going again so looks like I should learn to be patient.

There's nothing wrong with a little fermentation in the secondary.
Actually, I'd be worried if there wasn't any... ;)

I guess I should preface this with the idea that I do primary in pails, and don't leave the mead on the gross lees too long. (7-10 days max)