View Full Version : First batch - fermentation question(s)

10-21-2011, 05:16 PM
Hello all.

Just started my first batch 2 weeks ago. it fermented for about a week, then it kinda stopped. i took a SG reading and it was about 0.99ish ( i didn't record at the time, thought i had pulp interference and it couldn't be done.). I took a SG reading just now and it was 0.992. I was wondering could it be done already?

Here is the recipe:

1 Gallon water - used storebought (little less than to fill a 1gallon container)
30 raisins
1 orange sliced and everything put in (fairly large maybe 3 inch diameter - total approx)
1 KG = 2.2 lbs of honey unpasteurized
slightly more than 1 tablespoon of yeast - fleischmann traditional active dry

I didn't pasteurize the honey. Just heated it up to get it flowing and mixed it with a bit of water. took SG reading then. (1.088 ) added orange and raisins. then pitched the yeast (which i started per the instructions on fleischmann package, 100 deg water for 15 mins). Recipe says to rack at 30 days (but also uses lalvin d47). and that it should vigorous ferment till then and even at 30 day 1 bubble for 30 seconds, but i also used fleischmann yeast instead of lalvin D47.

At first I thought it was a stuck fermentation and was looking at adding some more raisins for nutrients or orange or even pitching some more yeast. but if the SG is 0.992 for over a week doesn't that mean all the sugars are consumed? Should I just rack off and let age? Or is it possible that it could still be stuck?


10-21-2011, 05:31 PM
Hi CasperWizard! Welcome to "Gotmead"!!
The short answer to your question is, yes it can already be done... and at a gravity of 0.992 (starting from 1.088 ) it is certainly out of fermentable sugars at this point. That is pretty impressive performance for bread yeast, but it isn't unheard of. It very likely was finished at the end of that first week. If you read around the forum a bit you'll find that properly managed fermentations are often done within a week or so. Congratulations on your dry batch! Now you can rack it off the lees, let it age a bit, and tell us how it tastes in a few months or so. ;D

Chevette Girl
10-21-2011, 06:48 PM
Welcome to the addiction!! Your recipe sounds very similar to our old standby, "Joe's Ancient Orange" mead, although to make it drinkable quickly we use more honey (3.5 lb or 1.59 kg). It might be an interesting comparison if you make a batch of JAO next! So where are you, that your honey jars come in kilograms? (Or was it just a metric recipe?) :)

10-21-2011, 07:35 PM
thanks for the welcomes!

I was reading around on the forum and lookin at the JAO. I notice you don't rack on JAO. From what I understand not racking makes the mead more bitter? I'll have to try it to find out I guess.

I'm in Canada. just bought the costco brand of honey.

For my next batch I'm gonna do a blackberry melomel I think. So much to try, so little containers, and so much waiting... I also wanted to try a simple honey/water mead.

10-21-2011, 08:54 PM
so little containers, and so much waiting...

Haha, just wait. Pretty soon you (or your significant other) will be saying "so many containers!" But the waiting will never change. Good luck on the blackberry. I picked enough blackberries this year to do one as well. Yummy.

Chevette Girl
10-22-2011, 02:04 AM
Yay! Another Canuck!! (just happy to see more of us around here, keep hoping for someone else in the Ottawa area to join up!)

JAO is kind of special, it breaks all the rules but each for its own reason.

You might want to check around at farmer's markets and the like to see if you've got an apiarist near you, fresh unpasteurized honey has so much more flavour than grocery store honey for when you decide to take it up to the next level, often you can find interesting varieties that you don't see in the store either. :)

Usually you want to rack off most yeasts (some more than others) after primary fermentation is complete so you don't get weird flavours from the yeast breaking down, but I believe that actually takes more than the JAO recipe's prescribed two months to happen in most cases.

I like working in 3-gallon batches, when you get it bottled, it feels like you've accomplilshed something that's going to last for a while... although I made the mistake of just buying another carboy every time I needed one instead of getting something bottled to free up an existing one and now I don't actually have enough room for all my carboys... it's going to be an interesting discussion when my husband realizes he'll be losing even more of "his" basement in order to get "his" kitchen back...