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Psyckosama
12-30-2011, 04:18 AM
I'm having a bit of a problem with my first batch of mead. It's a gallon jug with two pounds of honey and live yeast, not dry. It doesn't seem to be fermenting while the Cider I started making the same day seems to be going very well.

fatbloke
12-30-2011, 05:48 AM
I'm having a bit of a problem with my first batch of mead. It's a gallon jug with two pounds of honey and live yeast, not dry. It doesn't seem to be fermenting while the Cider I started making the same day seems to be going very well.
perhaps you could post the exact recipe/ingredients with any additional data i.e. gravity readings, perhaps pH (if measured) etc

It will help diagnose the possible problem.

schlapppy
12-30-2011, 10:40 AM
What is the S.G. of the must?
What type of yeast did you use?
Do you know the approximate time/temp you pitched? It could just be starting slow.

Psyckosama
12-30-2011, 02:51 PM
perhaps you could post the exact recipe/ingredients with any additional data i.e. gravity readings, perhaps pH (if measured) etc

It will help diagnose the possible problem.

I don't know the additional data.

Water - about 3/4 a gallon
Honey - 2 pounds
1 gallon jug with an air lock.
Yeast - about half a vial of White labs sweet mead wine yeast.


What is the S.G. of the must?
What type of yeast did you use?
Do you know the approximate time/temp you pitched? It could just be starting slow.

It was probably about 80 degrees. It was mildly above room temp.

Echostatic
12-30-2011, 04:57 PM
Hey fellas, isn't that the really finicky yeast a lot of people get suckered into? Still, it usually manages to get started at least. I wouldn't be surprised if those really high temps had something to do with it too. 80*F will stress most yeasts.

If you are going to brew, a hydrometer will is your best friend. You need one.

How long ago did you pitch the yeast?

Psyckosama
12-30-2011, 06:54 PM
Hey fellas, isn't that the really finicky yeast a lot of people get suckered into? Still, it usually manages to get started at least. I wouldn't be surprised if those really high temps had something to do with it too. 80*F will stress most yeasts.

If you are going to brew, a hydrometer will is your best friend. You need one.

How long ago did you pitch the yeast?

About 2 weeks ago. I have another half a vial at home. Should I pitch it in?

Also should I pick up some nutrient and throw that in too?

Echostatic
12-30-2011, 11:12 PM
I would use a different yeast for one. I'm not qualified to say which one, though.

Just not that one >.>

wildoates
12-31-2011, 12:28 AM
Yes, that is a finicky yeast, and I think that if you have half a vial left you might want to make a starter rather than just pitch it in as is.

Psyckosama
12-31-2011, 01:02 AM
Yes, that is a finicky yeast, and I think that if you have half a vial left you might want to make a starter rather than just pitch it in as is.

Pardon my ignorance... a starter?

JohnS
12-31-2011, 01:07 AM
If you pitch more of the same vial, I would recommend Lalvin EC 1118. You will need nutrient and energizer with it though. That yeast will rage it for sure. It will be dry for a while, so you have to be patient and sit on it for 6 month or a year.

tweak'e
12-31-2011, 02:17 AM
lack of nutrient is the biggest problem.
put some in and the existing yeast might take off. failing that throw some ec-1118 or k1v, any champane yeast will do at a pinch.

Loadnabox
12-31-2011, 02:50 PM
Pardon my ignorance... a starter?

Liquid yeasts generally do best with a starter. Starters also help to ensure you have a viable culture.

In general, put your yeast into a large measuring cup, preferably on a stir plate, if not you will need to stir frequently and aerate the starter well.

Add some must to the yeast slurry to the tune of 1/2 the quantity of yeast slurry you have. e.g. if you have 2 Oz of yeast slurry add 1 oz of must. Stir and aerate well for 15 minutes.

Add another 1/2 volume of must to the slurry, stir and aerate well for 15 minutes.

Rinse and repeat until you have 4x's the original amount of yeast slurry.

Let is sit until you see signs of activity, this is called "proofing" and ensures the yeast are active at this point.

Once you see signs of activity aerate the living (*^&!@ out of your big batch of must and add the yeast slurry in.


That being said, as others recommend abandon the sweet mead yeast. It is NOTORIOUSLY difficult, stalls, fails to start, produces off flavors if not carefully monitored. It's not a beginners yeast at all.

Since you already pitched once, if you decide to change yeasts you want something that aggressively kills any other yeasts it encounters, this limits you to mostly champagne yeasts. The two that tend to work the best are Lallemand K1(v)-1116 and Lallemand EC-1118.

If you can't find those Montrachet Red Star Champagne yeast will also work very well. Stay away from the Wyeast or White labs liquid yeasts (even the champagne yeasts) until you have more experience with fermentation management. While great results can be achieved it requires a bit of experience to get them to do their thing.