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View Full Version : Pomegranate Mead - Looks very odd?



delvorak
02-12-2012, 02:47 PM
Major Newbee here, just started making mead about a week ago. I started off with some JAO, which seems to be progressing very nicely.. That got me excited, so I thought I'd try adjusting it a bit and make a Pomegranate Mead.

My recipe is (For a 1 gallon batch):

3.5lbs Clover Honey (bought it at the local store, so I'm sure it isn't high quality)
32 oz Pomegranate Juice (store bought, not from concentrate, no preservatives of any kind, the only ingredient listed is "Pomegranate Juice" - I assume it's pasteurized, but it definitely wasn't completely filtered)
Small handful of chopped raisins (for nutrients) (only ingredients are raisins and filtered water, so in theory there aren't any sulfites in it)
1/2 tspn Red Star Active Dry Yeast (Baker's yeast)
1/8 tspn Pectin Enzyme

First I cleaned and sanitized (star-san) everything that touched any of the ingredients.

I mixed the honey over VERY low heat with about a cup of spring water, I doubt the temperature even reached 100F (It was barely warm to the touch). Poured that into a 1 gallon glass jug. Added the pomegranate juice, shook to mix. Added chopped raisins, and filled to about 4 inches from the top of the jub with spring water. Then I added the yeast (dry) and pectin enzyme.

Shook the whole thing vigorously for a few minutes to aerate and mix all of the ingredients. Installed the airlock, wrapped it in a blanket, and let it sit overnight.

The OG was 1.150. Looks like the final gravity should be around 1.05 (assuming the bread yeast ferments to 12% ABV)

I haven't yet seen any activity, which isn't completely unexpected, but when I shine a flashlight into it, I see what appear to be crystals throughout the must, and they appear to specifically congregate around the yeast particles (what's the correct term for a single yeast organism?).

Anyone know what these "Crystals" are? Is it a cause for concern? Did I do something wrong?

How long should I let it go without activity before I attempt to re-start it?

Thanks all!

Scott

Chevette Girl
02-12-2012, 05:38 PM
Welcome to the addiction, Delvorak... pretty soon you'll be fermenting anything that sits still long enough :)

It's possible that between the sugar from the pomegranate juice and the honey, it's got a little too much sugar for your yeasties to get a running start, if it doesn't kick up in a day or two I recommend diluting it down to 1.130 (you can ferment the leftover must in a sanitized jar with plastic wrap for a lid to leave enough room in your carboy), you can add more bread yeast at that time too but it's possible the stuff you already added will perk up. Also ,what temperature is it at?

As for the crystals, sorry, ya got me, no idea :) I've got one batch of finished wine where it looks like sparkles, no idea what that is either.

One little thing of note, it's best to add pectic enzyme 24 hours before adding the yeast because it doesn't work so well during a vigorous fermentation, and typically you want about 1/2 tsp per gallon for it to do its job properly.

12% is a good assumption, I generally get somewhre between 10% and 12% when I mess with the JAO warranty.

fatbloke
02-13-2012, 05:15 AM
Well apart from whatever nutritional value that's in the pomegranate juice and the tiny amount in the few raisins, I'd have thought that there's pretty much no nutrients there.

So with a higher starting gravity like that, I'd have thought it's a coin flip, whether it's osmotic shock on the yeast or lacking nutrient for the level of gravity........ even a combination of both.....

delvorak
02-13-2012, 09:07 AM
Thanks for your responses!

After posting yesteday, I did add 1/4 teaspoon of yeast nutrient to the batch. That appeared to help, it's now bubbling about once every 15 seconds (I know that's not a good indication of fermentation, but at least it's shows that the yeast is alive).

The "crystals" appear to have disappeared.. or perhaps just grouped together at the top, hard to tell.

Since I'm using the bread yeast, I'm keeping it around 72F.

Thanks again!

Scott