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atothestrong
06-15-2012, 01:28 PM
This is my first batch of mead.
1.2 Gallons of Water
3 lbs honey
wine yeast
2 tsps of yeast energizer

I put the must together on Monday evening. I put it in a fermentation bucket, with airlock. I have been checking it on my way to work in the morning and when I get home, but I only really noticed it bubbling on Wednesday (D+2). I'm slightly concerned this is what you guys call a "Stuck/Stalled Mead." I haven't noticed it bubbling at all anymore. I aerated the must on Monday, and the recipe I had said to aerate it the first day, then leave it. If you guys have any pointers or answers it would be very much appreciated.

TAKeyser
06-15-2012, 01:37 PM
Bubbles are not the way to check if fermentation is taking place, you need to take hydrometer reading.

Aeration until the 1/3 sugar break is a good thing and you might not be there yet.

Your PH could be lower than the optimum range (3.6-4.0) and anything below 3.2 could cause your yeast to stall.

You could be lacking in nutrients for your yeast, some yeast strains need more than other.

your bucket might not have a good seal and CO2 could be escaping from somewhere other than your airlock.

atothestrong
06-15-2012, 01:42 PM
How do I know when the 1/3 sugar break is? The hydrometer readings? I also thought you weren't supposed to open the bucket again after you sealed it?

It is a food-grade bucket that I bought from a brewing shop, so I would assume it had a seal?

As you can tell, I'm pretty new.

TAKeyser
06-15-2012, 01:47 PM
How do I know when the 1/3 sugar break is? The hydrometer readings?

Yes, by your Hydrometer readings. The 1/3 Break is when a third of the sugars are consumed (this varies with yeast strain). So if your starting Gravity was 1.105 the 1/3 sugar break would be when your gravity dropped 35 points or at 1.070



It is a food-grade bucket that I bought from a brewing shop, so I would assume it had a seal?

They do have a seal, but buckets have been known to leak air. It happens and isn't a big deal, some people just cover the top with a sanitized cloth until they hit the 1/3 sugar break as oxygen up to that point isn't a bad thing.

atothestrong
06-15-2012, 01:53 PM
They do have a seal, but buckets have been known to leak air. It happens and isn't a big deal, some people just cover the top with a sanitized cloth until they hit the 1/3 sugar break as oxygen up to that point isn't a bad thing.

So should I just rack it in the glass carboy once I hit the 1/3 break so I ensure it's airtight?
What would be needed to determine if it had stalled, and what would I be able to do to unstick it?

TAKeyser
06-15-2012, 02:16 PM
So should I just rack it in the glass carboy once I hit the 1/3 break so I ensure it's airtight?
What would be needed to determine if it had stalled, and what would I be able to do to unstick it?

I wouldn't rack that early you would leave yeast behind and that could cause you to stall before it is finished.

To determine if you are stalled you will need to get a couple days worth of hydrometer readings. If they are changing than you are still fermenting.

Check your PH as well if it is too low taking measures to correct it will usually start fermentation again.

If adjusting your PH doesn't work you will want to hit it with a yeast that is known to restart stuck fermentations, either EC-1118 or Uvaferm 43 are great choices. More yeast will not restart fermentation if the PH is low.

So check the PH and start getting hydrometer reading (morning and evenings). Once you get that info we can start to really diagnose the problem and get it corrected.

Chevette Girl
06-15-2012, 02:49 PM
If you open it up for a visual inspection and see bubbles breaking on the surface or hear fizzing, you're probably OK and it's just a leaky seal. I have one bucket that is even printed "Primary fermenter" and the lid doesn't seal, I've never had the airlock bubble on that bucket.

And the whole notion of sealing it up until it's completely done is a beer thing, even after the yeasties don't need the oxygen, meads are a lot more resistant to oxidation and any other kind of spoilage you might have from opening the lid too much.

atothestrong
06-17-2012, 04:43 PM
Okay, well I checked my mead today. As you have noted, there was fizzing when I opened up my bucket. It wasn't over the top or anything, but it was happening. It fizzed a lot when I stirred it a few times. (Hope that wouldn't ruin anything.)

My starting specific gravity was 1.191. When I took it today, it read 1.050. I'm still not getting when this 1/3 sugar break occurs or how to calculate it... It also smelled different when I opened it up, almost like a warm beer!

delvorak
06-17-2012, 05:42 PM
I'm assuming you meant 1.091, not 1.191?

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atothestrong
06-17-2012, 07:32 PM
I'm assuming you meant 1.091, not 1.191?

Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2

Yes, you would be correct. I fat-fingered that extra 1. I'll edit that. Based on my readings, I'm pretty sure my 1/3 break is at 1.061, correct?

TAKeyser
06-17-2012, 08:00 PM
I'm pretty sure my 1/3 break is at 1.061, correct?

yes you are correct.