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darthrobinson
07-02-2012, 10:59 PM
Ingredients

Water -- 5 Gallons
Honey -- 15 pounds
Yeast -- 1 Pack Red Star Cotes de Blanc
Rhubarb -- 2.5 pounds
Oranges -- 5 peeled
Nutrients -- 5 tbls
Lavender (dried) -- 1/4 cup
Lemon Peel (dried) --5 tbls
Ginger (dried) -- 5 tbls

Method
I placed the honey, rhubarb, oranges, lavender, lemon peel and ginger into 2 gallons of boiling water and let boil for approximately 5 minutes. I removed all of the dry ingredients and poured the rest of the must into a 6 gallon plastic bucket. I then added 3 gallons of cool water and let the must reach 70 degrees. I began to rehydrate the yeast while airating the must. After about 5 minutes of airating I pitched the yeast, secured the lid, fastened my airlock and said a little prayer.
The next day it seemed as if I had a stuck fermentation and I panicked! I threw in a new batch of yeast and the 5 tbls of nutrients. Hours later my airlock was fussing like mad, popping like every 2 seconds. I thought all was well.
1 week later I decided to wet the cap, so I sanitized a spoon and stirred the krausen back into the mead. I refastend my lid and made sure everything was sealed appropriately. I checked on the mead about an hour later and the airlock was just standing thier mocking me.
I thought I would wait a day to see if any changes had occured and much to my chagrin everything was the same.
I did a little poking around the forums here to see if anyone else had had this problem and found things that sounded similar but not exactly what was happening to me. I did however take a few tests that may be helpfull to anyone trying to help me.
1. I tested the ph which seems to be around 4.6
2. I used a hydrometer (this may not be helpfull because the hydrometer I have only shows ABV and not gravity) to test the mead and the ABV was below 0.
3. I looked at it. The rhubarb and orange bits are all floating on the top, there is some bubbling happening and its all very chatty in there.

So its seems that fermentation is happening but I am still alittle worried. Any suggestions, tips or advice would be most appreciated.

Thanks guys!

Mars Colonist
07-03-2012, 10:04 AM
2 sachets of yeast, 70F+, 7days+, and nutrients? It my have already done its business. The only way to be sure is to get a real hydrometer and check the gravity.

Chevette Girl
07-03-2012, 10:30 AM
Seconded, if your abv hydrometer is showing 0, you're probably out of sugar and the bubbling you're seeing is mainly degasing. There's a reason you'll see us repeat over and over, don't trust your airlock, trust your hydrometer...

Your recipe sounds really tasty! The only part of the procedure I'd change if you make it again is add the honey after you've cooled the boiled stuff down, honey doesn't need to be boiled. For that matter, the rest of it could have just steeped in boiled water...

cjtabares
07-03-2012, 10:31 AM
The abv on your hydromrter would be potential abv and if it is bellow 0 I would think your fermentation is over.

triarchy
07-03-2012, 12:13 PM
Id also agree that it seems it is done fermenting (but Im not at all familiar with your type of hydrometer). Did you really put in 5 tablespoons of nutrient (or was it teaspoons)? Sounds like a lot if it was tablespoons, I wonder if you will be able to taste it?

One way to know roughly where it is at is to take a sample and taste it. If it really is done it wont be sweet at all and you should be able to taste alcohol. If there is some sweetness, then you may have a problem. The recipe sounds pretty good, pease let us know how it came out if you do give it a taste test.

darthrobinson
07-03-2012, 12:15 PM
Ok thanks guys! Gonna get a real hydrometer today and see whats what.

hepcat
07-03-2012, 02:22 PM
Nutrients -- 5 tbls
Is that 5 table spoons??
Was it DAP?
Wow that's alot.
My DAP directions say to add only 1 teaspoon per gallon.

darthrobinson
07-03-2012, 03:04 PM
It was 5 tsp of DAP not tbls, sorry for the confusion. Just got back with my hydrometer and am in the process of sanitizing everything. I'll let you know how everything is reading. Thanks for the help guys!

hepcat
07-03-2012, 03:06 PM
Sweet. Good luck.

darthrobinson
07-03-2012, 04:12 PM
Ok so its seems as though I just had a really quick ferment. Hydrometer is reading 1.001! Gonna rack this beauty tomorrow. I have friends coming over later for a tasting. Ill keep you posted. Damn Im excited!

darthrobinson
07-03-2012, 05:55 PM
Well I definately made alchahol. No way to tell ABV because I dont know the SG. Live and learn. I do know that it leaves a nice burn in the nostrils and because it is so dry there is hardly any trace of the fruit and spices I used. So Im thinking of racking over 5 more oranges and maybe a sachet of lavender and ginger. Should I use campden tablets? I was thinking 2.5 tabs crushed.

Nathan K
07-03-2012, 06:43 PM
Well I definately made alchahol. No way to tell ABV because I dont know the SG. Live and learn. I do know that it leaves a nice burn in the nostrils and because it is so dry there is hardly any trace of the fruit and spices I used. So Im thinking of racking over 5 more oranges and maybe a sachet of lavender and ginger. Should I use campden tablets? I was thinking 2.5 tabs crushed.

It's not too uncommon to have fermentation take only a week when using the right nutrients. Is the original hydrometer you used a Proof & Tralles hydrometer (that measures ABV and proof)? If so, it's only designed for measuring the ABV of distilled spirits and is essentially useless for mead making.

darthrobinson
07-03-2012, 06:56 PM
It's not too uncommon to have fermentation take only a week when using the right nutrients. Is the original hydrometer you used a Proof & Tralles hydrometer (that measures ABV and proof)? If so, it's only designed for measuring the ABV of distilled spirits and is essentially useless for mead making.

Yeah I used the wrong hydrometer to begin with. Next time I will be prepared. The 5 gallons I have now should still be salvageable though with the right amount of backsweetening.

I mean dont get me wrong I would drink it but I think it might put some people off.

Riverat
07-03-2012, 09:26 PM
Remember, time is a powerful ally. This will mellow out and flavours currently masked will come forward and result in a drink rather different than what you have at the moment!