PDA

View Full Version : First large batch, no fermentation, help!



MADBADGER
08-04-2012, 05:53 PM
Heres what I did

6 kiwi's - skinned
4 oranges
1 pineapple
4 lemons

All of this was put through a juicer and then placed into a 5 gallon jug.
13 lb of honey was then put in jug.
5 gallon jug filled up to maybe a half gallon of room left with spring water
3 tsp yeast nutrient added to batch
the 5 gallon jug was aerated while i pitched 3 packages of lavlin D-47 yeast
yeast added, and has sat for 24hours

I KNOW i nead a hydrometer, but I do not have one and i know i need to get one

Any ideas what i should do? Thanks!

Kelvin
08-04-2012, 05:57 PM
From my limited experience I can say that you are worrying too soon. And also did you use a yeast starter? That's what the experts here are going to say. Might also be adding yeast nutrient before pitching but I'm not sure about that. Again, the pros will probably say the same plus have many other ideas, but my first guess is they will say give it some more time.

MADBADGER
08-04-2012, 07:11 PM
I've made several small bathes before and it always starts fermentation after a few hours and usually is bubbling quickly after the first day.

thats just my limited experience

Kelvin
08-04-2012, 07:13 PM
Yeah I know how it is trust me.

MADBADGER
08-05-2012, 03:01 AM
still no fermentation, i suppose im worried that the specific gravity is to high.

i could add more water, but that would lower the room for foam, also i don't know if the yeast i already put in is bad and should add more.

mediaguru
08-05-2012, 03:40 AM
still no fermentation, i suppose im worried that the specific gravity is to high.

i could add more water, but that would lower the room for foam, also i don't know if the yeast i already put in is bad and should add more.

Hmmm... I'm not an expert (still fermenting my first batch of anything ever, but so far so good), but considering some recipes call for 18 lbs of honey for 5 gallons, I simply would doubt the OG is too high...

Looking at the recipe, it seems very acidic, though. Not sure how much yeast like acid (wine is fairly acidic, after all), but I assume it could be a problem if there's too much acid.

Also, what temperature? People have told me to be careful with temps, and that D47 is a little more finicky about the temperature than some others. I have mine going in a temp-controlled cellar room maintained at about 66 degrees, and it seems happy...

I also did a rehydration/starter before pitching (I used very warm water that I had swished around one of the empty honey quart jugs. The yeast went wild... my little dish became a 4" pile of foam within 45 minutes or so, and that's when I pitched it)

MADBADGER
08-05-2012, 11:44 AM
Hmm would it hurt anything to repitch more yeast?

Riverat
08-05-2012, 12:25 PM
Hmm would it hurt anything to repitch more yeast?

Probably wouldn't hurt but the yeast may just still be growing into that 5 gallons, (lag phase) and you may be just fine. Have you been aerating it? O2 is a nutrient yeast really need at the beginning.
A means of testing the PH (you're probably fine) and a hydrometer would be good investments.

MADBADGER
08-05-2012, 05:31 PM
Also, what temperature? People have told me to be careful with temps, and that D47 is a little more finicky about the temperature than some others. I have mine going in a temp-controlled cellar room maintained at about 66 degrees, and it seems happy....

the temp is exactly 75 degrees

Medsen Fey
08-05-2012, 06:20 PM
While a temp of 75F is helpful for getting yeast to grow rapidly, when using D47 @ that temp, you can get harsh results.

Your gravity is not too high.
I doubt the pH is the problem especially since D47 can tolerate a pH that is low.

Did you rehydrate the yeast? If not, that may be accounting for the long lag.

Airlocks lie. This is why hydrometers are important. Are you seeing any bubbling when you stir?

You can repitch, but I'd rehydrate and acclimate the yeast to your must.

Endeavor to persevere.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

MADBADGER
08-05-2012, 06:35 PM
While a temp of 75F is helpful for getting yeast to grow rapidly, when using D47 @ that temp, you can get harsh results.

Your gravity is not too high.
I doubt the pH is the problem especially since D47 can tolerate a pH that is low.

Did you rehydrate the yeast? If not, that may be accounting for the long lag.

Airlocks lie. This is why hydrometers are important. Are you seeing any bubbling when you stir?

You can repitch, but I'd rehydrate and acclimate the yeast to your must.

Endeavor to persevere.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

Sorry, How do you rehydrate yeast? i've been swirling it and i'll try to lower the temp a little

Dwhite
08-05-2012, 07:53 PM
Check your acidity.

I did a show mead in 2007 with 14 lbs honey in 5 gallons and D-47. Had to add potassium bicarbonate to get the acidity down low enough allow fermentation. Added more yeast. Diluted some. Stirred few times a day. Nothing worked until I adjusted the acidity.

It's still early. You may not have a problem but, D-47 and high acidity is bad news in my experience.

My 5 gallons went down the drain. Screwed around too long before checking the acidity.

I hate D-47. Never once made a good mead with it. Probably something it produces that doesn't work for my taste buds. Others seem to use it with good results.

All the Best,
D. White

MADBADGER
08-05-2012, 09:59 PM
Check your acidity.

I did a show mead in 2007 with 14 lbs honey in 5 gallons and D-47. Had to add potassium bicarbonate to get the acidity down low enough allow fermentation. Added more yeast. Diluted some. Stirred few times a day. Nothing worked until I adjusted the acidity.

It's still early. You may not have a problem but, D-47 and high acidity is bad news in my experience.

My 5 gallons went down the drain. Screwed around too long before checking the acidity.

I hate D-47. Never once made a good mead with it. Probably something it produces that doesn't work for my taste buds. Others seem to use it with good results.

All the Best,
D. White

Can i just use litmus paper? and if so whats a healthy ph level?

sorry im a noob

Chevette Girl
08-06-2012, 08:27 AM
All litmus paper will do is tell you that it is acidic, which we already knew because the fruits and the honey are both acidic, you need pH strips geared towards wines, they'll range from 3.0-5.0 or something like that. What you want to see is anything above about 3.4, anything under there is starting to be a bit too acidic and may cause yeasties problems.

Yes, adding nutrients before before pitching has been proven to be not the best way to treat your yeast, but I did this for years before I knew better and I don't think it ever caused a batch not to start. It may have been a factor in some batches not finishing, but never had problems with the start.

As for rehydrating your yeast, the back of the packet should tell you how, I think it's 1/4 cup water at 105F for 15 minutes if I recall Lalvin instructions?

Making a starter or acclimating your yeast, I'd rehydrate it per directions, then after 15 minutes, add 1/4 cup of your must, then every 20 min to an hour, add enough must to double the size of the starter (1/2 cup, then 1 cup, etc, etc), and you'll be able to tell if the yeast is working as it'll smell like fermentation and it'll be making bubbles. I'd usually go with at least half a gallon of starter for a 5-gal batch.

But do give your 5 gal batch a good aeration before starting another yeast packet, and if you're getting fizz, you're good. As Medsen said, airlocks lie.

mediaguru
08-06-2012, 11:17 AM
Check your acidity.

I hate D-47. Never once made a good mead with it. Probably something it produces that doesn't work for my taste buds. Others seem to use it with good results.

All the Best,
D. White

Interesting, because when I did a bunch of web searches before starting out and tried to decide on which yeast to use, D-47 was probably the 2nd most popular one I came across (most popular being 71b; third seemed to be 1118, but that was almost always for dry meads. I think I'll give it a try for my dry sparkling I want to make.)

I have my first batch on D-47 and it's still in fermentation, but it smells and tastes wonderful so far...

Also, as for nutrient; I added 2 tsp nutrient to my 5 gallon batch before pitching... didn't seem to be a problem. In fact, the yeast seemed very thankful for it, considering they were up and running in less than 12 hours. In fact, I have read that D-47 likes nutrient up-front to get started? And the first recipe in "The Compleat Meadmaker" calls for adding nutrient prior to pitching 71b...

MADBADGER
08-06-2012, 12:17 PM
Hmmm... I'm not an expert (still fermenting my first batch of anything ever, but so far so good), but considering some recipes call for 18 lbs of honey for 5 gallons, I simply would doubt the OG is too high...

My jug is 5 gallons. subtract a gallon for headspace and fruit I have 4 gallons. that remaining four gallons was a mixture of honey and water. I used approximately 13 lbs honey or about 1 1/2 gallons of honey.

2.5 gallons water
13 lbs honey

5.2 lbs honey per gallon water

these are an approximation, but +/- a little its still close. since i juiced the fruit I had additional liquid from that.

In other words, I need a hydrometer lol

MADBADGER
08-07-2012, 07:05 AM
Well i added 2 tbsp of calcium carbonate to lower the pH, Also i added another half gallon of water bringing my headspace to nearly none, but lowering the specific gravity a little.

Rehydrated 2 packages of lavlin d47 in 104 degree water, stirred vigorously, after 15 minutes added some of my must. Then placed in primary.

Moved it from 75 degrees to 69 degress

fml if this doesn't work, it appears to be fermenting a little

MADBADGER
08-08-2012, 02:04 PM
It is fermenting now, slowly, but i'll take that

Thanks for the help everyone!

Chevette Girl
08-08-2012, 10:11 PM
Don't forget to aerate it!

MADBADGER
08-09-2012, 07:11 AM
Don't forget to aerate it!

Since it was so hard to get fermentation going, im afraid to disturb it.

Chevette Girl
08-09-2012, 01:39 PM
Don't be, leaving it sit quietly makes it feel unloved and unproductive and it will fall into a depression...

Just kidding. But seriously, stirring your yeast to keep them in suspension is a good thing, and they do need oxygen to grow up big and strong... Once it's started, it's pretty hard to stop them, and you want to give them every possible advantage. Short of adding chemicals or filtering it, it's hard to "disturb" a fermentation.

Penguinetti
08-09-2012, 02:14 PM
Don't be, leaving it sit quietly makes it feel unloved and unproductive and it will fall into a depression...

Just kidding. But seriously, stirring your yeast to keep them in suspension is a good thing, and they do need oxygen to grow up big and strong... Once it's started, it's pretty hard to stop them, and you want to give them every possible advantage. Short of adding chemicals or filtering it, it's hard to "disturb" a fermentation.



I love the personification you give to mead. It's adorable. :D

But yea, for Madbdger, I agree with what she said.^