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columbiacritter
09-06-2012, 01:50 PM
I have several 1g carboys going with a nice amount of bubbles going through the airlocks, but the 6 gallon plastic fermenter with 1 g of air space is just sitting there after 3 1/2 days. I replaced the plug and airlock 24hrs ago and the smell was very pleasantly yeasty. How long should I wait beofre I add yeast again? :confused: Or am I boing impatient?

for this large batch I used D47 yeast recommend by my local brewing supplier, added to a must of just wildflower honey and water cooled to 79 degrees. I added 2 1/2 tsps of yeast nutrient. The yeast had been rehydrated in a bowl of water with a little honey for 1/2 an hour. I aerated the must yeast mix for 5 minutes with an electric mixer.

The 1 g's are completely seperate recipes. One is the orange and cinnamon recipe using bread yeast and it smells wonderful!:D

Chevette Girl
09-06-2012, 04:47 PM
Welcome to the forum!

As per the recommendation ("Mead NewBees - Post your Questions Here IMPORTANT: Please post your EXACT recipe, ALL ingredients and the quantities you used."), what's your exact recipe? Do you know how much honey you used or what your starting gravity was?

Three possibilities come to mind: leaky seal, it's still in lag (increasing its cell population but not making bubbles yet) or it never started (I don't know how much honey you used, maybe it's too strong a must for the yeast).

Is your plastic fermenter a bucket or a carboy? Buckets often have leaky lids, one of mine does. This is fine for primary, just means you don't ever see airlock activity.

Have you been stirring or aerating it since you pitched? If it's at all fizzy, it's probably a lousy seal on your fermenter. Not the end of the world, just don't use it for secondary...

The yeasty smell suggests that something's going on.

Have you got a hyrdometer? The best way to tell that it's actually doing something is that the specific gravity will start dropping as the yeast start eating the sugars.

That yeast prefers to be rehydrated just with water, like it says on the packet, if you repitch, just rehydrate it according to the package and don't add honey to the rehydration water, at least, not for the first 15 minutes.

columbiacritter
09-06-2012, 05:00 PM
I used 5 qts of a medium dark wildflower honey. Darker than normal, but not from knotweed or buckwheat. I detest both of those sources and would have been able to to detect thier presence. It was from a friends organic hives so no chemicals in the honey. 5 gallons of water. From memory the hygrometer was right at the reading the recipe book called for 1.112?

I use a little honey to get my bread yeast a boost when I'm proofing it for baking. I'm surprised brewing yeast doesn't enjoy the same benefit.

My plastic fermenter is a squat bucket type. It's older, though never used before. A friend bought everythign then let it sit for years before I laid clain to it. I tested it by putting air pressure into it and couldn't detect any leaks, but I might have missed one.

I will stir it tonight and check for bubbles. If it's a leaky bucket what's the best way to determine when to rack to a glass carboy without the airlock bubbles as an indicator?

Yo momma
09-06-2012, 05:31 PM
Use a Hydrometer. It is the best way to tell.

Chevette Girl
09-06-2012, 08:57 PM
I use a little honey to get my bread yeast a boost when I'm proofing it for baking. I'm surprised brewing yeast doesn't enjoy the same benefit.

My plastic fermenter is a squat bucket type. It's older, though never used before. A friend bought everythign then let it sit for years before I laid clain to it. I tested it by putting air pressure into it and couldn't detect any leaks, but I might have missed one.

I will stir it tonight and check for bubbles. If it's a leaky bucket what's the best way to determine when to rack to a glass carboy without the airlock bubbles as an indicator?

Bread yeast is a hardy thing and you can plunk it dry into a 1.125 must and expect it to do its thing. But wine yeast is a little more specialized (read finicky), and it's been designed to be woken up according to the directions on the packet.

With the bucket? Try pressing down on the lid and see what the airlock does... if it does nothing, you definitely have a crappy seal. If it does something, hold it down and see if the airlock stays pressurized or equalizes. If it equalizes slowly, it's a slow leak. I've got one bucket like that. It's never wrecked a batch yet, you just have to remember to rack when it needs it.

How to tell when to rack it? The specific gravity either approaches 1.000 or stops moving. That's when it's about done producing CO2, which is what will protect your must from oxidation.

columbiacritter
09-06-2012, 10:28 PM
Well it's VERY fizzy. I gave it a good stir with a clean spoon and it headed up like a good beer. Smelled very good too. Before I stirred I could see the bubbles coming up through the liquid. The hygrometer reading started at 1.112 now it's down to 1.100. Seems to be working. Yeah! I'll try Corvette girls suggestion to check how leaky the bucket is but otherwise won't worry about it. I'll checked the reading weekly until it reached 1.0 then I'll rack it.

I will be nice to the delicate wine yeasties in the future and not treat them like the tough blue collar bread yeasties. ;-)

Thank you for helping my newbie self.

youngmeadman
09-07-2012, 12:50 AM
Bread yeast is a hardy thing and you can plunk it dry into a 1.125 must and expect it to do its thing. But wine yeast is a little more specialized (read finicky), and it's been designed to be woken up according to the directions on the packet.

Every kit that I have brewed has called for dumbing the yeast right in the must and I have followed said instructions for most if not all my meads. In saying that though, usually with 23L batches I do a starter, but still just dumping it and it has always turned out fine for me. Maybe it is about time for following instructions.....we'll see :)

Chevette Girl
09-07-2012, 12:55 AM
Every kit that I have brewed has called for dumbing the yeast right in the must and I have followed said instructions for most if not all my meads. In saying that though, usually with 23L batches I do a starter, but still just dumping it and it has always turned out fine for me. Maybe it is about time for following instructions.....we'll see :)

I did the same thing for years because that's what the wine kit and my first wine book said to do, despite what the yeast package says, and most of the time it turned out just fine. Now, I'm of the opinion that if I CAN give my yeasties optimal treatment, why shouldn't I? Surely the people who developed this yeast know better than a wine kit that uses it... and don't forget, grape wine (as you'd make with a kit) is exactly what wine yeasts were designed for, fruit wines, meads and melomels probably need any extra help they can get.

youngmeadman
09-07-2012, 09:42 AM
I did the same thing for years because that's what the wine kit and my first wine book said to do, despite what the yeast package says, and most of the time it turned out just fine. Now, I'm of the opinion that if I CAN give my yeasties optimal treatment, why shouldn't I? Surely the people who developed this yeast know better than a wine kit that uses it... and don't forget, grape wine (as you'd make with a kit) is exactly what wine yeasts were designed for, fruit wines, meads and melomels probably need any extra help they can get.

Can't argue with that :)... guess it's time to start reading the yeast packet.

Young