View Full Version : First attempt in progress - seems to be stalling

Paul S
09-15-2012, 11:18 PM
I have also started 2 gallons of mead, with one packet of Lalvin 1118 yeast. Each had 1/4 tsp (1gm) Wyeast Wine Nutritional Blend and Crosby and Baker Yeast Energizer. Both gallons were started using raw wildflower honey (no boiling). Gallon 1 had a starting SG of 1.090 and gallon 2 had a starting SG of 1.106. Both were bubbling at a steady rate, but now at day 5 gallon number 1 has slowed to the point where it is only bubbling once every minute or two. I was under the impression that they would both be active for a much longer period of time. I didn't test pH (don't currently have a pH meter, and was told the Lalvin was pH resilient (true?). Any thoughts here? I was encouraged by an experienced home brewer (beer) not to get too technical or worried the first time through, and just try it. I'm wondering whether I should have studied more first. I'm not quite sure whether to wait and watch or what to do.

I appreciate your help.

09-16-2012, 12:57 AM
Check your gravity see where its at. Certainly don't worry.

09-16-2012, 01:12 AM
I made my very first batch with EC1118, and let me assure you: that stuff ferments fast. My initial ferment was only 10 or 11 days, and that was five gallons. Take a reading and see, it may very well have just KOed the sugars that quickly.

Paul S
09-18-2012, 11:22 PM
Both Gallons have SG readings of 1.010 in 1 weeks time. Both have a dry taste with a very slight "tang" reminiscent of vinegar, but there is unquestionably alcohol present. Is this tang just the aftertaste of the fresh yeast?

Both gallons are cloudy. Should I expect them to clear in the coming weeks? And when should I consider racking for the first time?

Lastly, while it was my goal to end up with a dry mead, it appears I put in way too little honey for the ability of this yeast. What are peoples experience with sweetening after the mead has aged? Is it worthwhile? Can I expect a decent end product? Or should I chalk this up to experience, and start my next batches with a higher honey to water ratio?

Lastly, could it be that the yeast is still alive, and if I add more honey now, could I get both a sweeter and stronger (alc %) mead? Or does double fermenting (fermenting a second time) risk a more questionable end product - as far as flavor and smell?

thanks in advance.

09-19-2012, 12:16 AM
Both methods are valid, but if step feeding honey, I like to do that earlier, when they're about the 1.040-1.030 area. I'd have thought you could try a small amount of honey, maybe half to a pound max.

Or just let them finish dry (3 identical gravity readings taken across a period of.a week to confirm finished), then it would need stabilising. I like to use honey, adding it incrementally in small amounts to 1.010-1.015 then I clear it for ageing.