View Full Version : Fermentation Reading Question

10-22-2012, 07:43 PM
Question on fermentation time frame.

OG - 1.110
After 2 weeks - 1.080

Recipes states should be at 1.030 to 1.010.

How long could this actually take?

Still bubbles once in awhile. Not vigorously in over a week.


The recipe:

15 lbs honey
4 gal water
2 tsp yeast energizer
2 tsp yeast nutrient
Lalvin d-47 yeast - 1 package

Followed steps for medium show mead from Ken Schamms book

Chevette Girl
10-22-2012, 08:43 PM
Hey bhresko, welcome to the forum!

Lower temperatures (like what's recommended for D47) cna cause slow fermentations... any idea what temperature yours is at?

10-22-2012, 09:13 PM
Thanks for responding. 70 degrees is the temp. There was a few days where it was generally colder so it may have been lower for a bit.

10-22-2012, 10:19 PM
one more point - i took a gravity reading at around 7 tonite and now the mead started bubbling and the lid of the fermentation bucket is buldging.

Chevette Girl
10-22-2012, 11:31 PM
Is this bucket airlocked? If so, check that it's not blocked with something, your lid shouldn't be bulging...

What was the SG? If it's still going, then you might just have a slow ferment, it happens sometimes.

10-23-2012, 08:52 AM
Let me clarify. Airlock in place. Lid bulges a bit when things are fermentingbinside the primary fermentation bucket. Does the same thing when making wine. The point I was tryng to explain was by simply opening the bucket and taking the gravity reading and temp thinks kicked up again and the airlock is bubling stronger. the gravity reading was 1.080. Started at 1.110 2 weeks ago. need to get a ph kit to test that out. maybe too low?

Thanks again for you responses.

Chevette Girl
10-23-2012, 01:25 PM
It might well be a pH thing, but you'll either want a calibrated pH meter or you'll want to use wine-range pH strips... according to what I've been told when asking the same question, a titration kit isn't going to give you accurate results because the gluconolactone from the honey messes with it.

I'd start by giving this batch a good aeration/degassing if you haven't been doing that already (sorry, my copy of the Commpleat Meadmaker is on another floor and I'm not running up the stairs just to see if his procedure says to aerate daily until the SG is down to between 1//3 and 1/2 of what you expect :) )

10-23-2012, 01:30 PM
i was thinking along the same lines. my plan was to aerate and check the ph levels. as you can tell this is my first run at mead making. i've made many types of wine over the past 6 - 7 years but never mead.

again, thanks for the advise!

Chevette Girl
10-23-2012, 02:20 PM
I hear you... I've been making wines and meads for over 8 years now and it's only the last two or three years since I've been with Gotmead where I've understood how important things like must aeration, yeast rehydration and not adding more acidity to meads can be :rolleyes:

That said, most of the things I made turned out OK despite my bad/incorrect habits. For comapraison, my very first traditional mead in 2004 started at 1.111 and by 2 weeks was 1.032 and finished (er, stuck) at 1.020 and then was bottled unstabilized at 4 months from pitch and of course it bottle-carbed, blew a few corks and made a few messes... my second in 2006 started at 1.090, in 3 weeks was down to 1.000, backsweetened to 1.030 and finished 1.022, only I left it a year in the carboy this time after it'd stopped so we didn't have a repeat of the mess from the previous batch... I had a bottle of this second traditional a month ago, and it was great, if I do say so myself :)

10-23-2012, 03:37 PM
this has been interesting. didn't know i needed to be a chemist :-)

when making wine at home I always age in the carboy. friend of mine ownes a winery and that was advise I follow.

i remember the first batch of wine I made at home. it was a Merlot. The instructions said to whip at the start of the clarifying process until no more foam bubbles. what they didn't say was no more large foam bubbles. I whipped it for about 45 - 50 minutes! should have been more like 15. Luckily no harm done. Merlot came out fine. no oxyidation or discolouration.

again, thanks for helping out. I'll post how this turns out.

Chevette Girl
10-24-2012, 01:13 AM
I've done my share of wine kits too, the reason they want you to whip it at the clarification stage is that the fining agents won't work if there's still a lot of dissolved CO2 so you have to agitate it till it's degassed so that it'll clear more quickly. At the beginning though most of them just say to stir it daily, they don't say anything about oxygenation or anything, but they all seem to turn out just fine :)

10-24-2012, 10:25 AM
Agree. instructions in kits tend to provide the steps to tske and not explain why you perform them. There are many books out there that fill in the gaps. But like anything you do, if all goes perfectly you learn nothing. Throw in some problems and a few disasters and you learn plenty.

Chevette Girl
10-24-2012, 10:30 PM
Hehe, oh, I have done several things with wine kits that were never meant to be done to wine kits... it's really amazing how nicely you can dress up a really cheap wine kit... sparkling by not stabilizing and then priming, ice style by not diluting it to the full volume, adding concentrated juice after stabilizing...

Just proves that a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing ;D

10-24-2012, 10:43 PM
Ok, so i added 1 gram of yeast nutrient in a sanitized blender, filled it with must and whipped the stuffings out of it (as per the Compleat Meadmaking book). I then introduce it back to the must in the primary fermenter and then aerated that with my degasser whip for about 60 seconds. Lid and airlock back on and the wait begins. My SG still at 1.080 so no change since Monday.

No one locally had ph strips or a meter nor did they have calcium carbonate or potasium bicarbonate. So I ordered thru Amazon with an estimated delivery date of mid next week.

So we shall see .......

10-29-2012, 02:14 PM
Added 1 tsp of Yeast Energizer and now bubbling steadily. Checked pH level was 3.2. Added 3 tsp calicim carbonate and now ph is 3.9. SG also moved from1.080 to 1.070 over last 5 days. Seems to be on the rigth track now :)