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Vandall
10-28-2012, 08:17 PM
I am in the process of making my 3rd 5 gallon batch of JAO and I think I may have a problem. This batch didn't seem to ferment as vigorously as previous batches judging by airlock activity. I know that that is not a good way to judge but I didn't have a hydrometer on the first few batches. I used the exact recipe for JAO and multiplied X5 as I did previously. My starting gravity was 1.132 on 10/07/12. I checked it today, 10/28, and it is 1.052 (10.74%). It tastes like JAO but seems very sweet. Does this seem right? Is it possible to make an acclimated starter and pitch some more yeast in JAO? Your professional guidance is, as always, greatly appreciated.

Chevette Girl
10-28-2012, 10:57 PM
Has it completely stopped now, or is it still cloudy and bubbling? I usually give mine four to six weeks to quit bubbling, they start to clear around week seven and the fruit drops around week eight, give or take three weeks :p

I think my highest stall-out was 1.060 but I'm unsure where that one started, usually they start around 1.125-1.135 and finish around 1.025-1.035, I usually expect a drop of 0.100 with bread yeast.

There's no good reason (aside from breaking the warranty) that you couldn't make an acclimated starter with bread yeast. Really, what's the worst that could happen (barring carboy accidents of course)?

kudapucat
10-29-2012, 07:43 AM
This is not uncommon.
You will have trouble restarting it IMHO, but as CG says, it can't hurt.
Let it age, let it assimilate flavours, and accept it as a sweet batch.
The hippie in me likes that every brew is a different, unique individual, and you get what you're given by the mead-gods.
You now have a desert wine. Make some more, and some more after that, there'll be some you like better at times than others, but like all children, you'll love them all for the joy they bring you.

GDP
10-29-2012, 07:51 AM
Yeah just had the same thing happen to my expensive 3 gal orange honey mead batch. Its sweet but luckily just under the too sweet side by a little so its still drinkable. I just bottled it yesterday so im going to let it age and hopefully the spices come out more.

fatbloke
10-29-2012, 08:33 AM
Well, if it has stopped lower than Vandall had hoped, then an acclimatised re-start should (theoretically) work, a yeast with some teeth - K1-V1116 for example, hell even the dreaded EC-1118.

If either re-started the batch, they'd probably ferment dry, so it's worth trying, but also making sure that a little bit more of the chosen honey type is available to back sweeten - JAO makes for a lousy dry mead (the flavour focuses the bitterness from the orange pith, which is normally balanced out by the residual sweetness).

Vandall
10-29-2012, 01:43 PM
Thanks to all for the advice. When I took the sample to measure the SG it was still fizzing ever so slightly. When I put the lid back on the ale pail and the pressure equalized, I gave it a swirl and it the airlock activity increased. It has been cooler in the house for this batch as opposed to the others, so I am hoping that it is a slow ferment that hasn't finished yet. I will take another gravity reading in a day or two to see if it is still fermenting. That will determine my course of action.

Thanks again, you guys and gals ROCK! :headbang:

FTG-05
10-30-2012, 11:06 AM
Well, if it has stopped lower than Vandall had hoped, then an acclimatised re-start should (theoretically) work, a yeast with some teeth - K1-V1116 for example, hell even the dreaded EC-1118.

If either re-started the batch, they'd probably ferment dry, so it's worth trying, but also making sure that a little bit more of the chosen honey type is available to back sweeten - JAO makes for a lousy dry mead (the flavour focuses the bitterness from the orange pith, which is normally balanced out by the residual sweetness).

Why is the EC-1118 "dreaded"? ???

Thanks,

Chevette Girl
10-30-2012, 11:20 AM
I haven't noticed it myself (haven't done a direct comparaison either), but a lot of folks find that it's such a violent fermentation that you lose a lot of the more delicate flavours and aromas compared to using other yeasts. It's still a good yeast if you're making something really high-test or if you're planning to use it for bottle-carbonating, and it's one of the recommended yeasts if you're restarting a stuck fermentation. It often gets recommended to new winemakers and meadmakers by their local brew supply stores because it's quick, easy and not the least bit fussy, but once you've sorted out your techniques you may well want to move into trying out other yeast strains. They've all got their pros and cons.

YogiBearMead726
10-30-2012, 12:10 PM
Personally, I like the mouthfeel and yeast character imparted by EC-1118 in traditionals. Haven't used it for much else though.

fatbloke
10-30-2012, 03:12 PM
I refer to it as "dreaded", pretty much for the reasons CG mentions.

It's not a bad yeast, I just find it more suited to the purpose its intended i.e. sparkling, light, (IMO) bland brews.

Yes its a monster fermenter, but its recommended all to often by lazy, ignorant HBS, that just want to sell, rather than admit that they know bog all about meads.....

Personally, I find that K1-V1116 is a better bet.

FTG-05
10-30-2012, 03:42 PM
Ok, good stuff to know about that yeast.

What about using D47 for mead? I saw this listed in a brewer's catalog last night (forget the brew supply company's name) and they said it was good for meads.

Hope this isn't a hijack.

Thanks,

kudapucat
10-30-2012, 04:57 PM
D47's quite good. It's got a very tight temperature tolerance though, and tastes terrible if you let it get too hot.

fatbloke
10-31-2012, 01:34 AM
D47's quite good. It's got a very tight temperature tolerance though, and tastes terrible if you let it get too hot.

As kudapucat says. Those who ferment in generally warmer locations have found it produces fusels with honey musts, when fermented above 70F/21C. Whereas K1-V1116 has one of the widest temperature ranges.out there -to no apparent detriment.

You just have to remember that it will go to 18%......