View Full Version : Help needed.

05-05-2013, 06:21 PM
My recipe
My reciepe.
5.8 litrs of spring water.
1.5kg of nz honey. 100 % pure but not raw.
Approx 2 and half tsp of active dry yeast.
Approx 25 to 30 raisins for nutrient.
30 litre plastic sanitised brewing bucket

My fermentation is stopped. the fermentation of the first week was very slow. So i decided to add more nutrient(about 10 or so more raisins. It hasnt kicked off again :( I have been stirring every morning for the last three days. Should I add half tsp more yeast or just wait?

05-05-2013, 07:55 PM
Could it be finished? WVMJ

05-05-2013, 07:57 PM
its only been on just over a week :(

05-05-2013, 08:01 PM
What does that have to do with it being finished or not? Have you tasted it to see if there is still a lot of honey left over? Sometimes yeast dont make a big fuss while they are fermenting, sometimes they foam all over the place. Any chance there is a hydrometer in your house? WVMJ

Midnight Sun
05-05-2013, 08:10 PM
Have you taken any measurements using a hydrometer?

What is your fermentation temp? Warmer temps tend to ferment faster.

Raisins are an OK source of yeast food, might not be enough in this case. Add some yeast to 50ml or so of water, microwave for a bit, then add to the must. That may help things along.

05-05-2013, 08:33 PM
Ill take a hydrometre reading later tonight when I get my mate around. I did have a little sample, Nice taste relativly winey not very potent in alchole wise from what I tasted...

05-05-2013, 08:34 PM
fermentation was at around 18. in the bucket wrapped with a thick blanket.

Midnight Sun
05-05-2013, 09:06 PM
Hmmm...you might try bumping up the temp to 21C-22C. Bread yeast likes it warm.

05-05-2013, 11:34 PM
yeah its still very cloudy also. Should I bring it inside it is outside in the garage. Pretty cold here.

05-05-2013, 11:52 PM
Right ok got some sad news.

Used the hydrometer just before. Nothing :( No percent :(.

Even though its got that winey taste too it? Its not very sweet either. But what my dads done (he a spirit home-brewer) Has wrapped the still heater around the still and put the blanket over top.

Says if nothing in the morning probably best to start again but im not the one to give up.

1.Is there anything I can do to start it back up without effecting the taste
2.How come it tastes as if there was alchole present?
3.Can I add more hone to make it sweeter?
4.How can I make my next brew of mead better?

Im hoping this works guys ive been so excited.

Midnight Sun
05-06-2013, 01:26 AM
You can dose it with potassium metabisulfite, then pitch anther round of yeast. If you do that, you might consider a wine yeast. In this case, KV1116 would be my first choice. That'll also take care of anything surviving the kmeta.

What's you dad using to ferment?

05-06-2013, 02:57 AM
He uses something in a silver package called 'turbo yeast'.

05-06-2013, 04:31 AM
No percent on the hydrometer means there is not potential alcohol to make, which means its all done, there is nothing left to make any more alcohol. Its going to be cloudy for a little while, put an airlock on it and try to be patient. WVMJ

05-06-2013, 06:58 AM
What? Im having trouble following that? If its done, and there is no alchole. Its f**ked? So should I tip out and start again? Or what are you trying to say? You say put airlock back on and be patient? How can I if its done....

05-06-2013, 08:37 AM
Your hydrometer probably has some instructions that explain what the numbers mean. You can report the amount of sugar as a gravity or a potential amount of alchohol than CAN be made, potential is the magic word, once the potential is reached there is no more % alcohol that can be made. I does not measure the amount of alcohol already in the wine. What country are you in?


05-06-2013, 09:44 AM
Have a look at my blog (link in sig line here) as I posted about hydrometers yesterday.

There are a couple of different ranges that can be on the scale. The one to watch is the specific gravity one, it will show something like 0.980 or 0.990 at the tip, then 1.000 and so on. Plus when it's dropped into the brew (make sure it's been sanitised first) it will float very low with just the tip poking out the brew if it's finished.

Whereas, if there's still sugars that are waiting to be munched by the yeast, then it will sit much higher out of the liquid. Looking at the numbers you quoted, if it hadn't done anything, then the surface of the liquid would line up somewhere about the 1.100 mark (maybe above maybe below).

The post in my blog from yesterday about hydrometers has an image, but also a link to a website that sells the hydrometers with 3 different ranges on the scale - IMO they're a pain in the arse as they can be confusing. There is also a link to the grapestompers site who had a nice tutorial about measuring with and reading hydrometers.

What Jack was alluding to, is that if the gravity was at something like 1.100, it would probably line up with the 12 to 14% potential alcohol line, so there'd be more fermentation to go, but if it's dropped down into the liquid low, it's probably sitting at the 0% line as there's not much more fermentation it can do.....

@ WVMJ, he's in New Zealand......

05-06-2013, 05:56 PM
Ok fellas thank you for your replys this is all very confusing and new too me. The recipe was from a youtube video 'easy mead' and obviously not that easy. But very interesting.

But good news. I think.

I woke up this morning and it was pumping. Bubbling in the Airlock about every 10 seconds(when I first put it on with no heater and JUST the blanket it was about every minute).

Perhaps my must was a victim of a cold snap? Or a shock from the extra raisins I threw in?

I am from New Zealand fellas.

The hydrometer was a basic one I used of my dads which he uses for his spirits. Basically you fill it up to the 1000ml part. Put the stick in to get a reading and it either floats if there is alcohol there or sinks to the bottom if there is nothing present. In this case it sunk right to the bottom and read 0% alcohol in the must. My old man said when he does it to his home brew near end it floats about half way and sits around %46 and thats his alcohol content..

Should I leave the warmer on? And bring it inside? Or leave it right where it is and leave the warmer on.

It dropped down to 0% would that mean its not close to being finished? Or does it mean its fu**ed?

Should I continue to let it ferment and check on it in a week or so?

05-06-2013, 06:01 PM
Thats why I asked where you were, hydrometers work the opposite way on your end of the world than here in the nothern hemisphere. After you figure out the mead thing you need to get your dad to distill some and tell us what it tastes like since we are not allowed to do that over here. WVMJ

05-06-2013, 07:06 PM
Do what over there? Spirits or mead?

Ive tasted my dads homebrew he mainly does Rum and Bourbon...Cause he drinks it doesnt sell it. Its good stuff. Gets ya chopped.

05-06-2013, 10:45 PM
Ah.....that explains it....... a spirits hydrometer!

Absolutely no use whatsoever for testing fermentation.

Most places aren't allowed to make distilled spirits without a license, NZ is one of the few that that's legal.

Ask him if he's got one that he uses to test his wash? If not you'll be needing to get one that is calibrated for wine making with a specific gravity scale.

That's what you need for testing fermentation......

Midnight Sun
05-07-2013, 12:55 AM
I concur with fatbloke regarding the hydrometer. A spirit hydrometer is not going to help with mead.

As for your current must, I would continue to keep it warm. Bread yeast really does need a warmer ambient temp then most wine and beer yeasts. Once you get your wine hydrometer, you'll be able to measure the progress.

Thats why I asked where you were, hydrometers work the opposite way on your end of the world than here in the nothern hemisphere. ...

A hydrometer is simply a tool that measures specific gravity: density of a test liquid divided by the density of pure water. You'll get similar specific gravity readings regardless of your location on Terra ;)

05-07-2013, 07:25 PM
A spirit meter, we are not allowed to play with that over here at home. That explains how your posts are opposite of how we think using a hydrometer. THanks for teaching me something new! Once you learn how to make your mead you might want to get the dad to run some thru his distiller to see how that tastes, probably pretty good but i have never tasted that. WVMJ

05-07-2013, 07:55 PM
Haha thanks heaps guys!

Shes slowed down a little the heater was turned off. So put it back on this morning. Still quite slow...She might be ready to go secondary soon. And as for the hydrometer thing. I had a little nip and there is defenitly alchole present but fuck its bitter and dry. Can I add some more honey to sweeten her up?

Chevette Girl
05-07-2013, 11:36 PM
Sure, it's your brew, you can do anything you want. ;D Honestly there really are no rules about what the end product should taste like, if you like it, it's good, if you don't, it needs some work.

So go ahead and sweeten it up a little bit. But if it's dry-tasting and still going, your yeast may well keep on eating whatever you put in there for a while, so be prepared, if you don't hit it with chemicals, you may have to sweeten it a few times to get it to the point where it stops fermenting what you add. When we do this on purpose to push the yeast's maximum alcohol tolerance, it's called step feeding.