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Jim H
08-11-2013, 12:34 PM
Hi all: I think I may have caught this early, so hopefully with a little advice, you'll steer me in the right direction.

I have a batch (here (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21557)) that was scheduled to move to secondary today. When testing its gravity, I had found that it had not moved in 8 days, and in fact may have gone up a wee bit.
Important points: calculated OG: 1.121, today's reading: 1.068. Using K1V, 11 lbs honey for 3 gals, 42 days. I racked it to secondary today on schedule, adding 1/2 tsp DAP and 1/2 tsp Fermaid-K. Divided up into two carboys to allow room for must.

What should I watch for -- is this a stalled batch?

Jim H
08-11-2013, 08:12 PM
After some more research, I found Hightest's FAQ on stuck fermentations. According to the calcs, I am right at the 50% fermentation mark. So, the his note on it was to stir vigorously for a few days -- get out the CO2 and get some oxygen to the yeast.
http://home.comcast.net/~mzapx1/FAQ/StuckFerm.pdf

And, that's what I started to do tonight.

Does his advice match your experiences?

rmccask
08-11-2013, 09:20 PM
At the halfway point, I am not sure the DAP or Fermaid K will do any good. If you have some yeast hulls you could add some of that, if not, boil some (bread) yeast and add that. You could also cut some raisins in half and add those. If you do some searches for "yeast hulls" and "boiled yeast" here you can probably get more details by more experienced people.

Jim H
08-11-2013, 10:22 PM
Yeah, kind of a bummer being a newbie and getting stuck. I did the thing that I thought would help... and what do you know? I might have hurt it, adding that Fermaid-K and DAP.

Anyway, I have plenty of bread yeast I can boil if I need to. For the next couple of days, I will try Hightest's method of stirring vigorously and get some air in there. I am right at the halfway point, so I think it might be safe enough to do. If, on Wednesday, gravity still isn't moving downwards, I will make a starter with my spare K1V packet.

fatbloke
08-11-2013, 11:15 PM
The problem may indeed be nutrient related, but equally, it might be acidity/pH related too.

You'd need to test the pH because if its dropped below 3.0pH it can stick or slow down.......

If it did work out to be the problem, then potassium carbonate is your friend.....

rmccask
08-11-2013, 11:15 PM
I doubt the nutrients you added will be a big problem but I doubt they will help either so I wouldn't dwell on that.

If you haven't, I would check the pH before you do anything else since if it is too low, that could be your problem and you can add something to raise it a little. If the pH is ok, then I would do the boiled yeast before repitching personally since the existing yeast, if they are alive, are already acclimated to the alcohol and creating a yeast starter will take more time.

Jim H
08-12-2013, 08:41 PM
Ok, I just tested the pH. The color is definitely strongly acid, 3 or lower.

I do not have potassium carbonate. I will have to order some, there's no way I can go and get any in person this week.

How long can this must stay at this pH before permanent damage is done? Will it keep for 3-4 days, and be able to start up again after I get the chems?

rmccask
08-12-2013, 09:12 PM
Degassing it may help to lower the pH a little while you are waiting to get some potassium carbonate or potassium bicarbonate. If the pH gets too low then I have heard it can kill the yeast but for most cases I have read about, the yeast will come back to life when you get the pH under control. I now add 1.3 g of potassium bicarbonate per gallon to most of my batches before I even pitch the yeast.

If it doesn't start back up within a few days of raising the pH, then you can think about creating a starter but hopefully you won't need to.

Jim H
08-12-2013, 09:15 PM
Ok. I will also get an extra packet or two of K1V, just in case.

How about cream of tartar? I see on some other brew boards that cream of tartar is sometimes used to raise pH... which confuses me, because it's an acid.

rmccask
08-12-2013, 09:38 PM
I don't recommend the cream of tartar. Here is link to a posting that talks about adding cream of tartar by wayneb, someone with more knowledge about this than me.

http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showpost.php?p=160786&postcount=2

Jim H
08-12-2013, 10:27 PM
Point taken. Thank you for the help. Potassium bicarbonate should be here by end of week, and I will try out the dosage you recommend. Until then, I will degas it every day to help keep it from getting too out of hand.

BTW: is the dosage determined given the current pH, by the concentration of honey, or by the total volume/rule of thumb? In essence, for my next batch, how do I judge how much to put in to *prevent* this from happening?

kchaystack
08-12-2013, 10:34 PM
I would not add it unless you need it. You should test the pH every so often, and adjust as needed.

rmccask
08-13-2013, 12:02 AM
I think the amount needed, if any, depends on the ph/buffering in your ingredients (mostly the honey and water). I had been using cheap bottled spring water and honey from Costco for my first 3 batches and I needed something to keep the must from turning acidic on me like yours did. If you look at this thread, http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=40912&sid=9173dceeecd2e11c47ae6a7e23b36edd, there is a discussion including wayneb and Hightest about using it as a pH buffer and they even throw around the dosage I use which probably influenced my decision at the time.

When I buy a good pH meter, I may stop automatically adding the potassium bicarbonate but for now it works for me.

Jim H
08-17-2013, 01:11 PM
Got the potassium bicarb today. My scale cannot accurately measure the amounts needed. The label said that 1 tsp = 6g, so I measured out a slightly short 1/8 tsp per gallon, roughly 0.6 or so g/gal.

It didn't dissolve completely despite lots of stirring. Note to self- pre-dissolve first in some water next time.

Will check later today to see if the pH rose at all.... though the pH paper is very hard to read at lower pHs. The damp paper seemed darker orange than the dry paper, which is kind of hard to interpret. Note to self - get a frigging pH meter!

More details here (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?p=213190).

kchaystack
08-17-2013, 01:29 PM
You always read ph paper wet. Give it a few seconds after you apply the test liquid and read then. It is normal for it to change color as it dries.

Jim H
08-17-2013, 02:13 PM
Yeah, well, this is the type that I have, and frankly it is very hard to read for the range I need. My saliva will read yellow-ish when the paper is wet. Water from my tap is darker orange, the color of the paper itself just about, which reads like pH 4. (NYC tap water is 6.8 or thereabouts, and not that low.) The must reads slightly darker than the paper, so somewhere around 3 or below... sort of like my tap water.

I have just ordered wine-range papers.

Hey! I can still edit this. To clarify, here is a pic of three tests. The first is the must, the second is NYC tap water, the third is my saliva. All are moist strips with excess liquid shaken off.

http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb1/folded_bucket/2013-08-17141759_zps1556f805.jpg

Jim H
08-17-2013, 03:28 PM
Just a few afters preparation, the starter looks like it's kicking in nicely. After this pic, gave it a shake to degas and mix in more oxygen.

http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb1/folded_bucket/2013-08-17152356_zps4e0f62d8.jpg

Jim H
08-17-2013, 05:33 PM
The starter is frothing up.

http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb1/folded_bucket/2013-08-17172614_zps526bc2b2.jpg

Jim H
08-17-2013, 08:50 PM
Potassium bicarbonate is weird sh*t. I was expecting it to be somewhat soluble in water. In practice, it isn't.

As an experiment, I tried mixing it into water, room temp, in a plastic measuring cup. I ended up with a little bit in solution (the water turned cloudier) but most of it stubbornly ended up as pellets on the bottom, and floating on the top as a powdery skim. It also increases surface tension by a bit... the powdery skim was crawling up the sides of the measuring cup by a lot.

How the heck do I get this stuff to dissolve into my mead and do its job? Arrrgh!

UKTony
08-17-2013, 11:11 PM
I'm not the most scientific person I'm afraid, I needed to raise the pH on my current batch and just measured it and sprinkled it right in, I didn't pre-mix or anything... it may (or may not) be frowned upon, but it did exactly what I needed it to after a jolly good thrashing with the lees stirrer.

Tony

rmccask
08-17-2013, 11:22 PM
I can't remember how I added it to my meads that were already fermenting. Recently I added it at the beginning and use the stirrer like UKTony mentions. I think this is one of those cases where you should take a little of your must and add the bicarbonate to that and thrash it until it is mixed in and then add that back to your must.

Jim H
08-17-2013, 11:31 PM
Did the batch kick in again? Did you add in starter? Any further details as to what you did and the timing with all of the steps?

Thanks

UKTony
08-17-2013, 11:37 PM
Mine hadn't stalled, I was just uncomfortable with how low the acidity was, and didn't want the yeasties to croak... but yes, once I got the acidity back up again, fermentation became more vigorous.

Jim H
08-17-2013, 11:45 PM
How much potassium bicarbonate per gallon (or liter) did you add?

rmccask
08-17-2013, 11:47 PM
The batch that stalled on me, my first one as well, resumed within a day of me adding the potassium bicarbonate but continued at a slower rate since I had probably killed off some of the yeast. Since I wasn't sure what the problem was at first, I had also added a handful of raisins cut up and some boiled yeast as well and they didn't help before I added the bicarbonate. Watch your SG to see if it is dropping or not. According to my notes, I added two teaspoons of the potassium carbonate for a 5 gallon batch since that was before I had purchased my scale.

Chevette Girl
08-18-2013, 12:33 AM
Calcium carbonate is what I have and it's even less soluble than potassium bicarb... however the thing is, if you mix it into something acidic (remember, you're adding a base to raise the pH, not the acidity), it will react as well as dissolve, so it takes care of the solubility problem by itself. Like adding baking soda to vinegar, I even get enough fizz to make the airlock active. I just add the dry powder after a good degassing. I add two tsp at a time for a 5-6 gal batch, then check the next day.

Jim H
08-18-2013, 01:21 AM
I decided that I may have been too gentle with the stalled must. According to some good material online, it reads like 1.3g/gal is a good amount. So, I put in an extra 1/8 tsp per gallon, which raises the total to that advisable quantity.

Then, taking Tony's lead, I got out my drill with the "weedwhacker" stirrer attached, and buzzed the thing for quite a while.

Chevette -- most of the stuff seems to have dissolved, I still have some powdery stuff on top, but it looks like it is fairly well mixed in.

I also put in about half a cup of the must into my starter, and gave it a really good shake.

And... I dipped a pH strip into my solution of StarSan. It is definitely more acidic than the other items I tested. The strip actually went red.

I'll give the must another test tomorrow... but I am not inclined to add any more bicarb to it. I will either add the starter -- or if SG and pH are still not moving, I will add more of the must to the starter.

fatbloke
08-18-2013, 02:48 AM
Honey is certainly a stranger substance than we give it credit for.

Part of the problem is that we just don't have test kit specific enough for it.

We mix it to the appropriate SG, yet we often forget how much acidity it provides without anything else (partly why acid additions up front are now discredited technique). Its not the usual fruit acids with traditionals, gluconic acid (gluconolactone or something like that) is weird stuff. Then we pitch the yeast and carbonic acid becomes a possible issue, which is partly why early stage aeration is recommended, as the air/O2 is good for the yeast development and at the same time provides the nucleation points for it (the carbonic acid) to attach to and come out as gaseous CO2, hence the foaming during aeration (as opposed to just a bit of bubbling from the agitation).

I suspect the K carb/bicarb isn't so much soluble but more that its broken down by acid action/reaction.

As for the dosage ? Caution is more about not affecting the flavour of the finished product. Using parts of a teaspoon measure aren't the best/most accurate obviously, but its much better than just sprinkling a hit or miss quantity and hoping for the best. Actually, I got a set of druggie scales that measure down to 1/100th of a gramme because of that (about the 10 to 15 $ US mark on eBay).

Equally, we also forget that litmus strips can be wide or narrow range and the pack I have are actually for kombucha, rather than wine. They're 2.8 to 4.6pH so the colour reaction is easier to read (I only got them because my pH meter died and I was waiting for the new one to turn up.......)

As Tony pointed out about being uncomfortable with the initial number being so low, it does seem that while those with extensive knowledge keep their brews in the apparent "sweet spot" of about 3.5pH some worry its not far enough from the danger zone.

Further digging would suggest that there's nothing actually wrong in keeping it higher - 4.0 or above, during the ferment (after all, it's still providing the acidic environment that yeast like and low enough to prevent some spoilage organisms), just that it might need dropping to the sweet spot area for the best taste and/or mouth feel afterwards - similar to adding/correcting acid in a wine after its finished its ferment.

In fact, if you think about it, such an approach may help with making ferment management less hassle - IMO. .....

UKTony
08-18-2013, 05:53 AM
Also, I don't have enough experience to know if this is true for all mead fermentations, but I found that as fermentation was in the early stages, the pH kept dropping and I was fighting to keep it above a threshold I was happy with, but once I got past about 2/3 sugar break, the pH started to rise again, to the point that for a short while I started to become concerned about it climbing too high.

Assuming I've been good with my cleaning regimen, I shouldn't need to worry too much. Don't know if you're a patron (if not there's some great recipes and info!), but if you are you can see the process I went through in the patrons brew logs.

I've found that most of the things I've panicked about on my first batch, was unnecessary panic. The main thing is to know your particular yeast well, and what keeps them happy, (pH tolerance, alcohol tolerance, nutrient needs, etc), and raise/nurture them like they're your offspring for a few weeks/months. If the pH is so low that it's killed em all off, then yeasties are cheap for the most part!

So far I've found that mead is as much art as it is a technical skill, which, although going against the nature of my very being (being a very black and white technical geek!), I've found the creative process to be very liberating, not afraid to "try" stuff out based on the collective knowledge on this board, as long it's fully documented, so if things do go pear shaped, the smart guys (and gals!) on here can help out.

fatbloke
08-18-2013, 06:38 AM
Also, I don't have enough experience to know if this is true for all mead fermentations, but I found that as fermentation was in the early stages, the pH kept dropping and I was fighting to keep it above a threshold I was happy with, but once I got past about 2/3 sugar break, the pH started to rise again, to the point that for a short while I started to become concerned about it climbing too high.

Assuming I've been good with my cleaning regimen, I shouldn't need to worry too much. Don't know if you're a patron (if not there's some great recipes and info!), but if you are you can see the process I went through in the patrons brew logs.

I've found that most of the things I've panicked about on my first batch, was unnecessary panic. The main thing is to know your particular yeast well, and what keeps them happy, (pH tolerance, alcohol tolerance, nutrient needs, etc), and raise/nurture them like they're your offspring for a few weeks/months. If the pH is so low that it's killed em all off, then yeasties are cheap for the most part!

So far I've found that mead is as much art as it is a technical skill, which, although going against the nature of my very being (being a very black and white technical geek!), I've found the creative process to be very liberating, not afraid to "try" stuff out based on the collective knowledge on this board, as long it's fully documented, so if things do go pear shaped, the smart guys (and gals!) on here can help out.
Spot on there matey. It didn't take me long to work out that it was worth the effort of chucking some patron money to Vicky. Worth every penny IMO.......

I ended up learning the use of the two yeasts mentioned in the late Brother Adams writings (the "Maury" yeast would appear to be the same as Lalvin D21 and the Montpellier strain, was Gervin varietal "E" which is the same as Lalvin K1-V1116). Both good for traditionals......

Jim H
08-18-2013, 11:27 AM
Tony, FB, thanks for the encouragement. I was starting to feel down from this problematic batch, but I'll figure this out. My re-starter K1V stopped bubbling after I added some of the must last night. This morning, it is starting to bubble again, just not as fabulously as before. Slow in comparison, but with every degassing shake I give it, it sends off foamy bubbles which is a good sign.

I rechecked the pH with my color-blind litmus papers. It looks more solidly a pH of 4. The meter will arrive later this week, but I may pitch the restarter tonight, as this week will be kind of busy, and I don't want the must hanging around with no ferment going on - it has been just over two weeks sitting idle.


...As for the dosage ? Caution is more about not affecting the flavour of the finished product. Using parts of a teaspoon measure aren't the best/most accurate obviously, but its much better than just sprinkling a hit or miss quantity and hoping for the best. Actually, I got a set of druggie scales that measure down to 1/100th of a gramme because of that (about the 10 to 15 $ US mark on eBay).

Equally, we also forget that litmus strips can be wide or narrow range and the pack I have are actually for kombucha, rather than wine. They're 2.8 to 4.6pH so the colour reaction is easier to read (I only got them because my pH meter died and I was waiting for the new one to turn up.......)

Let's see, recent new purchases: 0.001g scale, pH meter, new litmus papers, several chems, more beery grain and hop purchases. Future purchases: corker, bottles... I've got quite the little hobby. My wallet hurts. :o

Ah, yes, patronage. I think it may be worth it. Expect my patron badge sometime soon.

UKTony
08-18-2013, 12:08 PM
My re-starter K1V stopped bubbling after I added some of the must last night. This morning, it is starting to bubble again, just not as fabulously as before. Slow in comparison, but with every degassing shake I give it, it sends off foamy bubbles which is a good sign.


Yup, one thing I learned is that a yeast starter isn't like working with a full must.. you get a much smaller window of opportunity to work with ... i.e. once you have good starter activity, you've got maybe 24 - 48 hours to make the best of it.... don't hang around too long, and you'll get the best of the starter.

For my starter, I found the same as you ... 24 hours of vigorous activity and then it started to poop out a bit...

Good luck!!

Tony

Jim H
08-18-2013, 12:19 PM
Thanks --

and a question. I've seen a reputable discussion about restarters requiring 3 days of stepwise acclimations to the must (add 1/2 cup with nutrients on each day). Seems reasonable... have you tried it?

I was going to try this 3 day procedure, but real life is making demands on my time after work for the next few days. So, I am "winging it" by pitching tonight. It wasn't part of the original plan.

Jim H
08-18-2013, 07:17 PM
A question for the peanut gallery:

My mead is about at the half way point. It was stalled there. I stirred it plenty of times in efforts to restart it, to mix in pot.bicarb, and now I am mixing it like crazy to keep the new yeast degassed.

How much is this vigorous stirring going to harm the must? Will it even harm the must at this point (its at 1.067)?

Should I stop stirring, or at least stir less vigorously?

UKTony
08-18-2013, 07:32 PM
A question for the peanut gallery:

How much is this vigorous stirring going to harm the must? Will it even harm the must at this point (its at 1.067)?

Should I stop stirring, or at least stir less vigorously?

I asked the same question about over oxygenation (i.e. can you oxygenate too much). The general consensus was that it's not really possible, unless perhaps if you're using pure O2 from a cylinder. A fermenting must will always make use of as much oxygen as it is able to, it's far more detrimental to not have enough oxygen available to the yeasties which could inhibit them from achieving their optimal growth. You only want to start easing off towards the end of active fermentation, when too much oxygen in the must could lead to oxidisation, etc.

That said, this is form the newbies guide....


To avoid stressing the yeast during their growth phase, it is important to provide them with the oxygen they need. Aerate the Must a couple of times a day for the first three days by using an aeration stone, shaking, or stirring with a Lees stirrer.

So given that you're trying to restart it, I'm not sure if this counts as the first three days as a do-over or if you should lay off it a little... I'll defer to someone more knowledgeable, but I'd imagine you're looking to invoke a new growth phase...

Food and air is what they need.

Cheers

Tony

Jim H
08-18-2013, 07:40 PM
Food and air is what they need.

Go ahead thrash em!!

Cheers

Tony

:headbang:

Will do!

I was starting to catch on to that, I might continue to do it until the 2/3 break.
... just saw Tony's edit. I'll do it for a couple more days then.

Beer is more sensitive to aeration... past day 3, it's not good to thrash.

UKTony
08-18-2013, 08:52 PM
Wait and see what others say though, I broke a bunch of rules (are there rules?) with mine, so I'm not a shining example of a mead making poster boy (and I still don't know how mine will turn out for at least another year) I might end up with 6 gallons o'pish as they say in Glasgow!

But if it were me, my guess is that the whole point of repitching, is to get the stalled ferment up and running again, which will require another growth phase, etc.

I'm looking around the room for someone with experience of stalled fermentation to step in and save me!

Chevette Girl
08-18-2013, 11:47 PM
I've restarted two stalled ferments relatively recently... one was jalapeno wine that started at 1.080 and stopped at 1.060 for a couple years (it was in a small jug so I never checked the SG), I repitched a well-aerated acclimated starter and whipped the crap out of it for a couple days.

The other one started around 1.090 and cut out around 1.030 and had developed a funny smell, so I thought I'd splash it around and give it some nuked bread yeast, and lo and behold it started back up again, after at least a year or two being stuck there.

I suspect that aeration will only do you good at this point, especially when repitching, you are trying to rebuild the colony and that's when it needs the oxygen. I didn't check what nutrients or energizers you may have used in this batch but a little more energizer probably won't hurt either but I wouldn't go too heavy on the DAP.

Jim H
08-19-2013, 07:56 PM
...I suspect that aeration will only do you good at this point, especially when repitching, you are trying to rebuild the colony and that's when it needs the oxygen. I didn't check what nutrients or energizers you may have used in this batch but a little more energizer probably won't hurt either but I wouldn't go too heavy on the DAP.

I have given it 1 tsp Fermaid K (3 gal batch) before the rack to secondary and stall. But, after the rack and stall, I gave the must 1/2 tsp F-K and 1/2 tsp DAP, with a smidgen of go-ferm. (It did not re-start, so I am guessing that the remaining yeast were dead, and any remaining food is still in the batch.)

For the new starter, I gave it 1/4 tsp go-ferm. Then after it had begun to percolate nicely, I added 1/4 tsp F-K and 1/4 tsp DAP to the starter. Since pitching, I have added no nutrients.

So, I am guessing that this new starter has a total of:
1/4 tsp go ferm (probably metabolized, by this point)
3/4 tsp (max) Fermaid K
3/4 tsp (max) DAP
to work with. Plus any dregs left over from the original 1 tsp F-K.

Should I add some more? Or do you think I have put in enough by this point? I am kind of leaning towards the latter. But, if I do have bread yeast I can boil, if you really think it needs it. I don't know how much is too much, given a re-start.

As per your experience, I will whip the dickens out of it for the next couple of days, AM and PM. I gave it a break this morning, because I was too tired to remember to do it before hauling off to work.

Jim H
08-20-2013, 10:44 PM
>bump< Advice please!

The batch is just past half way, and it has restarted! Yayyy! (Details here... tho' there are some new slightly "dark" odors that I cannot clearly define.) (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?p=213481)

I have been aerating it vigorously for the past 3 days. Should I stop aerating? Should I continue to de-gas?

GntlKnigt1
08-21-2013, 09:58 AM
My suggestion wouuld be...."If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Maybe check your SG every day, and as long as it keeps dropping, leave it alone. Maybe a little stir near the end to make sure yeasties finish their job.

Jim H
08-21-2013, 07:58 PM
I think I'll follow your advice, I was leaning in that direction as it was. I've mucked about with it quite a lot.

In fact, I will bother it less than every day -- once every other day for an SG and pH check. If I do have some oxidation problems, I can fine all of it (or a portion of it) later with milk or casein.

Chevette Girl
08-21-2013, 08:15 PM
Where is your SG now, 1.060? If you're past about the halfway point, I'd quit aerating and just stir to degas. And at that point, I wouldn't add anything like DAP, although if you want to feed it and hope some of the odour is absorbed, go with microwaved bread yeast. I usually go with two teaspoons of bread yeast in maybe 1/4 cup of water, microwave until things pop. let it cool a bit, add some water so it's pourable again, pour it in.

Jim H
08-21-2013, 10:40 PM
Yesterday's SG was 1.060, yes. I left the batch alone today, tomorrow I will check gravities again... but there was bubbling activity in the airlock, so the yeast is doing its work.

If I detect that the funk is hanging around or getting worse, I will put in boiled bread yeast before the week is up.

Thanks again, CG! :)

Jim H
08-22-2013, 10:54 PM
So, the SG has gone down a couple more points, to 1.057~1.055. I am happy that it's going in the right direction. Degassed it gently. I added a packet of bread yeast that was boiled and then cooled, but didn't do any further mixing. pH is a healthy 4.0~4.1

While I am glad it went down about 10 points since re-pitching (4 days), I hope it speeds up a little. I've got other meads I'd like to make, and I need the room!

A nice surprise was that the funky smell and taste has dissipated mostly -- not all gone, but certainly cleared. Hopefully the addition of yeast hulls will help.

Log notes here. (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?p=213621)

Thanks GK and CG.

Chevette Girl
08-23-2013, 12:02 PM
Aah, aah... you can't rush a fermentation. The yeasties do things on their time, not yours...

(this is how I've got a hundred pounds of fruit in my freezer)

Jim H
08-23-2013, 06:19 PM
I know in my heart you're right. I can only hope that they get a little more active. When my IPA is in the keg (maybe in two weeks) I may set up the next batch.

Jim H
08-24-2013, 09:35 PM
Mixed results today. A 2 gallon portion has no change in gravity since last reading, even though pH is ok. I am putting in another packet of boiled bread yeast.

However... no bad smells or tastes. Latest here. (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?p=213735)

GntlKnigt1
08-25-2013, 02:07 AM
Mixed results today. A 2 gallon portion has no change in gravity since last reading, even though pH is ok. I am putting in another packet of boiled bread yeast.

However... no bad smells or tastes. Latest here. (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?p=213735)

The last posted SG reading you gave was 2 days ago at 1.055. The yeast may be done. At 1.000, there's nothing left for them to eat.

Jim H
08-25-2013, 10:06 AM
Total calculated starting SG is 1.144, it was step fed so my actual OG was lower. Yeast is K1V, with a tolerance to 18%. By the mead calculator, I am at about 11.61% ABV in the larger vessel. It is about 40% done. Looking back at my starting batch (and making better calculations, now), I probably added too much honey to start with, and the starting OG was pretty high.

Besides, I can taste plenty of sugar left in the must. There's a way to go, and there's food for the yeast to eat... just gotta keep them going.

Less honey at the start, better temperature control of the must, much more aeration at the start, pH control, and I won't be bottom feeding the must again -- I need to keep tighter track of gravity and pH throughout the entire cycle. I learned a lot with this batch, I just hope I can save it.

By the way, I can see that fermentation has started again. There is a light foam on top, and I can see bubbles streaming towards the surface for the both of them.

Chevette Girl
08-25-2013, 04:52 PM
If it's still going, you're golden :)

Jim H
08-25-2013, 07:05 PM
That's what she said. Whoops! Wrong forum. ;)

Hey -- I've put the equivalent of two packets of bread yeast into 3 gallons. How much more wiggle room do I have with the additional hulls before it goes downhill?

Total additions below, including the additions to the re-starter that I pitched.

2-3/4 tsp fk
1-3/4 tsp DAP
1/4 tsp goferm (during fermentation)
2 packets bread yeast (boiled)

Chevette Girl
08-25-2013, 08:22 PM
I'm not sure there really is an upper limit to how much yeast hull you can add before it's a problem. I suspect that anything the yeast can't use will just settle out. I could be wrong on that, but I usually go with a tablespoon or so per gallon...

Jim H
08-25-2013, 08:39 PM
I've already put about 5 Tbsp worth of food in 3 gallons, or 1.667 per gallon. So, I have wiggle room.

Thanks.

Jim H
08-26-2013, 09:19 PM
The batch is now slowly burbling steadily. The smaller portion - 1 gal - seems to be 3 points ahead of the large batch. All I can do is keep an eye on it, test it every other day or so, keep stirring to degas... I calculate just under one month until primary fermentation is complete if this rate keeps up.

I am thinking of starting my peach & vanilla mel sooner. The original plan was to wait until this one was complete. But that was under the assumption that it would be done earlier. I have since gained new respect for assuming anything about honey and yeast.

Starting my new batch sooner ultimately helps guarantee that I will be able to enjoy a couple young bottles of mead for the holidays.

GntlKnigt1
08-27-2013, 02:30 AM
I've found that, for a "short" mead (to be consumed in less than a year), a lower alcohol of 8 or 9% seems to be help. It's not as 'raw' or pronounced then, where a 'great' mead with higher alcohol needs more time to mellow out. You also have to let it sit to clarify, or use a filter, or a clarifying agent to reduce sediment and cloudiness. Most of the folks on the site here are seeking the 'holy grail' of a mead that can be produced in less than 2 months.