View Full Version : slowed fermentation

08-26-2013, 02:03 PM
Doing a berry melomel, much similar to Schramms, used 212. SG 1.150

Week 1: In 6-1/2 G bucket, aerated 3X daily, step fed w/ FK. SG really didn't change much although the cap was obviously getting smaller, and on day 7, it was almost completely flat.

Racked into two separate 3 gal carboys, added 1 gal of berry puree to each and in one, I added 1118. After I racked it into the secondary I was getting about 50-60 bbl/min but now, after 3 days, the bbl/min has plummeted to almost nothing. I added 2g Uvaferm 43 to each yesterday but still, almost no reaction.

SG is just below 1.150 no ph test. Temp 70*-66*, lots of sediment from additional berry puree.

Suggestions? Looked at quite a few other threads but nothing quite like similar, I suppose.


Marshmallow Blue
08-26-2013, 02:41 PM
1.150 is a very high SG. your batch likely stalled from yeast stress. I'd recommend diluting your batch with some water, and pitching fresh yeast if it doesn't take off again soon. Even if your yeast got you to 1.030, your at 15% ABV AND cloyingly sweet.

The trick with big strength meads is to add sugars slowly to not stress out the yeast. It is called Step feeding.

Chevette Girl
08-26-2013, 07:40 PM
If you have a batch like this that won't start, I'd recommend using an acclimated starter when you retry it, it's your best chance to get something happening with a high-gravity must.

But I'd still dilute this batch, it's possible it might start up on its own once your SG is down to something reasonable. I try not to start anything over 1.125, myself, but others will start a little higher than that.

08-30-2013, 05:41 AM

Re-racked back into 6 gal bucket, diluted with 2-1/2 gals sprinmg water but with all the sediment, seeds, even after straining, was at a -5 on the hydrometer.
Re-pitched the 212 (2 g) and added it. Still nothing. Lesson learned and I will most likely pour it all down the crapper and chalk it up to experience and what NOT to do.
Thank you all for you very patient replies!

08-30-2013, 07:59 AM
Don't pour it out yet since wasting the honey is probably a sin in most, if not all, religions. I don't know what you mean by a "-5 on the hydrometer". If you are saying the SG went from 1.150 to 1.145, that doesn't sound correct. Going from a 3 gallon to 5.5 gallon by adding water should have dropped the SG to 1.081 which should not be a problem for most yeasts. If you had that much sugar the button of your bucket, I guess it could happen that your SG stayed high but I would check the SG again. I think following CG's advise and creating an acclimated starter would be your best bet now.

08-30-2013, 05:07 PM
Well, let's put it another way: the hydrometer is still dancing on top of the mead like Haysoos allegedly walked on water. I can only surmise that because I didn't measure the SG of the raw cider (big friggin' DUH) and the 1.5 gals of honey SHOULD have been diluted BEFORE I added fruit puree.
I am a classic example of what NOT to do. Newbees, pay attention and learn!
Update is that there is only a small cap on the cyser. Aerated again 2X day, the other cyser with the 1118 is still dead in the water too.

08-30-2013, 10:19 PM
I suspect that your pH may be too high. Do you have any way of testing it? Did you add any sort of potassium carbonate or potassium bicarbonate?

09-06-2013, 06:22 AM
Yes, I'll check the ph and report back. Should I re-rack back into buckets and dilute w/ spring water to proper SG and basically re-start the entire process again?

09-06-2013, 07:49 AM
After you get the pH fixed, fermentation might restart on its own. I have heard that sometimes the restarted fermentations are not bubbling much but the SG goes down. If the SG doesn't start dropping after a couple of days, then you probably need to make an acclimated starter. In that case, diluting to get the SG to 1.125 or below would reduce the stress on the new yeast.

Chevette Girl
09-06-2013, 10:58 AM
Cider has a SG around 1.050 all on its own... this is why we ask for your exact recipe up top there, the more info we have, the better info we can give you... If you can tell us how much cider and how much honey in the original volume, we can get the mead calculator to give us an idea of what your original SG actually was if it had been thoroughly mixed and what your diluted SG would have been... and how much more you should dilute it if it's as high as I'm thinking it is... since 1.5 gal honey is gonna be something like 22 lbs over 6 gal which would give you 1.108 for a starting gravity if you'd just used water, if you added 4.5 gal cider it puts you closer to 1.160.

Did you just dilute one of the 3-gal carboys with 2.5 gal or did the total volume after racking losses end up being less than 6 gallons? These are the kinds of things we need to know to help you...

Do let us know about your pH.

Also, make sure your hydrometer reads 1.000 when you put it in room-temperature water. Just in case that's the problem :)