PDA

View Full Version : Why are there no more bubbles after two days?



AnthonyHJ
10-26-2013, 08:39 AM
This is my first attempt and I have got myself quite confused. I started it on Thursday afternoon and I was getting worried by the lack of activity. After checking this site, I saw that I needed to wait longer than four hours for bubbles and went away. I gave it a stir before bed and then left it.

Yesterday morning, it was bubbling every few seconds. I was happy, proud and a little worried about the smell of yeast, honey and lemon being overpowering. By the evening, it was bubbling every second or maybe a little faster. You could hear it fizzing like a freshly-poured Coke, it was so active.

This morning, there's nothing. I stirred it (I was told that air is good for the first few days) and topped up the airlock (the water level had dropped a bit) and left it.

Opening the lid, I can see it fizzing a little, but nothing like what there was last night. It's not even bubbling through the airlock; even though the water has been pushed almost far enough, it's stopped right on the edge of bubbling. I think maybe that was only because I shook it slightly as I opened the lid and the gas was escaping.

Recipe:

15lbs of honey (cheap honey)
Enough water to top up to 4 gallons
Four lemons (juiced and zested into must, then remaining husk boiled in must and added to fermenter)
Two big handfuls of raisins (recipe said 96, I didn't count them)
Five tsp "Young's Super Wine Yeast Compound" (by mistake)
Four tsp yeast nutrient (didn't realise the yeast had added nutrients until just now)

Medsen Fey
10-26-2013, 08:56 AM
If it is still fizzing, then it is still active. Bucket lids (and airlocks) leak and can be deceptive. You can best monitor progress with gravity readings. What was your starting gravity, and what is it now?

AnthonyHJ
10-26-2013, 09:40 AM
I... might have forgotten to take any readings...

The main problem is that it's certainly less vigorous than it was last night, but all the guides I have seen suggest that it is all going far faster than it should; I have been reading about the bubbles I was getting last night being something in week 2 and then slowing down anywhere from week 3 to 9...

Could it be to do with using too much yeast and / or nutrient?

danr
10-26-2013, 11:14 AM
A quick calculation on the Mead Calculator for 15 lbs of Honey in a 4 gallon batch suggest that your starting gravity was around 1.135. You need to take a specific gravity reading with a hydrometer to determine what your current specific gravity is.

fatbloke
10-26-2013, 12:59 PM
A quick calculation on the Mead Calculator for 15 lbs of Honey in a 4 gallon batch suggest that your starting gravity was around 1.135. You need to take a specific gravity reading with a hydrometer to determine what your current specific gravity is.
I'd guess from the hints, it might be Imperial gallons, not US gallons ?

Hence a bit lower SG.... ?

danr
10-26-2013, 01:21 PM
I'd guess from the hints, it might be Imperial gallons, not US gallons ?

Hence a bit lower SG.... ?

Good catch FB. 4 Imp Gal would indicate a starting gravity around 1.112.

Nonetheless, we still need a a current specific gravity reading to understand the status of the fermentation.

Medsen Fey
10-26-2013, 02:25 PM
I... might have forgotten to take any readings...

Take one now. Then you'll be able to see how it is progressing with subsequent measurements.

AnthonyHJ
10-26-2013, 03:28 PM
It's a conspiracy!

I just went to take a reading with my shiny new hygrometer and found that it was broken. The packaging was opaque, so I didn't see it, and the rattling sound didn't tip me off because I wasn't even sure what was inside the box...

Looks like I will be buying a new one on Monday.

There is a general fizzing sound coming from it though, so I assume it's still alive...

fatbloke
10-26-2013, 03:42 PM
It's a conspiracy!

I just went to take a reading with my shiny new hygrometer and found that it was broken. The packaging was opaque, so I didn't see it, and the rattling sound didn't tip me off because I wasn't even sure what was inside the box...

Looks like I will be buying a new one on Monday.

There is a general fizzing sound coming from it though, so I assume it's still alive...
Broken a few......

Sometimes they seem brilliant, other times they seem to snap because you give them a sly look......

I keep a couple handy now.....

If its in a bucket, you can sometimes push round the bucket/lid seal enough to get a bubble or two through the airlock. Sometimes if you make sure there's no molding waste around the shank of the airlock it will seal (I've changed my bucket airlock grommets from black nitrile to rubber as its more flexible and seems to seal better).....

GntlKnigt1
10-26-2013, 05:47 PM
Could be too much honey. Might be pH to low. Could be a yeast trait....

Kelvin
10-26-2013, 11:13 PM
Like everyone said, if it's fizzing then it's going, but your first thing to look for since you didn't take a gravity reading is that it isn't sealed. After that, Gntl could be correct. Sometimes too much sugar just makes your fermentation go kaput. If that's the case you can try repitching with a more potent yeast.

Good luck

AnthonyHJ
10-27-2013, 07:40 AM
Too much sugar? The recipe was for a medium-sweetness mead (those are Imperial Gallons, so closer to 5 US gallons of water), so it shouldn't be too sweet. The yeast was a wine yeast, but shouldn't that cope well with a sweet must?

It's still fizzing though and when I opened the lid, I was hit by a wave of something halfway between a decent real ale and the yeasty smell of champagne; there's yeast there and it was healthy at some point recently.

I really need to get another hydrometer and find out what is going on in there...

AnthonyHJ
10-28-2013, 02:55 PM
There was a hole in the airlock. Luckily, it came in a pack of two, so I have the second one on and it is much more obvious that there's gas coming out. Actually, the water level keeps going back and forth, so I think there is a leak somewhere.

So, between the broken hydrometer and the broken airlock, I think I'll stop buying these things from supermarkets. There's a good hardware shop nearby, so I might ask there for anything else I need.

Just in case it helps anyone, the equipment was all Young's from Tesco; not sure whether it's naturally fragile or whether the staff were just too rough with it, but two broken components sounds like a pattern...

fatbloke
10-28-2013, 04:29 PM
There was a hole in the airlock. Luckily, it came in a pack of two, so I have the second one on and it is much more obvious that there's gas coming out. Actually, the water level keeps going back and forth, so I think there is a leak somewhere.

So, between the broken hydrometer and the broken airlock, I think I'll stop buying these things from supermarkets. There's a good hardware shop nearby, so I might ask there for anything else I need.

Just in case it helps anyone, the equipment was all Young's from Tesco; not sure whether it's naturally fragile or whether the staff were just too rough with it, but two broken components sounds like a pattern...
Ah, well, there's no rough location so we can't suggest reasonable local info.

There's plenty of places online or depending where you are actual Home brew places. Tesco and Wilkos aren't the best......

AnthonyHJ
10-28-2013, 05:15 PM
Well the hardware shop near me (five minutes' walk away) is usually pretty good for just about any obscure thing you might want. There are apparently two specialist home-brewing shops not too far away too, now you have inspired me to look on Google. If the local shop hasn't got what I need, I will give them a shot.

I think the trouble is that I had been talking about making mead for a few weeks, then we saw the kits when we were doing our weekly shopping; that was how I went from 'it would be nice to try it...' to 'now I am going to do it...' and started making mead. Had it not been so spur of the moment, I probably would have bought better gear and been more prepared.

AnthonyHJ
10-31-2013, 05:49 PM
Finally tested the mead. Only one week after starting, it has a SG of 0.995 and that seems to match the starting and finishing SG of a medium white wine, so... success?

I couldn't resist tasting it and it tastes a little like a medium white wine too, certainly tastes like there's the right amount of alcohol. It's cloudy and has a strange after-taste, but seems like it should be drinkable later on.

It's also barely fizzing now, even after a good stir, so I suppose I should look up the next stage...

kudapucat
10-31-2013, 10:10 PM
Certainly looks done.
Let it sit to clear. Leave the airlock on it.

fatbloke
10-31-2013, 11:08 PM
Well done. You have yourself a dry mead.

All you need now, is to "finish" it and present it for drinking. ......

It'll need clearing, correcting the sweetness (if that's what you were thinking of doing), maybe oaking it ? and getting it in bottles. Maybe a label ?

Etc etc etc........