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View Full Version : Give it too me Straight... How bad is it doc?



BCWatson
11-19-2013, 09:15 PM
Recipe:
4lbs of clover honey
1 quart of blueberry juice

Yeast: Lalvin EC-1118
S.G.: 1.165
Estimated F.G.: 1.022
Current Gravity: 1.110

Ok how bad have I messed up. I am very new to mead brewing and my first batch was pitched on 11/12/13. After a week of what I guess was Active Fermentation. I jumped the gun and racked it. I took a a hydrometer reading at the racking and Sealed the jug back up with an airlock. Fermentation seemed to start right back up. A little foam appeared on the surface and bubbles traveled through the airlock. When I awoke this morning the airlock water was level and after watching for a few minutes I didn't see any bubbles. The surface of the Must was mostly clear of the foam from the night before.

I read around on the forums here and other brewing sites. I have come to the conclusion that I racked too early and have deprived my yeast of Nitrogen, and once the Nitrogen was used up out of the must fermentation stopped.

On to my point. Does my conclusion sound viable? are there other possibilities I am not aware of? What do I do now to Restart? Do I restart with some EC-1118? Should I use any Nutrient/energizer? How long should I wait before Restarting? How long is too long to wait?

Thank you In advance.
Brandon

loveofrose
11-19-2013, 09:26 PM
Actually, you have quite a few issues.

1. SG 1.165 - Even the most advanced mazer has trouble with an SG this high. It requires daily aeration, religious SNA, and triple the normal amount of yeast. In short, you were doomed to fail.

2. Did you add any nutrients? The racking is not the cause of nitrogen deficiency. It is the fact that honey naturally has low nitrogen. We generally add DAP to remedy this deficiency.

3. Premature racking will stall a ferment, but the points above are the most likely reasons for yours.

Fixes

1. Dilute with water, add Fermaid K & DAP, and hope it restarts.
2. Above plus adding a starter of EC1118 that has been acclimated.
3. Uvaferm 43 from morewine.com as in point 2.

BCWatson
11-19-2013, 09:39 PM
Thank you for the Quick Response.

A few clarifications...
What is SNA? (the glossary didn't link that one, and a google search came up with a whole lot of meh)
I did not add any nutrients...
Is there another source of Uvaferm 43? Morewine.com domain is for sale.
And If I understand you correctly it is either Uvaferm or EC-1118?

Again thank you for the quick response.
Brandon

loveofrose
11-19-2013, 09:44 PM
Staggered Nutrient Addition. Look at Brays One Month Mead (BOMM) for one example. There are many versions.

It's morewinemaking.com. Sorry, I generally just google it.

Yes. EC1118 or Uvaferm 43. EC1118 has a better flavor profile, but Uvaferm 43 is the undisputed king of restarting a stalled ferment.

BCWatson
11-19-2013, 09:50 PM
Awesome I owe you one.

Actually I had heard of staggering nutrients, just didn't make the connection. I am very excited to have a course of action now. Thank you.

Brandon

WVMJack
11-20-2013, 03:37 AM
Are you sure you are reading your hydrometer correctly? A quart of juice to 4 pounds of honey at 1.165 sounds a little high unless the juice is actually a concentrate of some kind. Polish meads were made with up to 50% honey in the old days before they heard about SNA or EC118, I think today we have more tools to make sure it finishes correctly. How about posting what your hydrometer reading is now, it might be finished almost or it might be stuck, but without a number noone can tell just from what your airlock is doing. WVMJ

Medsen Fey
11-20-2013, 07:04 AM
You aerated it when you racked it, but it still needs nutrients. Adding 2 tsp of yeast energizer like Fermaid K should speed things along. You may not achieve 1.022, but you'll get most of the way, and you wanted it sweet anyhow.

Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT

Chevette Girl
11-20-2013, 08:08 AM
Unless I misread the initial post, he's at 1.100 right now. Consecutive readings to tell if it's still moving at all would be useful though...

I'd go with Loveofrose's suggestion to "dilute and feed", if that doesn't work, then I'd try an acclimated starter with EC-1118 (or Uvaferm if you can get it).

Good luck!

WVMJack
11-20-2013, 07:35 PM
BCW, I think you might be reading your hydrometer wrong, maybe, it just doesnt look like you have enough sogar to be 1.165, I bet you really were at 1.065 and it dropped to 1.010. I keep trying to figure ut hoe you get such a high reading with just a quart of honey and some juice (not concentrate right?).WVMJ

loveofrose
11-20-2013, 08:53 PM
It's a 1 gallon batch, right?

BCWatson
11-20-2013, 09:40 PM
It's a 1 gallon batch, right?

Yes a 1 gallon batch.

Jack Sorry I should have stated that at the beginning. I bet you were doing your calculations for a 5 gallon batch.

Medsen Fey
11-20-2013, 10:41 PM
4 pounds of honey plus some juice in 1 gallon could put you at 1.165.

Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT

WVMJack
11-21-2013, 05:57 AM
HAHA, I rarely make gallon batches and seem to be focused on 5 gallon batches, yeah 50% honey plus some juice can get you there! Rosey gave you a good option, dilution is the solution :) WVMJ

BCWatson
11-23-2013, 12:58 AM
Unless I misread the initial post, he's at 1.100 right now. Consecutive readings to tell if it's still moving at all would be useful though...

I'd go with Loveofrose's suggestion to "dilute and feed", if that doesn't work, then I'd try an acclimated starter with EC-1118 (or Uvaferm if you can get it).

Good luck!


Ok Thanks for all the Help everyone. I have Diluted, Energized/nutrified. I would like to take another hydrometer reading. How often can I take readings? I don't want to mess with it too much and make things worse. How long should I wait to repitch if i should see no activity?

Jack I haven't moved up to the 5 gallon batches yet :) 1 Gallon is a lot more manageable for me. Hopefully it won't be too long before i am chasing the 5 gallon dragon as well.

WVMJack
11-23-2013, 06:52 AM
You can go slowly and start with 3 gall carboys, they are excellent when you want to do yeast trials or only can get a limited amount of fruit or want to split a 6 gal batch and treat 2 different ways like oak or no oak. Before you start your real carboy collection I advise adding a room to your house just for carboys, they are precious and you are going to love them and want a special place to keep them. I actually had a good friend ask if he could have one of my carboys to see if he could start a batch of wine. I knew he was clumsy so I gave him and old water bottle we used for only storing water in, he didnt know the difference and was happy, no way was clumsy friend touching any precious glassware! WVMJ

BCWatson
11-24-2013, 11:52 PM
Quick Update for Everyone.

After I last posted I Repitched some more EC-1118 and Fermentation took off again. Today I took a a hydrometer reading today and it came up 1.080! So I hit my 1/2 Sugar Break. We'll See how far this goes.

Again Thanks to Everyone for the Help.