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Northside
12-11-2013, 08:10 PM
Hi all,
I have a question regarding my batch. This is my first batch using White Labs Sweet Mead Yeast...and am off to a VERY slow start, in fact it's not showing activity in the airlock (after 4 days). Here's the recipe:

for 5 Gallons-
12# Blackberry Honey
1 vial White Labs Sweet Mead Yeast (at room temp)
1/2tsp Energizer
2tsp Nutrient
Water to make 5 gallons

It's doing it's primary in a fermenting bucket (first time using one). It's sitting in my laundry room @ 70degrees.

I've talked to the local brewery store gentlemen who said not to worry, but I wanted to post here for a little more feedback.


Thanks in advance!

Cal
12-11-2013, 08:53 PM
Is your bucket air tight? You can also use your hydrometer to check if it is fermenting or not.

Northside
12-11-2013, 09:36 PM
That's what I was thinking. The second batch that I made seems to be sealed. It was recommended to me to leave it be, and be sure that the second racking seals. Thoughts?

Cal
12-12-2013, 12:53 AM
I say check with your hydrometer to see if the gravity has dropped. If it has leave it be. If not, you could have some bum yeast. Make another starter and pitch it in.

GntlKnigt1
12-15-2013, 04:45 AM
I would tend to agree with Cal - check hydrometer reading and perhaps try a different yeast if the first one is not working.
http://www.whitelabs.com/yeast/wlp720-sweet-mead-wine-yeast

Chevette Girl
12-15-2013, 11:37 PM
Airlocks are notorious liars... trust only your hydrometer...

And if you don't have one, just take a peek when you're in there aerating it, if it's fizzy of foamy, you're fine and it's just a bad seal.

bernardsmith
12-16-2013, 01:51 PM
Northside, Do you know what the specific gravity was when you pitched the yeast? I suspect it should have read about 1.090 or thereabouts (perhaps 1.096) Do you know what the gravity is today? A drop in the gravity will tell you if everything is AOK or not. You would be looking for the gravity to be dropping day after day.. (It goes without saying that you thoroughly mixed the water and the honey. If you didn't then the yeast may have no sugar to work on as the honey may all be towards the bottom and the water be the material the yeast have to consume...

fatbloke
12-16-2013, 03:32 PM
Bernards not quite correct........

With tbose ingredients, its likely fermenting and even if it wasn't totally mixed in, the yeast will find the honey - it might take a touch longer that's all.

We can't get the white labs yeasts here but it has a published tolerance of 15% ABV, so its likely to ferment the batch dry - not knowing its other characteristics I can only guess but if its a low foam yeast then at most you'd see some small bubbles breaking the surface, a bit like looking at a glass of soda pop........

It could easily just be a bit slow as well. Lag phase varies from yeast to yeast, batch to batch.

All the other suggestions for checking are spot on, a hydrometer test is the only real guarantee/proof.....