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OneSmallDetail
07-23-2014, 10:12 PM
Hi all!

I made my first batches of mead yesterday (7-22) - one gallon batches of wildflower honey and hibiscus mead. The wildflower is bubbling away beautifully, but I'm concerned about the hibiscus.

Recipe:
app. 270 grams of dried hibiscus
1 gallon spring water
3 lbs Clover Honey
1 tsp Yest Nutrient (divided)
1 packet Lalvin 71b-1122

Method:
I heated 1/3 of the water to 160 degrees and dumped the hibiscus in to steep. I steeped the flowers for 1 hour, during which the liquid cooled to 120 degrees. I strained the flowers from the water, added the honey, and added the rest of the water, bring the overall temp down to 100. I then poured my mixture into my fermenting bucket and took a hydro reading (1.190). I then added the yeast nutrient, aerated the must, and pitched in my (hydrated) yeast).

Of course sanitizing everything.

Looking at the wildflower mead, the airlock is bubbling away wonderfully. I aerated the must and added 1/4 tsp yeast nutrient. There was foaming, but it died down quickly.

The hibiscus's airlock, however, is not bubbling. When I opened the bucket, it had a solid 1" of foam on top. Stirring made it foam even more. I added the yeast nutrient, but there was nothing I could do to lower the foam level beyond an inch. I tried a whisk and a long handled spoon (sanitized).

Is this normal? Should I be worried that the airlock isn't really bubbling even though there is a boatload of foam?

HELP!
Please and thank you.

The Meadster
07-23-2014, 11:11 PM
Your fermenting bucket probably doesn't have a perfect airtight seal. Considering this is in primary, it doesn't really matter. The fact that there is foam and that stirring it causes it to degas is a good indication that the must is indeed fermenting. Taking a hydrometer reading will give you a great idea of how exactly the ferment is going. As for why the hibiscus batch is foaming more than the wildflower one, it's possible that something in the hibiscus causes this (someone with more experience making hibiscus mead will be of more help) or if you used different yeasts for the different batches.

On a side note, did you make a mistake with your original hydrometer reading? 1.19 seems impossibly high. Perhaps you meant 1.109?

Welcome to the community! :)

OneSmallDetail
07-24-2014, 06:07 PM
Oops! You're right that was absolutely a typo! My OG in the hibiscus was 1.09 lol, sorry :eek:

I think you're right about the lid, after I aerated yesterday it started bubbling right away! I also think the hibiscus is fermenting alot slower than the basic mead. (I used the same yeast - Lalvin 71b-1122 on both)

After aeration and before the addition of nutrient

The basic mead had an OG of 1.08 and is now 1.03
Hibiscus OG - 1.09 Now - 1.08

Thanks so much for your help!

Medsen Fey
07-25-2014, 06:34 AM
If it foams too much, using anti foam drops will help.