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SevenHills
09-02-2014, 07:30 PM
First time brewer here. Not sure what I'm doing wrong.

Recipe:

1 Gal clover honey
4 Gal Spring Water
2 Packages of Wyeast Dry Mead
2 Tbs Yeast Energizer
2 Tbs Bentonite

Everything Sanitized with One-Step

Boiled 2 Gal of water
Dissolved Bentonite in 2 cups boiling water
Added bentonite to 5 Gal Ale Pale
Added Boiling water
Added honey
Stirred vigorously
Added remaining water that had been chilled to bring down to 88
Stirred vigorously while sprinkling the energizer in
Pitched the yeast

Airlock started popping within 3 hours and continued very energetically for 2 days. The gasses coming from the lock smelled deliciously like honeyed bread. Day 3 rolled around and the airlock slowed to a crawl, about 1 pop per minute, and the gas smells sharp, almost like vinegar.

Ideas? Did it just stall? I wouldn't imagine it to be done already... And the smell has me concerned... Did i just waste $50 on this?

Thig
09-02-2014, 08:38 PM
What was the beginning SG and the current SG?

SevenHills
09-02-2014, 08:59 PM
What was the beginning SG and the current SG?

Starting = 61.165
Current = 1.2

Edit: The must looks very milky... Almost a white color with a tinge of yellow in it...

Thig
09-02-2014, 09:03 PM
What?? Maybe you meant 1.165 starting but that is very high. Can you confirm what your starting sg was?

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

SevenHills
09-02-2014, 09:08 PM
I'm sorry you are correct...

1.615

SevenHills
09-02-2014, 09:09 PM
I can't seem to type tonight

SevenHills
09-02-2014, 09:12 PM
OMG I just realised i completely typoed both gravitiess

Stupid phone...

Let's try this again...


Start: 1.0615 EDITED Apparently I can't read a Hydro either....
Current: 1.002

Thig
09-02-2014, 09:22 PM
Your not stalled, your basically dry. Going from 1.0615 to 1.002 is about 8.1%abv. I think you started a little low but you have basically fermented all the available sugars.

Most of my experience is with wine, some of you mead makers take over.

Rack it to the carboy SOON.

SevenHills
09-02-2014, 09:49 PM
So the smell is ok?

mannye
09-02-2014, 09:56 PM
If it smells good then it's good. A low ABV like that can oxidize rather quickly. I would do beer levels of sanitation. Keep it away from air as much as possible and make sure anything that touches the mead is sanitized.

SevenHills
09-02-2014, 10:25 PM
Ok, per your advice, i've racked to the secondary... The smell is what i would consider the fermentation funk... That smell you get when you leave OJ in the fridge too long...

SevenHills
09-02-2014, 10:28 PM
If it smells good then it's good. A low ABV like that can oxidize rather quickly. I would do beer levels of sanitation. Keep it away from air as much as possible and make sure anything that touches the mead is sanitized.

Mannye,

I don't know how it's supposed to smell, this is my first... Like i said, it smells a LOT like the stuff you leave in the fridge too long... When it was doing its thing on day 1 and 2, it smelled really delicious... now... it smells sharp, and i tasted some from my gravity sample and it had a serious bite...

SevenHills
09-02-2014, 10:30 PM
The bucket had a good inch of trub at the bottom...

Chevette Girl
09-03-2014, 12:38 AM
If things are settling out and it's clearing, that's another good sign that it's done.

Sometimes yeast makes some really interesting smells. And once the sugar's all gone from the honey, it can be pretty acidic and sharp tasting as well as the odour. Some fruits can get pretty interesting while they're fermenting, I've had a few batches that smelled just like bile in the middle of their fermentation but by the time it was done they were fine.

Oftentimes, funny odours blow off and don't impart flavour to the must. The smells to be careful of are things like sulphur, if a must is left with a sulphur stink sometimes the compounds causing the stink can change into something else that's a lot harder to remove.

WVMJack
09-03-2014, 02:57 AM
Just be glad you didnt get any beer farts! You can actually add a little more honey if you want it stronger. When you say sharp it could be the CO2 in there or the alcohol and its very young, give it a little time to calm down. WVMJ

Chevette Girl
09-03-2014, 01:52 PM
Ooh, yeah, I forgot to mention the CO2! I've stuck my nose over the fermenter a time or two and taken a deep sniff and had to sit down and hold my nose till the nosehairs uncurled (or whatever was going on up there stopped, owie). Waft like they teach you in chemistry lab, don't stick your nose in the fermenter and inhale deeply!

SevenHills
09-03-2014, 06:09 PM
Here's the latest update:

It's in the secondary, covered to avoid the light. I'm definately not seeing any further popping from the airlock, but the airlock has some pressure behind it, so it's still pumping out some gasses.

Thank you all very much on the advice, i'm feeling very reassured i didn't screw it up at this point.

Given how fast this yeast strain is working (somewhere between 48-72 hours), what signs should I be looking for that it's done enough for bottling?

Medsen Fey
09-04-2014, 05:57 AM
Let it clear.
Check the gravity and make sure it isn't changing after it clears completely. If the gravity remains above 1.000, you may want to stabilize before bottling.

By the way, what was the fermentation temperature?

SevenHills
09-07-2014, 11:36 PM
Let it clear.
Check the gravity and make sure it isn't changing after it clears completely. If the gravity remains above 1.000, you may want to stabilize before bottling.

By the way, what was the fermentation temperature?

It was holding at near 80F on it's own, ambient room temp is 73F

Medsen Fey
09-08-2014, 05:58 AM
80F would give you a very fast fermentation. Unfortunately it may also give you some unpleasant phenolic elements and some harsh fusel alcohols.