PDA

View Full Version : Hello, and a question



Riverdog
09-17-2014, 11:04 PM
Hey folks, I'm new here and naturally I'm a bit stumped with my first batch of mead. I think I'm on the right track, but need some advice. I pulled the basic recipe from the compleat meadmaker. I had about 9 lbs of honey, so I did reduce the amount of water. I started off with a SG of 1.090, and it went into secondary in mid-May.

It developed white clumps on the top a couple of weeks ago. No funky colors or anything of the sort. It smelled okay, but a homebrewing friend thought it might be an infection. I ran it through a filter just in case, and put it back in its old bucket. The SG is now 1.050 and it does taste fine. The airlock started bubbling quite a bit after I moved it.

So what I think I should do is put it back in the carboy and let it ride for a while longer. The carboy is sterilizing, just in case it was mold. I don't want to take any chances. Does this seem like a good idea? It doesn't seem like it's done fermenting.

Thanks for the help!

kudapucat
09-17-2014, 11:31 PM
1.090 - 1.050 is a stalled ferment.
The clumps may have been yeast.
If it's taken off, good. It should go to 1.000 with most yeasts.
Bung it in the carboy, give it a bit of food and let it finish fermenting.

Chevette Girl
09-18-2014, 12:44 AM
I'd check that SG again, if it's below 1.050 and continuing to drop, then maybe leave it and it'll finish on its own, but you might consider making an acclimated starter with either the yeast you used origially or something good for restarts like Lalvin EC-1118 if it's not going anywhere fast.

When I'm concerned about a batch I usually hit it with sulphites, but I've never had one do anything questionable before fermentation was finished. If you do decide to hit it with potassium metabisulphite, wait 24 hours and start woking up an acclimated starter to get yeast back in there to finish the job. Don't hit it with potassium sorbate until it's finished fermenting though, that will permanently hamper your fermentation.

It's possible that there aren't a lot of yeast left in it after filtration so you probably want to stir it up before you rack back to your carboy just so that no yeast is left behind when you rack it.

Good luck! And welcome to the forum!

Medsen Fey
09-20-2014, 08:39 PM
Hey folks, I'm new here and naturally I'm a bit stumped with my first batch of mead. I think I'm on the right track, but need some advice. I pulled the basic recipe from the compleat meadmaker. I had about 9 lbs of honey, so I did reduce the amount of water. I started off with a SG of 1.090, and it went into secondary in mid-May.

It developed white clumps on the top a couple of weeks ago. No funky colors or anything of the sort. It smelled okay, but a homebrewing friend thought it might be an infection. I ran it through a filter just in case, and put it back in its old bucket. The SG is now 1.050 and it does taste fine. The airlock started bubbling quite a bit after I moved it.


It is definitely not done fermenting. Racking through a filter is not helpful if there is an infection. In fact the aeration created by filtration may increase the risks of infection. There are lots of reasons for a stuck fermentation. If you give the details of your recipe and process to date, we can give more suggestions.

As a general rule, if you want to pitch a new starter, don't sulfite. Using SO2 will decrease the chances of a successful restart. It isn't like sulfiting before you start.

Riverdog
12-11-2014, 07:38 PM
Thanks for the replies (and sorry for not responding earlier).

Fast forward a few months and SG is down to 1.048. Which is slowly dropping, compared to the 1.050 it was before, but it's still doing something. The mead's clear and no signs of infection. I tasted a bit today, and it's okay- definitely on the sweet side, but it doesn't taste bad. I'm thinking maybe a bit more food and let it sit in the carboy longer?

Original recipe was the basic orange blossom mead from Compleat Meadmaker. The honey itself was local wildflower from our co-op, not orange.
15lbs honey
4 gal of water
Wyeast 4184

It stayed in primary fermentation for about 4 weeks, then went into secondary back in May. I reracked it in September after the clumps started forming, and tasted it today. I think it's safe to say it's not infected, which means I didn't totally screw up my first batch. I don't want to pull the trigger and bottle it too soon, especially if it's not done fermenting and might drop down a little more.