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GoingPrimal
11-26-2014, 04:12 PM
Hey guys and gals, first post here. I'm on my fifth and sixth batches of mead, the first four turned out great IMO, warts and all.

I'll get straight to the point here. On these last two batches, each 1 gallon in size, I've been having some fermenting issues and can't figure out the cause of them. I'm making a jasmine-hopped metheglin and a hazelnut/coffee/chocolate metheglin.

Here's the jasmine-hopped metheglin procedure:

Boiled half pound (out of 3 total) of honey in a pot of water for an hour, adding 1/5 packet of hops every 15 minutes. Saving last 1/5 for dry hopping.
Threw in 2 heaping tablespoons jasmine at end of boil to steep (prob not enough)
Cool down to low hundreds, added remainder of 3 pounds of honey, mixed thoroughly
Strained and added to primary fermenter along with a third of the recommended dosage of yeast energizer and nutrient, aerated by shaking vigorously
Pitched yeast (Lalvin 71b-1122) after rehydrating for 15 min and when must reached baby bath water temp
Airlocked


For the Hazelnut/Coffee/Chocolate :

Heated 1 tablespoon coffee along with tablespoon each cacao nibs and raw cacao powder for maybe 5 minutes
Added honey after water cooled to low 100s
Added to primary fermenter with remaining water and aerated
Added 1 teaspoon Hazelnut extract and a third of the recommended dosage of yeast energizer and nutrient
Pitched yeast (same Lalvin type) after rehydrating
Airlocked


Now, they both started fermenting within a few hours, and vigorously by the next day. Soon thereafter the chocolate mead became noticeably slower than the jasmine-hopped mead, but not enough to cause concern. The day after making my mead I degassed by stirring with a sanitized spoon. Following day another third of nutrient and energizer. After another two days I degassed, and the following day added the remainder of the nutrient and energizer.

As of yesterday the chocolate mead was going very slow, so I tasted both. Hopped mead coming along nicely if a bit rough around the edges, the chocolate mead.. well it tasted like watered down honey with a hint of coffee, chocolate and hazelnut. No where near where I though it'd be, though I looked into it and apparently the oils from the cacao can slow fermentation. I degassed both.

Now, today, the chocolate mead is still bubbling at the same slow pace, a bubble every 5-7 seconds. The hop mead? It's completely stopped bubbling! So now I'm quite worried.

Any advice on what to do? I've brought both up to the main floor (70 degree) from the basement (67), and am considering re-pitching for the hop mead if it stays still. Any advice would be so very appreciated.

GoingPrimal
11-26-2014, 04:16 PM
Just realized maybe I should have posted this in the troubleshooting section, if a mod thinks it should be moved please do so 0.o

Chevette Girl
11-26-2014, 05:20 PM
Welcome to the forum, GoingPrimal.

Do you have a hydrometer?

Without one, all we can do is guess, airlock activity is not a terribly reliable gauge of your fermentation's health or your must's doneness.

Since the chocolate mead is bubbling away, I'd leave it, it's obviously doing its thing and I wouldn't worry about it unless signs of fermentation stop altogether and it still tastes really sweet. Some things take time, some things take more.

How does the hibiscus-hop mead taste in terms of sweetness? If it's gone dry, then you might be done and the fermentation's stopped because the yeast are out of sugar. If it's still pretty sweet then it still has sugar, so the next thing to do is check your airlock seal... if it's a good seal and you can't raise any activity by swirling the carboy, then you need to make sure your yeast can tolerate whatever alcohol they're in... and if that checks out (check the Mead Calculator (http://www.gotmead.com/2014-04-16-20-10-09/mead-calculator.html), I am guessing with 3 lb in a gallon you should be OK with 71B but don't trust my memory, I sure don't!)... if that checks out, then you want to check things like the pH or try adding some yeast hulls or microwaved bread yeast...

zapped
11-29-2014, 01:24 AM
Are you using a plastic must bucket?

Reason Im asking is because the one I got for my pumpkin mead had a crappy seal on it. The white bucket is also holding my must at a lower temperature than glass.

As a result I thought my must had stalled but racking into a 3 gallon carboy has shown that to be untrue.

GoingPrimal
12-01-2014, 04:32 PM
Thanks for the replies everyone.

Chevette Girl, I do not yet have a hydrometer, thats next on the list of things to buy. The mead is still slightly sweet, so I don't think the yeast has finished it's job yet.. Maybe add a bit more yeast to it?

Zapped, I've got glass gallon containers but seemingly cheap plastic screw on tops that the airlocks fit into. Thinking I may need to buy proper rubber
bungs.

GoingPrimal
12-03-2014, 05:01 PM
As of right now I'm at the opinion that the yeast just finished doing its thing, much quicker this time due to the addition of nutrient and energizer. Also read that for some meads 71-B leaves a bit of residual sweetness. I'll let everyone know how it winds up turning out!

GoingPrimal
12-04-2014, 12:33 PM
Alright one last question.

Yesterday I added some more honey (~3 tablespoons) and pitched a bit more yeast in an attempt to bump up the ABV a bit. Now it looks like there is either mold on the top or is it just clusters of tiny bubbles? I can't tell, but I did drink some last night and it tasted great.

Also, having a difficult time uploading this picture of it, saying it exceeds my quota? I made it my profile picture because I'm unsure how else to post it. :confused: