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View Full Version : Restarting an old stuck mead



bazza
05-24-2015, 09:19 AM
Hello,
I've got a mead given to me by a buddy that I'd like to try to "fix". He said the OG was in the 1.120's. It stopped in the 1.070s. I'm not sure what yeast he used but I was thinking of hitting it with some champagne yeast. This mead is about 4 years old now but it has been in a cornie keg with a CO2 blanket since then.

Any thoughts on what I should/should not do. He was just going to dump it so I thought it was at least worth trying something. As it is, it's WAY too sweet to drink. I could always blend or something if a fermentation attempt fails.

Anyway, thanks for reading and I look forward to your suggestions.

Baz

fatbloke
05-24-2015, 09:52 AM
I'd say just use EC-1118 or Uvaferm 43, then follow the usual restart process i.e. half water, half stalled mead. Make a bit of a starter (you could of course, just rehydrate the yeast in the usual way but with some goFerm), then add it all together.

Once you see some activity, double the volume. Let that get going, then double the volume again etc.

I'd also say about using some organic nutrients like FermaidO if you can get it but some small measures of FermaidK and some yeast hulls or boiled yeast should work.

It may be worth checking the pH, as that can be an issue if it drops too low........

bazza
05-24-2015, 10:19 AM
Thanks fatbloke. Should I avoid adding any oxygen at this point?

Swordnut
05-24-2015, 03:41 PM
Build up the batch like fatbloke described. The first part you add oxygen the regular way. I would cease this once I double the volume for the first time. That way you provide the yeast with oxygen to build up while avoiding oxidation of the entire must. It's a stuck batch of considerable age so its unlikely to be perfect, it's salvaging now mostly.

mannye
05-25-2015, 05:10 AM
Is there somewhere to see the usual restart process illustrated? A search of "Resart Stuck" and "Restart Process" turns up umpteen results.

skunkboy
05-25-2015, 11:47 AM
Not sure, but another way is to take a cake of yeast left over from another beer or mead and rack the partially fermented must onto it and stir a couple of times day and hope that the large colony left ever will do good work.

bazza
05-25-2015, 08:51 PM
I realize this is an experiment but I got a free cornie out of it. I'll keep you all posted on my success or failure.

GntlKnigt1
06-04-2015, 07:08 AM
Be sure to check pH first, as Fatbloke suggested. If it is less than 3.0, you will be pitching yeast with no results. A couple teaspoons of potassium carbonate will raise it to around 4.0

bazza
06-09-2015, 08:15 AM
Update:
I started with 2qts of water with some boiled yeast in it. Added a bit of nutrient and energizer as well. I then added 2qts of the mead. Finally, I pitched 2 pkgs of rehydrated EC-1118. By the end of the day it was bubbling slowly. In 24 hours, I added a gallon of the mead and moved it all to one of my beer fermentation buckets. When I put the lid on, it started bubbling right away. That was last night.

How long do I wait before doubling to 4 gallons by adding another 2 gallons of mead? That should leave me with just one gallon of mead left to add.

bazza
08-09-2015, 01:59 PM
So this ultimately dropped down just under .030 and has cleared. It's still sweet but nothing like it was before. It actually doesn't taste too bad. It's a bit "hot" and will need some aging. Would you recommend adding any acid blend to it to help balance or just throw it in a keg and let it sit for another year?

mannye
08-10-2015, 07:13 PM
It's hard to say without actually tasting it. Figuring stuff like that out is the best part of mead making I think. Take 150 ml samples and play around with them. It's really the only way to do it. Just keep very detailed records and only change one thing at a time. Trust me. It sucks when you hit on something but didn't document all the steps you took to get there. Sigh.


Sent from my TARDIS at the restaurant at the end of the universe while eating Phil.