View Full Version : Total Newbie. Fermentation question.

07-18-2015, 07:53 PM
Total newbie here, this is my first post and man its a doozie. First off here is the recipe i used. 4 pounds of honey, 4 cartons of raspberries. 1 Lalvin ec-1118 packet, and filled the carboy with water up to about an inch below the neck of my 5 gallon carboy. I did not add any nutrients right off the bat. I realize now that I did not add enough honey initially. it is now about 11 days into fermentaion and my air lock has slowed considerably to about 1 bubble every 30 seconds. Like I said before I realize that I should have added 2 or 3 times the honey that I did. I added an energizer about 4 days into fermenting, which really got it bubeling nicely for about 4 days then I added a smaller amount to get it going again but nothing happened. I don't really know how to proceed, from everything I have heard it is was to early to rack but with hardly any action from the yeast and all the color gone from the fruit it seems like an option. I was also wondering if it would be a bad idea to add more yeast and honey and also rack it...... haha I am lost if you can't tell. Thank you so much for this forum and any wisdom shared. thanks


07-18-2015, 08:11 PM
You need to take a hydrometer reading to see if fermentation is near completion. I don't know how much raspberries are in each carton so I can't say whether or not you need more honey, especially since I don't know what alcohol content you're aiming for. The calculator at http://meadcalc.freevar.com/ could help you there.
If the mead has almost finished fermentation then you had a healthy ferment rather than a stalled one, which means you can either add more honey to give yeast more food (and raise alcohol level), or wait for fermentation to stop and rack

07-18-2015, 09:15 PM
Thanks a whole heap Stasis. I just got my hydrometer in the mail and am dying to use it. I will try and keep you posted on the findings. Thanks again.

07-19-2015, 12:32 PM
Must have been painful getting all those raspberries in a carboy. Anyway, if your hydometer shows a lot of sugar left, your pH may have stalled fermentation. You may need to raise it with potassium carbonate. What nutrient did you use?

07-19-2015, 01:20 PM
If your hydrometer reads near 1.000 you are ok. You can add honey. Keep an eye on your liquid level before you start adding. If you are going to add 5 or 10 more pounds of honey you may want to siphon off a quart or so of must so you don't overflow.

Don't worry too much about mixing it. The yeast will find it. Too much mixing at this point can only lead to a spill.

Mostly though, don't worry.

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

07-19-2015, 01:33 PM
haha yeah GntlKnight1 yeah it was pretty fun. So I took my reading with the hydrometer. read zero . I ended up adding another 2 lbs of honey and she is bubbling up a storm. Thanks Stasis for the tip.The nutrient I used is a Yeast Energizer (Nutrient Boost) containing, Diammonium Phosphate, Springcell, Magnesium Sulphate. 1/2 tsp per Gal... So my plan is to wait a few weeks, or until fermentation slows which ever comes first, then rack ???? I will take a reading when I rack and see where I am, if this is totally ludicrous please let me know haha Thanks again.

07-19-2015, 01:39 PM
Yeah Mannye I wish I had read this before I dead lifted my carboy until the honey was mixed in well hahah Oh well good exercise I guess. I only added 2 lbs so the sample I took for the reading and what was left in the hose helped me displace the volume. Yeah It read 1.000 PG. Thanks for the "DONT WORRY" I needed that haha.

07-19-2015, 01:42 PM
Pails are a lot easier, esp for melomels. If you added more honey, you may well max out the alcohol tolerance on your yeast. You might want to check what that tolerance is.

07-19-2015, 02:46 PM
The tolerance of the Lalvin EC-1118 can be as high as 18%. I don't think I added enough of honey when I made the initial must.

07-19-2015, 05:59 PM
You still have only added about half of the honey you could add if you wanted to. 3-4 lbs a gallon is about normal :)

07-20-2015, 08:42 AM
I am fiddling with that mead calculator and I'm thinking you might be around 6% alcohol when all is finished. I think people mostly go for higher than that, but 6% is fine. In fact after several batches of wine and mead I would like to aim for a much lower alcohol content and see if I can cut down on aging, make it slightly fizzy, and maybe enjoy a cyser more like a beer/cider.
Anyway, as already stated, don't worry. Whatever you end up with it should be an excellent learning experience