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cosmiccatastrophe
02-29-2016, 08:23 PM
Howdy, been reading and learning from this site for months...however, patience was not well acquired (if I go to the post office and there's a line, I'll go back later lol) but, It's something I need to work on. I think I'm in some deep trouble and it could be time to dump my first batch and try again!


Traditional...no fruit or spices, etc.
Everything was going fine,
1 gallon
D-47 Rehydrated
Yeast nutrients and Energizer added over first 3 days
Aerated daily
OG 1.090 01/21/16
FG .9995 over 10 day period
Racked to secondary 02/26/16 (would have been great if left alone!)

Here comes the dumb a** move........

It was racked onto 2+- cups of Honey because I thought it was too dry, then... it was to sweet and tasted like HONEY! duh! (But, I guess, would have been OK at this point, for an overly sweet mead!) SG 1.040

Here comes the even bigger dumb a** move

I rehydrated 1/2 pack of D-47 added it to a cup of the must in a separate container (active),
4 hrs later added 1/2 cup more of must to container(active),
4 hrs later added 1 cup of must to container (active),
4 hrs later I added this to secondary with 10 chopped raisins and 1/8 tsp of DAP

24 hours later I get approximately 1 bubble every 5 minutes or so and I'm afraid that the high alcohol content of the must killed most or all of my secondary yeast addition...Is my foolish move, to add yeast to the secondary in this situation recoverable...I'm not even sure if the minimal airlock activity is from fermentation- or if it's just off-gassing.

I will continue gravity readings in hopes (I think) that there is some sort of fermentation.
Today's SG 1.040 OH CRAP? (he says...crying in his beer)

Thanks for any advise

pwizard
02-29-2016, 09:01 PM
You're fine. I'd look at this as a really late step feeding. 1.090 is only ~12% potential ABV and D47 can usually take 14-15%, (more if it is well cared for). That should be more than enough tolerance to dry that out to some extent; you will probably end up with a bit of residual sweetness left. You can always pitch some EC-1118 if the D47 doesn't take off or you want to go bone dry. It probably will-- give it a few days since the yeast need to adapt to starting off in a high ABV solution (expect some fusel alcohols after this is over-- you can count on that with stressed yeast). Actually, since you did this right out of secondary the original yeast may even have started up again where they left off.

Worst case scenario, make a small batch of bone-dry mead with EC-1118 and blend the too-sweet mead with that until you get something you like. Bonus with that is you get even more mead to drink!

JewishMonk
02-29-2016, 10:04 PM
Don't dump it! Pwizard said pretty much everything you need to know, but I'd like to add that it may be handy to have an overly sweet mead on hand in case you need to sweeten a dry mead. Fermented honey tastes much different than raw honey, so you can avoid the raw honey taste in future batches this way. Plus, if you do decide to go this route, the worst case scenario would be your mead slowly fermenting down to an acceptable level.

Squatchy
02-29-2016, 11:24 PM
I wonder why you would want to rack in 5 days????

Although your post doesn't add up. You say /21 to /26. and then .9995 in 10 days. I'm guessing it started out at 1090, you racked at 5 days latter, and it went to .9995 in ten days?

You haven't mentioned rehydration and attemperation. What's up with that ? :)

EbonHawk
03-01-2016, 02:01 AM
I wonder why you would want to rack in 5 days????

Although your post doesn't add up. You say /21 to /26. and then .9995 in 10 days. I'm guessing it started out at 1090, you racked at 5 days latter, and it went to .9995 in ten days?

You haven't mentioned rehydration and attemperation. What's up with that ? :)
First was January, second was February, so a month and 5 days apart. He rehydrated and talked about acclimating the yeast to the must 3 times.

Squatchy
03-01-2016, 10:55 AM
[QUOTE=EbonHawk;253785]First was January, second was February, so a month and 5 days apart. He rehydrated and talked about acclimating the yeast to the must 3 times.[/QUOT

I missed that for sure. I wonder where my head was at when I read his post.

EbonHawk
03-01-2016, 10:59 AM
First was January, second was February, so a month and 5 days apart. He rehydrated and talked about acclimating the yeast to the must 3 times.

I missed that for sure. I wonder where my head was at when I read his post.
Eh. Stuff happens. :-)

cosmiccatastrophe
03-01-2016, 11:07 AM
I wonder why you would want to rack in 5 days????

Although your post doesn't add up. You say /21 to /26. and then .9995 in 10 days. I'm guessing it started out at 1090, you racked at 5 days latter, and it went to .9995 in ten days?

You haven't mentioned rehydration and attemperation. What's up with that ? :)

My OG was 1.090 on 01/21 (I did rehydrate at 1st yeast pitch) (not sure what attemperation is, Temp was about 69F)
SG was .9995 on 02/17 and gravity was stable for 10 days, then 02/27 I racked onto the honey.
The next day I "acclimated" the yeast into the must in the secondary.

cosmiccatastrophe
03-01-2016, 11:18 AM
[QUOTE=EbonHawk;253785]First was January, second was February, so a month and 5 days apart. He rehydrated and talked about acclimating the yeast to the must 3 times.[/QUOT

I missed that for sure. I wonder where my head was at when I read his post.

My fault for not putting my steps in better order, when I look back, my original post is a little confusing!

cosmiccatastrophe
03-01-2016, 01:03 PM
As suggested I ordered EC-1118 (and an additional 1gal jug) In 2-4 weeks I will either re-pitch the EC-1118 or make a new batch with the EC-1118 for blending.
Thanks for your help pwizard and JewishMonk

pwizard
03-03-2016, 09:00 AM
Has your first batch started up again? Check the gravity to see if it has gone down any.

cosmiccatastrophe
03-03-2016, 09:40 AM
Has your first batch started up again? Check the gravity to see if it has gone down any.

Indeed Mr. Wizard, from approx. 1 bubble in airlock per/5 min to approx. 1 bubble per/1-2 min
and gravity has finally had some movement, although not much, from the 1.040 to 1.038 (today)
There is a little foam on the surface and noticeable minimal bubbling on the raisins.

The gravity reading is from this morning, but the bubbling status was from yesterday. The airlock is actually bubbling approx. 2 times per/min this morning! woohoo! It's Alive!
Now hopefully I won't have stressed yeast issues associated with it, i.e. fusels.

cosmiccatastrophe
03-03-2016, 10:12 AM
In this "fine mess I've gotten myself into" (Laurel and Hardy if you missed it) Should I be degassing or anything else i.e. swirling yeast into suspension, or just let it ride.

EbonHawk
03-03-2016, 09:22 PM
It's probably a good idea to mention at this point that airlock bubbling is a terrible indication of fermentation activity, because it can be outgassing or something else, and it's not always fermentation that's doing it. While it's cool to think it is, it's just a terrible indicator. Other than the fact that something happening, that's about all that can be said really. They're still fun to watch and listen to, though, and I always love to stick my nose over one from time to time.

pwizard
03-03-2016, 09:44 PM
Stressed yeast is inevitable if it starts out in a high ABV solution like this (even if you prep it right with Go-Ferm, etc.) . There's no way around that. Fortunately, fusels can age out unless you have a lot of it.

Stirring it up to keep the yeast in suspension won't hurt, but don't aerate it past the first day or two (instead of raw must, you have a mead that can oxidize). Since you added about a sugar break's worth of honey based on your OG, it would be a good idea to feed the yeast some boiled hulls (1-2 tsp worth) to help them along, but absolutely no DAP at this point.

EbonHawk
03-04-2016, 08:58 AM
Is there a product sold that's just yeast hulls by themselves, or should you just make it out of a boiled packet of dry yeast yourself?

pwizard
03-04-2016, 09:33 PM
I think Fermaid O is close to that, though I've never used it since it runs on the pricey side and IIRC has a limited shelf life. It's yeast hulls, nutrients, and other organic compounds (no DAP).

On the other hand, bread yeast is 50 cents per pack (each pack has enough for 2 feedings), and the good yeast chomps it up just as happily. Anything that doesn't get eaten just sinks and becomes part of the yeast cake on the bottom.

EbonHawk
03-05-2016, 09:01 AM
Yeah, I priced some Fermaid O and added it to my wishlist from Amazon.com, and my wife was like "What is this itty-bitty packet of white powder that's $20??". I said it's necessary for my habit, er I mean, my mead/wine making hobby and I had to have it. She mumbled, "A coke habit would be cheaper." I just smiled. I usually order my own stuff, but she was placing an order at the time and I piggybacked on her free shipping option. She has pretty much NO idea how much dough I sink into my hobby, but I feel like it's a drop in the bucket compared to the 1200 shoes and 785 purses she owns...and doesn't use. At least I'm using my stuff. :-P

cosmiccatastrophe
03-05-2016, 10:30 AM
Stressed yeast is inevitable if it starts out in a high ABV solution like this (even if you prep it right with Go-Ferm, etc.) . There's no way around that. Fortunately, fusels can age out unless you have a lot of it.

Stirring it up to keep the yeast in suspension won't hurt, but don't aerate it past the first day or two (instead of raw must, you have a mead that can oxidize). Since you added about a sugar break's worth of honey based on your OG, it would be a good idea to feed the yeast some boiled hulls (1-2 tsp worth) to help them along, but absolutely no DAP at this point.

SG this am 1.036 (from the 1.040)
Yesterday morning I boiled, to kill, the second half of the d-47 package and added it to the must when temperature was approximately equal to the must.
I didn't have any bread yeast so I used the d-47.
There is obvious bubbling up the sides of the jug (inside)
No nose of anything fusel yet (at least to this untrained/inexperienced nose), but only time will tell. Still have a long way to go (I'm hoping it will go below 1.020 at least) Then comes the waiting game! But, by then I'll have a new batch in process.

Just wanted to say thanks again...this site benefits well from people like you who actually offer constructive advice to beginners (unlike some who seem to rather toot their own horn if I may)

Mazer828
03-05-2016, 11:18 AM
Yeah, I priced some Fermaid O and added it to my wishlist from Amazon.com, and my wife was like "What is this itty-bitty packet of white powder that's $20??". I said it's necessary for my habit, er I mean, my mead/wine making hobby and I had to have it. She mumbled, "A coke habit would be cheaper." I just smiled. I usually order my own stuff, but she was placing an order at the time and I piggybacked on her free shipping option. She has pretty much NO idea how much dough I sink into my hobby, but I feel like it's a drop in the bucket compared to the 1200 shoes and 785 purses she owns...and doesn't use. At least I'm using my stuff. :-P
"Ummmm...do you like that stuff I make that you get to drink, honey? 'Cause if we had to go but that it would be really expensive!"