View Full Version : I am new to brewing and Not sure if what's going on is normal

03-14-2016, 06:17 PM
I am making peach mead for my dads birthday and used 3lbs of peaches, 3lbs of clover honey, 1118 yeast, and 1/4 teaspoon of yeast nutrient in the first 24 hours my yeast was bubbling like crazy now not even a week in the activity died down, I would love to take a SG reading but my hydrometer broke so i have to wait for it to ship to my house I got worried and added a 1/2 teaspoon of nutrient but the activity never picked back up the temp my mead is at not core temp but surface temp is 70 deg F, When I added the nutrient everything seemed normal from the yeast growing on the peaches and carbonation. Does this sound normal or should I be worried I know bubbles don't matter all that much but it's takes about 15-30 secs for the next bubble to appear.

03-14-2016, 06:32 PM
How many gallons is this batch?

03-14-2016, 06:40 PM
the batch I have made for my mead is 1 gallon

03-14-2016, 07:11 PM
im fairly new to making mead myself with only a dozen or so batches under my belt but it doesnt sound like anything is wrong. without a gravity reading to go off of it is impossible to tell. if you are using a fermentation bucket, i can tell you from experience the lids dont seal on them so they ferment with no bubbles if there isnt a good seal. it sounds like you have bubbles even if they are 30 seconds apart. so i would say fermentation is still happening. everyone on here will tell you that the number one thing about making mead is patience. wait until you get your hydrometer to take a reading than when you get no bubbles in the air lock take a reading than wait a couple of weeks and take another reading if there is no change between the readings than fermentation is done. with fruit you are supposed to keep the fruit wet by swooshing the container around. i havnt made very many melomels (hope i spelled it right) but from what you are saying you have stuff growing on your fruit? i dont think that is normal. is there any off smells from the fruit? im sure someone here with better experience than me can guide you better and will be on soon but just remember patience.

03-14-2016, 08:08 PM
Well if you can check your pH and make sure it is above 3.2 that would be a good idea.

Otherwise measure the SG when you get your hydrometer to make sure it is still dropping.

The rate of fermentation often drops off near completion and that is likely what is happening.

03-14-2016, 08:41 PM
I second heathd666 - what's growing on your peaches?

03-14-2016, 08:48 PM
EC-1118 is a real monster. It'll rip through a lot of sugar in very short order, without much fuss usually. You're probably fine. If you have no other indications that something is wrong (foul odors, green stuff growing on the surface, etc.), just let it go. If you just can't stands it, pour off an ounce or so into a glass and give it the old swirl, sniff and taste. Even with very little experience (I'm assuming) you can tell if it's still WAY too sweet, or its nearing completion. Then you'll know whether your ferment stalled (not likely with EC-1118), or it just got the job done quickly.

Don't worry. Wait for your hydrometer for final confirmation. All is very likely just fine.

03-14-2016, 09:17 PM
With a melemol, you usually stir it up a bit to keep the surface of the fruit mixed up and in contact with the liquid. To tell if it still fermenting, try listening for a fizzing sound. Some times you can see bubbles in the liquid as well. Keep in mind that any fermentation will slow down as the percentage of sugars are metabolized. The stuff growing on the peaches should be mostly white.

03-14-2016, 10:04 PM
You shouldn't have anything "growing" on your peaches.
Like the above said you need to be stirring that stuff up 2 times a day. 1) To keep the cap moist and so things won't get started growing on it. 2) To keep the yeast in suspension so they don't get buried in the sludge.

When you added the peaches you actually diluted your sugar content even though the peaches were sweet. You have very little work for the yeast to do. I'm betting that they already took it to bone dry. Try adding more peaches or honey or both. Unless you want it dry. You could also add some k2co3 even without knowing what you pH is. It won't harm anything and can only help.

Pretty sure you have just ran dry. Were you looking for a dry finished product, or do you want it sweet?

03-15-2016, 12:48 AM
Yes quite correct about not having things growing on your fruit. The cap of yeast from a batch that has not been stirred will look a lot something is growing on the fruit. The yeast colony is growing in a sense, but is throughout the fermentation vessel and will attach to the fruit that it is eating. Usually you will want to rack the liquid off the fruit when it has ended primary fermentation. That will get the "chunks" out and should prevent spoilage.

03-15-2016, 01:08 AM
Its was the yeast growing on the peaches I already stirred it, I was just under the impression not to open the lid to many times. I shall also order some ph strips I really want to get into mead making it's seems really cool.

03-15-2016, 12:01 PM
Might also want to order some Potassium Carbonate OR Potassium Bicarbonate in case you need to raise your pH.

03-15-2016, 12:05 PM
Do you have your fruit in a mesh bag? If not, the easiest way I've found to separate the fruit from the must is to pour gently into another carboy, using a large funnel, and line the funnel with cheese cloth. A little aeration won't hurt you at this point because the fermentation is still active. Just FYI.

03-15-2016, 05:59 PM
Couldn't I use the mesh bag to to filter out all of the chunks of peaches and get the juice by freezing the peaches then putting them in a pot with little water warm it up and mash them?

03-15-2016, 07:42 PM
The beautiful thing about this art is you can do whatever you want! You may not want to do it again but experimentation is the path to innovation. Just beware of adding heat to any fruit, as that tends to set the pectins, which then become difficult to clear.

03-15-2016, 07:51 PM
couldn't I add pectin enzyme to break down the acid in it This batch its already really hazy and dry I may start on straight honey batch As it seems I still have much to learn about this would it been smarter to add the peaches during the secondary and not primary I read that it gains more of the fruits flavor during the secondary than in the primary. With the straight honey though I plan to use about 4lbs of blossom honey.

03-15-2016, 08:29 PM
Pectic enzyme works also. Didn't know if you had that trick up your sleeve, or the time to spare in the process.

And what you read is accurate. Fruit in the primary lends more color and fermentable sugars, while fruit in secondary lends more nose and fruit flavor. I suppose an argument might be made that the best outcome would be a combination of both.

03-15-2016, 10:06 PM
I took the peaches out of the primary as they where just eaten apart I added 1 cup of brown sugar and now its bubbling like crazy, I took a risk not sure if it's a good idea or not When I switch to the secondary I am going to add more peaches is that okay?

03-16-2016, 12:20 AM
Like Mazer828 said, you can do what you want! Big part of the fun. Some established recipes call for brown sugar. It will give you a higher ABV and a different taste. Without a hydrometer, you will have to go by taste in figuring out when you should add peaches in secondary. Just remember what has been said about EC-1118 yeast. It may just keep on going for a bit, even through your added peaches. Keep every thing clean, stir it around once or twice a day for a couple more days. Meanwhile, read up on stabilizing, racking off the lees and bulk aging.