View Full Version : Slow Start to Fermentation?

09-16-2016, 11:35 AM
Hi everyone, this is my 1st ever batch of mead and I'm concerned about the lack of fermentation thus far. Maybe I'm being impatient, but I thought this would be a good place to ask for advice.

2.6 lbs honey
1 gallon store bought "drinking" water.
Wyeast 4184 Smack Pack (I pitched approx. 1/3 of the packet)
1/2 tsp yeast energizer
1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
Original Gravity: 1.095

Yeast was same temperature as the must. Its been 5 days since pitching the yeast and I'm not seeing much if any activity. There are no odd smells, just no activity. Should I be concerned? Did I do anything wrong here?

Thanks in advance!


09-16-2016, 02:04 PM
If you didn't pitch the whole pack, perhaps you left the yeasties behind. Has gravity changed?

09-16-2016, 02:22 PM
Why didn't you pitch the whole pack? A smack pack might be good for 5 gallons of beer, but due to the higher gravity of mead, you need to start off with the whole pack.

How do you know nothing is happening? Are you going by bubbles or a hydrometer reading? Carboy or bucket? If it's a bucket it could be leaking.

Also, I'm assuming that the yeast and must were at the same temperature when you pitched?

You can try pitching the rest of the yeast, but may want to get the yeast restarted, by making a slurry with some goferm. Or, as it's been 5 days, you may want to pick up some kv1-1116 or ec-1118 and pitch those instead.

09-16-2016, 05:49 PM
I'm not sure why you would only use part of the pack? I may be a newbie to mead, but experienced in beer and wine. When It comes to fermentation, you cannot have too many yeast cells at the start. You could just be patient and let the yeast divide enough to show fermentation. If the rest of your pack is still good, then whack it in. Either way it will start, so don't worry. I'm a big believer in the three homebrew rules. Rule 2 is don't worry. Rule 4 is don't worry. Did I say three rules. :cool:

09-17-2016, 10:09 AM
Thanks for the replies and advice! I didn't pitch the whole pack simply because I was guessing that if it was meant for up to 6 gallons, I could split it between 2 1 gallon batches. I'll check gravity reading today and be patient. I do have a pack of ec-1118 I can get started if things don't start happening in the next couple days. Thanks again! /Eric

09-18-2016, 04:00 PM
Update: I checked gravity yesterday and it hadn't changed much, so I decided to pitch the ec-1118. I just checked and seeing some slow bubbling in the air lock. It seems things are happening now, thanks again for the advice! /Eric

09-19-2016, 10:15 AM
Long leg times are always due to under pitching parts per million of yeast at inoculation. That is, providing all the other standard procedures were followed.

09-28-2016, 11:14 AM
1 pack = 1 time use. Never re-use a half-pitched pack for something else. It will be contaminated and you run the risk of not adding enough cells at pitching. Especially smackpacks have other stuff in it apart from just yeast cells so you run the risk of adding a lot of nutrient and very little yeast by pure randomized chance. If you pitched the left side of the pack and 90% of the cells had accumulated on the right side you're introducing a completely underwhelming population while in your mind "pitched half the pack".

11-02-2016, 11:01 PM
Could use some help.. I racked off my Mead, for head space I added water and warm honey, shook it up and two days later it's slowly bubbling and has this oily bubbles sitting on top. What is it? Safe? http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20161103/38411c49326b98a252d2dbbce5e0b43b.jpg the

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