View Full Version : Melomel Must not fermenting??

03-15-2017, 11:01 PM
Strawberry Melomel
I purchased a kit and the instructions were not very clear, so here is what I did

Ingredients: 1 gallon drinking water from store, 1 lbs beach street farms strawberries, 3 lbs treasure valley pure & unprocessed honey, 5 gram pkg of red star premier rouge yeast

All equipment sanitized with campden/water solution

on 3-13-17 i put 1 gallon of room temp(78-80 deg f) water in fermenting bucket and stirred in the 3 lbs of honey ( SG 1.082). I then poured in entire pkg of yeast and waited 5 min then stirred. I then dumped in the strawberries and stirred again.

3-15-17 after reading on these forums and some other places I stirred for 5 min (not really any foaming)and then took sample (SG 1.080) and then added 10 raisins for nutrients.

House now stays at around 68-72 deg F

My must is only burping through the airlock once every few minutes(5min or more). Is this normal for a melomel? did I possibly mess something up?


03-15-2017, 11:21 PM
Hi and welcome to the forums.

You wouldn't have known any better, but it's not very good at all for your yeast to just dump it on top of your must. Probably more than half were killed and the survivors are wounded. Secondly. Raisins are not nutrients. Nutrients are nutrients. Where did you get that from?

So you'll need to buy some and learn how to feed your yeast. You will also need to learn how to re-hydrate your yeast. You can find the rehydrating part in this handbook. http://www.scottlab.com/pdf/ScottlabsHandbook2016.pdf

There is info in here about nutrients as well.

And here http://www.meadmaderight.com/info.html

I just found this I posted on another thread. This will help

Hi James and welcome to the forum.

So here are some things you need to understand and employ to make good mead

The bible is here http://www.scottlab.com/pdf/ScottlabsHandbook2016.pdf

You over time will find yeast you like and will hear about the main ones on here. You can read about them in the handbook

I will list the things you need to know


Rehydration (with Go-ferm if you can get it)
Attemperation of yeast slurry to must,,,,,,, this is on page 7


Temp control
Pitch Staggered Nutrient Additions.,,,, Proper amounts of Fermaid O and timing,,, http://www.meadmakr.com/batch-buildr/ http://www.meadmaderight.com/info.html

Degassing/ aeration/

Rouse the yeast daily



Ageing Bottling

03-16-2017, 02:52 AM
Also you will usually not see any action from the yeast for approximately 4 to 12 hours after you pitch the yeast. Since you did not rehydrate the yeast properly before you pitched them in it could take a little longer.
If you dont see any drop in specific gravity in the next day or two you might want to repitch. That should give you enough time to read through some of the links that Squatchy provided, and purchase some new yeast, GoFerm, and some nutrients (Fermaid K and DAP or Fermaid O).
You might also just get lucky and when you wake up tomorrow it will be going full bore! I would still read through the information though, this batch of Mead might take time to be drinkable. If you give it enough time to age it eventually should be OK though.

03-16-2017, 12:14 PM
Thanks Squatchy and James. I figured i did it wrong. Thanks for the info, and it looks like I have a lot to learn. is it possible to re-pitch using correct protocol or would that be too much?

03-16-2017, 01:42 PM
Thanks Squatchy and James. I figured i did it wrong. Thanks for the info, and it looks like I have a lot to learn. is it possible to re-pitch using correct protocol or would that be too much?

If you don't see activity by 48 hours from pitch time, I would re-pitch with appropriate hydration. For future reference it would also help if you use Go-Ferm.

Keep in mind that when you re-hydrate you have to warm the water (preferably spring water). When you are ready to pitch the yeast, make sure there is not more than a 15F difference between the must and the yeast. Otherwise this can also kill the yeast. Many like to add a little of the must every 2-5 minutes. Or you can just wait for the temp to drop naturally. There are pro's and con's to both of these.

While you wait do the following:
1) read the newbee guide
2) watch the meadology series on Youtube

03-16-2017, 04:27 PM
I wouldn't even wait. I would rehydrate properly, temperate and pitch. You cant really over pitch.And the yeast you have are wounded. A fresh batch of healthy soldiers has my vote

03-16-2017, 05:45 PM
Ok.. I rehydrated the yeast and made sure the temp difference between yeast and must was less than 15 degrees when added and stirred the must for five minutes... let's see where we go! Thanks for the helpful advice

03-17-2017, 12:32 AM
Ok.. I re-hydrated the yeast and made sure the temp difference between yeast and must was less than 15 degrees when added and stirred the must for five minutes... let's see where we go! Thanks for the helpful advice

So one thing I always do . Even if the temps were the same. At about 20-25 mins after I re-hydrate with Go-ferm, I like to add a little of my must. In just a few mins I see activity in the slurry. It often times looks like heads of cauliflower exploding. Or like micro atom bombs going off. A little later you may, or may not see fizzing/foam, depending on the yeast. And you can see little pricks on the meniscus when the CO2 escapes off the top. This is what I call "proof". Now I like to continue to add small portions of mucy over time. Each add is bigger in volume than the last. But as my slurry size increases, so does my additions. In doing so. Not only am I bringing the temps together. But, I am also allowing the yeast to slowly get used to the gravity as it starts to rise. And it allows them to get used to the pH as well, along with any other particulars in the must. So by the time I actually "pitch" my yeast into my trash cans. I have already slowly brought them to the place that they are actually just slipping into the pool in a larger volume of must than what they have been in now for some time. This way they are slowly getting acclimatized to everything about the must. And no shock at all if done this way over time.

Generally I like to pitch into a must that is just at the lowest end of the temp range window. I then let it lag until I see proof. It's at this point I feed it the first dose of food. Now, I like to slowly lower my temps back down to the very bottom of the window and keep it there until the growth phase is over and the biomass has moved into tyhe stationary phase. I want my growth phase to be as slow and last as long as I can. If I picked a yeast because of the esters the strain will produce. All of that is made during the growth phase. So by slowing down and extending my growth phase as long as I can I get more esters from my strain. Most of the flavors (and fussels) are made in the growth phase. So I want to keep it there as long as I can. Half of the flavors we want are actually fussels. (NOT ALL FUSSELS ARE BAD). Half of our flavor profile are fussels. The bad ones will be kept at a minimum too, if we keep the temps low and our ferment slow.

Once I move into the stationary phase I almost don't even care to much about the temps. As long as I don't go way over I could almost care lkess. Warmer temps will help them motor along nicely at the end of the ferment. Now don't go taking this out of context. I'm not talking about letting it burn up. But, at this time it's not going to be produce much heat on it's own and 80% of the flavor has already been established. We don't need to be as anal about keeping our temps in the bottom third of the window.

03-17-2017, 09:42 AM
Outstanding! I am reading the material you suggested Squatchy, along with a couple books I purchased. Along with info i get from the books and the advice I've received here, I'm going to start another batch in about a week and I feel it will start out a whole lot better..... as it is, I'm seeing activity in my current batch's airlock about every 10 seconds now

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