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Doulio
04-06-2017, 05:07 PM
Greetings All!

I've read through loads of posts about stuck fermentation and keep finding something I can try differently, but am starting to run out of ideas. I'm on my 5th batch and every single batch keeps getting stuck around the 2/3 break, resulting in meads stuck around 7%. Here is the latest recipe and daily updates:

3 Pounds Carrot Blossom Honey
Add water to 1 gallon

Rehydrate Lalvin K1V-1116 (1 packet-10 grams) into 125ml of water with 6.25 grams of GoFerm. Let sit for half an hour before adding to cooled must.

Day 0: SG: 1.095 (target FG-1.015)
Day 1: 1.090, aerated in AM and aerated + added 1.13 grams Fermaid-O in PM
Day 2: 1.085, aerated in AM and aerated + added 1.13 grams Fermaid-O in PM
Day 3: 1.077, aerated in AM and aerated + added 1.13 grams Fermaid-O in PM
Day 4: 1.066, aerated in AM and aerated + added 1.13 grams Fermaid-O in PM

1/3 break

Day 5: 1.056, aerated once in PM
Day 6: 1.048, aerated once in PM
Day 7: 1.041, aerated once in PM

2/3 break

Day 8: 1.040, no aeration
Day 9: 1.040, no aeration
Day 10: 1.040, no aeration

So it seems like everything goes great until I stop aerating, but pretty much everything I come across says to stop aerating at the 2/3 break and to stop adding nutrients at the 1/3 break.

Gravity is being read by a refractometer in case that makes any difference.
Aerating with a sanitized wire whisk.
Fermenting in a 2 gallon bucket, covered with a double layer of extra fine cheese cloth (sanitized) with a rubber band to keep out unwanted guests.

The main thing I haven't tried is making a yeast starter. From what I could gather, it's argued that a starter isn't necessary for dry yeast. I'm comfortable giving that a try if it's thought it would make the difference, but it seems like people must be able to get it to work using dry yeast without a starter. Would love to hear thoughts and recommendations, as well as potential advice for getting fermentation going again with this batch.

Cheers!

Ryan

WillieP
12-02-2017, 06:42 AM
Ryan,
I'm no expert.
That said, Yes it does matter if you are taking your SG readings with a refractometer. From what I understand they are designed to measure the amount of sugars in water, key word water. Once fermentation begins you are taking a measurement of how much sugar is in a combination of water and alcohol.

It looks like your process is perfect, and if the same thing has happened 5 times running, I would look elsewhere.
Do some research on the use of a refractometer and the use of a hydrometer. There are calculators available online to do the math for you, you punch in the numbers and presto, they tell you what you want to know.

There is also a method to of finding ABV if you don't know the starting gravity, by taking a hydrometer reading, then boiling away half of the volume, then adding back the volume with distilled water, then taking a second hydrometer reading, then punching the numbers into a calculator and it will give you your ABV.
Pretty Cool. Learned about it on one of the Meadology YouTube videos (sorry don't recall which one), I have never done it myself.

Hope this will point you in the right direction to you finding an answer, and I hope your mead is turning our well no matter that the ABV is.

Cheers,
WillieP

Squatchy
12-02-2017, 11:26 AM
Some of your rehydration protocols look suspect. You say 1 pack of yeast and then say 10 grams and then use Goferm for 5 grams. More importantly, you haven't spoke of temps. This is very important to get all the temps correct. Look up Scotts Laboratory Handbook 2017. Go to page 7. Read it, make needed adjustments and I expect you will then have success. Let us know what you were doing wrong once you see the difference. Also the info about the refractometer is correct. Go buy a hydrometer.