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View Full Version : High gravity test meads give up the go...



Tsuchi
01-08-2005, 04:58 PM
December 5th I began two, gallon batches... each with the same ingrediants except one with raisins for nutrient and the other with beepolen. Now, here I am a month later and batches that began at 1.16 and 1.15 respectavely are both down to 1.08 but have stopped there with only a bubble every 5 -15 min and no change in gravity in about 2 weeks. Now I'd like a sweet mead when im done, but not this sweet! Plus I'm worried that with such a large amount of sugar it may be prone to spoilage in the aging process or even when fermenting this slowly. I'm fully perpared to repitch with a starter of ec-1118 but I'm not sure if im just being impatient or what... Oh, did I mension that they are clearing all one thier own as I type. LOL now why cant my meads and yeasties just get along. *sigh*

Worried that I may be rushing things... Tsuchi

Oskaar
01-08-2005, 05:06 PM
Hey Tsuchi,

Can you break down the mixes for us so we can get an idea of what you started with? Yeast, honey, etc.

Thanks,

Oskaar

Tsuchi
01-08-2005, 05:25 PM
in each ...

4 lbs cucumber wildflower honey from a local apiary Unpasturized
1/2 c of a starter begun with 1 packet of Lalvin ec-1118
add tap water to sholder of sterilized gallon jugs

then in one 5 tsp raisins golden

then in other 5 tsp beepollen from local apiary

also when things started grinding to a halt i tried shaking them to airate.. though this made no noticable differance.

Oskaar
01-08-2005, 05:34 PM
Maybe an obvious question but did the raisins have SO2 on them, and is there chlorine in your tapwater?

Also what is the ambient temperature where you're fermenting?

I've never used bee pollen in my mead but I remember a couple of threads about bee-pollen, and nutrients. I think the gist was that you add a fairly significant amount of the pollen to the must for fermentation.

You might try a search in the old forum on "Bee Pollen"

That's going to be a pretty high gravity must to start with, but eh EC-1118 should jump right in and get moving.

Lemmen know,

Oskaar

Tsuchi
01-08-2005, 05:51 PM
As for the raisins i have no real way of knowing, they were from a local bulk supply place and the tap water was left to stand a reasonable time so it should be ok... I wonder if the temp is the key. I'm up in ontario... then again, it's not that cold in the apt... never colder than 17'C any how. Will let you know how things go after i pitch tomarrow.

Oskaar
01-08-2005, 06:08 PM
You might check your pH before you pitch. A lot of times the pH drop during the first part of fermentation can stall or stop a fermentation. If that's the case you'll need to add some DAP to get things going.

Temperature shouldn't be an issue with the EC at 17 C.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Tsuchi
01-08-2005, 06:34 PM
DAP?

What is this?

Oskaar
01-08-2005, 07:05 PM
It is a nutrient DAP (Di Amonium Phosphate) which renders usable nitrogen for your yeasts in primary fermentation.

Here's a great set of articles and tips for you from the makers of EC-1118 yeast (Lalvin) I suggest reading everything in the FAQ, the newsletter and especially the fermentation tips. Great information.

http://consumer.lallemand.com/danstar-lalvin/InFerment/InFerment.html

Also I really strongly suggest checking your pH and if it is too acidic (low pH) then you'll need to add some K-carbonate to bring the pH up to a happy level for the yeasties whcih would be in the 3.7 - 4.2 range or so, depending on your yeast strains. EC shouldn't have any problems in that range.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Tsuchi
01-08-2005, 11:12 PM
Ah, now ive got it... will have to pick up a test kit forthe ph... but i tend to want to steer away from chemicaly isolated nutrients. So yeast hulls sounds good but realy i think the DAP will happen only when/if i get really frustrated ;)

thanks

Oskaar
01-09-2005, 12:13 AM
Well,

Don' let chemicals steer you away from saving your mead. Unless you overdose your mead with DAP, yeast hulls etc. you'll not taste a difference. In fact the DAP will keep your yeast from becomming stressed and imparting off flavors due to the stress/autolysis. I make meads using both natural and DAP nutrient methods. So far I haven't ever had a batch that I can remember having an off taste or flavor.

Oskaar