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edacsac
06-20-2005, 09:16 PM
I've been pondering one of my gallon batches that has slowed way down and is at a gravity of 1.042 or so. I thought I would leave it there, and have a really sweet mead, but after reading I find that 1.042 is way above even really sweet. I racked it recently, and it certainly doesn't bubble the airlock, but there is a tiny layer of bubbles at the top around the neck of the carbouy, and you can see tiny trail of bubbles rising up the side of the carbouy. I did a ph test with some of the batch that is in the frigde, and found to be in the red color which shows to be a level of 2.0. I read a little about ph in Ken Schramms book, and it says to add calcium carbonate, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, to bring it up to around 3.8, but the directions where for new must. Plus my test strips go in incriments of 2.0's.

Now, should I leave it alone and be patient? Or should I add the calcium carbonate at a measure of 1/10th a teaspoon (would have to be an eyeball guess at that size) at a time and see if I can test in the orange at 4.0? Personally, I'd like to leave it be, since I don't want to play with it and risk contamination. If I leave it be, might there be a use for this sickeningly sweet brew as a topper for other batches?

By the way, K1V-1116 was the yeast, so I'm sure I'm at a ph impasse.

Speaking of topper, I have the leftover of my latest rackings in bottles in the fridge, but are very small amounts taking up less than half the bottle volume. Are these good for topping, or are they terribly oxidized because of the huge headspace?

I'm not super worried about this batch, and if it takes a lifetime to finish I suppose thats ok. Another thing, what I have in the fridge from both batches I've racked have been there for a few days and haven't even entertained the idea of starting to clear. And the other sample was at 1.013. Is it because they're still at a high gravity, or am I in for clearing fun?

Can I ask one more question in this thread? With small batches, I'm starting to like using a turkey baster to draw samples. Outside of normal sanitation, is it ok to use a turkey baster?

Oskaar
06-21-2005, 01:39 AM
Can you post the exact recipe please or provide a pointer to the link in the brewlog?

Thanks,

Oskaar

Dan McFeeley
06-21-2005, 03:49 AM
A turkey baster should be ok so long, as you already mentioned, proper sanitation is followed.

Sounds like a toss up. If you're ok with letting the mead take its time to finish out, that should work out. I'd start some trouble shooting efforts if the time gets to about 8 weeks or so and the fermentation is obviously stalled. Ambient temperature may play a role too. Moving the carboy to a warmer area may stir the yeasties into increased activity.

Letting a stalled fermentation sit too long can create a potential for infection, along with off flavors.

lostnbronx
06-21-2005, 04:24 AM
When did you start this batch? P/h will naturally drop for a while in the early stages. You mention that you can actually see bubbles trailing up the side of the carboy, but no activity in the airlock? Is it possible that you don't have a good seal on the cork or stopper?

-David

edacsac
06-21-2005, 08:53 AM
the seal is good. It does lift the thing inside the airlock, but it took a long time to build up the pressure to lift it after I racked.

Here's my brewlog:

http://www.gotmead.com/smf/index.php/topic,1110.0.html

The alfalfa is the one in question here.

It never started or peaked at a super fermentation speed, but it definatly slowed way down from where it topped out at.

Oskaar
06-21-2005, 04:07 PM
Ed,

You can always add some K-Carbonate to buffer the acid, but if you have small bubbles rising, you stll have fermentation in process. Check the SG again in a few days, and recheck your pH, 2 sounds awfully low/high (however you look at it) to me.

Cheers,

Oskaar