View Full Version : How Long After Racking For Fermentation?

04-22-2006, 08:37 AM
I'm making a 'Tri-Berry' Mead (raspberries, blueberries, marionberries) and just racked from the plastic primary into a 6 1/2 gallon carboy secondary. It's only been an hour, but there has yet to be any signs of fermentation. I was getting about 3 bubbles per minute through the airlock when it was in the primary. My recipe is as follows:

15 pounds clover honey
1 tablespoon gypsum
4 teaspoons acid blend
1/4 teaspoon Irish moss
25 g Pris de Mousse yeast
Balance to 5 gallons water
OG - 1.125 (before putting into the primary with the fruit)

I followed Papazian's procedure for a traditional mead and then did the primary in a 7.9 gallon plastic ferementer with an airlock with the 20 pounds of berries. I did not take an additional SG. Maybe now would be a good time to do that.

In any event, am I just not being patient enough or is there a potential problem?

Thanks in advance .....

04-22-2006, 09:44 AM
I obviously have to LEARN to be patient if I want to be a true Mazer .....

Guess I answered my own question .... After two hours it started to bubble, albeit very, very slowly - 1 bubble every couple minutes. I also took a SG reading AND a taste. SG dropped to 1.000 which puts it pretty close to 18% ABV. WOW ! This stuff is a LOT different than the No-Age Quick Mead that I made. Fairly dry and loads of berry flavor. I have a good feeling that this is going to age into one fine mead.

Stay tuned .....

04-22-2006, 04:26 PM
Yup, this will be a dry one.

Next time try this without the gypsum, acid, and Irish moss. In my experience you don't need them.

Try adding 6 grams of Fermaid K into the must, and 6 grams of Fermaid K at the end of the lag phase (when the surface of the mead starts to foam)

Hit it with 6 more grams of Fermaid K on day three. With all that fruit you'll need to punch the cap down several times a day to get maximum flavor extraction and keep the oxygen available to your yeasties. Also as mentioned in other posts the cap (fruit layer) needs to be broken up to keep excess heat from building up, and from building up too much CO2 and preventing good oxygen circulation during the first part of fermentation when your yeasties use oxygen as a nutrient.

You can also back the yeast off to 10 grams and rehydrate the yeast in Go-Ferm before you inoculate the must with your yeast slurry. EC-1118 and Premier Cuvee, and 3021 Pasteur Champagneare are Prise de Mousse Champagne yeasts and I don't know which one you used, but they all need high amounts of nutrients in the must to keep them happy and from producing off flavors. You'll be fine with the berries you have in there. I've found that my ferments are faster and healthier with the added nutrient, and it keeps any off-flavors from being produced by the yeast if they are nutrient starved.

Prise de Mousse yeast will produce up to 50 ppm of sulfites during fermenation, so it's a good idea to label that on your bottle. I put a notice on my bottles that there are naturally occuring sulfites as a product of fermentation. That way I give people who may not know that the option of not taking a chance if they are hyper sensitive to it. Some people don't believe that sulfites produced during fermentation pose any threat to hyper-sensitive people, but they're the same compound as if you added it in yourself so I just put it on there and let people make their own decision.



04-23-2006, 05:08 AM
Thanks Oskaar ....

I used EC-1118 in this batch. Practice makes perfect and next time I will heed your advice and try it without gypsum, acid blend, and Irish moss. Also, I think a different yeast will be in order as well, and I personally do not like extremely dry mead. I'll shoot for something that will give me a 14% ABV or thereabouts.

Not to say this is going to necessarily be a 'bad' mead. The berry flavor is pretty impressive, though certainly not overpowering, and the smell is divine. Time will tell, but I'm thinking that by Christmas of this year, this will (hopefully) be a hit.

Thanks again, and I'm glad I found this site.

04-23-2006, 07:46 AM

I'm sure this will be a great mead. It will be a bit on the dry side, but that's not bad. I like dry meads and everything in between all the way up to sweet. So in no way shape or form is dry a bad thing in my book.

I've made some sparkling dry meads with just a hint of strawberry and McIntosh apple in them that tasted so much like a good Brut Rose Champagne that I chased that recipe for close to a year to nail it down. It's all about what you like and then finding a way to dial in your recipe to make it consistantly. I'm a firm believer in experimentation, but I also believe that basic meadmaking is the key core-competency to making great meads in any style or using any technique (no-heat, pasteurizing, boiling, etc.)

It's been my experience that once you can make your basic recipes consistantly, you can really improvise more effectively because you know exactly where your mead is character, structure and flavorwise at any given time; and you'll know what you're going to get when you add something.

Hope that helps,