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Thread: Can not start fermenting

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Default Can not start fermenting

    I started my metheglin on October 5, 2013.
    Brought 1.25 gals water to boil added 4 oz. loose tea to water and let steep until cool. (room temp.)
    Strained into plastic bucket.
    Added about 3.25 lbs. honey brought starting gravity to 1.120
    PH started out at 5.25
    Added 1/2 teaspoon of tartaric acid.

    October 6, 2013
    Checked PH 4.85
    Added another 1/2 teaspoon tartaric acid.

    October 7 , 2013
    PH at 4.35
    Added another 1/2 teaspoon tartaric acid.

    October 8, 2013
    PH at 3.85
    Added another 1/2 teaspoon tartaric acid.

    October 10, 2013
    PH at 3.65
    Added another 1/2 teaspoon tartaric acid.

    October 11, 2013
    PH at 3.35
    Rehydrated yeast with 1oz water and 1/2 teaspoon GoFerm
    Made started for yeast k1 V1116
    Temp. at 68-70 degrees
    Pitched yeast into must at 3:00 pm
    Added 1/2 teaspoon Fermaid O to must with yeast.

    Tea is Black tea blend, cinnamon oil, orange oil, loves, and orange peels. It has been over 24 hours since pitching yeast and no signs of anything happening. Any thoughts n what is going on and what to do. I have made melomels and traditionals, this is my first attempt at a meth.
    As of now no fermentation.

  2. #2

    Default

    No fermentation based on what? If your pH is dropping, you likely have fermentation. You gave pH reading, but no gravity readings. Gravity readings are all that matter.
    Better brewing through science!

  3. #3
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    Default

    Starting gravity is 1.120
    Gravity reading today 1.120

  4. #4

    Default

    The pH was doing because he was adding acid.

    Did you notice any bubbling in your starter prior to pitching? I made a starter for my cyser, and it had a good head of foam within a few hours.

    How old was the yeast?

  5. #5
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    Default

    Brand new yeast.
    Foam and bubbles, started with yeast water and goferm, after 1 hr. added 2 oz's of must to starter waited for foaming again, added 2 more oz's of must.
    After foaming again added yeast starter to must.

  6. #6

    Default

    Have you calibrated your pH meter lately? The first reading looks suspiciously high, and 2.5 tsp tartaric acid in 1.5 gallons could easily drive the pH down into the 2.5-3.0 range which is too acidic for yeast.

  7. #7

    Default

    Ok. I get it now. KIV is a beast, but I think your ph is just too low. Adding acid blend up front is no longer a suggested practice in mead making. It drops your ph causing the yeast to stall out. You will need to raise your ph with potassium carbonate, then repitch with new yeast.

    After fermentation is finished, you can add acid blend to taste.
    Better brewing through science!

  8. #8
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    Default

    PH meter has been calibrated.
    PH holding at 3.48.

  9. Default

    its possible you waited to long when hydrating your yeast before you added to your must. If your going to do a starter you need to start adding must to it 15 min after hydration has begun or there may not be enough nutrition to keep them going. An hour is way to long. Also add the Fermaid O to your must before adding to your starter, this will help ensure you are getting enough nutrients to the yeast during the making of the starter.

  10. #10
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    For future batches, consider pitching the yeast without all the acid. The yeast can function fine at a pH of 5.25 and will rapidly drop the pH themselves.

    Get a packet of EC-1118 (or Red Star Premier Cuvee). Rehydrate and gradually add portions of your must until you have have the yeast bubbling and acclimated. Then pitch.
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  11. #11
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    Default

    Thanks all I will try the new yeast and let you all know if it works.

  12. #12
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    Default

    Re-hydrated yeast as suggested on 10/15/2013. Still no fermentation.
    Re-hydrated 2nd packet of yeast on 10/16/2013 Still no fermentation.
    Took gravity readings before and after aerating still at 1.120.
    Is it time to call it or other suggestions?

  13. #13
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    Default

    I would try an acclimated starter before giving up on this batch... rehydrate your yeast as directed, then add the same volume of must to double the volume, then wait till it bubbles again, then double it again, wait for it to show signs of life, repeat till you've got maybe 1/5 of the entire batch added to the yeast... if it's going at that point, it should hit the batch running.
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014
    "I tend to....um, er, experiment, and go outside the box. Sometimes outside the whole department store." - Ebonhawk, 2014

  14. #14
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    Default

    Hmmm...
    Let me ask how you calibrated the pH meter?
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  15. #15
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    Default

    This may be a silly thought but is it possible that there was sorbate or some other preservative in the tea that was not denatured by boiling and you are simply adding yeast to a must that is preventing the yeast from reproducing

  16. #16
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    If that's what's happened, the acclimated starter will fail... but there are a few threads were people have successfully gotten sorbated juices to ferment, it just takes several applications of non-acclimated starters.
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014
    "I tend to....um, er, experiment, and go outside the box. Sometimes outside the whole department store." - Ebonhawk, 2014

  17. #17
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    PH meter was calibrated with liquid solution one at 4.0 the other at 7.1.
    Tea might have had sorbate in it but I did boil it then let it steep until it cooled, to room temp.

  18. #18
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    Well, something is clearly inhibiting the yeast. If you start a new batch, you can get Uvaferm 43, the most durable yeast I've seen and start a batch with 1 gallon of traditional must (no tea or acid) in a 5-7 gallon fermenter. You can start at the same gravity. When this new batch is going good, add gallon of the old must and wait until it is going strong, then add another gallon. When that is visibly fermenting well, add another gallon of the old must. You don't have to worry about oxidation or spoilage. Eventually, over a period of a few days, you should be able to get this fermenting.
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  19. #19
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    Thank you all for your wonderful advice and your willingness to share your knowledge with us.
    When I got home from work last night went to check on my mead and low and behold it started fermenting.
    Gravity reading last night was 1.098 did not add any nutrients figured there was enough in already with the added yeast and goferm.
    Will stir and continue on as if nothing happened.

  20. #20
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    Default He has liftoff !!!!

    Wow !!! Interesting thread !!! And a difficult problem !!! Congratulations to John E. and all the contributors who offered advice and suggestions. Well done !!
    Don't Panic!

    From Portugal to Poland, on a perpetual pursuit for more honey.....

    Issues unique to the Netherlands at
    http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthr...880#post222880

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