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Thread: No signs of life (fermentation)

  1. Default No signs of life (fermentation)

    I tried a spiced mead as my first mead, however I don't see any fermentation from the air lock after 96 hours. I don't have a hydrometer and after reading a few posts, I know that I need to invest in one for my next batch. I have a plastic pail, so I don't know if they yeast (Lalvin D47) is slowly fermenting the must or not.... I am wondering if I need to pitch another packet of yeast or just be patient. The steps I took are as follows:

    1. Pasteurized 2 1/2 gallons of water and 14 lbs of honey. Added spices and raisins (instead of yeast nutrient).
    2. Ice bathed the batch to approximately 90 degrees and transferred into the pail with the addition 1 1/2 gallons of water.
    3. Rehydrated the yeast (I did this for approximately 45 minutes) and pitched it. I did not shake the must too much in pail upon pitching the yeast.
    4. Airlocked and sealed the must.

    Please help me figure out where I might have went wrong or what I need to do to correct this batch. Thank you.

  2. #2

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    How long has it been since you pitched the yeast? What was the specific gravity (S.G.) of the must before you pitched the yeast? Sometimes it takes a couple of days for the yeast colony to establish itself and take off. Is there foam on top because sometimes you won't see airlock activity because the lid on the bucket isn't tightly sealed and the gas escapes around the rim instead of the airlock. So don't worry your mead will be fine as it is blanketed by a layer of CO2 until you rack it into a carboy. If you don't have a hydrometer go to a brew store and pick one up it's the most valuable brewing tool you can have and they're cheap, get a testing vessel as well if you don't have a wine thief that you can suspend it in.
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  3. #3

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    Also you will need a LOT of raisins to make up for using no other nutrients. At that point if the raisins have been sulphited fermentation will be inhibited. So whether or not you used little or a lot be careful with that. it seems this is a 5 gallon batch?

  4. #4
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    Unless temperature is a factor (I will assume your must is in a room between 65 and 75 degrees) or your measurements were off and you have a really high SG, you pretty clearly have an issue of not enough nutrients. Having just suffered through my own 'no nutrient" experiment, I would not recommend it for anyone, must less someone making their first batch. Do yourself a favor and get nutrients, energizer and your hydrometer before you go any further. You can't build a garage without a hammer and saw; get yourself some of the tools of the trade.

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  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BMRugger View Post
    I tried a spiced mead as my first mead, however I don't see any fermentation from the air lock after 96 hours. I don't have a hydrometer and after reading a few posts, I know that I need to invest in one for my next batch. I have a plastic pail, so I don't know if they yeast (Lalvin D47) is slowly fermenting the must or not.... I am wondering if I need to pitch another packet of yeast or just be patient. The steps I took are as follows:

    1. Pasteurized 2 1/2 gallons of water and 14 lbs of honey. Added spices and raisins (instead of yeast nutrient).
    2. Ice bathed the batch to approximately 90 degrees and transferred into the pail with the addition 1 1/2 gallons of water.
    3. Rehydrated the yeast (I did this for approximately 45 minutes) and pitched it. I did not shake the must too much in pail upon pitching the yeast.
    4. Airlocked and sealed the must.

    Please help me figure out where I might have went wrong or what I need to do to correct this batch. Thank you.
    14lb of honey in 2.5 gallons ? Or 2.5 gallons of water plus the 14lb of honey ?

    Off the top of my head thats at least 2.4lb plus a half gallon of water for the later a.k.a. 4.4lb plus a gallon etc

    which I suspect is producing a very high gravity. Worse if its the former......

    Raisins have some nutrient value, spices generally dont.

    Plus you didn't aerate the must much on pitching ?

    IMO the excessive honey (possible/probable) plus lack of YAN and limited to no O2 available are your problem.

    The first creates marginal to difficult conditions for start, compounded by starvation conditions for the yeast and the aerobic conditions of a metaphoric plastic bag over the yeasts head.

    So what is the total volume ?

    Get a hydrometer as we will need to know the total volume.......

    What type of brew are you aiming for ?

    For an easier initial experience, I suggest you also obtain some nutrients - FermaidK type combined, some decent yeast that doesn't need to much babying (K1-V1116 comes to mind), some potassium carbonate........
    here's me home brewing blog (if anyones interested....)
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  6. #6
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    He had 2.5 gallons of water, and then added 1.5 gallons

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    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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    I have made a couple of small batches where the airlock never bubbled -- because the seal on the lid of my pail wasn't tight (HoneyHog already mentioned this). But when I cracked the lid and listened, the must was "hissing" with a lovely fizzing sound. It never foamed, so this was the only clue I had that my yeasties were happy. Give it a listen before losing all hope.
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  8. #8

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    D47 has never moved my air lock but I do tend to see tiny little bubbles when it does begin fermenting. It tends to be a slow starter and I usually dont see any action until the 2nd day. That's why I always use a starter for big D47 batches.

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