Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Did I Screw Up My First Time? Help!

  1. Default Did I Screw Up My First Time? Help!

    Howdy all, I am fresh to the mead thing, and have started a batch with all the hopes and dreams of someone completely naive to the process... after reading about mead ad nauseam I started a 'wild' batch about a week and a half ago, using a 4:1 ratio of water to raw, unfiltered honey, period. I read that there are enough wild yeasts, nutrients, etc. in 100% raw unfiltered honey to make mead without adding anything extra, so I didn't (was that my first mistake?). According to the book I was reading (The Art of Fermentation by Katz) I should have seen vigorous bubbling and active fermentation shortly after mixing up my batch, provided I stir, stir, stir to allow for oxygen to feed the yeasts while they established themselves. Then once the bubbling subsided, I was supposed to transfer to a carboy with an airlock and let it do it's thing.

    So I mixed, I stirred, I stirred, I stirred... and nothing. After about 3 days, my must started smelling very yeasty, though it never bubbled, so I kept stirring and waiting, and after a few more days with no bubbles but a strong yeast smell I transferred it into my carboy with an airlock, and topped it off with fresh water and honey at the same 4:1 ratio. It has now been in the carboy/airlock setup for 4 days, and there have been zero bubbles STILL, and this morning there was a thick filmy layer on the quarter-sized surface area that looked like the wax caps, pollen, etc. mixed with slimy mold. It was whitish-gray with black dots throughout, but it still smells yeasty- not boozy OR vinegary.

    At this point, I've skimmed the goo off the top and replaced the airlock, but I feel like I'm missing something obvious out of ignorance. Is my batch ruined? Was it a bad call to try this for the first time using "wild" fermentation? Why have I not seen a single bubble, or experienced any effervescence when the mead is stirred?

    *sigh* I need some help. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    Default

    Kudo's for jumping, not right into the deep end, but the Mariana Trench itself. Go big, or go home, I say.. but unfortunately it may have cost you. My suggestion would be to sulfate the bejeebus out of it to kill 1) the nasty stuff, and 2) your wild yeast.

    Yeast that are cultivated for wine, beer, and mead production are done so because of very specific attributes. Your wild yeast sound as if they don't have those attributes suited for the chemical change we're going for, i.e. sugar -> CO2 + alcohol.

    Next time, just go for a package of dry yeast. Bread yeast for the absolute starter, or wine yeast that'd run you a whole $3.00. Certainly save you the aggravation, time, and energy.

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi RHM . Wellcome !

    You can make mead with wild yeasts BUT it´s not as easy as that.

    Raw unfiltered honey have not enough yeast to initiate fermentation in a few hours. You must take the honey with all of the cappings and even then, it will take (if...if... everything goes well) about two, maybe three days to have bubbles (although not very vigorous). And in the first days you must aerate very well.

    Furthermore, no honey by itself, has enough nutrients to take the process to an end. Dark honey has more nutrientes than light honey, but even then, they are not enough.

    Usually these fermentations end stucked aroud 7~9 % alcohol.

    When I make mead without regular yeasts, I give it a hand. For a IG of 1.100, and a volume of 4 litres, I add 1/4 to 1/3 of pineapple bark (very well riped pinepples, nearly beginning to rot). They will give the enzimes and the nitrogen needed. Here also the temperature nedds to be higher (around 25~26º C). Usually goes to dry, but sometimes it ends around 1.004 ~1.008. Anyway count for about two to three month to get there.

  4. #4

    Default

    I add 1/4 to 1/3 of pineapple bark
    I mean of ONE pineapple.

  5. #5

    Default

    Coincidentally I asked the same thing a while back. Here is a link to my thread:
    http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthr...Is-it-possible

    The short answer is that it's not possible for the average joe
    "Shouldn’t we say wine is a mead-like beverage made with grapes substituted for the honey?" - Steve Piatz

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stasis View Post
    Coincidentally I asked the same thing a while back. Here is a link to my thread:
    http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthr...Is-it-possible

    The short answer is that it's not possible for the average joe
    Completely off track.. but why are you using that horrendous 1st generation M:TG card artwork as an avatar?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Between Jackson and Detroit
    Posts
    2,003

    Default

    I think that is from the card name Stasis, so it matches their screen name...
    Bees stole my signature file!

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by skunkboy View Post
    I think that is from the card name Stasis, so it matches their screen name...

    I think you be correct.. Good catch!

Similar Threads

  1. Did I Screw Up?
    By hagfan in forum Mead NewBees - Post your Questions Here
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-18-2012, 11:07 PM
  2. Anyone use screw bottles?
    By keepitlow in forum Mead NewBees - Post your Questions Here
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-09-2010, 05:47 AM
  3. Did I screw up?
    By Alker in forum Mead NewBees - Post your Questions Here
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 05-31-2010, 01:54 AM
  4. Ah more then one screw up?
    By youngmeadman in forum Mead NewBees - Post your Questions Here
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-08-2007, 01:34 AM
  5. Long lag time, or did I screw up?
    By greggdogg in forum Mead NewBees - Post your Questions Here
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 04-04-2007, 08:26 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •