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Thread: Another stalled ferment

  1. Default Another stalled ferment

    I started my 8th batch of mead on 1/1/15.

    I started by making a decoction of several roots and herbs. Astragulus, fo-ti, echinacea, burdock, eleuthro, saw palmetto berry, star anise, hawthorne berries and nettle leaf. This made a strong tea that I used as a base in which I dissolved my honey. I used only 3/4 tsp of nutrient over each of the first 4 days, because I imagined that the "tea" was going to contribute nutrients and I wouldn't need to add as much.

    Recipe:
    Total batch volume = 5.5 gallons
    OG = 1.120 @ 80 degrees
    Yeast = D47 5 grams activated in 105 deg water for 1/2 hour and producing bubbles
    pH = 4.77

    I kept the ferment intentionally cool, because I have read that it produces a smoother end product. Since D47 is said to have a tolerance down to 50 degrees, I kept it between 58 -62. It started up within a day and a half and was eating the sugars away steadily for the first two weeks during which time I aerated twice a day minimum. After two weeks it was down to 1.084 gravity. Now over the last 3 days, the gravity has not moved and the airlock activity is weak at best. The current pH is 4.65. I just added a Tsp of nutrient and aerated fearing this is the problem. I thought it was OK since I am still just short of the 1/3 break.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default

    If you hadn't fed them before, the nutrients should help. Rarely will a tea have enough nitrogen for fermentation. You might also bring the temp up to about 65F to move them along.

    Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  3. Default

    Thank so much for your feedback.

    They got about 3 Tbs of nutrient in the first few days but nothing since. Since I am at the 1/3 break, any suggestions on when I should stop giving them nutrient if it does indeed rejuvenate them?

    In my previous batches, I usually give 1 good size tsp per day for the first four days in my 5-6 gallon batches. That's slightly less than recommended on the Fermax label. I have had a couple other ferments stall after I thought everything was going great. One was at 1.022, 11% ABV using Cotes de Blanc. I had another batch stall at 8% alcohol (Gravity = 1.054, OG = 1.115) using 71B. That batch also reached a pH of 3.0 at that same time. I added 10g Pot Bicarb to pH ~3.5 and it got to 1.019 over the next 2 weeks.

    Question: Do you think if I used more nutrient (1-1.5 tsp per gallon VS. 3/4 tsp per gallon) I will have more success in getting my traditionals to ferment dry all other things being equal?

  4. #4
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    If using Fermax alone, using about 2 tsp per gallon should help as long as it isn't a high-gravity ferment or a nutrient-hog yeast.

    71B is not going dry from a gravity above 1.105, and I'd keep it a bit lower than that.

    Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  5. Default

    "If using Fermax alone, using about 2 tsp per gallon should help as long as it isn't a high-gravity ferment or a nutrient-hog yeast."


    It's D47 with an OG of 1.120, stuck at 1.084 after two weeks. Kept between 58 and 62 degrees.

  6. #6
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    Do keep in mind that your strong tea could contain some yeast inhibitors.

    Double check your pH and make sure the meter is calibrated

    Warm it up to 65-68 F and give it a good aeration.

    If that doesn't get it going you may need to pitch a different yeast.

    Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  7. #7
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    Default

    How are you checking pH? test strips are wildly inaccurate. Also astragalus+alcohol= BAD for liver function. my .02

  8. Default

    Rachmael, thanks for the heads up. I have not been able to find any contraindications anywhere between astragalus and alcohol, so I am curious about your source. I am using a pH meter - Checker by Hanna. Admittedly, it does need a calibration.

    I repitched a quart starter of K1V this morning accompanied by a vigorous aeration. Temp is up to 64. It does seem to be reactivating, so I have my fingers crossed.

  9. Default

    I raised the temp to ~73 since yesterday. I am getting a bubble every 12 seconds.

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