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Thread: Stuck in honey...

  1. Default Stuck in honey...

    Mead stuck at 1.030.

    OG was 1.130 (high I know).

    Just honey, water, nutrient and yeast.

    6 gallon batch, used two packs of ec-1118 rehydrated in a cup full of must till they were bubbling in the cup and it proceeded well until it hit the 1.040 mark and it slowed down.

    Tried using some of the 1.030 must to start another pack of ec1118, it seemed to bubble well and then I introduced it back to the must.

    Some activity but poor in comparison to the original start.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2

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    Did you put dry yeast into your must to hydrate? If so, that's a very bad way to go as it wounds the yeast causing them to struggle in your ferment. You need to hydrate in water /goferm and nothing else. If no Goferm at least hydrate them in water before tossing them into the must.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatchy View Post
    Did you put dry yeast into your must to hydrate? If so, that's a very bad way to go as it wounds the yeast causing them to struggle in your ferment. You need to hydrate in water /goferm and nothing else. If no Goferm at least hydrate them in water before tossing them into the must.
    For both the initial pitch and the repitch, I rehydrated the yeast in a cup of the must they were destined for and then when activity seemed good in the cup I poured it back into the fermenter.

    Has me stumped, I'll have to get a new tip for my digital pH meter but I've never had a problem with pH before, even when adding citric acid in the form of fruit, etc.

  4. #4

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    Ph is also critical but I was referring to your rehydration protocol. If you add the dry yeast to your must it handicaps the yeast. It is best to rehydrate the yeast in Goferm, (look it up). If you don't want to do that then rehydrate in 104 degree water. Lastly the temperature between your must and rehydrated yeast needs to be within 10 degrees of each other or they (the yeast) will suffer temperature shock. I add must, (a little at a time. About 1/4 the amount) to the yeast to acclimate the yeast to your must temps. Little by little, every 5 minutes or so, until the temps are the same. Then I pitch.

    The cell walls are unable to distinguish the good from the harmful ingredients in the must until after the cell walls are established. So, when you toss dry yeast into the must it allows everything into the cell, damaging the cell. Once the cell wall is established it then has their ability to regulate what can pass (or not pass) through the cell walls. Are your temps close to the middle of the tolerable temps for that yeast? If it's pretty cold you might find they perk up if you move your Mead into a warmer environment. I looked at your log and there is no mention of K2co3 added. Your Ph may have dropped too low and caused the stall. That yeast is pretty hardy. I'm thinking the temps or the Ph factor is most likely the culprit.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatchy View Post
    Ph is also critical but I was referring to your rehydration protocol. If you add the dry yeast to your must it handicaps the yeast. It is best to rehydrate the yeast in Goferm, (look it up). If you don't want to do that then rehydrate in 104 degree water. Lastly the temperature between your must and rehydrated yeast needs to be within 10 degrees of each other or they (the yeast) will suffer temperature shock. I add must, (a little at a time. About 1/4 the amount) to the yeast to acclimate the yeast to your must temps. Little by little, every 5 minutes or so, until the temps are the same. Then I pitch.

    The cell walls are unable to distinguish the good from the harmful ingredients in the must until after the cell walls are established. So, when you toss dry yeast into the must it allows everything into the cell, damaging the cell. Once the cell wall is established it then has their ability to regulate what can pass (or not pass) through the cell walls. Are your temps close to the middle of the tolerable temps for that yeast? If it's pretty cold you might find they perk up if you move your Mead into a warmer environment. I looked at your log and there is no mention of K2co3 added. Your Ph may have dropped too low and caused the stall. That yeast is pretty hardy. I'm thinking the temps or the Ph factor is most likely the culprit.
    I think drinking too much of one batch was messing up the production of another.

    Ok, I'll rehydrate another pack of yeast in warm water tomorrow and gradually introduce must to the water/yeast combo.

    How long you reckon in just the straight water before the must introductions start?

  6. #6

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    I have read the difference is within a few seconds. Maybe wait 10 minutes between the fresh rehydro and then start adding the must in small doses until your temps are within 10 degrees. I have read that to nurse along a stuck batch that you may choose to add incremental doses of your must to the new batch until the bigger part of your stuck batch has been added to the new start. Apparently the Lalvin web site is down right now. That is where I read the nursing info in the above.

    Let us know how things work out
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Any time I'm trying to restart something that's already got alcohol in it, I do an acclimated starter L follow rehydration directions on the packet (which I think is 1/4 cup water for 15 minutes for Lalvin yeasts) then after the correct amount of time has elapsed, double the volume by adding 1/4 cup of the must. Wait till you see signs of activity (20 min to an hour or so) then double the volume again by adding 1/2 cup must. When you see it being active again (every half hour to two hours) double it again. When you've got around 1/4 of the batch's total volume, then pitch it into the full batch. I usually do a litre for a gallon batch, a gallon for a 5 gallon batch. This introduces the yeast a little more gently to the alcholoic environment so they're more likely to get the job done. Squatchy did a good job outlining the problems with rehydrating yeast in your must, whether it's alcoholc from a previous fermentation or just your unfermented sugar. This method is also a better way to get your yeast a good start if you're trying to start with a SG over about 1.120, as a high-sugar solution can actually pull water OUT of your yeast instead of hydrating it.

    And pH when using just honey is a bit different from using fruit's acidity, if there's fruit in the must it offers a bit of buffering to keep the pH from dropping too quickly, it's when you use straight lemon juice or acid blend with a honey must that you can have problems with pH. Also the must tends to acidify as fermentation progresses so it's best to keep an eye on it if you can.

    In my experiences with that yeast, dry pitch or simple rehydration, using nutrients but not energizer, and a start over 1.125, I don't expect much more of a drop than you got. It's easier on your yeast if you start your SG a little lower and then add more honey later on (once it's dropped below 1.000 or any arbitrary sweetness threshhold you pick) if you want it stronger or sweeter.
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
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  8. #8
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    If you want to restart something that stalled with EC-1118, you need to correct the problems (pH, aeration, temp, nutrients, yeast toxins) and you probably need Uvaferm 43 or one of the encapsulated restart yeast.

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

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