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Thread: Failure to Start

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    NW Florida
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    10

    Default Failure to Start

    I started a BOMM 6 May.
    Trader Joe's Mostly Mesquite & Abbeye yeast.
    Rehydrated with GoFerm.
    Fermaid O & K added at pitch (no K2CO3 on hand).
    Starting Gravity measured 1.093.
    Oxygen added with 0.5-micron stone.
    Repeated O2 every 12 hrs.

    There has been no visible fermentation activity.
    Today, gravity measures 1.100 (how does it go up?).

    Have I killed my yeast?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Pretoria, South Africa
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    Default

    Temperatures with rehydration and pitch? If the gravity goes up, it means you either are reading the hydrometer wrong, or you didn't mix the honey and water properly in the first place.

    What volumes/weights did you use?

  3. #3

    Default

    The K2CO3 can be critical with BOMMs, I've had ferments crawl or stall because of ph, only to come alive when buffered. Check your ph or find some potassium carbonate or bicarbonate if you can.

    How many grams of yeast did you use, and yes, how large of a batch?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
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    638

    Default Temperature can have a small effect.

    A decrease in must temperature will cause the S.G. to rise, but not nearly to the extent that you describe. For example, if the must is 78 degrees Fahrenheit when mixed and decreases to 60 degrees (assuming no fermentation), the S.G. will increase by about 0.002. S.G.'s should be normalized to a standard temperature, typically 60 degrees for most hydrometers, to get accurate ABV measurements. Consult the documentation that came with your hydrometer for its calibration temperature and correction factors.

    I have to agree with Toxxyc's assessment.
    Age improves with mead, even more than mead improves with age.

  5. #5

    Default

    In case you didn't boil / thermal or sugar shock your yeast by accident: my current batch (cyser with green apple juice) showed no activity after 24h, but had some thick-ish fluffy deposit on the bottom, so I thought I failed and aerated some more and added more yeast; at 48h there was a little bubbling and it took off like a rocket in the 3rd day; this was the longest lag phase I've seen so far (my previous meads started bubbling after 4-8h), and the first time I've used a stainless air stone, so I'm guessing it was due to better oxygenation; this might be your case as well, especially since you kept giving it oxygen every 12h.

    Maybe leave it alone for another day or two, and then try pitching more yeast if it still doesn't start. Also, give the must a taste, you'll feel it if it's overly acidic.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    10

    Default

    It is a 1-gal batch, 5-g packet of Abbeye.
    Rehydrated at about 100-F.
    No boil, just a little warming bath to loosen up and stir the partially crystalized honey.
    Room temp hangs around 69-70 - F.

    And, of course, as soon as I asked the question, the must made me look silly.
    it was bubbling slowly this morning (0500), and happily this evening at 1800 when I arrived home from work.
    Gravity was down to 1.88.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Ottawa, ON
    Posts
    8,353

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Neal View Post
    And, of course, as soon as I asked the question, the must made me look silly.
    Glad it finally got going, and don't sweat it, children and musts will both take every opportunity to embarrass you
    "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

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by PitBull View Post
    A decrease in must temperature will cause the S.G. to rise, but not nearly to the extent that you describe. For example, if the must is 78 degrees Fahrenheit when mixed and decreases to 60 degrees (assuming no fermentation), the S.G. will increase by about 0.002. S.G.'s should be normalized to a standard temperature, typically 60 degrees for most hydrometers, to get accurate ABV measurements. Consult the documentation that came with your hydrometer for its calibration temperature and correction factors.

    I have to agree with Toxxyc's assessment.
    That is such a small fraction out hydrometers can't even show us such a small demarcation. Totally useless in my estimation.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

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