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Thread: Problem Mead....maybe stuck

  1. Default Problem Mead....maybe stuck

    Hello All,

    This is my first batch of mead and I think I may be encountering a problem. Here is all my notes.....

    10 lbs of Clover/Wildflower Honey
    3 gal Poland Spring Water
    2 tsp Wyeast Nutrient
    5 g Lalvin EC-1118

    3 Jan 2005
    -Heated 1 gal of water to simmer 10 minutes
    -Heated Honey slightly to ease pouring and added to the pot
    -made sure all the honey was dissolved
    -removed from heat
    -poured must into primary
    -then added 2 gal of water and Wyeast nutrient

    -started yeast as per instructions
    -pitched at 77F
    -aerated
    -SG 1.106
    -closed lid

    Airlock was bubbling away within 24 hours

    Waited.....
    til Jan. 25

    Racked to secondary with a sg of 1.050...temp was 66F

    Waited and waited

    11 April - racking again

    -now my sg is 1.050 at 75F

    This is where I am now

    Would this be considered a stuck fermentation? I still was seeing tiny bubbles in the carboy earlier today, as i have since the beginning....I thought the EC-1118 would have been alot faster than this. So now I am thinkin I messed up somewhere.
    Maybe I just didnt have enough nutrients in it perhaps?...

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Berg



  2. #2
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    Default Re: Problem Mead....maybe stuck

    Without a doubt, it is stalled or stuck whichever terminology you prefer.
    Check PH if you can to make sure no lower than 3.8
    Aerate and Repitch with EC-1118
    It should ferment dry.
    Joe

  3. Default Re: Problem Mead....maybe stuck

    Joe, is 2 tsp nutrient enough for a 5 gallon batch? Should he add some more?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Problem Mead....maybe stuck

    Good point Jeff,

    But Not a 5 gallon batch going by starting SG and honey quanity. It looks like a 4 gallon batch from my reading of recipe but I can't tell. 3 gallon water and a little less than 1 gallon honey. Most likely about 3 to 3 1/2 gallon going by his starting SG.
    EC-1118 should have gone more than 66 points of gravity with 2 tsp but another 1tsp wouldn't hurt in this case. Also I'm not sure what Poland Spring water is...
    If its natural spring water it should have some good natural nutrients in it already like magnesium, calcium, and potassium.

    Joe

  5. #5

    Default Re: Problem Mead....maybe stuck

    Quote Originally Posted by Jmattioli

    Also I'm not sure what Poland Spring water is...
    If its natural spring water it should have some good natural nutrients in it already like magnesium, calcium, and potassium.

    Joe
    This is bottled water from Poland Spring and/or one or two other natural springs found in Maine. It's a good tasting water, but I heard a rumor once that it comes from one of the most polluted areas of the state. There are purity standards with regard to bottled waters, so I doubt contaminants can be involved here. It is possible, nonetheless, that the water is lacking something. A pinch of Epsom Salts might help if all else fails.

    -David

  6. Default Re: Problem Mead....maybe stuck

    When you have a mead that's stuck, and you re-pitch the yeast, and add more nutrients, doesn't this adversely affect the flavor? I've seen instances where more yeast was pitched three times or more trying to get it restarted. Are there ever instances where it just won't restart?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Problem Mead....maybe stuck

    Quote Originally Posted by Sveinne
    When you have a mead that's stuck, and you re-pitch the yeast, and add more nutrients, doesn't this adversely affect the flavor? I've seen instances where more yeast was pitched three times or more trying to get it restarted. Are there ever instances where it just won't restart?
    Too much nutrients does adversely affect the flavor.

    If the PH is in range AND there is not excessive residual sugar AND the alcohol tolerance of the yeast has not been exceeded AND there is no other chemical or bacteria present that would inhibit yeast life AND the temperature and enviornment is adequate for yeast life AND there is oxygen present and nutrients available for the yeast, fermentation WILL restart in all cases that I am aware of.

    A pinch of epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) as lostinbronx mentioned is always a good idea in my experience.


    Joe

  8. Default Re: Problem Mead....maybe stuck

    Thank you Joe. I hope I didn't ruin a five-gallon batch with more nutrients.
    It tasted delicious at one month when I racked it, but it had stopped working at 7.5% ABV. Unfortunately all I had was a packet of D-47, so I pitched that with the nutrient and about a pound more of honey. After 4 days it's still not working. Maybe a bloop every minute.


  9. Default Re: Problem Mead....maybe stuck

    Hello all,

    ...and thank you for the replies. I apologize for my slow response.

    My batch size is indeed 3 gal. though I did initially use a bit too much water. I'm very new at this and still have to learn that my primary is way bigger than my secondary.

    The scoop.....

    ...after getting myself to the homebrew shop, finally, and picking up a pH test kit, I found my pH was only 3.0.

    (I hope I'm on the right track here, please let me know) I added 2 1/2 tsps of a citric, malic, and tartaric acid blend which brought my pH up to 4.0 before repitching my EC-1118.

    What would cause the must to have bubbles in it, if it wasnt fermenting?

    Thanks again,

    Berg




  10. #10

    Default Re: Problem Mead....maybe stuck

    That would be the CO2 already present in it that's attempting to escape or degas

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Problem Mead....maybe stuck

    Quote Originally Posted by Berg
    Hello all,

    ...and thank you for the replies. I apologize for my slow response.

    My batch size is indeed 3 gal. though I did initially use a bit too much water. I'm very new at this and still have to learn that my primary is way bigger than my secondary.

    The scoop.....

    ...after getting myself to the homebrew shop, finally, and picking up a pH test kit, I found my pH was only 3.0.

    (I hope I'm on the right track here, please let me know) I added 2 1/2 tsps of a citric, malic, and tartaric acid blend which brought my pH up to 4.0 before repitching my EC-1118.

    What would cause the must to have bubbles in it, if it wasnt fermenting?

    Thanks again,

    Berg
    Berg,
    Sounds like you added acid. Acid should have brought down your PH to a lower number, not higher. Carbonate would have brought it up. Hope its just a typo on your part or a senior moment on mine.

    Joe

  12. Default Re: Problem Mead....maybe stuck

    I did indeed make the mistake of adding acid to increase the pH, having my notes written backwards on lowering and raising pH. Those test strips are so inaccurate that I actually saw the pH as going up....I'll have to remember to thro those in the garbage and buy a real pH tester.

    I appreciate all the help. I fear this batch is going downhill fast, but I'm gonna try to add some carbonate and repitch, just to see what happens.

    Berg

  13. Default Re: Problem Mead....maybe stuck

    I have to say that Joe is right about additional nutrients adversely affecting the taste. I hope that the added yeast eat the added nutrients. What a difference in the taste before and after adding additional nutrients! Not good.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Problem Mead....maybe stuck

    Quote Originally Posted by Berg
    I appreciate all the help. I fear this batch is going downhill fast, but I'm gonna try to add some carbonate and repitch, just to see what happens.
    Be careful not to add too much carbonate. That can also do bad things to the flavor profile.

    <><><><><><><><><><>
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    Dan McFeeley

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    (The people's spirit is raised through culture)

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