View Full Version : OK, I'm a dummy

10-02-2006, 09:39 AM
Every day another lesson learned.

Yesterday I took some old mead yeast out of the refrigerator, prepared starters, and set them aside. I had two packs of liquid yeast, Vintner's Reserve, one labelled "Sweet Mead" and one labelled "Dry Mead." I figured this would be a good chance to do a side by side comparison of how the different yeasts came out, especially if I kept everything else constant. My yeast was actually pretty old but I have kept it in the refrigerator and I assumed it was still good.

Then I opened my new 5 gallon pail of honey and started carefully measuring out globs of honey. I borrowed a really crappy kitchen scale that didn't seem too accurate, but I hoped it would do the trick. I put 15# of raw clover honey into each of two buckets, topped them up to 5 gallons with 100 degree water, stirred madly until the honey was all dissolved, then went to bed.

This morning both buckets are at 68 degrees. They hydrometer readings (checked each one three times ) are a little different --- one is 1.120 and one is 1.130. Guesss I didn't measure quite so perfectly. But, worse, my yeast starters are showing ZERO activity. Nothing. I guesss they were just too old.

So, now I have a choice -- leave the buckets as-is for the rest of today and all of tomorrow, because my local brew store is closed today and I won't be able to get more yeast there until tomorrow night, or drive an hour each way to the next closest store.

I didn't boil the honey, and it was raw, with lots of wax chunks, pollen, and other stuff floating on top when I opened it. Think it is safe to let it sit without yeast for another 35 hours? Or should I panic and take a road trip?

And, obviously, next time I'll both use fresher yeast, as well as start my starters a day earlier.

10-02-2006, 01:42 PM
Add some sulfites and you should be ok.