View Full Version : slow starting mead

06-08-2008, 03:48 AM
hi, i may be a little hasty posting this as a problem, but just wanna check i've not made some mistake with my lastest mead!

here's what i did.....

set up four 5 litre batches each containing 1600g honey and 2 teaspoons yeast nutrient - sg's all around 1.1
one batch, i added the rind of 2 lemons and a chunk of chopped ginger
the other three i left plain as i intend to rack onto fruit to flavour them
grew up gv10 yeast in a starter culture for a few hours in 250ml honey / water - they were bubbling nicely
added an estimated 1/4 of the yeast to each batch

so my problem is, having left them overnight, that only the batch with the lemon and ginger is showing much activity - that one is bubbling as i would expect. another two are just starting to show that there's gas coming through the airlock (pressure on the liquid, no bubbles seen yet, unless given a swirl) but nothing to write home about and the fourth really isn't doing much.

what do you guys reckon? does it sound like i didn't distribute the yeast well enough between batches? was i trying to stretch my initial yeast to too many batches? i don't have a way of checking ph but could that be a problem.....i'm assuming lemon rind would decrease the ph, maybe the others want some acidity?

or maybe i'm not being patient enough?! :tool:

i'd really appreciate any comments!

Medsen Fey
06-08-2008, 08:37 AM
Hello spoonfed05,

I think if you give them a bit more time, they should get going stronger - at what temperature are you fermenting? Also, it will help them if you aerate each batch for the first couple of days to give the yeast some oxygen. I would avoid adding any acid to the must as this may slow you down - traditional meads sometimes drop their pH down very quickly which can cause the yeast to stall. Adding acid may exacerbate this tendency.

I hope they turn out great!

Yo momma
06-08-2008, 08:57 AM
I agree with Medsen. Patience is the best thing for you now. It takes time to grow your yeast whe you spread it out like that. The population is small and the must procreate to get a fast fermentation going. Hence the more yeast at the beginning, the more population, the more yeasties to eat the sugars and the faster you will see action. Aerating the must a few times a day at the begining will give your yeast a stronger cell wall and a healthy yeast is a happy yeast. It also helps if you post your recipe like this http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=412&topic=6608.0 one so more seasoned vets can help you better.

06-08-2008, 11:15 AM
cheers guys - i'll monitor them over the next few days....as i say there is a bit of activity already so hopefully they'll pick up.

i've got them going at room temp, probably 20-21C. thinking about it, the one that's going the fastest right now was possibly a degree or two warmer when i inoculated the mead - could that make much difference....cooincidence i guess?

btw what's the ideal temperature for mead? i've always done it at room temp, but is it worth trying to find a slightly warmer location for it?

06-08-2008, 11:25 AM
lol...ok they're alive. just 'aerated' one of the slower ones by giving it a good swirl and it blew the top off the airlock....mead everywhere.....didn't lose a huge amount fortunately!

i take it swirling is not an approved aeration method?!

06-08-2008, 12:23 PM
Use a long plastic spoon (available at most home brew/winemaking stores and everywhere on W3) sanitize it and whip the cr@p out of the fermenting must. Start SLOWLY as this will spark rapid degassing of the must and may explode out of your vessels. Swirling is great for resuspending your yeast, but, not so great for aeration.



Medsen Fey
06-08-2008, 12:29 PM
Using Antifoam Drops (http://www.eckraus.com/INSTANT_ANTI/Page_1/FM210.html) can prevent those eruptions of mead and are well worth using so that you can minimize the headspace you have to leave in a bucket or carboy allowing you to produce the most mead possible.

Congratulations on getting your batches off to a roaring start! :D