View Full Version : My First Batch ...

02-06-2010, 09:05 PM
Hello All,
I've been trying to find some info, but none of it pertains to the time frame I'm experiencing my problems in. I'm wondering if my Melomel is stuck. I made Papazians Prickly Pear Mead, followed his directions to a T. I used Whitelabs Sherry and Whitelabs Champagne yeasts, one tube of each. I pitched at about 70F. I had a nice vigorous start. And it was bubbling along for the last 2+ months. Now there is almost no kraussen or anything on top of the fermentor. It only bubbles once every 1.5 minutes. A lot of trub has settled to the bottom of the carboy. My stick-on thermometer says that I'm at 66F. I know that I may be obsessing, but has my Yeast pooped out or is this normal?

Any info will put my worried heart to rest. I'm planning on serving this as a special treat at my wedding in Oct.


02-07-2010, 04:59 AM
Most of my meads are well finished within 10 days max, so I'm guessing you're not stuck, just done! Did you take a gravity reading at the start? What's the SG now?

02-07-2010, 05:11 AM
Papazian wrote his book back in the eighties when beer brewers were just discovering mead. He adapted all the common "beer knowledge" in to one place but the mead has not stood still like beer has. Fermenting mead is definitely not the same as brewing beer.

Regardless of the recipe you used, do you have some gravity readings we can work with? You can't even brew beer effectively without gravity measurements. The only true measure of whether you are stuck or not depends on this.

Please detail your recipe and procedure in an easy to read format. Take a look at the Brewlogs forum for some ideas on what works. If we don't know how you got to this point we can only shout out conjecture for you. Give us the details, especially your gravity readings. Time is a variable and NOT a constant. It's not unusual for a high gravity must to be fermented in a week or two or three. You've been at it for over two months now. Give us more info on where you are at, how you got there, etc., and we can probably help.


02-07-2010, 02:37 PM
I would surmise it is merely done with a "noticeable" fermentation right now. As Wildaho said earlier, time is not a constant and without an OG reading, it is difficult to pinpoint what might be going on. If you were referring to Papazian's Prickly Pear Mead from The Joy of Homebrewing, I don't recall him using two different types of yeast for that recipe but that is of no consequence now. My advice is to take a gravity reading and check your recipe to see where it should have started based on ingredients and go from there.

02-10-2010, 03:22 PM
Hey Guys,
First and foremost I'd like to say a big THANK YOU for all the replys!! So I re-read the receipe and Papazian says to rack the mead when it seems like fermentation was close to complete. And he does mention that a flor sherry and champagne yeast work well together. I took a chance and decided to rack it to a secondary. This allowed me to get a gravity reading. I got 1.022 @ 70.2F. The receipe says to expect an FG 02 1.025-1.050, so it looks like I'm there. I forgot to take an OG reading the day I brewed. I do have however a sampling of the must. At this point it's 2+ months old but it has been in my fridge and it's fine tasting, looking, and smelling, so I wondering if I take a reading from it will it be relevant?

In any case I tasted the mead to see how it's progressing and I'm very happy with it! It tastes great, albeit a little "aggressive". But I feel really good about it, and I'm very hopefully about the final product!

Thanks again!!

02-10-2010, 07:06 PM
The gravity won't have changed from two months' storage in your fridge, unless it was open to the air, in which case some of the water may have evaporated. In any event, warm some up to room temp and test it. That'll give you more info about what you started with than you have now.

02-10-2010, 09:49 PM
Well I took your advise and let it warm to room temp. I got 1.130 @ 68.2F. So according to the recipe I'm right on track.Which works out to be around 14.5%. I really appreciate all of your help! I guess I was concerned about it being stuck because Papazian makes it seem like you'd be lucky if it finishes in less than 6 months. He even states that in some cases it can take up to 2 years for this mead to finish and then clear. Any how, as I said, I tasted it and I like what I've got going so far. Whoohoo. I also picked up a copy of the Ken Scramms Compleat Meadmaker. This may be my first, but it's far from my last :p

Thanks again!!