View Full Version : long fermentation

09-26-2012, 08:15 PM
hey all. I started my first cyser (9th mead overall) back in February (2/7/12). It is still showing signs of fermentation. I have searched the forums and other sites and have tried some solutions. I think I am just being impatient but I am still going to ask.

4 gals ziegler's apple cider
12# bakers honey (got a 5 gal bucket for $50)
2 tsp yeast nutrient
1 tsp yeast energizer
3 tsp pectic enzyme
1 gal cold h20


boiled honey with 1 gal apple cider and skimmed scum for 2 mins
added remaining cider and water
used wyeast activator 4184 sweet mead

found out after that cider had 1/10th of 1% of potassium sorbate in it (2 tsp total if my math is correct)

nutrient schedule 2 tsp nutrient 1 tsp energizer @24 hrs
2 tsp nutrient 1 tsp enegizer @ 72 hrs

aerated everyday till signs of fermentation started

2/12 SG 1.100 2/22 SG 1.084 3/2 SG 1.078 added 2 tsp energizer

checked ph was around 4.0 on 3/14 SG 1.062 3/30 SG 1.050
4/23 SG 1.050 pitched KIV1116 rehydrated in honey water added 1 box of chopped raisins for nutrients
5/8 racked SG 1.046 5/22 SG 1.043 6/19 SG 1.032 7/16 SG 1.028
5/20 added 3/4 gal unsweeted apple juice to top up from all the gravity readings SG 1.030
very clear and still has bubbles flowing through it
9/18 racked SG 1.014

just need to know if I am being impatient and should wait. there is still some bubbles in there. just worried that I might lose this batch after waiting so long. thank you in advance for any advice.

09-26-2012, 08:22 PM
As long as it is still going, I wouldn't worry about losing it. Quite a bit of alcohol in there by now to keep the nasties at bay.

The preservative (sorbate) is likely your problem. You've basically got the same amount of yeast that you pitched, rather than having the population increase. That will give you a long, slow ride. Your second yeast pitch probably mostly died on impact, as there was a good dose of alcohol in there at the time. In the future, you should acclimate the yeast to the mead before repitching (you can search for how to do this, it's not that complicated).

09-27-2012, 12:44 AM
What akueck says, +1

I find that particular yeast can be a complete pain. Which has coloured my opinion of so called "mead yeast" and I now, don't bother with them.

After all, as there's nothing written down as to what yeast might have been used in the original (historic) recipes and methods, its almost as if its a sales/marketing exercise to sell what they couldn't isolate for anything else.....possibly wrong, but I find it easier to stick with dry yeasts as they're much more of a known quantity. Plus they have a much higher cell count that liquid yeasts.....

Well that's my tuppence worth anyway.........

09-27-2012, 05:50 PM
thank you very much for your responses.

so basically what I could of done is if I found out that I had the sorbate I could just leave it in the primary so all the yeast is working? If that would be the best way would it give off flavors from the must ? (that is if I could not get anymore yeast to repitch)

I am just wanting to know in case I come across the same problem (knowing myself I might) :laughing11:

09-27-2012, 07:23 PM
If you run across sorbates in the future, you can build up your yeast cell count separately, then pitch a ton of yeast into your sorbated must. Basically you're making a "starter". This way even if the yeast don't reproduce, you've got a lot of them in there. Alternately, you can pitch several packs of yeast instead of just one--this can get pricey though unless you use dry yeast.

09-28-2012, 05:22 PM
Thanks again. I will let you know how it turns out. If it ever does.;)

Chevette Girl
09-29-2012, 01:42 AM
There's another thread (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19383)around here where the member did get a mostly-successful batch using sorbated cider but he had to make a big starter to pitch every time the previous yeast pooped out and fermentation stopped.

09-29-2012, 08:41 AM
I'd call 1.112 to 1.014 with sorbate present very successful, even if it stalls there. Sometimes a long slow fermentation produces very good results.

01-10-2013, 08:50 PM
Well it took about forever but i finally bottled it. It did finish at about 1.001! Not the sweet mead i wanted to get. It did have a hot alcohol taste (about 14.8%). Not fusel alcohol taste had that before. Do you think that might mellow out ? just wondering

Chevette Girl
01-11-2013, 01:27 AM
If this batch was only started in September, then yeah, I would expect it's gonna mellow out some in the next six months to a year.

Congrats on getting a yeast with attitude to actually do its job, AND on a sorbated cider no less!