View Full Version : Salvage Op: Sack Mead Petered Out

04-13-2013, 10:55 AM
(Sorry if this formats funky, I'm copy/pasting from Excel)

Size of Batch (gallons) 5+ gallons
Honey Type : Orange Blossom(1) + Wildflower(2)
Amount Honey#1 Added to Must: 4 quarts
Amount Honey#2 Added to Must: 4 quarts
Amount Water Added to Must: 4 gallons

Yeast Type Lavlin ICV D47 + K1V-1116: 5g each
Expected Yeast Alcohol Tolerance (eABV): 18.00%
Yeast Fermentation Range (Low/High): 59 -68
Temperature of Rehydration H2O: 104
Amount rehydration H2O: 100ml
Go-Ferm Used? How much? Yes 2 tsp
Date of Pitching: 1/15/13
Temperature of Must at Pitching: 62

Original Specific Gravity (OG): 1.145
Expected Final Specific Gravity (FG) : 1.012
Expected Gravity delta (ΔG) : 0.133

1/15/13 1/4 Tsp (FermK) 1/2 Tsp (DAP)
1/16/13 1/4 Tsp (FermK) 1/2 Tsp (DAP)
1/17/13 1/4 Tsp (FermK) 1/2 Tsp (DAP)
1/18/13 1/4 Tsp (FermK) 1/2 Tsp (DAP)
1/21/13 1/4 Tsp (FermK) 1/2 Tsp (DAP)
1/23/13 1/4 Tsp (FermK) 1/2 Tsp (DAP)
2/7/13 1/2 Tsp (FermK) 1/2 Tsp (DAP)
2/22/13 1/2 Tsp (FermK)
3/6/13 1 Tsp SIY-33 (Yeast Hulls)
3/30/13 1 Tsp SIY-33 (Yeast Hulls)

Current SG = 1.032

Ok, so this was my third batch of mead. The attempt was to create a sweet mead without backsweetening. You can tell that by 2/22/13 I was concerned that this batch didnt have enough nutrients, so I added some FermK. After another two weeks I was not pleased with the progress so I added some yeast hulls thinking maybe it's Osmoticly shocked in addition to possible metabolic waste buildup. Up to this point is was still in its primary fermentation bucket.

3/14 (2 months after pitching), by this point the SG was only 1.056 and my graphs had near flatlined plotting the drop and trends. I also noticed a very faint hint o' rotten eggs. I racked the batch into a 5G carboy, making sure to be slashy to offgas some SO2. I made a 900mL starter of KV1-1116 and pitched it on 3/15 hoping it would be able to kick in and ferment this sucker to completion. Also added 2 oz. Rum Soaked American Oak Dark Roast because maybe it would help settle particulates in the must and also why not. From here on out I swirls the carboy every day to keep the yeast suspended.

That brings me to today, almost 3 months after pitch. The SG is currently 1.032, somewhat a little shy than the expected FG of 1.012. Definitely past the 2/3 break. I am about to rack it again as it's been on the Oak a month and I do not want it to over oak. Should I add some FermK after racking in efforts to push it to the finish line? Should I just wait? Should I just forget it and bomb it with Sorbate and K-Meta? The must is still very active with tons of carbonation continuously bubbling up. Thoughts?

Medsen Fey
04-13-2013, 02:35 PM
It is too late for the DAP in Fermaid K to be used by the yeast. You can use Fermaid O or yeast hulls, but keep in mind that nutrients added at the tail end of fermentation are of little value. They need to be added while the yeast are in the growth phase during the first half of fermentation in order to be most effective.

In this fermentation your yeast were undernourished. You SNA provided somewhere around 225 PPM YAN. That's fine for your typical 12% ABV batch, but if making a high-gravity, 18% batch, you'll be happier if you use 350-400+ ppm. If you tripled the amount of Fermaid K you'd be about right.

If you decide you need to repitch, K1V isn't particularly good for restarts. You'll be best served by Uvaferm 43.

04-14-2013, 12:46 PM
I wasn't originally shooting for 18%, that just came with the effect of the repitch, but yeah, this was before I was using YAN calcs.

Odd though about K1...scotts recommends it for restarts (along with Uvaferm and a few others http://www.scottlab.com/uploads/documents/downloads/136/2010RestartStuck.pdf).

Guess I'll rack n pitch again with some Uvaferm in the next few days. Thanks!

Medsen Fey
04-16-2013, 08:05 AM
Odd though about K1...scotts recommends it for restarts (along with Uvaferm and a few others http://www.scottlab.com/uploads/documents/downloads/136/2010RestartStuck.pdf)!

K1V is often recommended for restarts, even by Lallemand. However, if you look at scientific studies comparing restart yeast, K1V doesn't perform nearly as well as some others. I've also had a few batches where I've seen it fail. So I don't recommend K1V for restarts anymore.