View Full Version : Stalled fermentation

01-05-2015, 07:33 PM
I am making my first mead. I started it over 3 months ago using 14 lb natural wildflower honey, 5 gallons water, Wyeasr sweet mead yeast plus 3 tbs yeast nutrient. Initial Gravity was about 1.100. 2 months in the gravity dropped to 1.095, I added another tbsp nutrient. One month later the gravity is about the same. Should I just be patient, or is there something I can do to kick start it?

01-05-2015, 08:04 PM
Maybe I have just been lucky but the only time I have ever had a problem with fermentation not taking off was because of old yeast. I always make a yeast starter and go from there. I am not big into mead making (mostly wine) but a good yeast starter might help.

What temperature do you have it at?

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Medsen Fey
01-05-2015, 08:50 PM
Welcome to GotMead Marc!

Unfortunately, your mead is stuck.
The Wyeast sweet mead strain is notorious for doing this to new mead-crafters. It is almost a rite of passage. The yeast needs careful pH and temperature management and can be a real pain. If it is cold, like in the 60's, you can try warming it up to room temp. If you can't check the pH, you can add a couple of tsp of potassium bicarb and see if things work. If that doesn't get it into gear, get another yeast - I'd suggest EC-1118 (or Red Star's Premier Cuvee). Rehydrate that yeast in 50-100 cc of 104 degree F water, and after 15 minutes add an equal amount of your stuck must. Wait until you see it start bubbling good - could take minutes to hours, and then add must to double the volume again. Repeat until you have greater than 1 liter of bubbling acclimated starter, then pitch this in and aerate the must well. That should do the trick.

Endeavor to persevere!


01-06-2015, 02:18 PM
It's currently at about 65 degrees. The yeast was active initially. The airlock bubbled, though very slowly. It seemed like a few bubbles a day. Much different than I'm used to with beer. The gravity dropped slowly over 4-6 weeks, but over the last month i don't think much is happening.

01-06-2015, 06:03 PM
As far as temp, mid 60's is room temperature (winter in Maine). I can check the pH; what is the target pH? If that doesn't work I'll try your yeast suggestion. Thanks for the assistance.

01-06-2015, 06:10 PM
I am not really a fan of putting a cover and air lock on at the beginning. I am not saying it would have made any difference in your case but I just keep a cloth over the top of the bucket and stir vigorously the first few days to keep some oxygen in the must and to keep the yeast suspended.

01-13-2015, 04:03 AM
Forget what you know about brewing beer..... most of it will not apply to mead. However, you clearly DO have the patience for mead... waiting 2 months for fermentation to start is rather even more than even Chevette Girl would advise....

Have you repitched yeast? Is it fermenting?

Welcome to GoteEad !!

01-13-2015, 07:09 AM
It seems that the mead is at the very minimum temperature for fermentation. Unless you have a way to calculate the exact temp of the must I suspect that the must is very possibly below the required range. The wyeast site suggests 65-75F. "About 65F" doesn't sound too good. I'd try getting it warmer somehow. Maybe move the must to some place warmer in the house. I'd personally go above 70F to be able to eliminate temperature as a stalling factor

Medsen Fey
01-13-2015, 11:49 PM
Yes, warming up over 70F may help. Ideal pH is about 3.6