View Full Version : Stuck Fermentation

10-05-2003, 08:45 PM
My mead stopped fermenting. It's only been in the primary fermenter for 4 months. So i racked it to a carboy in hopes that it would start again. Then i tried the 'chill it for a while' method. That didn't work either. Could it be needing more nutrients?



10-06-2003, 10:50 AM
Is it possible that fermentation has already ended? How does it taste? If it's still sweet, yes fermentation is stuck. Otherwise, you might be ready for bottling.

10-06-2003, 08:54 PM
Just tasted it... It definatly is not sweet. Which is kinda dissapointing. I was wanting it to be a bit more sweet. It was dry and slightly bitter but the bitterness wasn't that bad. BTW this is a Dewberry mead. Got any ideas to make it a bit more sweet?

10-07-2003, 10:58 AM
If you really want it to be a sweet mead, you might want to add honey at the time of bottling, but also add the stuff from the home brew shop which kills off all yeast.

BTW, what is "dewberry"?

10-07-2003, 10:48 PM
Dewberry is what us southerners call a wild blackberry.

I don't want to kill the yeast i was hoping for a sparkling mead.

BTW... there is lots of James' here.

10-08-2003, 08:44 AM
If you want a sparkling mead, you can add honey (just a drop) at time of bottling without any yeast killer. Wait about a month, and the yeast will eat up the last little bit of honey and produce CO2 as a byproduct, thus causing carbonation. However, if you also want it to be sweet, ask at your home brew shop for some kind of glucose sugar which yeast will not ferment. Add this.

I find the people at these home brew shops can offer loads of good advice.

PS. I'm the same James, just too lazy to sign in.

Mike Faul
10-11-2003, 06:57 PM
What is the specific gravity reading of the mead now? What was the starting gravity?

It is possible that fermentation has stopped. this is especially true if it is not sweet at all. You can sweeten it now if it is finished fermenting, in fact you are proabbly better off allowing a ferment to finish, clear it and then sweetening to taste, add 2-3% more honey on top of that, make a yeast starter and add a tsp of that to each bottle. Make sure you use Champagne bottles,. Fill as normal and stopper, or cap the bottles and then let them sit somewhere cool. Kep an eye on them and see if there is any sediment dropping. If so you will havge a sparkling mead. If not simply wait longer. It may or may not re-ferment but thats life.

Let me digress a bit.

There are ways to make a fermentation go to completion in under 10 days even for meads where there are enough sugars to ferment to 14% abv +-

It's all about controlling three things;

1. Temperature
2. Yeast growth
3. Nutrition for the yeast.

#1 may be difficult for the home mead maker but it is possible to maintain a constant fermentation temperature if one is ingenious and has some spare equipment around.

#2 and #3 are easily done and you should experiment with different combinations of yeasts, nutrients and honey:water mixes.

Once you find a combination that will do what you want to do then document it, repeat it to see if it works then refine it.

In my Meadery, Rabbit's Foot Meadery, I ferment all of my meads in under two weeks. That includes those that are fermented to 17-18% abv then it's all about the aging. How long, in what type of container and the treatment of that container.
You can find a document I wrote on making mead on this site as well as my own. It explains some of this in more detail.


10-18-2003, 12:20 AM
I would sweeten to taste, using honey of course. Prevent refermentation by adding potassium sorbate (or equivalent) and force carbonate using a keg system. Filling bottles is a snap using a counterflow bottle filler. Many will argue that there is difference it the bubbles of a naturally carbonated and artficial carbonated beverage. Due to the long condition time meads require to mature, most would be hard pressed to tell the difference.