View Full Version : Stuck with a must that won't take

10-14-2005, 11:04 AM
I am trying to make a metheglin using spicing with cloves, nutmeg and cinnamin. but everytime I do I wind up with a must that will not take. My first attempt I thought it was the sulfite but this time I used none. So that leaves the spices. I have put enough nutrient and citric acid to start a bloom in lake erie but I am still not getting results.... Any help here??????



10-14-2005, 11:43 AM

We'll need more info to help you out... Recipe, process followed, SG reading, Temp pitched, type of yeast used... you know, the usual suspects. pH would be helpful too if available.


10-14-2005, 11:50 AM
My spiced used similar spices and had no problem. But I also did not add any acid or nutrient. It started slow due to no nutrient but otherwise it was fine. Maybe the acid? like wrath said, pH would be helpful.

10-14-2005, 12:06 PM
Thanks Ok recipe here goes.

I use 5 pounds orange blossom

two gallons Water. This is a standard dilution I use and never had problems with it.

The one gallon recipe I am adopting called for 4 cloves... I stepped it up by two.

Added two stick cinnamon and and about a half teaspoon of whole nutmeg.

Finally the zest of two orange peels.

The must was boiled. Not sulfited.

And three teaspoons of yeast nutrient added with the yeast this morning.

I don't know the PH because I have no meter. I'll have to get the sg later.. I have to go to work.


10-14-2005, 12:36 PM
What kind of yeast? How old is the yeast and where have you been storing it? What's the temperature like where you are brewing? What did you wash your primary in? Did you get it rinsed thoroughly?

10-14-2005, 09:38 PM
The yeast is Sherry ( 1 envelope). Though I also have another envelope of dry wine ( lalvin) 71b1122. That didn't take either. As for the age of the sherry yeast I just bought it thi morning. As of tonight it still has not taken.

My previous attempt yielded the same results. I finally got so fed up I dumped the batch into gallon jugs and use it to spice juices. I am hoping to avoid that this time. I have even added full plastic lemon to the carboy to try to make the PH more acidic. Thank you for your help thus far.

10-14-2005, 10:14 PM
Did you airate at all? Usually when you boil the must/water, you drive off the oxygen and as aresult you have to airate/mix the cool must very well.The yeasties need the oxygen for replication during the first 3 days.

Hope this helps,

10-14-2005, 10:58 PM
My usual question in these cases: what kind of water did you use? Was it distilled?


10-14-2005, 11:09 PM
I don't think that adding any citrus acid will help.

What temperature was the must when you pitched your yeast?

How did you re-hydrate your yeast?

Flor Sherry yeast is a stronger and higher alcohol tolerant yeast than 71B (18-20% respectively) so adding the 71B won't be of any help unless your other yeast was dead out of the gate.

You mentioned that you added the yeast and nutrient this morning, how exactly did you do that, and are you saying that your must sat overnight before you pitched? If so was it covered?



10-15-2005, 01:21 AM
I was following this thread along and a phrase caught my eye. The phrase being "added full plastic lemon to the carboy". You might want to double check on the ingrediants of the "plastic lemon". The ones around here come REALLY heavy in both K-sorbate and K-metasulfite. The combo will be really hard for any yeast to deal with much less one trying to get started. If this was added as an earlier ingrediant, it might have killed off the yeasts before they could start, hence the dead batch..
just my two cents,

10-15-2005, 03:33 AM

Number one tip for mead making... Patience! It's usually best not to start fiddling with things like the Acid balance... unless you have the equipment to determine if you are in or out of the pH range to start. I agree with hedgehog that adding the plastic lemon probably wasn't a wise decision. If nothing else it's probably going to dominate the flavor of your mead.

My questions at this point mirror Oskaar's, Brewbear's and Lostnbronx.

Aerating the heck out of the mead is vital in the 1st 3 days. Too little oxygen and your yeast don't have the ability to reproduce in quantities needed to compete with wild yeasts and provide you with a healthy active fermentation.

Yeast Hydration is also vital, it is ALWAYS best to follow the manufactures instructions for yeast rehydration. If your must is too hot you'll kill the yeast when you pitch it. If you don't rehydrate your yeast first, pitching it directly in the must could destroy the yeast as it tries to rehydrate, depending on conditions.

Some of the treated city water now uses a type of Chlorine that can't be boiled or easily filtered out. Probably best to use bottled spring water if you're unsure of your water supply.

These tips may not save this batch, but hopefully it helps narrow down where your problems lay, and you can avoid some of these common mistakes in the future.

I do suggest to all new comers, invest in a Hydrometer at minimum and a pH meter if you can afford it... they will help you, and us, isolate where your problems lay. Rehydrate as per directions, with goferm if using dry yeasts (lalvin), aerate the heck out of your mead the 1st 3 days. Fermaid K and DAP, or other nutrients are always a good Idea for straight meads as Honey must is nutrient & nitrogen deficient. And remember Patience!!! It's going to take 6 months for your mead to be drinkable... wait for some sound advice if you run into problems, the more you tinker with it, the harder it becomes for us to help you isolate the source of your troubles.

(I'm not picking on you Drone, it's a common problem... it's called Newcomers Panic, I suffered a mild form of it myself.)


10-16-2005, 10:09 PM
Thanks for the help and the biology lesson folks. The problem was either airation or PH. I siphoned the mead into a new primary after I added the lemons and replaced the yeast at the same time.... Probably not wise but it didn't blow the lock out. Anyway after the weekend its going like hell. I appreciate the advice in trouble shooting this one.

Drink well,