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  1. Default

    Hi,

    Last wednesday I added the yeast nutrient and after two days at least bubble rate increased, about 7 seconds per bubble. Last saturday I measured s.g., it was about 1058.

    Medsen I think you're right, I didn't realize that pH could be lower than 3.8... Last saturday I did another reading and it looks like the color is (slightly) lighter than the color that corresponds to pH 3.8 so I expect that pH of my mead is little lower than 3.8.

    My questions:

    * should I just buy and add some calcium carbonate to see if it helps, or is a pH that is (slightly?) lower than 3.8 just okay?

    * should I do another s.g. reading to see how fast it drops to get an indication of fermentation speed? (I'm always a bit afraid that by measuring gravity I introduce the risk of oxidation)

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by j.postema; 12-09-2008 at 08:55 AM.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by j.postema View Post
    * should I just buy and add some calcium carbonate to see if it helps, or is a pH that is (slightly?) lower than 3.8 just okay?

    * should I do another s.g. reading to see how fast it drops to get an indication of fermentation speed? (I'm always a bit afraid that by measuring gravity I introduce the risk of oxidation)
    A pH a little lower than 3.8 is fine for yeast. If it is a lot lower (< 3.0) it can stall the yeast. I would suggest getting a pH meter and calibration solution to get a reading before adding carbonates just to be sure it is an issue. If you are stuck though, you could add 1 or 2 grams just to see if it helps without doing great harm.

    You should do another gravity reading to check your progress, but something is not working well because this fermentation is 3 weeks old and barely half completed. You do not have to worry much about oxidation while fermentation is going on. The activity of the yeast provides reductive power, and the CO2 produced keeps the exposure relatively low.

    I hope it will finish soon.

    Medsen
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  3. Default

    Hi Medsen,

    a digital pH meter is rather expensive as I'm new to this hobby... I think I'll just buy some calcium carbonate and add a small amount to see if that helps.

    I did some sg readings, three days ago gravity was 1052, today it is 1044. Just another question: could temperature be a cause? During the day temperature is about 68 (F), during the night it drops to about 60 (F).

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Woodridge, IL
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    Default

    For the record, you can actually get them pretty cheap on ebay. I just got one for $50 (including shipping), and that was for a good waterproof median range one. I'm seeing your no frills basic one for $15-$20.

  5. #25

    Default

    ::Removed comments about pH test strips::

    Sorry, folks. I missed that pH strips had already been used and relatively narrow range ones at that. I promise I'll start reading the whole thread before I put in my $0.02 next time.
    Last edited by osluder; 12-13-2008 at 02:31 PM.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    The Fusel Shack, in the swamp west of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by j.postema View Post
    I did some sg readings, three days ago gravity was 1052, today it is 1044. Just another question: could temperature be a cause? During the day temperature is about 68 (F), during the night it drops to about 60 (F).
    It depends on the yeast - there are some that don't like temps of 60F, but without knowing the specifics of your yeast it is hard to say. If you can keep it in a location where the temp stays closer to 70, it may speed things along.

    Your fermentation seems to be plugging along, albeit a bit slow. I don't think I would be adding carbonates without knowing for sure where the pH is as long as it continues to go. If it stalls, I'd try some in desperation.
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  7. Default

    Hi all,

    I still have to buy a pH meter, but it seems that last week the problem was solved! There is a steady fermentation activity and today I had to rack the mead as there was a lot of sediment at the bottom. I started a third mead, I used 2 packages of grapefruit from the supermarket together with wild flower honey. Again I had start-up problems as after four days there was still no fermentation activity. I did add yeast nutrients (which I bought at the store) but I was not sure if it contains nitrogen so I added some raisins. After 1 day there was suddenly a lot of fermentation activity! So maybe it is the combination raisins (nitrogen) and the nutrient package that starts fermentation?

    The only problem was that after racking there was still some mead at the bottom, about 10 to 15 mm, and when I tried to suck the siphon to start it again, the mead got "cloudy", so I have trown away the mead / yeast.

    Although it is a small carboy (about 1 gallon), I still have the feeling that I wasted some of my mead... My dad advised me to use coffee-filters (paper) to filter this residue, but I was not sure if the filter could infuence the taste of the mead and as I was afraid of oxydation I just trew away the residue.

    Are there any techniques to get as much mead as possible when racking?

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by j.postema View Post
    Are there any techniques to get as much mead as possible when racking?
    I have been considering the ported Better Bottle with a racking arm attachment.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Birmingham, Alabama
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    Quote Originally Posted by j.postema View Post
    Are there any techniques to get as much mead as possible when racking?
    If it is a significant quantity you might want to transfer it to a smaller bottle and decant it...I do this, but usually end up drinking the decanted liquid
    Vino,
    The only thing slower than the hand of a clock...is a bubbling airlock!

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by osluder View Post
    I have been considering the ported Better Bottle with a racking arm attachment.
    This is something that better bottles don't help too much with. I have used them with the racking arm, but find that it doesn't help you get less sediment (though it may reduce oxygen exposure). Better bottles (being very thin) jiggle and shake like an overweight burlesque queen, and attempting to move the arm around will frequently stirs up more sediment. I won't be buying the ones with the racking arm in the future.

    It you have a kinder, gentler touch YMMV.
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  11. #31

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Medsen Fey View Post
    Better bottles (being very thin) jiggle and shake like an overweight burlesque queen, ...
    Thanks, good to know and delightfully graphic. I wonder if the 3 gallon ones are more stable? I believe they are square in profile rather than circular.

    -- Olen

  12. Default

    Hi,

    I checked the stores here but it seems this product isn't sold here at all... There are similar plasic carboys with tap sold here but I think I'll just buy a new "auto" siphon as with the old one I have to suck with my mouth which is not practical and clean...

    By the way, I measured gravity of the mead and it was 1020, in my opinion it tasted too sweet so I will let it ferment further.
    Last edited by j.postema; 12-27-2008 at 06:23 AM.

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