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  1. Default First Batch Question: Static Bubbles

    Hi,

    So this past Sunday (8/12) I decided to finally start my first batch of Mead. I had all my equipment to make 1 gallon of mead. So I followed instructions as best I could and everything seems to be working. Except its now the 3rd day and there is now "bubbling". There are bubbles in the airlock, but they are small and just hug the surface of the airlock and don't move. the day after I started I opened up my bucket because I read you should aerate it a little, so I did that making sure to take precautions against contamination.

    When I opened my fermentation bucket everything looked fine. There is a nice layer of form in the surface, no discoloration, and it smells like beer for lack of a better term. I put the lid back on making sure it was sealed all around and double checked the airlock. But it's starting to worry me that I may have done something wrong. But maybe its just taking a long time to start?

    Unfortunately I didn't know to take a BRIX measurement before I sealed it up, I only took a ABV prediction and was around 12%. I'm thinking I may not have got my yeast going properly, if that is the case should I reactivate some more and add it in? Or is this batch possibly unsalvageable? Any help is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    721

    Default

    Buckets are notorious for not sealing perfectly, so it's not uncommon for a fermenting batch to not cause airlock bubbles. Use hydrometer readings to determine what's going on.

    Also, sometimes it can take days for the yeast to really get going - I have had some really stubborn batches take 3 or 4 days. This usually means that the yeast population was impeded in some way at the start. Dud packs of yeast *do* happen, of course, and if it sits too long without an active yeast, odds are that something will take up residence. Which can sometimes work out (wild yeast), but not consistently.

    Don't get too stressed about contamination - sanitize everything that touches the must, and don't let your dog swim in it, but mead is pretty infection resistant compared to, say beer.

    Most of us here use specific gravity to track progress - that's the number on your hydrometer that looks like 1.010. It should go down each time you check if there's active fermentation. That "ABV potential" number is also going to go down as your potential turns into actual alcohol.

    You can get more detailed advice if you include things like your recipe, how you handled your yeast (was it a smack pack, did you re-hydrate it with go-ferm, just toss in the packet of dry yeast, etc.), what temperature you used and things like that.

    It's almost certainly salvageable, and possibly even fine.

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