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  1. #1

    Default Stalled fermentation or very good fermentation?

    Hello all,

    This is my first batch and I am not sure if it went really good, or really bad

    I went through about half of youtube videos avaliable on the mead topic, got interested, read a lot about it (from this site as well) and this is what I did...

    Ingredients:

    Wildflower Honey (springflowers) - 1.64kg - about 3.5 pounds
    Water - 4.5l - 1 Imp Gallon
    Youngs yeast nt./DAP - 1 tsp
    Lalvin EC -1118
    SG: 1,108-1,111 (according to got mead calculator) Hydrometer on the way*
    All equipment sterilized with no rinse cleaner


    *Most of the brewing equipment is not easy to aquire here and you have to wait 4-5 weeks to get it delivered or travel 150 miles to get it. I read up about the yeast that I just got delivered and wanted to start because of the great temperature conditions. The honey I got is from a local beekeeper and got a great quality seal at the local mead fair.

    Process (so far):

    Kept yeast under the specified temperature and after aclimating pitched into the container. Must was shaken vigourously both in carboid and when cleaning out the jars. The mistake I believe I made is that I rehidrated the yeast in 250ml (8.5 ounces) of water and with the entire teaspoon of the youngs nutrient. Got some activity in there and pitched. So I am not sure if that was too much to put in the yeast hydration phase. Although the fermentation was really clean from start on (has some foam on top maybe first 3 days, after that just a small layer of fine bubbles).
    -8. September - start of the fermentation - It took some 6 hours but it started very strong after that.
    -9th: I added a small nub of chopped ginger bud and maybe 10-15 mint leaves (ginger still in mead- mint removed after 24h)
    11th: fermentation going well, it was releasing a lot of CO2 and I degased it the third time (read: stirred the top of the caboid with a long plastic chopstick). Also took a glass of the must and aerated it with the small latte maker thingy, did that for 5-10 minutes then poured the glass back in.
    12th: Same process as on the 11th, ambient on all days is ~22C (71F) and must is ~24C (75F). Fermentation seems like slowing down and I discover that my airlock may be leaking. After replacing it airlock happily bubbling away again.
    14th: It seems even my new cork is leaky (looks like pressed low grade natural cork), fermentation now much slower.
    17th: Airlock water visibly under pressure, but not bubbling, weak carbonation/ fermentation signs in the must. Added about 10 dried cranberries to the must for additional nutrition and shook it up a bit.
    19th: Brew looks the same. Managed to find a long and thin enough stirrer to fit into the carboid. Stirred the must up and made the sediment rise from the bottom.
    21st: Barely visible signs of fermetnation, water level in airlock still under some pressure. Shook up the container a bit stronger, upper layer of sediment rose up.

    The brew has a strong alcohol smell to it, so it fermented to some degree. I will know more when I get the hydrometer delivered, but for now, some thoughts from folks who have multiple successful batches under their belt would be appreciated. I aim to get as close as possible to the ABV for this yeast (18%), and will let this sit in my basement through the winter to age and mellow out. Going to start a larger batch of pear melomel when the rest of the equipment arrives, using the Lalvin K1V-1116 yeast for that.

    -Is it possible that the bulk of the fermentation finished so fast and so clean (just 4-5 days)? I read all over that EC-1118 is a special beast, but still...
    -It should be safe to leave it at least 3 more weeks before racking, is that correct (I will do the taste test then and hopefully measure SG)?
    -If you would consider this a stuck fermentation, do you have any suggestions to get it going again (like shaking it up a bit more, lowering or rising the temperature, etc.)?
    -Any additional advice and should I change something in my process for the melomel? Plan to add a third of total pears at start and the rest after about two weeks.

    Looking forward to your feedback. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    The Fusel Shack, in the swamp west of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
    Posts
    8,771

    Default

    Welcome to Gotmead!

    It is very possible that your mead is finished. You need The hydrometer to check. I’d keep it under airlock and let it be until you have the ability to check the gravity.
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  3. #3

    Default

    Thank you for the advice. I'll update with the gravity readings.

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