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  1. Default How do I know if yeast stalled prematurely?

    How would I know if my primary fermentation stalled out prematurely? My starting specific gravity was 1.092. I didn't measure again when I racked to secondary - I just waited for bubbling to decrease to 1 every 25-30 seconds; took about 3 weeks which seemed good, but didn't have as strong alcoholic scent to it like I remember from first time, which is making me second guess how things went. Is there a SG range I want to hit before racking to secondary? Should I pull a sample and measure?

  2. #2


    You shouldn't rack at all unless your ferment is done. A transfer of the entire biomass from a bucket to more sealed vessel like a carboy is OK, but that's the entire biomass, not racking off of lees. Airlock bubbles don't tell you much. SG readings tell you if your fermenting is going and if it's done.
    You should always know what your SG is before racking to secondary.
    I don't know what yeast you used, but I'm going to assume you used something that can tolerate that potential ABV. With proper rehydration, O2, and nutrients, you should easily get to an SG of 1.000 (maybe a bit less).

    I'd pull an SG reading now to see where it's at and let us know.

    I'd highly recommend you invest more time into understanding modern protocols and a bit of the science before starting another batch. The podcasts here starting back in Sept 2017 are a great place to start.

  3. #3


    So generally counting bubbles is not overly helpful. Most here will recommending checking SG on schedule. When the SG stops dropping your fermentation has stopped. If your SG is around 1.000 then your mead is dry (all the sugar is fermented), if the SG is significantly higher than 1.000 then your fermentation may have stalled.

    Stalling would be based on the ABV the yeast could tolerate. If your fermentation has produced enough ABV to reach your yeasts tolerance then it will not ferment further and this would not be a stall regardless of the SG. However, when your yeast have stopped fermenting (SG stable over 3 days) and have not fermented to their ABV tolerance then a stall is likely.

    In general leave your mead in the primary, with the biomass, until you have completed the fermentation (SG stable for 3 days, and without a stall). With modern techniques it really doesn't take that long to complete; prematurely racking to the secondary and leaving behind your biomass does not help you much. Respect oxidation but don't be terrified of it. Mead doesn't easily oxidize so headspace isn't something to fear until you are aging for months in the vessel.
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