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Old 03-27-2010, 09:18 PM   #1
avsfan2020
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Default Signs of fermentation

My buddy and I recently made a batch of mead (basic honey and water). We let it sit for about 4 weeks and in that time we did not notice any sort of bubbling or frothiness that my buddy says should accompany the fermentation process. We figured out that we might not have activated the yeast correctly and did not add any nutrients to the mix, as we found out honey does not contain alot of the nutrients the yeast need. We then decided to make a new batch of yeast activating it and adding nutrients to it. Again, we notice that there isn't much action in the starter mix. Is this normal? The mead is at a specific gravity of 1.050 which seems pretty low considering the ratio of honey (5lbs) to water (2.5gal). We didn't measure 4 weeks ago so unfortunately we can't compare. Is it possible that the fermentation is complete? Is there anyway to tell?

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Old 03-27-2010, 09:33 PM   #2
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5 pounds of honey in 2.5 gallons of water is only going to get you 1.070 or so starting gravity.

I'm not an experienced meadmaker, but when mine was stuck like that before I added some yeast nutrient and stirred it up and that fixed it. Ended up at around 0.996 using Lalvin KV1116.

What kind of yeast did you pitch?

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Old 03-27-2010, 09:38 PM   #3
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We used red star champagne yeast. Do you think we need to add more yeast or just add some nutrients and stir it up like you mentioned? I have a starter mix with nutrients sugar and some yeast that has been sitting for about 45 minutes right now.

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Old 03-29-2010, 02:20 AM   #4
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I would try the nutrients that you have. Sometimes just agitating the yeast back into the wort will get it going again. Pay attention to your fermentation temps and be very careful wiht sanitation if you are going to add or mix the wort. And it goes without saying that you always need to measure the Original Gravity as that is your baseline indicator of what is going on with your beer. Now that you have a new measurement, you can guage things from there. You should be able to get a fairly low final gravity as honey is extremely fermentable.

Goood luck!

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Old 04-01-2010, 02:45 PM   #5
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Well I made sure to sanitize everything I would be using so I hope that part worked out. I added the correct amount of nutrients to the wort, and it bubbled like Jr high volcano science project. I stirred it up vigorously for about a minute which caused even more bubbling. After it died down I put it back in the closet to see what happens. Hopefully that is a good sign. Thanks for the help.

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Old 04-01-2010, 05:03 PM   #6
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It might be too late to mention, usually once you are more than a couple of days into fermentation, you don't want to churn the wort as this aerates it (oxygenates) and that is not good for yeast once the sugars are in the process of being converted. Oxygen is necessary for initial yeast health and growth but then does bad things to your beer after that.

In the future, if you are going to stir things up, I would leave the lid on the fermenter and gently swirl the fermenter to simply get some of the settled yeast mixed back into the wort. By 'vigorously stirrring' to the point of seeing bubbles you introduce a lot of oxygen and this can cause your beer to have stale and 'cardboard-like' qualitiy in a couple of weeks.

I hope everything works out. Let us know how it turns out.

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Old 04-01-2010, 06:16 PM   #7
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I will definitely post how it all turns out. This is pretty much my first time doing this so it's all a learning process. First batches are bound to be a bit low on the quality scale I am sure.

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Old 04-08-2010, 09:20 PM   #8
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It's a joint venture, so I thought I'd post an update - we are getting visible signs of fermentation, but at a very low level. We're going to do another SG reading over the weekend and see if it's progressed or not.

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Old 04-09-2010, 08:46 AM   #9
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I've had the same problem a very slow fermentation. I used the appropriate amount of yeast nutrient and enegizer. But no luck should i add more its the powder stuff, might try some fruits see if it helps it?

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Old 04-09-2010, 11:38 AM   #10
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Honey ferments SLOWLY! Don't worry, it'll just take some time.

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