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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > 1 month and bubbling increased
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:06 AM   #1
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Default 1 month and bubbling increased

My first mead, Straight medium mead, in 6 gallons. 1 week after starting brewing I added a split vanilla bean and some ginger. I'm Brewing in a plastic bucket, (just to try out) and it's been kept in my basement.

It's been over a month and at about a month the bubbling increased from once every 23-27 seconds to about 12-13 seconds. Now temperature did increase from about high 60's to low 70's.

Should I be concerned, can I consider racking it or would it be too soon. Oddly, I think, it's maintained it's 12-13 sec, rate for at least two weeks with no signs of slowing. Should I just leave it primary for another month?

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Old 07-01-2011, 07:57 PM   #2
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bubble rate is a very poor way to judge the state of the ferment. Your hydrometer is your friend.....

3 consecutive identical readings 2 or 3 days apart for each test, will tell you if it's still fermenting or whether it's just degassing some.....

It's a routine thing, to rack it off the sediment as well......

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Old 07-01-2011, 08:46 PM   #3
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The colder a liquid is, the more CO2 that can dissolve in it. When your mead warmed up, some came out of solution and out of the airlock. Your hydrometer will tell you when fermentation is complete.

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Old 07-03-2011, 10:51 PM   #4
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Ok I went out an picked up a hydrometer yesterday. Ran a test today. It's looking between 7.5-8% alchohol.

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Old 07-03-2011, 11:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firmlog View Post
Ok I went out an picked up a hydrometer yesterday. Ran a test today. It's looking between 7.5-8% alchohol.
Probably not, but that depends on how much honey you used.

Perhaps if you post your recipe, methods/techniques etc, then a little more accurate diagnosis might be possible.....
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:47 PM   #6
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No problem.

Champain yeast
15 lbs. honey (going for a medium mead)
5-5.5 gallons of spring water
one split vanilla bean
dash of dried ginger.

It still has a strong honey smell so I assume there's still plenty left. I only added a little bit of the vanilla and ginger, as I didn't want to over power it. I figured I could taste it before I racked it to see if I needed to add some more notes of flavor.

I since I have a quantity of mead in my hydrometer test tube, I figure I could give it a taste tonight, to see how it's coming out, if more is needed.

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Old 07-04-2011, 07:40 PM   #7
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sampled it last night. Obviously strong honey flavor, but nice sweetness, hints of ginger, I thought I could taste the vanilla but others thought it was overpowered by the honey. Definitely needs more time to brew and create more alchohol. Very light alchohol test. I expect to check again at the end of this month. I really wanted it done for the 4th, but I guess We'll have to wait till the beginning of sept.

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Old 07-05-2011, 06:20 AM   #8
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Here's the thing...the recipe you posted should have given you an original gravity of at least 1.115, and if you're really only at 7.5-8% alcohol, then you have a stuck fermentation... With the amount of time you say you've been fermenting, and with champagne yeast that should easily take that OG to dry, you should be well upwards of 14% ABV after a month

The honey aroma is what good mead is supposed to have! Having a honey aroma doesn't mean that it still needs time to ferment...
I'd also point out that even relatively dry mead can have a sweetness to it, but if you're at 8% ABV, this should be tasting like honey syrup...

What was your actual gravity reading?

Edit: actually did some more thinking about your OG...It really depends on your volume. Did you use 5 gal of spring water or was it 5.5 gal? If you actually used 5.5 gallons of water *plus* the 15 lbs of honey, your original volume would be a little over 6.5 gallons, making an estimated OG of 1.097. If you used the 15 lbs of honey and used spring water to get up to a total volume of 5 gallons your OG could've been as high as 1.126! If you really want to figure out your ABV, you need to know the OG, which can be estimated if you know the actual volume you started with; ie, the volume of water *plus* the honey volume (15 lbs of honey is about 1.25 gal of volume)

Regardless, the basic logic of what I had originally posted holds true... We still need more info...your situation could range from having a completely stuck fermentation to being essentially done and ready to rack for some additional aging time before bottling!

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Old 07-06-2011, 03:28 PM   #9
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If you used a Champagne yeast, this fermentation isn't done. What's happened is that you have starving yeast (and possibly a pH that is too low). Honey doesn't have enough nitrogen to support a healthy rapid fermentation. If you just throw yeast, honey and water together, you often end up with a fermentation that can take 6-12 months to complete and will often end incomplete. This is why meads developed the reputation of being difficult to ferment. If you supplement the yeast with nutrients/energizer to provide for their nutritional requirements, you will usually find your fermentation will complete within 14-21 days (sometimes much faster).

If you want to speed this batch along, consider adding some yeast energizer (that looks like tan powder).

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Old 07-06-2011, 10:57 PM   #10
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Well, I didn't have a hydro when I started. So, I didn't get the initial reading. I hurried it a little when I started.

Well I had 5 gallons of water, and 15 lbs of honey when I made the mixture. I had water left over. I used a 6 gallon plastic bucket and I have 1-2 inches free from the top.

The reading was between 1. 55 and 1060. for specific gravity, there was a little foam so it was hard to see to be specific. I think closer to 1.060. The brix was easier to read it was flat out at 15. But It probably wasn't 68 decrees, for long.

I used packet champagne yeast from my local brew store. The kind where you press to break a nutrient packet and let the bag swell for at least 3 hours then add to mead. Should I add more nutrients than that?

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