New Giveaway - Wort Monster Conical Fermenter!

Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Airlock is not bubbling




Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-16-2012, 04:19 PM   #1
drymartini
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 16
Likes Given: 5

Default Airlock is not bubbling

Yesterday, I tried my hands on making 1.5 gallons of mead. I got all the ingredients ready, did my boil, put my must in my fermentation bucket. And at that point I realized that I forgot to get some wine yeast and the home-brew store is closed. But the day before, I had started a batch of wheat beer which was bubbling away in another fermentation bucket. The spent yeast packet was still sitting there and a had just a small amount of yeast still in it.

I pitched it figuring that the exponential rate of growth would mean that it would work out to be about the same amount of time + a few minutes to a couple of hours at most. It has been 20 hours and there are no bubbles in the airlock. Three questions :

* Is there something wrong in my thinking about pitching the small amount of yeast?

* The home-brew store is closed until Tuesday, which means that the earliest I will be able to get some wine yeast will be more than 72 hour from starting the batch. Is that too late to re-pitch?

* If yes, is there anything I can do at this point to save this batch from spoilage?

Thanks for any help.



__________________
drymartini is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-16-2012, 05:30 PM   #2
mike_in_ak
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: anchorage, ak
Posts: 544
Liked 84 Times on 52 Posts

Default

Buy yeast on Tuesday.



__________________
mike_in_ak is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-16-2012, 05:32 PM   #3
fatbloke
Complete nugget!
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
fatbloke's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: UK - South Coast.
Posts: 2,551
Liked 157 Times on 145 Posts
Likes Given: 20

Default

1. Even a couple of cells would eventually multiply up to a fermentable colony but it would take time. I don't know what type of yeast you're alluding to i.e. liquid or dry but with dry packs 5 grammes is usually enough for up to 5 gallons. Also as you don't mention your recipe I have no way of knowing whether you've used any energiser/nutrient etc. If you regularly make beers its part of the learning curve to find that honey is famously low in non-sugar nutrients.

2. Yes theres no reason why you couldnt just add more of the same yeast. Adding a different one would create some confusion as you would know which one was doing its thing. If you are really concerned, once the HBS reopens try for K1-V1116 as its a good yeast for meads particularly traditionals. Plus its "K" designator tells you it has the killer factor whereby it will become the dominant strain.

3. If you've got the fermenter closed and air locked its unlikely to spoil. Honey is known to be naturally anti-fungal and anti-bacterial hence having to dilute it to get it fermenting. IMO you've already committed a cardinal sin.....you mention boiling. There is no need whatsoever to heat honey and water. In fact you can drive off aromatics and subtle flavouring elements, which might not be an issue if you're gonna add fruit or spices to flavour but if you've paid top dollar for a good varietal honey its money wasted.

Making mediocre meads is easy, making top quality tasting and aromatic meads is harder.

__________________

"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away". Tom Waits.

Oh, and here's some blog stuff!

fatbloke is offline
2
People Like This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-16-2012, 05:32 PM   #4
mike_in_ak
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: anchorage, ak
Posts: 544
Liked 84 Times on 52 Posts

Default

Exponential growth

2 4 16

200mil 400 mil 1.6 bil

__________________
mike_in_ak is offline
drymartini Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-16-2012, 05:43 PM   #5
Golddiggie
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Nashua, NH
Posts: 12,047
Liked 467 Times on 414 Posts
Likes Given: 266

Default

Few things...

Amount of honey used? Yeast used? WHY in the name of all that is holy, did you BOIL the must??? Nutrients used and how much?

You're making MEAD here, not beer. The only amount of heat that's needed is to get really thick honey to flow. So really, zero need to get above 100-110F. Before you make another batch, do yourself (and the honey) a favor and read up on the Got Mead forums. Also, ignore the processes in the Joy of HomeBrewing book, when it comes to making mead. In that aspect, the book is complete bunk.

Depending on your OG, it could take more time before you SEE any activity. Doesn't mean nothing's going on in there.

I swear if I see another person post about boiling their honey/must I'm going to go postal.

__________________
Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine


...the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed
Golddiggie is offline
drymartini Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-16-2012, 08:09 PM   #6
drymartini
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 16
Likes Given: 5

Default

Nobody go postal, please! Did not know how it was such a sin to boil the honey. This is the first I'm brewing mead (or anything other than beer). Making a note for the next time. I put some aromatic spices in; I guess I can boil them separately the next time and just combine the honey at about 100 degrees. I did not put any nutrients in and the OG was 1.086. I love "Joy of Home Brewing", but I can ignore any information on mead and will read up more. I like the idea of using K1-V1116. Thanks.

Any good notes on aging in case it works out? Is it very much like conditioning beer?

---------------------------------------------------------
"If you don't have anything useful to post, STFU" -myself.

__________________
drymartini is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-16-2012, 08:16 PM   #7
drymartini
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 16
Likes Given: 5

Default

PS, I didn't mean to click like on Mike's post. In fact, it was pretty f'ing useless.

__________________
drymartini is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-16-2012, 08:58 PM   #8
scottv
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 62
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

I have learned a lot in a few weeks on here from a few knowledgeable and nice people.

As was said honey is hard to spoil.
Do not boil it there is no need and you lose to much good stuff.
Patience is a virtue with mead. That's rough I'm so excited about my first batch I'm gogogogoooo.
Yeast is the most important part. Taking care to do that step right is vital...but can be fixed.
Nutrients and energizer. Yeast has a hard time with just plain honey therefor following 1 tsp nutrient 1/2 tsp energizer per gallon of must can make the difference in how fast your yeast begins to ferment or at all.

Golddiggie is passionate about the art and a great reference tome of knowledge.

__________________
scottv is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-17-2012, 01:22 AM   #9
Golddiggie
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Nashua, NH
Posts: 12,047
Liked 467 Times on 414 Posts
Likes Given: 266

Default

fatbloke also has some good knowledge to share. There's TONS of very experience mazers over at the Got Mead forums too. Some can be a bit short, but you have to look past that sometimes (I've needed to on more than one occasion, early on). Even Schramm's book is outdated. He's on the GM boards and has posted this much. Last I knew, the publisher wasn't interested in making a new revision on it, so you can only buy the one with some outdated info in it (boiling the must to name just one).

Ingredient choice, IMO/IME, is very important when you're formulating/making a mead. The honey needs to be one you actually like to eat. It should be strong in flavor, since you'll lose a good amount to both dilution and fermentation. Nutrients are pretty much critical due to the nature of honey. Not adding anything can seriously stress the yeast and/or extend out the fermentation time, plus give some different flavors to the batch.

As for how long to let it age, I have developed my own guidelines for this. I should make a text file so I can just copy/paste it.

<14%, plan on a year from mix to bottling.
14-16%, plan on 12-14 months mix to bottling.
16-18%, plan on 14-18 months mix to bottling.
18-21%, plan on 18-24 months mix to bottling.
21%>, plan at least two years.

These are the guidelines that I've found to work really, really well at least with traditional meads, and the melomel I've made so far.

A quick synopsis of the processes for making mead:
Mix and pitch yeast (add nutrients per schedule/method selected, more info on Got Mead's forums/site).
Degas/aerate until you hit the 1/3 break (the point where 1/3 of the sugars have been consumed). To determine, take the OG subtract .998 SG from it and divide by 3. So, if your OG was 1.100, subtract 0.998, giving you .102. Take 102/3=34*2=68. So, at 1.068, you've hit the 1/3 break. At that point you stop degassing and aerating. If you're using the stepped nutrient method, you also add the final nutrient amounts and walk away. Look at it every week or three until fermentation is complete. If it looks like it is, pull a SG sample and test. Write this down. Come back 1-3 weeks later and take another SG reading. IF there's absolutely ZERO movement, chances are it's done. Depending on the yeast strain used, you can either leave it there until it's convenient to transfer, or do it ASAP (with Lalvin 71B-1122, you want to transfer sooner than later). Set it aside (after the transfer) for 2-4 months. Check on it to see how clear it is and (if needed) transfer again, leaving the lees behind. Repeat as needed/desired. If you go 6+ months between transfers, that can be fine too. Just be sure to not disturb the lees when you go to transfer. If possible, shift it to a place where you'll do the transfer at least a day before hand (a few days, or week is even better).

With the mead you made, drymartini, what yeast did you use? At 1.086, it's really only got the potential to hit about 12% ABV, and go to very dry. If you don't plan on having a DRY mead, you'll want to read up about stabilizing and then back sweetening.

__________________
Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine


...the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed
Golddiggie is offline
2
People Like This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-17-2012, 07:08 AM   #10
mike_in_ak
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: anchorage, ak
Posts: 544
Liked 84 Times on 52 Posts

Default

Dust of yeast remnants left over in empty packet will increase exponentially. But from what amount to what amount. If said packet had hundreds of millions of yeast originally or whatever, that exponentially turns into a whole lot of yeast in very little time.

Versus using the remnants of an empty pack.

Basically, you did the opposite of making a yeast starter.

You pretty much went wrong at every turn. And whereas people usually end up saying "relax, it'll work, whatever you did will probably make something drinkable," I actually doubt that in this case. Maybe it will take? Maybe some wild yeast will end up in there and make something? Maybe some sort of honey-impervious bacteria will give it a go? Maybe you just end up with a few gallons of boiled honey?

Maybe just dump it and get a new hobby.



__________________
mike_in_ak is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Airlock bubbling over NewBrew75 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 32 05-28-2013 10:01 PM
No bubbling in airlock loz114 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 08-09-2012 07:44 PM
airlock not bubbling epistrummer Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 05-02-2012 04:32 PM
No airlock bubbling ronstar55 Fermentation & Yeast 3 09-06-2010 01:35 PM
Why is the airlock not bubbling JerD Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 08-13-2008 12:49 AM