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Old 03-09-2012, 07:59 PM   #1
forces
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Default Another Stuck Fermentation thread...

I'm a long time brewer, this is my first swing at a mead. SO a lot of my expectations with mead fermentation are based off of what I know about ale yeast and beer fermentation.

My mead seems to be stuck at 1.040. It's been in primary for approx. 3 weeks. The fermentation never really "took off" like my beers do. I use a blow off tube and i think the fastest bubbling rate I saw was about 2/ second (my beers are usually like a constant rapid stream of bubbles)

My recipe is a pretty basic 5-gallon mead;
14 lbs Orange Blossom Honey
1 Tsp DAP
1/2 Tsp Wyeast nutrient
1 5g pkg 71B-1122
2 vanilla beans (secondary)
6 cardomom pods (Secondary)

OG 1.095
Desired FG: < 1.015

specific gravity a week ago was about 1.050 and now seems to have stalled at about 1.040. There is still activity in the airlock; about 1 bubble/8-10 seconds. I haven't really messed with it until yesterday afternoon. I checked the pH which seemed good at about 3.5. So I added another dose of DAP and nutrient, thinking that this may have been the issue. I gave it a day to see, and there is no appreciable difference in bubble production.

Other info/ variables/ preemptive questions I can think of:
- Yeast was pitched with must about 80 degrees F.
- Fermentation temps have been 65-75 degrees.
- I did NOT rehydrate the yeast; just pitched in right in (I know a lot of people say to hydrate. I never do with my beers and their always fine, 'Im not sure if wine yeast acts differently???)



So my questions are:
Did I pitch enough yeast/ energizer/ nutrient?
Am I just being impatient and let it sit in primary until its "done"?
OR should I just rack it to secondary, add the spices, and see if jostling the yeast starts the fermentation back up??

Any and all advice appreciated! Thanks

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Old 03-09-2012, 08:13 PM   #2
fatbloke
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The difference in the numbers, is something "beer people" can't always get a handle on. Likewise some of the differences in fermentation technique.

Honey musts are rather different, inasfaras, its routine to hydrate the yeast with GoFerm, then pitch into the must, then not adding the first half of the nutrient/energiser combo, until after the lag. Then they frown on opening the fermenter to aerate 1,2 or even 3 times daily, up to the 1/3rd sugar break, when it would be aerated to get the air/O2 into it, then adding the 2nd part.of.the nutrient/energiser combo and stirring it on, the airlocking off and leaving it too finish.

At the stage you describe, I'd add some boiled yeast pt yeast hulls and then give it a good.stir and then leave.it until .it starts too clear.

Then I'd test the numbers to make sure its either dry or finished where you want it and then rack it off the gross lees.....

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Old 03-09-2012, 08:36 PM   #3
forces
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Thanks for the reply.
I added about 1/2 Tsp of the nutrient yesterday, which is mostly dead yeast and some other junk yeast like to eat (as I understand it). Wyeast website says to use 1/2 teaspoon per 5 gallons of must. Are you thinking it still needs more?

EDIT*

GoFerm isn't available to me locally. I'd have to order it and it's like $9 just for shipping on a $2 product though Amazon... kind of hard to swallow, IMO. Any alternatives? Is the DAP/ Wyeast nutrient an inappropriate combo by itself?

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Last edited by forces; 03-09-2012 at 08:41 PM. Reason: additional info
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