A while back I posted this thread about a very sluggish Chocolate Cherry mead I was attempting. It figured that it has been a year since I started that mead, why not start another gallon?
Found the same cherries I used last time. In my newbie haste I didn't understand the significance of words Sodium Benzoate & Potassium Sorbate in the ingredients. I think I now know why it has been such a battle to make that batch ferment.
Not wanting another drawn out fight for fermentation, I browsed the organics section until I found cherries that lacked preservatives. I mixed up a gallon and got a big healthy starter going. I pitched the yeast before leaving for work. When I came back and opened the lid to give it a stir, I wasn't sure if I was making mead, or if I had just shoved a gremlin into a fountain.
Ended up being the fastest mead ferment I've experienced. Started at 1.116, and a week later was already down in the 1.000-1.010 range.
Moral of the story. Check for preservatives!