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Old 12-29-2010, 08:02 PM   #1
waazupdoc
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Default Fermentation Stuck?

I am such a novice at making mead that I am in some serious need of help from some of you pros out there. Here is what I have:
13lbs honey
10lbs blueberries
4lbs white sugar

my OG was 1.14 Yikes I put some serious champagne yeast which was great it was a bubblin for about a month took a gravity reading and was down to 1.087 so was looking like it still needed some more to go so I didn't rack it. About 1month more it was the same. I didn't add any nutrients so thought that could have been the issue. I bought some more yeast made a big starter and added some Fermaid K about 1oz to the starter and pitched it in about 10hrs after I saw the first bubble off my starter. I oxygenated the heck out of my mead before pitching the starter but even after 72hrs I am still getting nothing. The mead is just way to sweet... I don't know why it won't start up again.

Any Advice?

I thought it may be wise to add some distilled water and try starting again. But as of right now i would just like to see this thing take off again... Is that to much to ask?

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Old 12-29-2010, 09:06 PM   #2
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Have you checked your PH levels? Given what you've said this is most likely the issue, if not I'm sure a pro will set me straight. :-)

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Old 12-30-2010, 02:24 AM   #3
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No i sure haven't but its never been an issue before. I would be strange to me if that was the issue. But then again thats why i am asking for help Thanks Atek

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Old 12-30-2010, 02:35 AM   #4
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I've never had the issue myself either but I've heard of several who have. Home someone smarter than me will have better info for ya.

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Old 12-30-2010, 12:00 PM   #5
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I vote for the ph as being the culprit as well. I didn't think that was my problem on my first mead and then I bought some ph test strips and it was the problem. I am in my 8th month of fermentation with that mead now. I could have added some calcium carbonate to raise the ph level but just let it go as an experiment and started some other batches. I think you added way too much Fermaid K to your starter.

CHECK YOUR PH, IF THAT'S OK, TRY A DIFFERENT STRAIN OF STRONGER YEAST AND GET SOME DAP IN THERE.

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Old 12-30-2010, 03:35 PM   #6
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Blueberries can definitely give low pH issues in some batches, and because they contain some organic acids like benzoic, they can be hard to ferment at times. I'd check the pH and adjust with some potassium bicarb if it is less than 3.2 with the goal of getting to around 3.5-3.6.

The reason things didn't get going when you tossed in a starter is that you tossed it into an environment that was hostile with around 7% ABV. Unless you acclimate your starter prior to pitching, and alcohol level that high will stun most of the yeast you pitch in, especially if the pH is already a factor.

If you find the pH is not a problem, I'd treat with 1 gram per gallon of yeast hulls to bind toxins and then I'd repitch using an acclimated starter (see Hightest's directions in the sticky at the top of the forum) using a yeast that is good for restarts (Uvaferm 43 would be best, but EC-1118, DV-10, or Premier Cuvee will usually do).

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Old 12-30-2010, 04:10 PM   #7
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For your next high gravity mead try to practice SNA. Use the honey.xls spread sheet to calculate when and how much to put in. I haven't had a high gravity mead get stuck since I have been using it.

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