Originally Posted by Padawan
hello i have recently started making mead and i have many q's
my fermentation has been going for 10 days, it has been a very slow fermentation compared to beers i have made. is this normal? here is the rundown on the mead:
5.5 gallons water
1 gallon wildflower honey
wyeast sweet mead
so i mixed the honey in warm water and then aerated the heck out of it, then i added suggested amounts of nutrient and dap then pitched yeast at 68 degrees. Hydrometer read 1.088. On the third day i stirred the must for both co2 and to aerate it and added a little more nutrient and dap, the hydrometer read 1.077. then repeated stirring on day 9, and got a hydro reading of 1.069. been getting a temp of about 69 every time i have opend it up. I have not seen any (for lack of a better term) krausen. the things i have read about the wyeast lead me to believe it is the crappy yeast that is the problem, do you concur or have any other suggestions. thanks
If you get it "right" with that yeast, then it seems to be fine. I don't like it personally, as the 3 times I've tried it, it's proved to be as finicky as it's reputation and I've ended up pitching K1-V1116 over the top of it to get batches to finish.
I may just be that it needed to have daily aeration for the first 1/3rd of the ferment, or maybe it's a bit sensitive to the pH swings that meads, especially traditionals can be subject too. I don't know (I certainly wasn't gonna throw any more money at a yeast that I find hard work and is about 6 times the price of better, dry yeasts that seem to work for me).
Lack of foaming during ferment is like air lock bubbles, a poor method of judging the fermentation. Meads certainly don't have the non-fermentables that beer worts do and some yeasts are "low foaming" anyway.
Equally, there's no real standard for how long or short a ferment might be, as there are many, many variables.
Just let it go as it is, but you might want to think about getting some wine range pH test strips or a cheap pH test meter and it needs to be in the mid-3's (about 3.4 to 3.6 area) for good yeast health. Lower than 3.0 can cause slow or stuck ferments.
As long as the gravity keeps dropping, then it should be Ok, but it's still worth looking into as part of your mead making knowledge.....