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Old 08-22-2012, 09:55 PM   #1
taishojojo
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Default First Mead - Slow Ferment vs Stuck

This is my first homebrew/mead/anything...
I did a 3gal mead (wanted to start small): 9lbs Orange Blossom with a Sweet Mead yeast pitched.
Original Gravity was 1.120
Taking daily readings, It dropped pretty steadily (4-6/day).
It slowed for a bit (2/day) for a couple of days. And guy in the local homebrew club (their monthly meeting) said I could stir it up... and I did.. yeast got back on track.
now its back to 2/day and stirring isn't helping.
Is the slowing down part normal or is it getting stuck and I need to put something in it to get it going again?

Also, the yeast was a month past it's shelf life but the guy (same guy from the local club) said it was ok because I wa sonly doing 3gal and the yeast sold in the homebrew sdtore are geared for 5 gal musts.

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Old 08-22-2012, 10:36 PM   #2
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What's your current SG?

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Old 08-23-2012, 12:43 AM   #3
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Agreed, need that SG. We also need to know if you're aiming for a dry, semi-sweet, or sweet mead.

You could add some yeast energizer/nutrient (say, a half dose) and shake things up again to get it going, but without knowing where you are and where you want to end up (current SG and goal FG, respectively) we can't really help guide you.

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Old 08-23-2012, 02:18 AM   #4
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I doubt that the yeast being a little old has anything to do with it. I once used a 25 year old yeast packet I found in my step dads garage. It had been subjected to who knows how many hot summers and cold winters but it made a great Welch's Red table wine.

I'd add some nutrients and see what happens, slowing down is normal but it depends on the current SG.

Oh, and "sweet mead yeast" isn't very descriptive, in the future try to get some yeast with a strain name on it like Lalvin D47, K1-V1116, 71B-1122 ect. It's confusing at first but you'll find a lot of talk about yeast types if you look through the forum.

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Old 08-23-2012, 02:20 AM   #5
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Oops, double post.

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Old 08-23-2012, 02:58 PM   #6
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Youll have to pardon me... this my first anything for homebrew.

Last reading was 1.070 taken Tuesday 8/21

I am going for a sweet mead.. I used the White Labs Sweet Mead WLP720 yeast. I dont have anything more descriptive than that. I attached the label to my record sheet for the readings and stuff; so I can get a lot number I think.

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Old 08-23-2012, 03:40 PM   #7
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Your around 7% alcohol.
1.07 is probably sweeter than you want...
Is there any activity in your airlock? Has it stopped, or is it just slow?

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Old 08-23-2012, 06:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halbrust View Post
Your around 7% alcohol.
1.07 is probably sweeter than you want...
Is there any activity in your airlock? Has it stopped, or is it just slow?
I haven't seen any activity in the airlock except when I move it ( to take readings).
There are co2 bubbles in the mix when I take a reading. A gentle stir releases em.

Like I stated.. .Ive never done this before so I am unsure what to expect.
If its normal Ill leave it alone and try to be patient. If it isn't I need to know what steps I need to take.

I appreciate the responses.

Ya'll would recommend some yeast nutrient?
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:34 PM   #9
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Honey doesn't have the nutrients that the yeast need. Lack of nutrient is one of the main causes of slow or stalled ferments. It is normally added during the first third of fermentation. You are beyond that point, but I would still add them if you haven't added any previously.

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Old 08-23-2012, 10:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illuveatar View Post
I once used a 25 year old yeast packet I found in my step dads garage.
Felt the need to point out that the OP is using white labs sweet mead yeast, which is liquid yeast. 25 year old liquid yeast would be no good, I think. So yeah, OP, understand he was talking about dry yeast and not the liquid yeast you're using.

OP - definitely throw in some nutrients and stir it around. If you didn't add any at the beginning, throw in a full dose (if you did, do like a half or 3/4 dose). I've had lots of success after the 1/3 mark people have mentioned. LD Carlson has a great yeast nutrient/energizer that I've specifically used in conjunction with WLP720 to get it going again once it started slowing down, but you could really use most any yeast nutrient. The sooner you get it in there and stir it around, the better.

EDIT - saw the OP had answered one of my questions earlier in the thread, so I deleted it.
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