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Old 02-05-2013, 10:19 PM   #1
brewscoe
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Default Honey mead stuck fermentation?

I am brewing my first mead. Kept it simple. Boiled about 3-4 quarts of water and added 4 pounds of blue agave nectar and stirred til solute. Added 1 ounce of cascade hops pellets. Pitch to a 2 gallon mr beer I wasn't using and stir vigorously before pitching the wlp mead yeast. I let I sit at a room temp varying from 62-70 degrees. Depending on time of day. After four days of not much activity I read that blue agave like honey needs nutrient to feed. So I added 1 ounce of nutrient to the brew. It's been four more days with no change. All I see is a few bubbles here and there. Did I mess up somewhere or sld I expect an incredibly slow fermentation?

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Old 02-06-2013, 06:15 PM   #2
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How hot was it when you pitched the yeast?

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Old 02-06-2013, 09:06 PM   #3
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Had about 80 degrees maybe a little hotter.

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Old 02-06-2013, 09:24 PM   #4
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What was your OG? 4# of agave in 1 gallon (or 2?, can't really tell your volume) seems a little high.

Did you do a yeast starter?

Hard to tell, but the way things sound you pitched too little yeast for your OG.

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Old 02-07-2013, 06:37 PM   #5
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I didn't do an og. It is 2 gallons. No starter. I pitched 1/2 vile of white labs mead/wine yeast. A vile is for 5 gallons and I used half. I see very little bubbling activity. I should add more yeast it sounds like? I am new and most ppl said just add water, honey, and yeast. But after more research I was seeing ppl talk about og readings and fg readings. I wasn't going to be that precise. Would 80 degrees have been too hot to pitch the yeast? I am thinking about adding a little ale yeast to get it going.

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Old 02-07-2013, 07:50 PM   #6
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80 degrees is a little on the warm side, but as long as you did an accurate temp reading it shouldn't have killed the yeast.

I would add more yeast, and buy a hydrometer to see what your gravity is. It's hard to know what's going on because without doing any measurements you're flying blind.

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Old 02-07-2013, 09:05 PM   #7
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Take the other half of your yeast vial and make a yeast starter.

Use a pint of water and about 1/8 lb of agave. Make sure to add a little yeast nutrient.

Side note: I'm estimating on the 1/8#, based on the ratio I use in my mead starters. Agave is a little lighter so you may need some more. Shoot for an OG of around 40 in the starter.

You may want to double the pint to a quart, but I figure at your 2 gal volume you should be OK with a pint.

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Old 02-08-2013, 03:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SagamoreAle
Take the other half of your yeast vial and make a yeast starter.

Use a pint of water and about 1/8 lb of agave. Make sure to add a little yeast nutrient.

Side note: I'm estimating on the 1/8#, based on the ratio I use in my mead starters. Agave is a little lighter so you may need some more. Shoot for an OG of around 40 in the starter.

You may want to double the pint to a quart, but I figure at your 2 gal volume you should be OK with a pint.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bk0
80 degrees is a little on the warm side, but as long as you did an accurate temp reading it shouldn't have killed the yeast.

I would add more yeast, and buy a hydrometer to see what your gravity is. It's hard to know what's going on because without doing any measurements you're flying blind.
Thanks bk0 and SagamoreAle that's good advice. I think will make a yeast starter and grab a hydrometer reading. I know now that the yeast is alive but working very slow. Needs help. But I will use more mead yeast instead of ale yeast.

Thanks again for all the helpfully advice!
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