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Old 01-06-2012, 02:37 PM   #1
paddy711
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Default ive tried everything...... help help help

long story short i have 5 one gallon batches of mead that have been in stuck fermentation for almost a year. i have seriously tried everything from adding fruit, adding ec 1118 yeast and nutrient to try and start it up and the last thing i can think of is my pH is high, so i tested it and its at about 4.5-5 i think so i am going to add some acid blend and some yeast energizer to try and start it up again. I just don't know how much to add of each. I have added different fruits to three of them and two i left traditional. the starting gravity for all of it was pretty high it was around 1.13 or so, and they are all stuck at about 1.05. At this point i really don't care about the finished product i just want it to be drinkable and out of my life for ever ha.

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Old 01-06-2012, 09:41 PM   #2
cgenebrewer
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what were your recipes? what temps are you fermenting at? what temps are you rehydrating the yeast and what temps are you pitching. It is strange that all five would be stuck, so it sounds like an external factor,i.e room temp

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Old 01-06-2012, 10:34 PM   #3
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1.13 - 1.05 x 131 = 10.48% ABV.

You, my friend, are finished. Rack them off the lees and try them out. Stuck for a year - man! You've got about 363 more days' worth of patience than I do, brother.

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Old 01-07-2012, 02:46 AM   #4
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It would help to have more details. A high pH will not cause a stuck fermentation (at least not a pH that is below 7.0)

And don't think for a minute that this is done and should be bottled. EC-1118 is a monster that is no where near the ABV tolerance. If these batches get bottled and warm up they could easily explode. Champagne yeast have been document to restart fermenting after up to (at least) 2 years. If you want to go ahead and bottle, stabilize it with sorbate + sulfite.

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Old 01-07-2012, 04:30 AM   #5
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scrub what i said, i got 1.05 mixed up with 1.005 .....doh!

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Last edited by tweake; 01-07-2012 at 07:09 PM. Reason: read info wrong
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Old 01-07-2012, 05:43 PM   #6
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alright i got my notes out and this is all the info i have on the situation. I started with a 5 gallon carboy and added 17.5 lbs of clover/wildflower honey pitched a d47 yeast and must was at 81 degrees at time of pitch. i dehydrated the yeast with go ferm and added dap and fermaid k a few hours after pitch. the og was 1.132. I degassed and did a staggered nutrient addition till the half way point where i let it sit when it hit a gravity reading of 1.08. The whole time it was fermenting at about 68 degrees. i then let it sit for a few months and took another reading and it was at 1.054 which is where it stayed for about 2 months before i tried doing something with it.

I split the 5 gallons up into one gallon jug batches and added fruit to three of them and raisins to the other two. the fruit i used was peaches it one, blueberries in another, and a mix of 4 fruits in the other trying to see if the fruit would jump start the process, nothing happened. i went to the home brew store and told them my problem and that i was just looking to finish it at this point and they told me to add yeast nutrient and ec-1118 to get it started again, i did that and nothing happened. so i went back and they said my pH could be high causing it stall so yesterday i took a reading and it was high not really sure how high because the litmus paper didn't really change so it is leading me to think it is way up there. I added 1/8 teaspoon of acid blend to each one gallon jug and 1/8 teaspoon of yeast energizer and i think in three of the jugs there might be very little activity but nothing to write home about but still after no signs for almost a year it gives me hope. I am thinking i am going to take another ph reading soon to see if there is a change and then maybe add some more acid blend but really im not sure what to do.

and for some of you that said to bottle it and drink it as a dessert wine i tried that a few months back i drank a giant glass to see how it tasted and if the alcohol was potent enough but it tasted like strait honey water with a touch of alcohol. After drinking it i felt a buzz from the alcohol and then about a half hour after i drank it got the the worst gut rot imaginable. it felt like something strait from the depths of hell, it hurt to the point that i wanted to roll up in the fetal position and ride it out. not sure if infection would cause that but gave me the feeling like i drank two cases of Smirnoff ices so after that experiment bottleing it was out of the question.

what i did do with some of it was i put about 3/4 of a gallon of it in a three gallon carboy and topped it up with cider trying to turn it into apple cycer and that is stilll in the closet aging so i think that is going to turn out well. so maybe if that turns out good ill try to cut my losses and turn some of this into cycer.

Not sure if its a lost cause and i should dump them or keep at it and sorry this post is super long and choppy but any ideas or comments would be super helpful. thanks

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Old 01-07-2012, 06:37 PM   #7
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Again, adding acid is NEVER the answer for restarting a stuck fermentation. Adding acid will make a very sweet batch more drinkable as it will provide some flavor to balance against the sugar

With the high gravity you started with, D47 was never going to take it past about 1.030 even if you managed it with plenty of nutrients and optimal conditions.

When you pitched in the EC-1118, unless you acclimated the yeast to the conditions of the must, the high level of alcohol and residual sugar in there simply stunned them into unconsciousness. If you didn't acclimate the yeast, check the sticky at the top of the forum and read Hightest's instructions for restarting a stuck fermentation. If you have more EC-1118 you can use it, but if you can get Uvaferm 43, that is the most reliable re-start yeast you can get.

Prior to pitching the acclimated starter, treat each batch with 1 g/gal of yeast hulls to bind potential toxins, and after pitching, aerate well. I'd make sure the pH strips are working by testing with a little diluted vinegar - they are notorious for being inaccurate if they get old.

If the repitch with acclimated yeast does not work, there are still some options:
1) Pasteurize the must and re-pitch. For some reason, pasteurizing will make the must much more fermentable, though I don't believe the reason for this has be elucidated.
2) Or, start a new batch of mead with a hearty yeast like EC-1118 with a modest gravity, and when the yeast are about 1/2 way through, start blending in your stuck batch (1 or more of them). Then newly vigorous fermentation can often get the job finished (sort of like a really huge starter).
3) If none of these things work, you can make a dry batch with about 12-14% ABV, and take the bone dry batch and blend it with your stuck batches to bring the sugar level to a place where you are happier.

As long as they don't have spoilage, there is no reason to consider throwing them out.

Endeavor to persevere!
Medsen

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Old 01-10-2012, 12:25 PM   #8
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thanks for all the help

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