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Old 01-17-2013, 10:11 PM   #1
DaveVanO
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Default JQGM Problems?Help?

I started two batches of JQGM (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f80/joes...pe-mead-57190/) One in which i followed exactly as it is stated. The other I changed it up and did a different juice. The one that followed the recipe +steps. Has slowed down dramatically.
I began it on 1/11/13. After 10 hours they both were bubbling away.
I added yeast nutrient to both of them on 1/14 because I had forgotten to add it. The small amount of bubbling etc, but nothing extreme.
Last night (1/16) I noticed that it had slowed down a lot. And just now i counted. I am at 1 bubble every 60 seconds. When I added the nutrient i stirred for a second, then put the airlock+stopper back on. I dont know if its done fermenting/completely slowed. Or should i let it continue for the full 14-21 days that the recipe states.
The off-recipe one is still bubbling a bubble every 5-10 seconds. and hasnt slowed down since I made them both at the same time.
Should i rack it now or let it continue fermenting for another couple days? Tomorrow will mark 1 week after combining the ingredients and making it.
Please and Thanks for the help

EDIT: Should i just take a hydrometer reading and then check again tomorrow/next day and see if its done? I didnt get a first reading though

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Old 01-17-2013, 11:43 PM   #2
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yup, take a reading, that will at least tell you where you are. if you are at 1.0000 or less, then you are done in primary, rack and move on, i didn't read what yeast you used, but I have had some meads done in primary in 5-10 days, other yeasts can take a month or so in primary. since I didn't look at the yeast or starting specific gravity, i guess you could have exhausted the yeast and still have some sugar left or have a stuck fermentation...check it first, and see where you are

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Old 01-18-2013, 12:32 AM   #3
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i used EC-1118, ill check the gravity when i get back. I dont want to waste the sample (its a 1gallon batch) so I gotta add it back. Ill let you know, Thanks

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Old 01-18-2013, 02:02 AM   #4
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WOW, well. I checked the gravity. and its 1.000 on the dot. I guess I will rack into secondary. onto the other stuff. Do you think fermentation will start up again? Or is the 6oz juice, 6oz honey, and some potassium meta bisulfite. just used to stop fermentation and backsweeten. (the recipe calls for 1/2t of sorbate and 1/2 a crushed campden)

Also. A question: If my potassium meta bisulfite states (on the package) 1/4tsp for 5gallons. And this is a 1gallon batch. How much you think i should toss in?

amazing that it finished fermenting in 1 week. I kept it at 67-68*F the whole time in a dark dry closet. Pretty cool it worked out how it did

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Old 01-18-2013, 09:29 PM   #5
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If the mead has no sugar (1.000), then there is nothing to ferment, no bottle bombs. If you added sugar (juice/honey) then yes it can re-ferment. Normally we would stabalize (sorbate, campden, sulfite etc) wait a day or 2 then add the backsweetening. 1/4 tsp is aweful small to measure less than, so your options are skip it and use something else, or add and dissolve the bisulfite in some amount of water and divide that by 5. Let us know which you choose and how it works out for you.

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Old 01-18-2013, 10:30 PM   #6
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well, today i decided to backsweeten+add the meta bisulfite. I looked up how much a campden tablet measures out to, and I kinda winged it...put a little less than 1/2 of a 1/4t. It cant do much harm, because its gonna be used to stop fermenting. Its one of my first meads, so of course I will let you all know how it goes from here. Also made 2 more gallons of other meads today. including another JQGM with another different juice, and a raspberyy/blackberry melomel. You shall see my posts showing them sooner or later...

Thanks for the help
-Dave

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Old 01-19-2013, 07:45 AM   #7
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Well it maybe to do with different suppliers etc, but the normal dosages for stabilising seem to be 1 crushed campden tablet per gallon and 1/2 tsp of potassium sorbate per gallon. So a quarter tsp of sorbate per gallon does sound a little light.

Plus as you mention just sorbate being used on its own, its fair to point out about this being bad practice as that can lead to infection that munches the sorbate and produces geraniols i.e. spoilage products that make the batch smell like geraniums - and can't be removed.

So you stabilise with both chems and then just sulphite/campden tablets every other racking.

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Old 01-20-2013, 02:25 AM   #8
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So i should go buy some sorbate to add to it also? I have added like 1/4 tsp of potassium meta bisulfite.
It claims 1/4t for 5 gallons. I dont have any campden tablets as at my LHBS they only pointed me at the potassium meta bisulfite when i asked about it.

After now..24-30 hours after I have backsweetened+added potassium meta bisulfite. There is no signs of fermentation and my airlock has been silent on it. Need I continue and add whatever? Id need to go buy some sorbate. And dont plan on racking again until I can see a little bit of clearing. because it is a solid purple (grape juice) and wont be clearing for a little.
Opinion please

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Old 01-20-2013, 03:09 AM   #9
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Do NOT ever rely on airlock for signs of referment. Use your hydrometer. Airlock bubbles can come from CO2 offgassing and temp changes also. Plus some yeasts do not produce alot of action.
You should ALWAYS add sorbate along with k-meta when stabilizing something you plan to backsweeten. And do not be shocked if you still have some fermentation with a SG of 1.000, it commonly goes lower, and it can take a bit for those final points to drop, and sorbate plus k-meta on board will not stop the decline.
But, a hint when working with gallon batches, if your label says to use 1/4 tsp k-meta/5 gallons simply place 1/4 tsp KM in glass and add 5 tbsp water, stir until dissolved and use 1 tbsp per gallon. It is quite easy to dissolve your sorbate into the amount you remove to dose your wine with. You can use teaspoon increments on water, etc., just know what measurement you prepared. I actually keep a glass jar of this exact proportion mixed up, very well labelled with POISON sign, and sealed in refrig. I also use it to dose my bulk aging wine once a quarter. I change it every three months and the old solution gets diluted and then added to my sanitizing mister, which is used all over the house. No waste.
If you added too little sorbate, please adjust the dose....it will come back to haunt you.

Start out with good practices and continue with good practices. You invest a lot of time, and many times money, in your craft so take the time to do it properly...otherwise you will likely find yourself pouring your wine, and money, down the drain.

FWIW, you really do not even need to stabilize with k-meta/campden plus sorbate until the wine is clear. In fact, the taste of a wine that is only 8 weeks from start versus one at the 16 week mark is usually quite different in terms of what you may perceive in residual sugar, tannins, and acidity & doctoring by backsweetening too soon can come back and bite you when you find it is actually too sweet.

I have a 3gallon batch of a grape pyment fermenting also. Looking forward to enjoying it perhaps in September, hoping for June but likely dreaming. We will see, it is rumored to truly be an early drinker.

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Old 01-20-2013, 03:22 AM   #10
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ahh ok. So...tomorrow I go to buy sorbate from my LHBS. And probably more k-meta. I just dont think there is any fermenting going on because it is tightly sealed with the airlock/stopper. and NOTHING is coming out of the airlock, no bubbles. absoulutely nothing. and it hasnt changed the way it looked in the past 30 hours. Once i put it into the closet, ive checked on it. and absolutely nothing is going on. BUT I shall head and buy some sorbate. Should i also invest in something to allow it to clear faster? New to making all this, have everything but sorbate really. AND should i buy some campden tablets? or is k-meta just as easy to use as the campden. Thanks

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