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-   -   Newbie making Chocolate (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/newbie-making-chocolate-86746/)

668 11-01-2008 02:42 PM

Newbie making Chocolate
 
I originally started this at here the winpress.us forums, but these boards seem to be way more active in the mead section, so I thought I'd ask my question here instead.

Quick & Dirty summary.

1. 1 gallon of Chocolate-Cherry Mead
2. Original SG: 1.122, which I believe I goofed during the reading since. . .
3. SG at transfer to glass jug three weeks later: 1.142
4. SG a month later: 1.135

Currently there is about 1.5 inches of lees at the bottom, so I'm thinking I should rack this guy sometime soon, and maybe top it back up with a honey water/mixture and just let it sit. But, In my very short Mead & Wine making I haven't seen a SG reading behave so slowly, so I'm just wondering what any of you with a more experience would think in this situation. Is the current rate fine, or should I be taking measures to get the yeast fired up again? There still is activity in the airlock, but its pretty slow at about 1 bubble per four minutes.

Thanks.

BigKahuna 11-01-2008 03:39 PM

any of your gravity readings are EXTREMELY high, and going to be pretty tough to get started. Post your recipe if you have it.

Some times, you will get an increase from the fruit if you don't account for it in the origional recipe.

668 11-01-2008 04:34 PM

Figured the high starting gravity would make it tough to get going, but wasn't sure how tough.

There is a link to the recipe in post #1.

Tusch 11-01-2008 08:50 PM

Maraschino-Chocolate Sweet Mead

* 4 lbs honey (it's the size jar I had; 3 lbs should have been enough)
* 2 lb 5 oz jar of Mezzetta's maraschino cherries
* 4 oz Hershey's Cocoa Powder
* 2 1/4 tsp acid blend
* 1 1/4 tsp yeast nutrient
* 1/8 tsp yeast energizer
* 3/16 tsp grape tannin
* 1/16 tsp potassium metabisulfite
* water to 1 gallon
* 1 pkt Gervin Wine Yeast Varietal B (S. cerevisiae) [alternate: Lalvin 71B-1122]

Jack says: "The starting s.g. was too high to measure with this particular hydrometer, so I measured 100 mL of must and added to it 100 mL of water. In the test jar, the hydrometer floated at 1.075, making the effective starting s.g. 1.152. This was actually 10 points below what I expected."

Wow, SG of 1.152 that's crazy high. Well it is going slow but if it started this high, it has dropper .020 so far. Give it more time, but definitely watch it. This high of a starting gravity has a chance of being stuck.

tooomanycolors 11-03-2008 03:16 AM

did you aerate? maybe repitch 71B should do it or take the plunge and hit it with EC-1118, and aerate, actually just aerate this one, the added O2 may give the yeast a kick to get back to work, freakin slackers. also racking wont hurt to much, you may just need to repitch in that case...other than that I dont have any ideas.

668 11-03-2008 10:34 PM

It was well shook in a gallon jug before I put it into my primary pail. Gave it some deep, non tender stirs for the first fews days after that as well. It seemed to be quite happy back then.

There still is visible activity of little tiny bubble going on, so maybe I'm overreacting a bit, though at .02/month it will be an awefuly long ferment.

Would there be any ill effects if I added a pinch of energizer when I rack it?

lapaglia 11-03-2008 11:05 PM

The heck with a pinch I'd do 1/2 tsp per gallon. Meed is low on food for the yeasties and they need all the help they can get.

I suggest 1/2 tsp because thats what mine says to use. If yours is different use the required amount. I use the LD Carlson energizer.

Kauai_Kahuna 11-04-2008 06:38 AM

668 - That is a killer OG.
I would take out a half cup of your batch, add enough water and some nutriant to bring it down to around 1.060, maybe 1/4 of a cup. Then add some yeast nutriant, and re-pitch yeast. Let it get active then add another half a cup of your mix, step it up till it is tearing into the additions and re-pitch that into your must.

668 11-04-2008 04:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kauai_Kahuna (Post 933980)
668 - That is a killer OG.
I would take out a half cup of your batch, add enough water and some nutriant to bring it down to around 1.060, maybe 1/4 of a cup. Then add some yeast nutriant, and re-pitch yeast. Let it get active then add another half a cup of your mix, step it up till it is tearing into the additions and re-pitch that into your must.

Thanks for the recommendation. Just wondering though, since you mention nutrient twice, was one of those suppose to be energizer?

Kauai_Kahuna 11-04-2008 05:50 PM

Sorry a little overeager, by watering down the mead and adding nutrient you should be able to get a healthy starter, then just keep stepping it up till it large enough to handle the entire batch.


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