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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Primary fermenter not doing much
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:24 AM   #1
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Default Primary fermenter not doing much

I am making my first batch of mead and it isn't really doing what I've read that should be. I am 50 hours into fermentation and I've witnessed only two bubbles through the air lock. There isn't any kind of bubbling taking place on the surface of the liquid. I have added two nutrient packs so far (1 at 24 and 48 hours). It is a 5 gallon batch and I used 15# of honey (it is a kit from Northern Brewer).

Should I wait to see if anything happens? Or should I add more yeast? I'm new to this process and I don't want to risk ruining this batch. If anyone has any advice I'd greatly appreciate it!

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Old 03-26-2012, 12:35 AM   #2
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I am making my first batch of mead and it isn't really doing what I've read that should be. I am 50 hours into fermentation and I've witnessed only two bubbles through the air lock. There isn't any kind of bubbling taking place on the surface of the liquid. I have added two nutrient packs so far (1 at 24 and 48 hours). It is a 5 gallon batch and I used 15# of honey (it is a kit from Northern Brewer).

Should I wait to see if anything happens? Or should I add more yeast? I'm new to this process and I don't want to risk ruining this batch. If anyone has any advice I'd greatly appreciate it!
Check the SG and see if it's dropping. If it's above 1.040, stir strongly and see if that helps get it going. If it's below 1.040, it should be progressing just fine.
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:49 AM   #3
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It's o.g. was 1.124 and it is at 1.123 or so. So it hasn't really moved much at all...

I also used one of those drill mixers on it today after I added the second nutrient pack.

Is it possible that it is too heavy and I should add water? I don't want to do anything without asking you professionals first!

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Old 03-26-2012, 12:55 AM   #4
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It's o.g. was 1.124 and it is at 1.123 or so. So it hasn't really moved much at all...

I also used one of those drill mixers on it today after I added the second nutrient pack.

Is it possible that it is too heavy and I should add water? I don't want to do anything without asking you professionals first!
No, it should be ok. Stir it often, and well. Which yeast strain did you use?
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:04 AM   #5
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I forgot to write it down, it came in the kit. Next time I'm at NB I'm going to check. I've got one more nutrient pack to add tomorrow and I'll give it a mix daily until I hopefully see some progress. Thanks for the help!

Edit: the yeast is Lalvin 71B-1122 "narbonne", I found it listed on the kit instructions.

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Old 03-26-2012, 01:15 AM   #6
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You may be able to find out what yeast strain they sent with the kit, also if you are able check the pH if it is too high or low it could cause a snag. Another thing to keep an eye on is fermentation temps, different yeasts are more productive at diff ambient temps. It is also possible you have a slow starter 2 days isn't all that long, have patience you could be absolutely fine.

If the gravity doesn't change in a couple of days still you can always bring out the big guns and pick yourself up a pack of Lavlin 1118 yeast and DAP all for about $3-$5, rehydrate the yeast and pitch and then hit it with the appropriate amount of DAP to boost the nitrogen and it"ll get you unstuck

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Old 03-26-2012, 01:19 AM   #7
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Sorry I missed the yeast strain edit on your previous post....


Another thing I forgot to mention is that in a lot of "kits" be it mead, beer or wine, they are put together then warehoused then shipped etc. Etc. So the ingredients ie. the yeast could be older or stored at temps that weren't good for it so it may not have been fully viable to begin with.

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Old 03-26-2012, 01:23 AM   #8
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i'll be patient for now and try not to worry that it isn't working. if nothing happens i'll try that yeast strain. what is this DAP you speak of? i'm sure if i asked about it at NB they'd know, but i'm curious.

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Old 03-26-2012, 02:00 AM   #9
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Its Diammonium Phosphate, don't quote me on the spelling, Im at work and couldn't check the bottle its an inexpensive easy source of nutrient/nitrogen it works really well. It's added 1 tsp per gallon, I like to dissolve in a tiny bit of water just for ease of mixing, just watch out when you add it, sometimes it foams up pretty good at first. The bottle was around $3 and is good for quite a few batches

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Old 03-26-2012, 02:24 AM   #10
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excellent, i'll look into it if my mead continues to be a slacker. thanks again for the advice!

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