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Old 05-17-2013, 12:48 AM   #1
azazel
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Howdy, i'm new to making mead and i'm well into my first batch. Along the way i've made a few errors, notably putting the yeast in when the honey was too hot, and storing the bucket in a cool area, 55 degrees, for a few days at the start.

Currently i'm 5 months into the process and i'm getting bubbles about 2 minutes apart. the alcohol content of my mead is 5%(i think that's low) the honey to water ratio was 15 lbs of honey to 3 gallons of water.

Sooooo my question is, did i kill the yeast with those two errors at the start? If i did is it affecting my alcohol output? Should i put more yeast in? If i killed a majority of the yeast will it just take longer to get my alcohol up there? How can i make the alcohol content go up?

Thanks, hope to get an answer soon

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Old 05-17-2013, 01:20 AM   #2
Arpolis
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5 months in? Fermentation should have been well done and the mead cleared by now.

Was your additional recipe:

15lb honey
Water to 3 gallons
Yeast

And thats it?

If so one of two things happened. Your starting temp was too high and the yeast died but since you have some alcohol content then I think this second option may be the issue. Lack of nutrients and stressed yeast.

Honey is naturally acidic. Honey also has very little trace and essential nutrients. So yeast may just starve out in a improperly prepared must.

Also 15lb honey in 3 gallons total volume gives you a gravity of about 1.18 which can possibly get to 22% ABV.

You need to pitch new yeast with a proper starter.

If you can get brewing yeast nutrient and energizer then ill give you instruction to do this with that. If not then ill give a secondary option.

First take a packet of fresh dry yeast to make your starter. I suggest lalvin K1v-1116. You need a strong yeast that can handle a high ABV.

Starter ingredient:

2 cups water
1/4 cup honey
1/8tsp yeast nutrient (DAP)
10 raisins cut in half.

Steps:

Sprinkle yeast on top of starter and do not mix in. Cover with paper towel and rubber band. Let sit a couple hours. Now add in 1/4 cup of your mead must and mix it up well. Wait 30 minutes and repeat the process. When you have about 4 1/4 cups of liquid in the starter then pour it into your must. Then add in 3 tsp yeast nutrient & 1/2 tsp yeast energizer into the must and mix well. It should start fermenting again within 24 hours. Then every 24 hours add in another 1/2 tsp if yeast energizer for 2 more days. That should finish out your mead.

Steps without commercial nutrients:

Starter ingredients:

2 cups white grape juice or apple juice
1/8 cup of honey
10 raisins split in half.

Mix in the yeast and step feed the starter the must like above. While getting this going take 1 5g packet of bread yeast mixed in well into 1/8 cup of water and microwave that for about 5 min to kill the yeast. Once you pitch the starter also pitch the dead bread yeast. Then repeat that process every 24 hours for another couple of days to keep adding nutrients. Either way should finish fermenting out your mead over a couple weeks.

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Old 05-17-2013, 05:21 AM   #3
saramc
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azazel....when you said at '5% ACV' do you mean your current hydrometer reading is around SG of 1.035 or so, or that there has only been a SG decrease of about 0.035 in five months???

What was your actual original gravity (assume close to 1.180) and what is SG now?

Not sure what must temp was when you pitched yeast, or max temp exposed to...but the few days at 55F just slowed things down. Seems like now the must may be at room temp, what is temp, so the yeasts are at work based off action you describe...but needs to be confirmed with decrease in SG (since bubbles are not always a true indicator of fermentation). If any yeast survived the initial hot spot they are likely reproducing, but nutrient component can impact that. All the sugar you need to make alcohol is on board, the yeast just need to do their thing.

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