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Old 12-09-2012, 04:43 AM   #1
thetankfrank
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Default Question About A New Mead I've Produced

So,

I have made a 7 gallon batch of mead. Now, the problem is that the alch content of the mead when it was completed was only about 6%abv, very very low.

I realized it may have been due to a couple of things.

A) Hurricane Sandy getting my house below 30 degrees when I lost complete power.
B) I didn't use enough Yeast.

I used two packets of Lalvin 71b-1122 yeast.

Was curious why it didn't turn out correctly. So I did a test. I did another gallon jug on it's own, with a packet of yeast just to itself. Thinking that hey, the yeast will die if it does reach a high enough alch content.

Sure enough, it did, within two weeks it was ready for racking, and the alch level was near 22%.


My question is whether I can salvage the other batch of mead?

I've read up about priming sugars, and was wondering if, adding sugar and yeast nutrient to the old batch would fix it? Or do I need to make a new pitch, and throw it into a bucket, and pray.

Cheers,
The Tank Frank

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Old 12-09-2012, 06:43 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear about your house, that whole sandy crap is still bugging a lot of people too.

As for your mead, while I am still new, with only a year in and less than 20 gallons, I would repitch the same strain, get a really good healthy starter and pitch. There is a way to mix the must with the starter and gradually introduce the yeast 're pitch' to the new environment. Look up how to unstick fermentations I believe. I would just make sure that the mead stay above 50 degrees if you can. I had a friend who lost power at his house and when it came back and he could use the heat again, the mead came up to temp and the yeast started again. so maybe wait a week and recheck gravity? then pitch another starter? Might need someone with more experience on this.

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Old 12-09-2012, 07:07 AM   #3
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I smell troll.

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Old 12-09-2012, 07:53 AM   #4
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Thanks for your insight...

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Old 12-09-2012, 08:32 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice, I thought as muchmyself but was hoping that just priming sugar would do.

Is it possible to give your yeast too much nutrient? Or will they just eat it up normally.

Also another thing, there is a carbonated taste to it when I sip it. But my one gallon jug has no such thing. What could be causing that?

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Old 12-09-2012, 11:10 AM   #6
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I would guess you have a pH problem. Have you been degassing or just letting it sit? pH test strips or a meter if you can afford one are important for mead.

The carbonation you are experiencing is a yeast byproduct which, you guessed it, lowers pH-- and generally needs to be stirred out of solution during the first third of primary fermentation. You want pH to be no lower than 3.4ish.

The temp drop may have shocked the yeast but I would try degassing before pitching more. If you added sufficient nutrients, you don't need any more in most cases. although if you're shooting for 22%..

I wouldn't use priming sugar. Honey is sugar itself, and if the yeast isn't eating that, then you're just giving it additional flavors and not fixing the problem.

Hope this helps!

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Old 12-10-2012, 01:54 AM   #7
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Thanks alot, I have done the following.

Built a Yeast starter, a gallon. It was buzzing happily on its own, and degassed the mead and pitched the starter yeast in after 14 hours of the starter running on its own. Seems to be adjusting well to the existing batch, and I see it starting back up. Going to keep watching it.

Just so you know, I was wrong, my other gallon came out at 15%, still a nice level of alcohol to just sit back and sip on like wine. I actually like the taste now, is it ok to drink that gallon? Is letting it mature just for taste preference and maturity sakes?

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Old 12-11-2012, 03:29 AM   #8
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That's the nice thing about home brew. You can do whatever you want with it. Bottle it and drink some while the rest of it ages. My general thought is age never hurts. Except in our own bodies.

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