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Old 06-10-2011, 09:54 PM   #1
Medovukha
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Default Repitching Mistake?

I've made a couple of small gallon batches of mead, which have turned out alright, and I'm on a third that I'm afraid I may have messed up.

Basically, after racking into seconday I noticed that there wasn't any bubbling like there had been after I racked the previous batch. I was afraid I may have killed fermentation. I was also worried about the head space, so I added some boiled water and repitched a small amount of Red Star Cote de Blanc. I hoped the new yeast would fill the reduced head-space with gas and keep it from getting too much oxygen. Well, a bit of bubbling ensued, and at first I was pleased. Now however, I have another layer of lees about 1/8 of an inch on the bottom of the gallon jug, and also a very small ring of white around the top of the mead. Will I have to rack again?

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Old 06-11-2011, 09:14 AM   #2
fatbloke
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Originally Posted by Medovukha View Post
I've made a couple of small gallon batches of mead, which have turned out alright, and I'm on a third that I'm afraid I may have messed up.

Basically, after racking into seconday I noticed that there wasn't any bubbling like there had been after I racked the previous batch. I was afraid I may have killed fermentation. I was also worried about the head space, so I added some boiled water and repitched a small amount of Red Star Cote de Blanc. I hoped the new yeast would fill the reduced head-space with gas and keep it from getting too much oxygen. Well, a bit of bubbling ensued, and at first I was pleased. Now however, I have another layer of lees about 1/8 of an inch on the bottom of the gallon jug, and also a very small ring of white around the top of the mead. Will I have to rack again?
When you rack, there's always the possibility of the ferment slowing down, because you will have racked the batch off some of the viable yeasts and left a lot of it in with the sediment.

Hence, the guidance is always the same, test with hydrometer first...... as, it's often the case that you end up with a second "lag phase" while the yeasts that have made it across the racking take a while to build the colony back up.

Boiled water ? still hot ? cos that is also likely to kill off some of the yeast cells, if it's too hot.

If you do think that a ferment has stalled/stuck, then you should search for the instructions on restarting it (and the yeast too use). Just repitching, doesn't often work as it's often the case that you're just putting fresh yeast into something that won't restart without help as the alcohol level is already too great for the new yeast to fire up.

Have you taken a gravity reading ? If so, what is it ?

Have you tried just aerating it to see if that's enough to make the yeasties wake up again ???
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