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Old 02-15-2013, 02:34 AM   #1
gleimer
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Default Slow Fermentation on my First Batch of Mead

Hi everyone. I started a 3 gallon batch of mead back in mid November with an OG of 1.132. I used Fermaid K and White Labs Sweet Mead Liquid Yeast with a plan to ferment down to 1.020. Since this yeast dies off at 15% ABV, I figured this would work out nicely. After a month and a half I was only down to 1.092 with almost no visible airlock activity so I pitched more yeast and Fermaid K. Now after three months I'm down to 1.062 with little airlock activity.

I guess I got impatient this week and I went ahead and split my 3 gallons into 3 individual jugs with fruit in two. My hope was that this would kick start things again. Now that I'm done though, I'm worried this might have not been the right move.

Any ideas and suggestions on the following?
1. How do I get fermentation going again? Especially since I'm now in three jugs with fruit.
2. How long should I leave my mead on fruit and what's the best way to separate once done? Straining with cheese cloth is a bad idea, right?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

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Old 02-16-2013, 05:55 PM   #2
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Wow that is definitely a slow fermentation. When you added yeast the second time, did you use the same yeast?

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Old 02-17-2013, 01:47 AM   #3
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Yes, both times I used the Sweet Mead Liquid Yeast from White Labs along with Fermaid K. The first time I added yeast, it took a couple before I saw any activity. The second time I added, there wasn't any visible change to the activity in the airlock.

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Old 02-17-2013, 10:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gleimer View Post
Yes, both times I used the Sweet Mead Liquid Yeast from White Labs along with Fermaid K. The first time I added yeast, it took a couple before I saw any activity. The second time I added, there wasn't any visible change to the activity in the airlock.
Too low a pH level maybe ?
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:07 PM   #5
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You could try pitching in Lalvin's EC1118 yeast and try to get fermentation going again as it's pretty known for restarting a stuck fermentation. The only issue with that is the mead will ferment much drier than the 1.020 you were looking for (more than likely). But you can always backsweeten if that happens.

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Old 02-25-2013, 07:31 PM   #6
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I'll give that a whirl and see how it goes. I'm guessing I'll need to make a starter for the yeast. When making mead, do I make a starter with honey instead of DME? Any special recipe for the starter? Also, should I make the starter with some of my existing mead to get the yeast accustomed to the climate they'll be joining?

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Old 02-25-2013, 08:20 PM   #7
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No need to do a starter with dry EC1118. Just rehydrate in plain water according to factory instructions (they are on the packet I think, but if not they're online somewhere I'm sure) and you'll be good to go.

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Old 02-27-2013, 05:46 PM   #8
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Thank you all very much. I think I'll go that route and then back-sweeten if needed. Since my mead is already on fruit, is there any chance the yeast will consume the sugar in the fruit first and die off before all the sugar in the mead is consumed (leaving it naturally sweeter)?

Also, any suggestions on the best way to remove the fruit from the mead once fermentation is complete? Do I just rack the mead out of the jug (probably a couple times) or can I strain it with a cheese cloth or something similar?

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