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Old 03-16-2006, 01:41 AM   #1
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Default slow start from O2?

I made a starter for my first mead Sunday night. 6 cups water, 1 tbsp DME, nutrient, energizer, 1/2 cup honey, 60 seconds of O2 and a swollen pack of 3184 sweet mead yeast. OG: 1.040. 72 hours later I go nuthin'. I've swirled the jug several times a day to get the yeast off the bottom.

what gives? Why the long lag time and no activity yet? Anyone else ever have this problem? Would the O2 delay the start somehow?

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Old 03-16-2006, 02:44 AM   #2
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if you have a cake of yeast on the bottom that starter has already done it's work!

Starters can ferment very fast and you might never notice the fermentation happening. The cake on the bottom is the indicator that all is well.

-walker

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Old 03-16-2006, 05:10 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imperial Walker
Starters can ferment very fast and you might never notice the fermentation happening. The cake on the bottom is the indicator that all is well.

-walker
I don't think I've gone more than 8 hours without checking on it and there isn't the usual crud left on the inside of the jug. Only the hydrometer could tell for sure at this point though I'm quite sure nothing at all has happened yet.

In Ken Schramm's book (I only browsed thru, partly to steal the starter recipe) he says to step up the starter when fermentation slows, around three days. So I really doubt this would have fermented out in under 8 hours.

Something isn't right here and it's really bugging me. It may be the yeast itself. A little (read:hours) of searching shows that 3184 can be slow enough to be abandoned for another strain.
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Old 03-16-2006, 01:49 PM   #4
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Ok, I guess I misunderstood this comment you made:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALPS
I've swirled the jug several times a day to get the yeast off the bottom.
I took this to mean that you had a nice, visible layer of yeast in the bottom of the container.

One other comment about your checking it at least every 8 hours: it is not uncommon for me to make a starter at 10pm, and by the time I get out of bed the next morning (around 6:30am) it is COMPLETELY done fermenting and it ready to rock-n-roll. 8 hours is plenty of time for all of the action to happen.

-walker
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Old 03-19-2006, 05:21 AM   #5
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Thanks for the reply, Walker... I've done a lot of research for my first mead and expected this to be so much harder. The 3184 was reported to be s l o w and sometimes quite difficult to ferment with. Here I am wondering why it has not yet started, and lo and behold... a simple hydrometer check shows it is, in fact, done. This must have fermented out in about 6 hours early Monday morning.

I've stepped this up once (and it fired up in 5 minutes) and just "brewed" my first batch of traditional mead. Now the wait begins....

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Old 03-19-2006, 12:58 PM   #6
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I just bottled a batch of Traditional mead. I left it flat for the effect.

I have a Barkshack Ginger Mead in the secondary. It's clearing up again (from the transfer). It should be ready to bottle in another couple of months.

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Old 03-19-2006, 05:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99

I have a Barkshack Ginger Mead in the secondary. It's clearing up again (from the transfer). It should be ready to bottle in another couple of months.
Did you follow Charlie's recipe? Any fruit added? Yeast type? How long was it in the primary?

I've still got 30# of honey left and this recipe sound good.

Made my mead last night. 15# honey, nutrient, energizer, about 4 gallons of water, 90 sec O2 and the slurry from the starter. OG was 1.108. Bubbling away nicely right now, though I can't seem to get the stopper to seat well.
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Old 03-19-2006, 07:26 PM   #8
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Although meads can take a long time, with an OG of 1.040 a fast ferment is no surprise.

An OG of 1.108 could take months.

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