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Old 10-29-2012, 08:27 PM   #1
Pmprnkl
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I started brewing mead just over 6 months ago.

One gallon
lalvin ec-1118 (1 pack)
3 lbs mesquite honey
Fermax yeast nutrient (1 tsp)

It's a pretty basic recipe for my first attempt. Regularly aerated for the first couple of weeks, then racked into a carboy for about 6 months. It's still cloudy and had a significant pile of lees on the bottom. When I first put it in te carboy, the gravity was 1.032. Now the gavity is 1.010; it seems like it may be done, but the smell and taste are bitter and yeasty. A bit of the mead I used to test the gravity actually smells lile good delicious honey after sitting out about a day (I've been lazy cleaning), but the sample I tasted of the mead was bitter and yeasty still. Should I try cold crashing or using a campden tablet to halt the active yeast? Should I keep waiting, even though it doesn't appear to still be active. W should I try some energizer to get fermentation goong?

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Old 10-30-2012, 04:15 AM   #2
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As the old song goes, "Time is on my side" as a winemaker. Keep racking it if you see lees, but otherwise just give it time.

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Old 10-30-2012, 09:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pmprnkl View Post
I started brewing mead just over 6 months ago.

One gallon
lalvin ec-1118 (1 pack)
3 lbs mesquite honey
Fermax yeast nutrient (1 tsp)

It's a pretty basic recipe for my first attempt. Regularly aerated for the first couple of weeks, then racked into a carboy for about 6 months. It's still cloudy and had a significant pile of lees on the bottom. When I first put it in te carboy, the gravity was 1.032. Now the gavity is 1.010; it seems like it may be done, but the smell and taste are bitter and yeasty. A bit of the mead I used to test the gravity actually smells lile good delicious honey after sitting out about a day (I've been lazy cleaning), but the sample I tasted of the mead was bitter and yeasty still. Should I try cold crashing or using a campden tablet to halt the active yeast? Should I keep waiting, even though it doesn't appear to still be active. W should I try some energizer to get fermentation goong?
At this late stage, inorganic DAP like that in the fermax is unlikely to help. You could rack it, you could stir it up a bit, both might help it ferment a bit further, but equally it might be stopped enough not to go any further. If you racked it, then stabilised it, then hit it with finings, the yeast would drop out and clear it. then it could be racked again into suitably sized containers (preferably glass) to age properly.

You could try to de-gas it some before hitting it with finings, or just de-gas and cold crash it, which also could/should help it clear (de-gassing can be done with a wine whip stirrer in a drill, or maybe getting a Mityvac pump and some tubing, connecting it to a holed bung and then using the vacuum, which pulls the CO2 out.

As to why it stalled a bit early ? a regular candidate is the pH level dropping below 3.0pH, which can cause the yeast/ferment to stick. If you have a way of measuring the pH to confirm the level, and it is low, then you can also treat that with a number of chems to raise it and make it less acidic, which may also help it ferment a bit further.

Low temps can also cause a yeast to stop prematurely.

At 3lb in the gallon, even EC-1118 should have munched it dry. It's feasible that the 1 tsp of fermax wasn't enough for the batch, but at this late stage, only something like FermaidO (as different from FermaidK - which is similar to the fermax you already used) or yeast hulls or even some boiled bread yeast would give enough usable nutrition to the yeast to make it ferment a bit further......
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:37 PM   #4
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Have tried cold crashing and the mead is tasting better. Still harsh initially, but an excellent aftertaste. Going to rerack and let it age further.

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