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Old 02-07-2010, 01:09 PM   #1
Grancru
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Default What Went Wrong?

I just racked my first 5 gal. batch of medium show mead. The OG reading was 1.10 and now almost 3 weeks later it is 0.39. What am I missing here?

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Old 02-07-2010, 01:35 PM   #2
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What do you think is wrong?

You've fermented 3-4 pts a day since pitching, which certainly isn't a horrible ferment.

My guess is you are thinking this is beer and that you should be done with ferment already?

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Old 02-07-2010, 01:45 PM   #3
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Grancru, if your gravity is 1.039 three weeks after starting, you do have a very sluggish fermentation. With a traditional mead (or a show mead), there can be several reasons but one of the most common is a pH issue.

Please give us the full details of your recipe (type of honey, yeast, temperature, etc.) and if you can measure the pH that may help to get you the best possible answers.

Medsen

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Old 02-07-2010, 02:06 PM   #4
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15.5 Cups Windmill Farms Wildflower
4.5 Gal Spring Water
10 oz. Lalvin D-47 Yeast
2 tsp. Yeast Energizer
2 tsp. Yeast Nutrient
OG 1.1
Piched on 1/20/10 (19 days)
Temp 64-66
It is a beautiful creamy, golden color.

The reading now is 0.39 not 1.039. I may be wrong but I tought it should only drop to around 1.0 +/- not all the way down to 0.39. The fermentation was not sluggish. It began almost immediatly, remained agressive until the last couple days when it slowed to a bubble every 20 secs.

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Old 02-07-2010, 02:13 PM   #5
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0.39 doesn't make sense! Do you use a hydrometer or refractometer?

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Old 02-07-2010, 02:23 PM   #6
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I'm sorry it is 1.039. Hydrometer reading.

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Old 02-07-2010, 02:30 PM   #7
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More than likely, your pH is low. If you can check it that will give some useful information and can get you back on track. If the pH is below 3.0, it really needs to be fixed or this fermentation may never get done.

You also look to be a little light on the nutrients. At this stage of fermentation the yeast won't be able to assimilate DAP very well, but if you give it energizer (about 4 tsp or 16 grams) and yeast hulls (1 gram per gallon they bind yeast toxins) that may help you. The nutrients tend to raise the pH slightly which may help, and if the yeast are hungry, this will help. Your racking has already taken care of aerating it further, so you should be okay from that standpoint.

Endeavor to persevere!

Medsen

P.S. Just one clarification on terminology. What you have here is a traditional mead. A "Show Mead" is one made from only honey, water, and yeast, in which no nutrients are used (per BJCP guidelines).

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Old 02-07-2010, 02:40 PM   #8
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Yes, mine is a common hydrometer begining with .990. My reading is just below the .40 mark. The OG reading read at the 10 mark below the 1.100 in the middle of the hydrometer.

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Old 02-07-2010, 02:44 PM   #9
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Yep, sounds like you are reading it right.

I'm sorrry I edited out my prior post as soon as I had seen that you already responded - I apologize for any confusion.

Are you able to check that pH?

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Old 02-07-2010, 03:06 PM   #10
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I used Ken Schramm's recipe from The Complete Meadmaker which he titles it a Medium Show Mead. I do not have the ability to check PH at this time.

I do have energizer, fermaid K and Go-ferm but no yeast hulls.

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