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Old 12-31-2011, 09:34 PM   #1
TheLadybugTree
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Default Yep... Stuck Fermentation

Newbie here so please redirect me if I am posting this in the wrong way.

I decided to try a mead this month. I ended up modge-podging the JAOM and MOAM recipes with some of the advice form hightest. Yes, probably should have stuck to a single recipe. But, when I saw the cost of honey I thought I would go for exactly what I wanted, even at the risk of failing.

Recipe:
9 kg honey
5 cinn. sticks
4 cloves whole
1/2 tsp nutmeg
6 oranges-worth of zest
6 oranges-worth of juice
80 raisins pulverized and diced
1 packet of ec 1118
1/2 packet of 71b-1122 (left overs from something or other i wanted to use up)
2/3 tsp of tannin
Water filled to 24L in primary with brewbelt.
3 staggered additions of (1 tsp Nutrient 1/4 tsp of energizer)

Preparation:
Hydrate yeast
simmer cloves, cinn., nutmeg, zest. Add to primary with juice
boil water, add honey, add to primary once warm to touch.
Add first addition of nutrient/energizer
top up with cool water to achieve 27 degrees Celsius. (oops, then waited until cooler to pitch hydrated yeast)

Fermented at 20-22 degrees C for 2 weeks. Degassed everyday for first week and staggered the nutrient/energizer addition by adding on Day 1 and Day 3. Added tannin on Day 2 (forgot to add it initially)

Today, I racked to secondary. SG reads 1.022. This means roughly 12% alcohol and tasted sweet to the lips. Not sickeningly sweet, but not what I want. (I worked it out and its is something like 1.5 tsp per glass of mead remains) I am wanting to ferment this mead dry so I can back sweeten if necessary. If my math is write, I am shooting for something like SG of 998 or lower and will yield about a 15% mead.

So, because the kitchen was in a state of disarray and the fiancee needed it for baking, I made some executive decisions that maybe would have been best to consult HBT first.

I rehydrated a 1/4 tsp of bakers yeast (all I have) and also made a must mixture with 1/8 tsp energizer and 1/2 tsp nutrient. I added the yeast cake form the primary back into the carboy and dumped both of these mixtures in too. Used drill stirrer to mix it all up.

The hope is that fermentation starts back up and I end up with a nice dry mead in two weeks or so. From there I will degass/clear and bulk age for about a year.

Questions I have:
1. Will this work?
2. Did I jump the gun... would it have fermented dry anyway?
3. When I go into bulk aging, what kind of racking/addition schedule should I use. I was thinking every 4 months rack and add 1/8 tsp kmeta.

Ideas I have:
Next time: stagger the last 1/3 of the honey addition until a week into fermentation?
If this doesn't work: check the Acidity level to make sure I don't have some crazy hostile environment for my yeasties

I appreciate all constructive feedback on any of my process!! I am new. help me

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Old 12-31-2011, 09:40 PM   #2
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Baking yeast has a super low alcohol tolerance, so it would have been killed right away if you added it to 12% mead. That's probably for the best, as it doesn't taste very good.

However, EC-1118 is easily pushed past 18%l When was the last time you added nutrients?

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Old 12-31-2011, 10:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBechthold View Post
.......
6 oranges-worth of juice
80 raisins pulverized and diced
1 packet of ec 1118
1/2 packet of 71b-1122 (left overs from something or other i wanted to use up)
........
I rehydrated a 1/4 tsp of bakers yeast (all I have)

Questions I have:
1. Will this work?
2. Did I jump the gun... would it have fermented dry anyway?
3. When I go into bulk aging, what kind of racking/addition schedule should I use. I was thinking every 4 months rack and add 1/8 tsp kmeta.
..........

check the Acidity level to make sure I don't have some crazy hostile environment for my yeasties
the orange can add acid to it, something worth checking next time.
the 71b and bakers yeast won't do anything when its up against ec1118. but they can hurt the mead if it sits on it for to long. when its finished hit it with a little tannin and possibly some fining's to get the yeast to drop out quickly.

i think you have jumped the gun.
it hasn't stalled, just slowed which it will do near the end.
just leave it alone and it should ferment out.
ec1118 is a battle axe, it will ferment a rock.

racking......as much as you need and as little as possible. no schedule required. just get it off the yeast as soon as its finished.

you will need to stabilize the mead (sulfite and sorbate, or pasteurize/filter) before you backsweeten. then you will need to clear it again.
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:49 PM   #4
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Default nutrients

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Baking yeast has a super low alcohol tolerance, so it would have been killed right away if you added it to 12% mead. That's probably for the best, as it doesn't taste very good.

However, EC-1118 is easily pushed past 18%l When was the last time you added nutrients?
Day 2 I added nutrients. I added more when racking to secondary just recently.

I am aware that the 71b will die at 12% as well as that bakers, I hope I didn't get nasty tastes out of the bread yeast though. I will rack in 2 weeks and we'll see.
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tweake View Post
the orange can add acid to it, something worth checking next time.
the 71b and bakers yeast won't do anything when its up against ec1118. but they can hurt the mead if it sits on it for to long. when its finished hit it with a little tannin and possibly some fining's to get the yeast to drop out quickly.

i think you have jumped the gun.
it hasn't stalled, just slowed which it will do near the end.
just leave it alone and it should ferment out.
ec1118 is a battle axe, it will ferment a rock.

racking......as much as you need and as little as possible. no schedule required. just get it off the yeast as soon as its finished.

you will need to stabilize the mead (sulfite and sorbate, or pasteurize/filter) before you backsweeten. then you will need to clear it again.
Thanks for the advice. I agree. I must have jumped the gun.

The secondary is bubbling away. A good sized glug every second in the S-style airlock. I can't be sure if this is bread yeast (stressed and close to dying I am sure) or the aerated and energized yeast cake doing the work. Either way, I am guessing/hoping it will mean a dry fermentation in the next two weeks.

Do you think it is reasonable to expect the final S.G. to reach .995 by the end of two weeks from today? I will be fermenting at about 19 deg. celsius. (no brew belt because in glass carboy... Might use a heat blanket though.
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:20 AM   #6
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i doubt bread yeast will be doing anything.
71b will not be alive to do any fermenting.
need to remember that ec1118 is a killer yeast and 71b is a sensitive yeast. ec1118 simply kills 71b and it will either kill or dominate the bread yeast.

the added nutrient is what has made it continue.

taste wise i would not heat it up at all. any hotter and it can create poor tastes. it should finish within a few weeks easy enough. may take longer to degass and you will need to age it for 6 months or so.

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Old 01-03-2012, 05:01 AM   #7
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:05 AM   #8
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Should I continue nutrient addition if things slow down again?

Thanks for the info about 71B. You will hear from me if I have more questions

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Old 01-03-2012, 06:12 AM   #9
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generally speaking adding more nutrient after 1/2 is a waste of time a the yeast cannot use it. i would guess that if its starving some nutrient will help regardless.
big thing here is whats in the nutrient your adding. your 3 tsp may not have been enough.

at the moment its a case of just leave it be.

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Old 01-03-2012, 11:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tweake View Post
generally speaking adding more nutrient after 1/2 is a waste of time a the yeast cannot use it. i would guess that if its starving some nutrient will help regardless.
big thing here is whats in the nutrient your adding. your 3 tsp may not have been enough.

at the moment its a case of just leave it be.
A slight correction. I don't know if its been tested/proven, but the take up of nitrogen after the half sugar break is to do with inorganic nitrogen, like DAP or that found in fermaid K. If a brew needs or seems to need nutrition late on, then its recommended to use organic nitrogen sources like fermaid O, or even boiled bread yeast.

As for EC-1118 having the "killer factor" I haven't read that anywhere (unless you've a link ?). It's K1V that does, hence the K designation.
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