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Old 10-02-2011, 01:56 AM   #1
loaming
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Oct 2011
Pittsburgh, PA
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I've got my very first mead going in the primary- SummerSolstice's Caramel Apple Mead. Everything went relatively well with the initial recipe, though fermentation was slow to start. OG was 1.155 (compared to the recipe's 1.120.)

After one week it got to 1.075, and I added nutrients. Week two it got to 1.035 and I added again... and that's where I am having problems. It has been a week since we added nutrients, and I am currently sitting at 1.030. Recipe recommends reaching 1.012 before racking to secondary.

Temperature was at a steady 68F initially, this week it fell to 64F. I currently don't have any way of checking the pH.

I've read the other threads about possibly stuck fermentation, but the circumstances seem different, so I thought I would ask. Would adding more nutrients at this stage even work? Any recommendations?

 
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:36 AM   #2
mccann51
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Feb 2011
Somewhere, CA
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Adding inorganic nutrient (ie DAP) would be of no use now, since yeast cannot assimilate inorganic N in high alcohol environments. Organic nutrients (ie autolyzed yeast) would still be assimilable and may be beneficial; autolyzed yeast also has yeast hulls which can be beneficial at sopping up toxic stuff that will inhibit the yeast late in fermentation.

All that said, although adding nutrient wouldn't hurt, it's may not help. That is an extremely high OG. Anything about 1.130 is gonna be very difficult to keep going. As well, what yeast did you use? The yeast may simply be at their alcohol tolerance.

Even if you used K1V, which has a tolerance of 18%, it's entirely possible it would get stuck at 16% if the ferment wasn't managed well (examples: not enough nutrient, not enough aeration) since the OG you had is already really putting the yeast in a very stressful situation.

I'd try adding some autolyzed yeast and see where that gets you; I've also heard racking can help reinvigorate a ferment, though I can't speak to this myself. Also, just because it's going slow, doesn't mean it's stuck, so give it some time.

 
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:03 PM   #3
fatbloke
 
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Well, as the current numbers already indicate about 17% already, then I really doubt whether it'll go much further anyway. At 1.030 it's gonna be pretty sweet, so I'd probably just try clearing it etc and then fortifying it with something neutral (vodka), if 17% isn't strong enough for you.
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Old 10-06-2011, 12:41 AM   #4
loaming
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Oct 2011
Pittsburgh, PA
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Yeah, I was originally concerned about the high gravity, especially since I'm not sure what I did to make it different from the recipe. I am using K1V.

Thanks for the recommendations. Good news though- I got the primary in a better temperature and have been aerating it, and it is still fermenting. It's sluggish, but seems to be responding well to the temperature change, so I'm going to see if I can continue to nurse it a little further. Will keep you posted!

 
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Old 10-06-2011, 01:20 AM   #5
commonsenseman
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Feb 2011
White Bear Lake, Minnesota
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Glad to hear it's still going for you!

A word of caution though: be very careful introducing oxygen this late in the game, you may end up oxidizing it (cardboard flavor).

Good luck!
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