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Old 01-01-2012, 05:55 PM   #1
turtlescales
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Dec 2011
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Thanks to all of you for your advice and past posts, this site has been an invaluable resource to me as a newbie to the hobby.

I started a raspberry melomel on Friday, using 71B. I had put a campden tablet into the must the day before (decided to do 10oz of berries now and possibly another 10 during secondary) and waited 24 hours before pitching the yeast. There hasn't been any activity in the airlock, though we did aerate the must yesterday. Not sure if I should be concerned or not, started another batch of mead last night with K1V-1116 and already this morning less than 12 hours later it is bubbling away. I used goferm with each rehydration.

If I did kill the yeast, my LHBS won't be open again until Tuesday. I'm concerned about the must going bad before then. I don't have any more 71B, just a packet of Red Star Champagne yeast and another of the K1V-1116. I can't tell if I am being a jumpy mead n00b or what, any advice is as always appreciated.

 
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:30 PM   #2
biochemedic
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First of all, I think the procedure of using the campden for 24 hrs is completely unnecessary. A good portion of brewers yeast will overwhelm any possible contamination on the berries.
What is the size of your batch...
How long exactly has it been at this point since you pitched?
Did you rehydrate the yeast or just direct pitch?
Check your airlock, sometimes it can be loose or otherwise some leak that might make it seem as if there's no activity.
If all else fails, check a gravity reading and compare it with your OG...that's the only sure way to tell if you're starting to ferment.
Also, you might want to consider checking your pH...with the acidity of the fruit, it could be affecting the yeast getting started...
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:42 PM   #3
turtlescales
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Dec 2011
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Pitched it Saturday night, rehydrated with goferm. Single gallon batch, and realized last minute I had no efficient way to get some must out for an SG sample and didn't take one. :/

 
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:37 PM   #4
turtlescales
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Dec 2011
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pH is about 4, perhaps a touch higher. My pH strips don't have a great scale on the package, wasn't paying attention when I bought them. SG is 1.2 I think, probably taking that wrong.

Questions... is the pH to high? How would I reduce it if it is, and with the raspberries in the must at what point do I consider it a loss due to spoilage?


 
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:57 PM   #5
cgenebrewer
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Nov 2011
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so far I dont see anything that you did to kill the yeast. How many lbs of honey did you use?
what temp did you rehydrate at? When you used campden, did you cover it with a cloth to allow the gasses to escape?

the lag phase might just be taking long for some reason.

I wouldnt worry yet

 
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:59 AM   #6
turtlescales
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3.5 pounds of clover honey, rehydrated at about 103. I didn't realize I was supposed to cover it with a cloth, I left it corked for that. :/ I did shake the jug pretty good before I added the yeast and let the cap open for it to aerate some. Fingers crossed it starts showing some signs of life by morning.

 
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Old 01-02-2012, 01:15 AM   #7
cgenebrewer
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I think the issue could be the gravity. You said its at 4.0 pH, but how did you test that? was your instrument calibrated?

I am not sure, but perhaps because you didnt let the sulfites outgas, you "stunned" the yeast. Thay combined with the high gravity would mean a very slow to start fermentation

 
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Old 01-02-2012, 01:37 AM   #8
turtlescales
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I just used basic pH test strips, the cheap ones that give a range that is broad enough to be nearly useless. I didn't realize which ones I grabbed at the time. Currently I don't have anything else more sophistic to use to check the pH. In the future if I use campden tablets I'll be sure to cover the jug or carboy with a cloth.

But... I just checked again, and looks like the real problem was impatience on my part. The airlock let out a single bubble... seems to be just a late bloomer. Thanks everyone, for the advice and reassurance. :P

 
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Old 01-02-2012, 02:12 AM   #9
cgenebrewer
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the most important lesson is even more important in mead making. Patience! haha

glad its chugging along.

if it stops bubbling dont worry, it may just not have started yet, and the bubble was from a change in atmospheric pressure.

 
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:31 AM   #10
Flumpy
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Seems like most mead failures result from over-thinking.

 
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