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Old 09-24-2009, 05:52 PM   #31
corexcore
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Aug 2009
Maine
Posts: 67

So my fermentation seems to be stuck. I just watched the air lock for a full minute and couldn't tell that it had moved at all. This is problematic because I just racked it and added honey about two days ago. I used Lalvin EC 1118 initially, which I understand is a quick fermenting yeast. Is it likely that this yeast is dead? I understand that I could re-energize it with yeast nutrient and energizer and see if that would help. However, I've moved to a different area since I started brewing and the homebrew shop here has the recommended Lalvin d-47 strain of yeast. Is it advisable, since my fermentation seems to have stuck, to pull a sample out, check the SG, and, if it's too high to have stopped switch over to D-47? will this negatively impact my mead? If I add too much, I suspect that it would give yeasty flavors that might have to be aged out, but perhaps just a little bit, and some energizer and so forth? Any insights?

I have acquired an automatic siphon, by the way, so no more suck-siphoning for me.

Also, I look forward to hearing how Lightning's brew goes. Keep us informed!

 
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:06 AM   #32
LightningInABottle
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Sep 2009
Ann Arbor
Posts: 249
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I pitched mine last night with the following changes.
15 lbs of Blueberry Blossom honey
60oz of fresh blueberries
1 packet of Lalvin EC 1118
2 1/2 teaspoons of Peptic Enzyme
5 tsps of Yeast Nutrients
2 tsps of Yeast Energizer
5 Campden Tablets

I cleaned the Blueberries and put them in ziplock freezer bags. (I had read that this would turn them to mush once they were frozen, but it did not happen.) I de-thawed them and smashed them in the fermentation bucket. I added water, honey, energizer, nutrients, peptic enzyme and the campden tablets. Gave it a good stir and covered with clean towel/bungee. Let it sit 24 hours. I rehydrated 1 packet of EC 1118 yeast. I smooshed the berrrys that floated to the top and gave it a good stir for over 15 minutes. Took gravity reading of 1.13 @ 68 degrees F. Pitched yeast after 15 minutes and gave it a stir. (Noticable shock just after pitching yeast) I placed it in basement and put an airlock on it.

Notes: Fresh blueberries smelled very nice when crushed in bucket. They smelled even better with the addition of honey. 5 gallon batch is very dark blue/purple! I'm hoping the 24 hour airing and 15 minute stir will give my must enough oxegen to do the job. I'm not keen on leaving must in the open at my house. Things seem to mold very fast at this house so I put the lid on fermenter with an airlock. Hopefully my must has enough oxegen. This morning it is bubbling every 35 seconds.

 
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Old 10-10-2009, 07:41 PM   #33
kjones
 
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Nov 2007
Upstate, SC
Posts: 253

i bought 12# of light/amber blend honey hope this works good, and i have about a gallon size ziplock bag full of blueberries hope its enough

 
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Old 10-12-2009, 06:38 PM   #34
kjones
 
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Nov 2007
Upstate, SC
Posts: 253

ok well, i did it per instructions, left it for 24 hours with everything except yeast. Then i opened it up at the 24 hour mark to add the yeast and like two of the blueberrys had mold on them. hopefully it will be good.

 
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Old 11-12-2009, 05:58 AM   #35
corexcore
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Aug 2009
Maine
Posts: 67

My fermentation has been going on track since I last posted. I've completed my final addition of honey and am going to rack it to age soon. Having used Lalvin EC-1118 yeast, often referred to as creating rocketfuel, I'm wondering about backsweetening with stevia or something similar, or possibly adding a good deal more honey. The recipe suggests that this ought to come out in the semi-sweet range, which is much higher than I expect this yeast will bring it. Thanks in advance.

 
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:58 PM   #36
fishon
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Nov 2009
Wake Forest
Posts: 1

My first post here...
I had made only one basic mead before reading and trying this one. I think I left my basic mead on the lees too long and my wife likened the finish to bees butts.
After reading this recipe for blueberry mead I decided to give it a try. I make wine from kits and grapes (chambourcin grapes in NC) so I have the necessary equipment.
Used 6 lbs frozen blueberries and 12 lbs clover honey from BJ's. Blended the blueberries before mixing. I don't have all the details but didn't have any issues with the berries expanding that I could tell.
Pretty much stayed the course adding 1 lb honey and water every time I racked it so have total 15 lbs honey for 5 gals mead.
It turned out cranberry colored and clear with a lot of alchohol. Similar to an after dinner liquor. Excellent and enjoyable.
Don't have a good handle on the alchohol but initially had the potential for about 15% before the extra honey/water/rackings. Made 5 gal so bottled 25 750 ml bottles about 2 weeks ago. Opened first one Sunday at a group wine tasting and got good reviews.
I put a case away for a year and have given a few bottles out to co-workers.
In reading a few other posts, since this has residual sugar (honey) can I expect a problem with renewed fermentation in the bottle. With wine sorbates/sulfites are used in the kits but I never had issues with using grapes from scratch and letting the juice ferment dry. Is there something recommended for mead that will allow the sweetness but eliminate re-fermentation in the bottle/
Thanks again.

 
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Old 12-09-2009, 07:39 AM   #37
dbr80
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Jan 2009
mobile al
Posts: 4

i have followed the original recipe and now have the mel in secondary but have not seen any bubbles in the airlock. i forgot to add the honey before racking and all is now on the bottom of the carboy. i read that i shouldnt stir but should i add some energizer? it has been in secondary for at least a week.
mine also had a smell of rotten berries and not the delightful smell that others have described.

 
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Old 12-09-2009, 03:50 PM   #38
LightningInABottle
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Sep 2009
Ann Arbor
Posts: 249
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I racked off on to more honey and concentrate at 1.001. I haven't seen any activity since in the air lock. I do see a light layer of lees on the bottom. Should I just wait a month and take a gravity reading or should I do something to kick the ferment back up. The reading after racking on to honey/concentrate is 1.024.
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:54 PM   #39
flyweed
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Oct 2008
Posts: 419
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Yes....for you guys watching your airlock for activity...don't rely on that...take gravity readings and use those to tell where your fermentation is at. Alot of times you'll see nothing in the airlock. Get a wine thief and take a sample every few days and take a reading.

Dan
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:09 PM   #40
jim_reaper1066
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Jan 2010
Fredericton, N.B.
Posts: 183
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I want to put a batch of this on as my first mead, but I have a few questions before I do. After letting the must sit on campden tablets for 24 hours, would it make a difference to top off to ~3.75 gallons ensuring temperature control then pitching the yeast, or should the yeast be pitched first? Is everyone simply punching down the blueberries and aerating for 10-14 days before racking, or is there a S.G. I should be shooting for? And has anyone tried adding more blueberries to the secondary carboy, or is 5-10 lbs in the primary enough to impart the flavor and aroma?


 
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