Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Mead slow/no start
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-13-2012, 03:43 AM   #1
jpickett
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: louisville, ky
Posts: 20
Default Mead slow/no start

On 12-10-12 I pitched a six gallon batch of traditional mountain honey style mead. I used the no boil method. I brought the honey up to a pourable temp and poured that into three gallons of tap water. Checking with louisville water company the Tap water is cleaner than any available bottled spring water. TDS. From the tap is 51. Completely mixed that in and then added water to bring to six gallons. Must temp is at 70'. I then introduced yeast that is at 70' as well. Dosed nutrients and then stirred that for 10 mins. Air bubbles to the max. Blanked the must with CO2 snapped the lid and installed airlock.

24 hrs later. No bubbles. Added 1/2tsp nutrients and stirred for 10 more min. 12-11-12. Reblanked with CO2

12-12-12 Again no sign of fermentation. Added 1/2 tsp of nutrients and then 10 more minutes of having a numb arm. "Note buy wine degasser for drill"

Question is. Do you believe this is stuck or just REAL slow to start? This is my first batch of mead so I am a complete nube to this. Could be normal behavior and I wouldn't know. The yeast smack pack proofed to about 50% of what my cider yeast packs due. Thought that was a tad strange. But also thought it could be due to it being a different strain of yeast. Mfg date was 18jun12. I have been brewing ciders for a year now and have yet to have this happen with any of those.

Now what would you pros do. Wait it out. Place the must into a fridge to prevent spoilage until new yeast can arrive. Or some other wisdom you have.

Recipe

15 lbs Dutch gold orange blossom honey
5 lbs Dutch gold wild flower honey
One smack pack of wyeast sweat mead yeast 4184
1/2 tsp yeast nutrients on pitch date. Food grade urea and diammonium phosphate


12-10-12. SG @ 70'. 1.123
12-11-12 SG @ 72'. 1.120.
12-12-12. SG @ 70' 1.122

Thanks.


jpickett is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 04:24 AM   #2
Arpolis
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Posts: 2,161
Liked 205 Times on 188 Posts
Likes Given: 36

Default

Issue # 1 is the Wyeast Sweet mead yeast. That stuff is a Pita when dealing with traditional meads. Traditional style meads with no fruits or spices have very little nutrients. If using the Sweet mead yeast with a batch size 3 gallons or more it is best to make a starter first that the smack mack pours into.

Second is that you will need more than DAP to get the sweet mead yeast to go properly. If you can get some yeast energizer which is the Tan powdered type nutrient, then that will help a lot. The original DAP dosage for a 6 gallon batch should have been a minimum of 6tsp, 1 tsp Energizer and step feeding an additional 5 tsp of yeast energizer up to the 1/3 sugar break point.

If you do not have access to get any energizer soon then 60 raisins cut in half along with 6 tsp of bakers yeast boild in 2 cups of water over a period of 15 minuts can be added to provide some much needed nutrients.

I personally think you are just having a long Lag phase because of the yeast used and a lack of nutrients. Add in the lack of nutrients that was not added as explained above and let it go for about 48 - 72 hours and see where it goes.

One good thing about mead is that it is really hard to mess up. You do not need to blanket the mead with CO2 unless you are bulk aging after the fermentation has stopped. So don't worry about doing that just yet, the oxygen is your friend at this point. Your must can probably sit at room temps for a long time without any spoilage as long as you kept things clean. Don't worry there either.

Worst case scenario is that you go another 3 - 4 days and still no fermentation. Go and get some Lalvin K1-V1116 yeast & make at least a 2 cup stater. Once the starter is fermenting strong start adding 1/2 cup of your must to the starter once every 2 hours untill you have about 4 cups of liquid. As long as the starter does not stop fermenting you can pitch that and it will definatley start & finish your mead then.


__________________
A painting says a thousand words. But a painting while on good mead just looks funny!
Arpolis is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 04:24 AM   #3
fatbloke
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: UK - South Coast.
Posts: 2,698
Liked 182 Times on 167 Posts
Likes Given: 30

Default

Hum? The quantity of nutrients you mention is tiny. I used combined nutrient like Fermaidk or similar as honey is famous for being very low. Not at all like beers, cider or wines. I also use 1tsp per gallon minimum, usually 1 tsp of Fermaidk and a half tsp of DAP, per gallon......

Also, the wyeast sweet mead yeast is finicky as hell. Famous for causing stuck ferments or not starting at all. A search would show that the number of people who use it successfully is out weighed by those who have problems.

I mean, a "mead" yeast ? How the f*** do they know ? When there's little known about historic meads and nothing about yeasts as they didnt understand yeast or fermentation much more than what? 50? 100 years ago? Personally I think that yeast is sh1t.

Get yourself a pack of Lalvin K1-V1116, rehydrate it as per pack instructions, pitch and add a minimum of 1tsp Fermaidk or fermax or similar combined nutrient per gallon. Stir like hell and wait. No need to use CO2 blanketing, that's a beer thing (unless youre trying to store a finished mead in an oversized fermenter/carboy with too much head space. Thats the time to worry about oxidation, not before).
__________________
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away". Tom Waits.

Oh, and here's some blog stuff!
fatbloke is offline
Golddiggie Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 04:42 AM   #4
jpickett
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: louisville, ky
Posts: 20
Default

Good deal. I was thinking I just messed this up royaly. Good to know that's not true. So. Tomorrow ill try to locate the k1-v1116 and get that pitched. So for tonight should I add any additional of the nutrients that I have. Or just wait until I can get some energizer and fermax tomorrow and feed the hell out of it? Thanks for all your help. I'll have to reread y'all's post tmr. Way to tired to process it and make wise slow methodical changes to the must. Good thing mead takes patiences. One slack night won't kill it.....right?
__________________
If it flies, ferments, or French kisses. Stay on top of it.
jpickett is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 04:52 AM   #5
bodhi86
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: el paso, tx
Posts: 98
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Several days at room temp shouldn't be a problem, honey kills Most everything it touches, hence it not fermenting right now. The 1116 is top notch yeast for meads though, if it don't start there there's only one more wine yeast that could, 1118 will start a car, but you won't get any of the subtle flavored you want. Try everything you can before 1118. Good luck.
__________________
If you want to drink the best booze, your gonna have to make it yourself.
Punk Ass Mead, "Rebellious by Nature"
bodhi86 is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 05:24 AM   #6
jpickett
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: louisville, ky
Posts: 20
Default

Cool. Thanks. I've got about five places around town that have a good selection of yeast. Hopefully they will have it in stock. So many yeast so little time. Kinds like my motto for life.
If it flies, ferments, or French kisses stay on top of it Just didn't want to let my second chance slip out from underneath me and not even know it.
__________________
If it flies, ferments, or French kisses. Stay on top of it.
jpickett is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 06:02 AM   #7
Golddiggie
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Golddiggie's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Between here and there, and everywhere
Posts: 12,063
Liked 483 Times on 423 Posts
Likes Given: 266

Default

Just be aware, using K1V means [most likely] the mead will go to dry. As in below 1.000 dry. If you want to have a sweet mead at the end, you'll need to either feed it more honey to get the yeast to it's limit and then add some more to sweeten to taste. OR stabilize the batch when it's done (or stops) and then back sweetend to taste. Either way, on those, you're months away from that time frame. Since the potential for your batch is about 15.5-16%, I would plan on not going to bottles for at least a year. Rack every few months, once it's absolutely DONE fermenting, and when it's crystal clear (as in you can read through it), either age it some more (in bulk) or stabilize, back-sweeten and then bottle it up.

Before you start another batch, I would also suggest going over to the Got Mead forums and see how other mazers are doing it. There are a few of us on both boards. fatbloke is one of them.

BTW, in all my mead batches I have yet to use a yeast labeled (or marketed) as a 'mead' yeast. I'm using Lalvin strains (which K1V is one of) with great results. I did use Wyeast Eau de Vie in ONE batch, because I wanted to go to 21% ABV in a flavored mead. That's still in process after more than a year (about to start the flavor additions actually). That one isn't planned to go to bottles for another 6-12 months. I'm also getting ready to try another yeast, that I plan to push to it's limits, and beyond. Not something I would suggest a newbee attempt.

Remember, be PATIENT with your mead. It's not at all like brewing beer. Completely different time frames, processes, etc.
__________________
Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
Golddiggie is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 10:30 PM   #8
jpickett
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: louisville, ky
Posts: 20
Default

Well I was lucky today. I was able to pick up six sachets of k1v and two bottles of yeast energizer. I'm gonna start the starter using orange juice later this evening. I will post a step by step of what I do later. Should I add any more DAP today? Or just leave it be. Total to date it's been dosed with 1.5 tsp of DAP.
__________________
If it flies, ferments, or French kisses. Stay on top of it.
jpickett is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 10:35 PM   #9
Golddiggie
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Golddiggie's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Between here and there, and everywhere
Posts: 12,063
Liked 483 Times on 423 Posts
Likes Given: 266

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpickett View Post
Well I was lucky today. I was able to pick up six sachets of k1v and two bottles of yeast energizer. I'm gonna start the starter using orange juice later this evening. I will post a step by step of what I do later. Should I add any more DAP today? Or just leave it be. Total to date it's been dosed with 1.5 tsp of DAP.
Why orange juice?? You're not going to use all six packs of the yeast, are you?? I would start off by adding the nutrient after checking the SG. If the yeast you pitched originally isn't doing anything, then rehydrate ONE pack of the K1V and add that. You can use a little energizer in that solution.
__________________
Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
Golddiggie is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 11:29 PM   #10
jpickett
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: louisville, ky
Posts: 20
Default

Old habits die hard. I always use it to start my cider yeast. My starter recipe has always been 1 cup orange juice, 3tbs white sugar, and 2 cups water and one packet of yeast. Never had a failed start using it. I am only using one packet. I use that in my cider some times and just got the extra to have on hand. The also gave me a vial of white labs mead yeast. Who knows if ill ever use it. It's not old. Mfg date of nov 2012


__________________
If it flies, ferments, or French kisses. Stay on top of it.
jpickett is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
slow start... jmfitzgerald Fermentation & Yeast 6 10-09-2012 09:21 PM
White Labs, slow start or no start? Jpk2jpk2 Fermentation & Yeast 8 05-08-2012 12:32 AM
Lager slow start, or no start? mattrettig Fermentation & Yeast 7 03-13-2012 05:23 PM
Apparent slow start on my first mead damdaman Mead Forum 9 02-01-2010 09:40 PM
slow, slow start for yeast Fighting_sin Fermentation & Yeast 9 01-21-2010 07:02 AM


Forum Jump

Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS