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Old 03-26-2013, 03:56 AM   #1
PCChazter
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Jan 2013
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Hello homebrew forum,

I have been making my first brew, a melomel mead using approximately 7 pounds of honey, 4 frozen concentrate lemonade, and enough filtered water to fill up my 5 gal. carboy, with about 6 inches of space from the top of the neck. I used 2 packets of Lavlin 1116 yeast (I only added one, but got spooked when nothing happened, and added another, only to later read that yeast has a lag time when it is multiplying and colonizing the must).

Right now, it has been going since Jan 18, with an OG of 1.090. The bubbler on the top has shown a promising "blip" every 30 seconds or so, but when I checked it on Feb 9, it had only gotten to a SG of 1.052. I just checked it again today (Mar 25), and it is reading 1.034. Is this a normal speed for mead? Is there a way to speed it up?

Any input is greatly appreciated!

 
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:22 AM   #2
devianttouch
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Slow fermentation is common with meads, but there is one thing that stands out for me here. Neither honey nor lemonade have many nutrients in them, so it may be that lack of nutrients is the problem here. Since you are getting some fermentation, it may just take a long time to finish, but it's good that you're getting some progress.
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:34 PM   #3
Bluespark
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Boil some bread yeast and dump it in, it sounds like a lack of nutrients to me.

 
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:37 PM   #4
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Yep, lemons have a tendency to shock the yeast. If you do what the above comments say, you should be fine. Mead fermentation can often take a long time anyway.
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:33 PM   #5
PCChazter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluespark View Post
Boil some bread yeast and dump it in, it sounds like a lack of nutrients to me.
By boiling the bakers yeast, would this kill the yeast to use as nutrients? I have bread machine yeast, can I use this?
Before dumping it in, I would want to let it cool to room temperature, right?

 
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:24 AM   #6
Bluespark
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Yes, you want to kill it. I can't see why bread machine yeast wouldn't work. I just pour a bit of boiling water over a tsp of yeast, let it cool to room temp and add.

 
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:10 AM   #7
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There is a perception of slow fermentation being common with meads because of suboptimal fermentation conditions being common. Nutrients are very likely part of the issue; also, with the lemon too, pH can be an issue; if adding nutrients doesn't kick start things, you could try adding some calcium carbonate. Your OG wasn't all that high, and your yeast should have chewed through that in less than a month...

Temperature could also be an issue if your carboy is in a particularly cool location (basement, etc.)
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:47 AM   #8
PCChazter
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I did go with a lower sweetness mead, I wanted a dryer result. Being my first time, I was a bit concerned when it took more than a month, but thought that maybe it was normal. Thank you guys for the fast replies! I'll try the bread yeast, and go from there

 
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:51 AM   #9
PCChazter
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Oh, the carboy is kept in a room that is usually kept from 19-22 įC, so I don't think temperature is a major playing issue in this, but I'm no expert. There is also a garbage bag around the carboy to block light, that may help keep the temperature up a few degrees.

 
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:14 AM   #10
PCChazter
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I added the bread yeast, but it didn't seem to change much. I'm going on holidays for a few days, so I turned the heat up for that room before I left, hope that helps it a bit

 
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