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Old 10-23-2013, 04:35 PM   #11
MarshmallowBlue
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not nesescary. Just make it out of honey and water and a bit of nutrient (just enough to help the yeast, not levels for a gallons worth). A starter is just something that allows you to pitch higher cell counts of yeast and assure viability. A big starter will go a long way in giving you a better chance of breaking that 1.140 area where yeast get stalled out above that.

Either way I can almost guarantee that that batch will be a pain all the way through.
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:38 PM   #12
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How about using about 150mL of another batch that has healthy, active yeast working right now? Maybe those brave soldiers would have a chance.

 
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:26 PM   #13
MarshmallowBlue
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That's essentially the same thing as a starter so If you have it than go ahead; But do something like a 8oz
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:50 PM   #14
SatiricalPuma
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I used about 250mL of an actively reproducing must as a starter in the problematic cranberry must last night, removed the cranberries (which I stupidly hadnt done yet), and when I woke up it was bubbling like craaaazy. Took a grav reading and it's down to 1.125 already (taking into account some dilution I did, I think the adjusted starting gravity was 1.155). Things are going well. I'll keep my eye on it and make sure to degas it until the 1/3 sugar break to keep things moving.

This just occurred to me as I was typing though...I don't want to ignore any variables here...I had my cranberries in sanitized muslin bags...could this have also been a contributing factor to the problem?

 
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:22 PM   #15
SatiricalPuma
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Update:

This mead started bubbling like all hell after I took the above actions (pseudo-starter from other fermenting must, diluted, raised pH with very small amount of calcium carbonate). The OG is down from about 1.155 to about 1.040 (still bubbling every 10 seconds or so), meaning I've already beaten the yeast's alcohol tolerance (I've heard 71b, while listed at 14%, can get up to 18% or so).

Tasted a hydrometer reading last night and this stuff is delicious already, though too sweet at the moment. Thanks for your help. All 4 batches are getting down to their FGs, all is well.

 
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:44 PM   #16
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for #4 are you staggering your nutrients? I think that's how moonlight meadery is successful with their higher gravities without creating all the harsh fusel alcohols.

 
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:29 PM   #17
SatiricalPuma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmomo View Post
for #4 are you staggering your nutrients? I think that's how moonlight meadery is successful with their higher gravities without creating all the harsh fusel alcohols.
Yes I actually used Michael Fairbrother's exact staggered nutrient schedule. Once I got the cranberries out of the must and got the pH up a bit with calcium carbonate, the fermentation took off and is now (3 weeks later) down to 1.035 and it tastes magnificent already. We'll see how it ages out.

I really think the pH of the cranberries was the issue, not so much the higher gravity...like you said, I think the staggered nutrient additions can help power through the high OGs....or so I'm told

 
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:14 PM   #18
MarshmallowBlue
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It certainly doesn't hurt
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