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Old 06-30-2008, 03:06 PM   #1
jrhammonds
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I am making my first mead, and I need some advice. Let me start from the beginning. I am making a melomel with pears. I prepared the must with 12 pounds of wildflower honey and 4.5 gallons of spring water. I added 1/2 tsp of yeast nutrient at pasteurization temp (scared of the potential for off flavors), used white labs sweet mead yeast tube, pitched it at 75 degrees, aerated and let it go (did not add any pear yet--am waiting for secondary). Fermentation started with little to no problems (airlock bubbling every 4 seconds for 2 weeks). Now, at the end of week 2, it is bubbling every 10 seconds and the gravity is .50. I'm worried it won't go down much more than this. SO... my options:

a.) I give it another 2 weeks, calm down, and check gravity--it sounds fine.
b.) Add yeast nutrient directly to the mead right now--and hope for the best.
c.) Go ahead and transfer the mead to the secondary, add the 5lbs. of pear puree and allow the pear nutrients to feed the yeast.
d.) something else?

I do want a "sweeter mead" but after 2 weeks this still sounds/and tastes too high. Any and all suggestions would be much appreciated! Thanks.

 
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Old 06-30-2008, 03:27 PM   #2
The Blow Leprechaun
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I'm in the process of making my first mead as well, it's been going for a month or so and I've yet to take a gravity reading to see where it's at, but my understanding is that honey ferments very slowly.

Airlock activity is a bad indicator of fermentation, I'd probably let it sit another week or so and take another reading. If it's still the same, then I might get worried.

 
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Old 06-30-2008, 04:11 PM   #3
BigKahuna
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I vote for C.

If your ferment is stuck, the pears might pick it right back up. If your yeast has indeed reached it's maximum attenuation, you will at least be able to taste it with the pear and decide then if you need to re-pitch.
IF you end up with a cloyingly sweet mead, you might try to re pitch with D-47 or cote Des Blanc which is good to 14%, let it do it's thing for a while then start adding honey until you max it out and have some residual sweetness.

***Edit. Just noticed that you did not (Depending on what kind you used) use nearly enough nutrient. Give it another scoop of that when you rack onto the fruit.
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:07 AM   #4
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D.

I see mention of yeast nutrient...but not energizer. Your yeast needs nitrogen. I would introduce yeast energizer to primary at this point. boil just 4 oz of water, cool a bit, add energizer per the label so it dissolves...then gently add it to primary. you can carefully pour it down a sanitized rod/spoon/racking cane so it can flow into the fermenting must. then gently stir it in.

that'll help it out, and I'd let it go another 1-2 weeks in primary. when you rack onto the pears, you'll probalby see renewed fermentation there due to the nitrogen and nutrients that become available.

i'd plan on a tertiary for clearing.
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:11 AM   #5
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If we're voting, put me down for "B". I would add nutrient and give it a little time. The yeast may just need a little boost. Add the nutrient slowly to avoid a foam overflow. I'm guessing you started around 1.085, so you have a ways to go if you are at 1.050 now. I think I would hold off on the pears till the ferment is pretty close to done. You should retain more pear flavor if you wait. Pear is a fairly mild fruit flavor and 5 lbs isn't that much in 5 gallons.

 
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Old 07-01-2008, 04:51 AM   #6
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2 weeks is nothing, add some energizer like malkore said and give it a month.

 
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Old 07-01-2008, 01:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z987k View Post
2 weeks is nothing, add some energizer like malkore said and give it a month.
At least another month...and probably 6 months in the secondary...
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:10 PM   #8
jrhammonds
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Hey All:
Thanks for all the great advice. I boiled some nutrient and energizer, let it cool, then added it to the primary. I swirled it around (no splashing) and will give it another month. I think I'll do 10lbs. of pears in the secondary as well. Thanks again--and I'll hope for the best.

 
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:04 PM   #9
jrhammonds
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Well, one week after adding yeast energizer and the gravity is down to .030--exciting. I'll give it another few weeks.

 
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:09 PM   #10
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Rock on! I think I might actually take a gravity reading on my mead tonight... it's been in there for about a month, I think.

 
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