Bottling a basic mead

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jkuhl

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I have a basic mead, 3lbs honey, premier blanc wine yeast, some orange zest and a cup of black tea.

There's 1 gallon of product.

It's now read 1.030 twice with over a week between readings (started at 1.082, putting it at 6% ABV).

I'm beginning to wonder if it's done, because the yeast can go to 18%, but I know that honey doesn't deliver much nutrients for the colony so I wouldn't expect it to go that high. I never added nutrient to the mead or anything and I'm okay with it being done here, I don't mind the low ABV or the honey flavor. I want to bottle it, but I don't wanna bottle if it's a stuck fermentation and something happens to get the yeast going again. I don't intend to add anything more or to carbonate it.

I do have potassium sorbate on hand.
 
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With a SG of 1.030 (I assume your using a hydrometer and not a refractometer) she's not done by a long shot. Closer to 1.000 or even lower would be expected. If you bottle now, you're asking for trouble. You agitate them by bottling and they just might kick back in to spite your treatment of them.
This is a reason to pamper your yeast and feed them some nutrients. It's like asking someone to do a full days work on an empty stomach.
 

Dan O

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@JimRausch is correct, bottle bombs would soon follow if you bottled now. 1.082 sounds closer to 2 1/3 lbs of honey. 3 lbs should've put you closer to 1.105. So, it seems like either you read the hydrometer wrong, or, your honey wasn't totally dissolved when you took your OG....or....you forgot to tare your scale when adding the honey, i.e....less honey.
Either way, it's not done.
What is the temperature of your fermentation area? If it's too cool, it may stall that strain of yeast. You may want to invest in a carboy heater. Amazon.com: Brewing & Fermentation Heat Pad for Homebrew Beer & Wine Fermenting 120VAC 12 or 25 Watt Heating Mat: Safe for Plastic/Glass Carboy & Bucket Fermentors Includes Heater Temperature Strip: Home & Kitchen

They have made a big difference for my non-climate controlled ferment area in my basement. You could also try adding some yeast hulls & give the carboy a good swirl. You want to resuspend any yeast from the bottom & give the yeast a chance to make sure it's done. It should clear pretty quick after moving it back into suspension.

I hope this helps you.
Happy meading 😎
 
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jkuhl

jkuhl

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I added nutrients and gave it a swirl.

I can't do much for temperature control as I'm in a 1 bedroom apartment, so it sits in my closet at room temperature (~70F)

The OG could be suspect, I had a bad hydrometer a few weeks ago, and I might have measured the OG with that hydrometer before knowing there was an issue with it. It was reading lower than the lowest possible reading in plain water, and I didn't notice the error until I got a really weird reading from a cider. That hydrometer threw off a lot of readings before I realized it was broken.
 

Dan O

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I added nutrients and gave it a swirl.

I can't do much for temperature control as I'm in a 1 bedroom apartment, so it sits in my closet at room temperature (~70F)

The OG could be suspect, I had a bad hydrometer a few weeks ago, and I might have measured the OG with that hydrometer before knowing there was an issue with it. It was reading lower than the lowest possible reading in plain water, and I didn't notice the error until I got a really weird reading from a cider. That hydrometer threw off a lot of readings before I realized it was broken.
That link I put in my previous post is just a Mat you plug into the wall & place under your bucket/ carboy.
On the hydrometer, all you can do now is move forward.

Good luck!
 
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I had my 4184 start to stall around there, it was from lack of nutrients. Since you added it and roused the yeast, I am sure you'll see some action by the end of the day/early tomorrow morning. :ban:
 

Teufelhunde

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I added nutrients and gave it a swirl.



The OG could be suspect, I had a bad hydrometer a few weeks ago, and I might have measured the OG with that hydrometer before knowing there was an issue with it. It was reading lower than the lowest possible reading in plain water, and I didn't notice the error until I got a really weird reading from a cider. That hydrometer threw off a lot of readings before I realized it was broken.
I checked my hydrometer in plain RO water and it read .018 low. I started taking a good look at it and realized that the paper(plastic?) tube inside the skinny portion wasn't in the right place. I just add .018 to whatever reading I get and it works just fine.

YMMV

Lon
 
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jkuhl

jkuhl

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I checked my hydrometer in plain RO water and it read .018 low. I started taking a good look at it and realized that the paper(plastic?) tube inside the skinny portion wasn't in the right place. I just add .018 to whatever reading I get and it works just fine.

YMMV

Lon
It was so far off I just had to replace it. Like the entire paper was submerged in plain water. Unsure how it happened, but that hydrometer was beyond salvagable.
 
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jkuhl

jkuhl

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Update, a few weeks later after adding some nutrient, I've gotten a small drop twice, from 1.030 to 1.028. And now I've seen 1.028 twice in a row (over a week between measurements).

At 7% ABV, it does not seem like it should be done, but those are the numbers I have. Should I just keep adding nutrient (I wouldn't want it to taste like a multivitamin) or call it done?
 

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I had a one-gallon batch last winter that did the same thing -- utterly stalled out at about 1.030. It was a traditional mead, and I had added nutrients in the beginning (SNA not TOSNA) like I usually do. I tried adding rousing it, adding more yeast, adding nutrient -- nothing worked.

So I drank it. I didn't bottle it, for fear of explosions -- I just poured about 12 ounces of it into a big cup once every couple of weeks (oxygenation risk I know, but nothing else came to mind). It wasn't great -- it was sweet, but drinkable. SG was still around 1.030 when I finished it in June.

The only thing about this batch compared to others which fermented down to 1.000 or lower is that the OG was higher than I intended -- 1.115, which would be over 15% ABV. I did not intend it to be that high -- must have been a measurement error when I mixed it up. I used 71B yeast, which probably just couldn't handle the alcohol. I added K1V yeast after it stuck; K1V can go to higher alcohol levels, but starting it out in that already-alcoholic 1.030 must just didn't work.
 
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