Can I save my batch!? Do I need to feed "turbo yeast"?

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mcicu

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Hello everyone,
I am completely new in brewing and, after having watched about a hundred tutorials and post about fermenting, brewing and distilling, I decided to give a try.
Probably wrong, I thought that brewing mead would be the best starting point. I will try cider, then beer & wine, and hopefully one day I will be able to distil my own dram.
The thing is that I bought a turbo "vodka" (?) yeast online, and I used it in my first batch. I know, now you are going to kick me off of the community! XD.
Now I've learnt the first lesson, but the fact is that I still have 25lts of mead that after a week is not showing any activity.
I used 0.5kg of honey each 2lts water (I've also learnt the second lesson and next time I will put more honey!)
I stirred and ventilated twice a day.
I divided the batch into two barrels, and I added raisins to one of them. I also boiled some bread yeast and added it to see if it was good as nutrient.
Yesterday (day 8) I added some more of the original yeast (4gr) and it showed activity again. Now it seems completely dead again.
Temp is 20/22C quite constant, I bought a heating mat for 10£ and at max power it seems to keep the mead at that temperature.

My questions are basically:
Assuming that I wont have a good mead at all, can I still save the batch or I must discard it?
The yeast pack said that it would finish its work within a week. How should I manage that yeast on mead? I wanted to keep it working for at least month!
What results should I expect from my first failed try???

Thanks in advance for your opinions, comments and suggestions!

Max
 

Kyzaboy89

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If you don't have a hydrometer you can grab a sample and taste.if it's sweet it still has sugars if it's not then fermentation may have finished. What is the alcohol tolerance of you vodka yeast?

If I did the math right you used about 6.25 kg or 13.75 lbs of honey in 25 liters 6.6 gallons water. If that's correct you should've had a specific gravity around 1.070 which grants an ABV of about 9.2% somebody check my math please.

To answer your question if the vodka yeast doesn't work try ordering a wine/mead yeast or even some bread yeast. There is a lot you can try to do to restart fermentation if it's stuck unless you start to see an infection and if it is a fail, in my opinion you can learn so much knowing how things can go. I'm rather curious about this one and would like to hear more.
 

Kyzaboy89

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Hello everyone,
I am completely new in brewing and, after having watched about a hundred tutorials and post about fermenting, brewing and distilling, I decided to give a try.
Probably wrong, I thought that brewing mead would be the best starting point. I will try cider, then beer & wine, and hopefully one day I will be able to distil my own dram.
The thing is that I bought a turbo "vodka" (?) yeast online, and I used it in my first batch. I know, now you are going to kick me off of the community! XD.
Now I've learnt the first lesson, but the fact is that I still have 25lts of mead that after a week is not showing any activity.
I used 0.5kg of honey each 2lts water (I've also learnt the second lesson and next time I will put more honey!)
I stirred and ventilated twice a day.
I divided the batch into two barrels, and I added raisins to one of them. I also boiled some bread yeast and added it to see if it was good as nutrient.
Yesterday (day 8) I added some more of the original yeast (4gr) and it showed activity again. Now it seems completely dead again.
Temp is 20/22C quite constant, I bought a heating mat for 10£ and at max power it seems to keep the mead at that temperature.

My questions are basically:
Assuming that I wont have a good mead at all, can I still save the batch or I must discard it?
The yeast pack said that it would finish its work within a week. How should I manage that yeast on mead? I wanted to keep it working for at least month!
What results should I expect from my first failed try???

Thanks in advance for your opinions, comments and suggestions!

Max
Also mead can be finished fermenting within a week sometimes so if it doesn't last a month don't assume it's stalled, take a gravity ready and check to see if it dry or abv tolerance has been reached.
 
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mcicu

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Also mead can be finished fermenting within a week sometimes so if it doesn't last a month don't assume it's stalled, take a gravity ready and check to see if it dry or abv tolerance has been reached.
Thanks for replying! ... So, if the yeast was meant to finish its work in a week, do I still have to let it for at least a month? (does it change in terms of taste?)
And, do I have to stir and ventilate? If so, how often?
 

Kyzaboy89

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You can let it sit on the yeast for a few weeks or not, there shouldn't be any yeast off flavors for that short period of time. Definitely let it vent through an airlock or balloon if you are, we've all been there, and make sure the lid inside the balloon has holes big enough to vent. Sometimes if the are to fine the plastic can slowly revert to it's previous shape and pinch shut a pin hole, at least it did to me years ago when I tried that.
Stirring furring and at the end of fermentation helps agitate and release CO², like shaking a soda until it's flat. If there is a lot of CO² in a bottled liquid and the bottle isn't made for that it can blow up sending glass and foam everywhere.
My basics are mix everything together and take a reading, when I started and couldn't I waited a few months to age/offgas and let all that yeast fall to the bottom and clear.
If it's fermented out and done but you don't like it bitter/dry and add more sugars, the yeast can start up again if they are present and blow up a bottle or ferment in you jug.
 
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mcicu

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If you don't have a hydrometer you can grab a sample and taste.if it's sweet it still has sugars if it's not then fermentation may have finished. What is the alcohol tolerance of you vodka yeast?

If I did the math right you used about 6.25 kg or 13.75 lbs of honey in 25 liters 6.6 gallons water. If that's correct you should've had a specific gravity around 1.070 which grants an ABV of about 9.2% somebody check my math please.

To answer your question if the vodka yeast doesn't work try ordering a wine/mead yeast or even some bread yeast. There is a lot you can try to do to restart fermentation if it's stuck unless you start to see an infection and if it is a fail, in my opinion you can learn so much knowing how things can go. I'm rather curious about this one and would like to hear more.
Hello again, after a few days, there is the update about my "unlucky" first batch.
I think you were right about the Specific Gravity, following my calculations and web research, a pound of honey (454gr) is 320ml, so:
4lt water 4kg
0.71 l honey 1 kg
it gives me around 1060 SG

good news is that the yeast has eaten everything, yesterday I received the hydrometer and checked the SG of the batch now, and it is 990. It would give me around 9.5 ABV, right?


There is no activity at all, (and with that density, it seems logical) but I will keep it there for a couple of weeks more to leave the yeast sink and take away any unwanted tastes.

Shall I bottle straight away and chill or I can leave it in the carboy at 22/24C ? I am thinking in problems related to oxidation...

In the meanwhile I started a kind of cider, with supermarket juice and honey: 4lts of apple juice, 2 pounds of honey for a initial SG of 1100, let's see if the "vodka" yeast manages to give me 14%ABV!!
 

Psilocybe

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Some yeasts have very little CO2 activity. My favorite Red Star yeast "Cuvee" is like this. I have no experience with vodka yeast only "distillers" but I imagine there is different varieties just like wine yeast. As someone else said, taste it or buy a hydrometer. It will be fine for a few days, but if its like distillers yeast you want it off the lees as soon as primary is done (if you are using it for wine).
 
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