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Did I just dead my yeast?

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Mjød brygger

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Hello folks

I'm new to Homebrewtalk and I'm looking forward to get to know more about mead making.

I recently started to making my first mead. When I started my gravity (OG) was 1.110 and I wanted to make 14L mead in a 25L fermenter (I couldn't find anything smaller). 10.5L water for 5 kg honey with the right amount of yeast nutrient. I kept checking in on my mead as it progressed in the primary fermentation. On the 16th day I thought that the mead had stopped. This is what I found.
I checked after:
10 days (from start) - sp. gr. : 1.074
13 days (from start) - sp. gr. : 1.060
16 days (from start) - sp. gr. : 1.058 (Not much have happen compared from day 10 to day 13)

Since I thought my mead's fermentation had stopped. I did some research and found on this forum and others, that adding oxygen by gently stirring the must would help kickback the fermentation process.
I stirred the must gently with a wooden spoon for 30-40 secs (a lot of bubbles came up, so I'm assuming the must was saturated with CO2), without slashing and foaming too much (if at all). But now, I have a feeling that I mess up big time and I'm heading towards making honey vinegar.

What is your thought on that, did I blew it? Should I just go ahead and start a new mead? How much oxygen do you need reck your mead? What can I do if I messed it up?

Thanks a lot in advance!
 
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Jag75

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Welcome to HBT.

I'm guessing you didn't feed the mead at intervals. If your not feeding nutrients at intervals its very sluggish . Honey believe it or not doesn't have a lot of nutrients.

I believe you degas then feed until 1/3 sugar break. I fed 24 hrs , then 48 hrs after that feeding , then 72 hours after the 48 feeding.

Check out the mead forum , there is tons of valuable info.

 
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Mjød brygger

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Thanks Jag75!

The thing is I have not done my mead with the staggering method. I stirred the must after 16 days.
 

cmac62

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I think you are okay, but Jag is correct. The first and second time I made mead I had no idea what to do. Finally I found out here on the BOMM thread above that it is best to degas daily for the first two weeks and add the nutrients in stages. I believe you add some at the beginning of the ferm, then at 1/3 and 2/3 sugar breaks. If you have a 1.100 must you add the extra nutrients at 1.066 and 1.033 or somewhere near those. I recently used the BOMM protocol but guessed that 2 days and 5 days into ferm I would be close enough and so far so good, the mead finished quickly with no off flavors that I can tell. Good luck and welcome to HBT. :mug:
 

sharknado2

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And you call yourself a son of Odin?? Just kidding.

Dry mead taste bad.
Medium sweet mead taste good.

I remember when I made my first mead and I was disgust by the flavour. I did everything right by the book. Stagared nutrient additions, venting the gas out of the mead, ferm"o" nutrients. Honestly you just want to stop the fermentation somewhere between 1.030 - 1.050 gravity points to have that "honey" character. Now how you stop it is another story.

I usually add my fruits like black berries, blue berries or such and when I get to 1.040 SG I siphon the mead out of it and cold crash the hell out of it. Then blanket it with co2 and enjoy it till' its over.
 
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Mjød brygger

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And you call yourself a son of Odin?? Just kidding.

Dry mead taste bad.
Medium sweet mead taste good.

I remember when I made my first mead and I was disgust by the flavour. I did everything right by the book. Stagared nutrient additions, venting the gas out of the mead, ferm"o" nutrients. Honestly you just want to stop the fermentation somewhere between 1.030 - 1.050 gravity points to have that "honey" character. Now how you stop it is another story.

I usually add my fruits like black berries, blue berries or such and when I get to 1.040 SG I siphon the mead out of it and cold crash the hell out of it. Then blanket it with co2 and enjoy it till' its over.
So what you saying: stop the fermentation between 1.030 - 1.050. But what about ABV? I wanted to add my
ingredients dry like ginger, orange peel and tea in some of them. Will that the start fermentation again?
 

sharknado2

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So what you saying: stop the fermentation between 1.030 - 1.050. But what about ABV? I wanted to add my
ingredients dry like ginger, orange peel and tea in some of them. Will that the start fermentation again?
The mead will always have fermentable sugar in it. It's not like beer that once it's done it's done.

Let's say you start at 1.1 or 1.090, when you get to your desire gravity the you stop the fermentation. Either with cold or a mix of sulfite and sorbate.

I keep mine very cold beacuse I don't like chemicals in my mead.

But if you are planning on taking it somewhere then you will have to use the sulfite and sorbate or the mead will resume to ferment the ramaining sugars.

Alcohol won't stop the yeast from finishing to consume the sugars. I once had one with like 20% abv.
 

VikeMan

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Alcohol won't stop the yeast from finishing to consume the sugars. I once had one with like 20% abv.
This would of course depend on the yeast strain. Many (most really) won't tolerate that much alcohol.
Out of curiosity, what strain did you use to get 20%?
 

sharknado2

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Hello folks

I'm new to Homebrewtalk and I'm looking forward to get to know more about mead making.

I recently started to making my first mead. When I started my gravity (OG) was 1.110 and I wanted to make 14L mead in a 25L fermenter (I couldn't find anything smaller). 10.5L water for 5 kg honey with the right amount of yeast nutrient. I kept checking in on my mead as it progressed in the primary fermentation. On the 16th day I thought that the mead had stopped. This is what I found.
I checked after:
10 days (from start) - sp. gr. : 1.074
13 days (from start) - sp. gr. : 1.060
16 days (from start) - sp. gr. : 1.058 (Not much have happen compared from day 10 to day 13)

Since I thought my mead's fermentation had stopped. I did some research and found on this forum and others, that adding oxygen by gently stirring the must would help kickback the fermentation process.
I stirred the must gently with a wooden spoon for 30-40 secs (a lot of bubbles came up, so I'm assuming the must was saturated with CO2), without slashing and foaming too much (if at all). But now, I have a feeling that I mess up big time and I'm heading towards making honey vinegar.

What is your thought on that, did I blew it? Should I just go ahead and start a new mead? How much oxygen do you need reck your mead? What can I do if I messed it up?

Thanks a lot in advance!
Just out of curiosity are you using a hydrometer or a refractometer?

If you are using a refractometer to track your mead it will never go below 1.050 with that OG.
 

sharknado2

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In your opinion: Should I rack my mead into 1 gallon jug?
I would. This batch is only taking time from you right now.

Some tips for your next batch would be:

Get nice fresh wine yeast like lalvin 71-b
Degas your mead 2 times a day
Follow proper yeast rehydration principles
Use Goferm and fermaid"o"
Control the temp of your fermentation
 

sharknado2

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This would of course depend on the yeast strain. Many (most really) won't tolerate that much alcohol.
Out of curiosity, what strain did you use to get 20%?
Pretty much any wine yeast strain. But I mainly use 71-b.
 

VikeMan

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Pretty much any wine yeast strain. But I mainly use 71-b.
71-B has an oft quoted ABV tolerance of ~14%. Did you do something special to get it to tolerate much higher alcohol?
 

sharknado2

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71-B has an oft quoted ABV tolerance of ~14%. Did you do something special to get it to tolerate much higher alcohol?
I know. I used to believe that as well but honestly the difficult part is not the yeast dropping out bc of the alcohoo, but it consuming too rapidly the sugars.

Fermaid O and Goferm really aid in the process, but I suspect a fresh pack of wine yeast could do it by itself.
 
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