Is it time to repitch

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tenchu_11

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I've had my mead fermenting for about 1 week and had a very small amount of fermentation showing. I took a ph reading yesterday and it had a ph of 6, and today i checked it and it was at 5. My starting gravity reading was 1.112 I checked it today a week later and it is at 1.120. So I stirred it for about 2 minutes thinking it had a lack of oxygen and now I have no air lock activity its not even floating (i have a 3 piece lock) the lid on my bucket has no pressure on it It just stopped. My mead taste like sweet honey water with like the taste of like 4% alcohol to it. Is it time to re pitch some new yeast?

(I'm sorry if I posted this in the wrong section, yeast and fermentation had alot of post but all about beer)
 

TheRabidKumquat

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Your SG increased, so it would seem like you didn't fully mix the honey and water together, and that your yeast didn't really take off. Was it really old?

More of your procedure and ingredients might help others give you better info.
 

arthertonjohn

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what yeast are u using ... 1.120 is very high gravity ... i just started a 1 gallon batch yesterday and the tenps are in the 50's but its going strong ... try Lavlin EC-1118 i've never seen such a strong ferment before :)
 
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tenchu_11

tenchu_11

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I'm using Wyeast Liquid WineYeast on the label it said "Sweet Mead" its the smack pack. I smaked it and it only puffed up about 1/2 of an inch so it might of been bad yeast. I'm thinking about using Lalving D-47 but not sure how it would interact with the small amount of liquid yeast in my mead.
 

TheRabidKumquat

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I believe the Wyeast sweet mead is one that a lot or people seem to have trouble with, but that's usually later on during fermentation. It'll stall out and stick.

Seeing as it's been a week and your yeast isn't doing their job, D-47 shouldn't have any problems stepping up to the plate.
 
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tenchu_11

tenchu_11

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Yeah, its alive a little bitt of pressure on the lid but fermenting very slow. I will just leave it alone until i'm ready to repitched i tasted and it didn't taste like it had any wild yeast so at least its not contaminated. I live in rural alaska and have to get everything ordered and they don't' offer fast shipping. So it should be about 2 weeks by the time I get new yeast and. I will get D-47 yeast and make a small mead and water starter. To make sure it takes off running once its repitched.
 

TheRabidKumquat

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If it's going, just slowly, then it's going. What's the ambient temp? If it's on the cooler side, that could be a part of it.

Do you have any yeast nutrients? If so, adding some and aerating could help the yeast pick up as well.
 

MedsenFey

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If you do pitch another yeast, I'd suggest not using D47 at that temperature unless you want a batch of paint thinner. Consider K1V or D21 - you'll be glad you did (but it will still take more than 1 year of aging for the Band-Aid smells to go away).
 
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tenchu_11

tenchu_11

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Oh dang i just ordered my yeast which is D-47 and another pouch of liquid yeast. I can bring down my fermentation bucket from the top shelve to ground level where its around 70 and gets down to 58 at night (although i'll put a towel around it. So i don't get rocket fuel, I did put the recommended yeast enegizer and yeast nutrient but could adding more help it out like teaspoon and earating it might help. Although dosn't aerating during fermentation cause a brew to oxedize and taste bad?
Or should i leave it out in my entry way over night where it gets down to like freezing killing the old yeast siphoning to a new container and restarting fermentation with new yeast?
 

MedsenFey

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Although dosn't aerating during fermentation cause a brew to oxedize and taste bad?
Or should i leave it out in my entry way over night where it gets down to like freezing killing the old yeast siphoning to a new container and restarting fermentation with new yeast?
Aeration to promote yeast growth won't give you oxidized results. Mead is quite different from beer.

Freezing will not kill all the yeast. It will make them dormant however.

If you keep the temp below 70F, D47 works nicely. It is best not have the temp fluctuate up and down into the 50s if you can help it.
 
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tenchu_11

tenchu_11

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Okay so add like a teaspoon of energizer and aerate the hell out of it i'll give it a try.
 

MedsenFey

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Before you throw anything else in there, why don't you give us the full recipe for this batch including the amounts you have already added and the batch size. Also, was that pH reading from strips or a meter?
 
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tenchu_11

tenchu_11

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As of yesterday it had a ph of 5 (with a strip used the color guide). 15lb of clover commercial honey making 5 gallon batch. If i can recall it has about 2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast enegizer and the same of yeast nutrient.
 

MedsenFey

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Okay, that puts you somewhere a bit above 150 PPM nitrogen which is a good place to start. You really don't need any more nutrients at this time. When the yeast get going good and the gravity drops it would be useful to add another 2.5 tsp of energizer, but for now, you don't need to add more.

The pH strips can be inaccurate especially if they are old. You might want to test them with a half strength vinegar water mixture just to see if the strips change when placed in acid.

That yeast strain has a temp range of 65-75F per the Wyeast site. That may be part of your problem here. I think pitching some other yeast is probably the way to go.
 
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tenchu_11

tenchu_11

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I rechecked my mead today and aerated it.Ph still holding at 5 and my Gravity reading went from 1.120 to 1.100 so not a huge jump what so ever. I did try the 1/2 water 1/2 vinegar test on my strip and it staid like the Swiss neutral. All I can really do is wait for my yeast and repitch. Some one says if i repitch my yeast and let if ferment at 85F like I am right now it might taste like band aids. Only reason i'm fermenting so high is becaust at 70ish my fermentation was close to none and now at 85f I get a bubble ever 20 seconds which isn't great for such a low reading.
 

MedsenFey

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Bubble rates are unreliable for evaluating fermentation progress (Buckets leak, stoppers sometimes slip loose, and cracks in airlocks cause pressure loss).

If your gravity has gone from 1.120 to 1.100 you are fermenting and the yeast are working in there. I'd aerate it well again, and bring the temp back to their happy range.

It sounds like you need new test strips.

Medsen
 
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tenchu_11

tenchu_11

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Thank guys for all the great help, I received my Wyeast liquid yeast pack. They call it a slap pack, but I call it a "put against a counter top corner and put press hard until it pops pack". So yeah my yeast did swell up this time and once it was nice and ready i put it into a sanitized jar with honey and water and I have a nice starter going.
 

MedsenFey

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Be sure to acclimate the starter to your must before you pitch.
 
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tenchu_11

tenchu_11

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Repitched around 5 days ago and two days no activity now i see a small ammount of air bubbles push the air lock up every 3-5 seconds. i know air lock activity isn't a measuring tool for fermentation but its better than the 30 seconds it used to take. Should i aerated or if it ain't broken don't fix it.
 
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tenchu_11

tenchu_11

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It was at around 1.112 for a week then 1.110 for another week. I re pitched it on Friday and it jumped from a 1.110 to just a little tiny bitt under 1.060. Trying to figure out the math if it should be at around 15% alcohol at 1.112 what percent 1.060 is. After my edit i did the math
1.112-1.060=.052 x 129=6.708. So its roughly 6% alcohol a huge jump in just 4 days. Going from almost dead to alive!
 

MedsenFey

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At this point I would not do further aeration. Keep it airlocked and swirl it a couple of times each day to keep the yeast up in the suspension to help them along. Then sit back and wait patiently.
 

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