Mead fermentation done at day 4?

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Hesster1977

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This is a great web site, and I did a lot off research before making my first batch of Mead after 15 years or so. So I am making a batch of Ginger Mead, used 7 lbs of honey, a jar of Tart Cherry juice, and 6 lbs of Tart Puree, did the hydrate thing with the 10g of RS Prem Cuvee Yeast, and so on. OG measured at 1.070, fermenting in the basement at 65 deg. Day two - used a stir wand with a drill 2x, 1/2 tsp nutrient, and little noticeable yeast activity. Day 3 - very active yeast bubbling, like boiling almost in the fermenter, and 2x on the stirring, 1/2 tsp DAP, lots of foaming - a good sign. Now day 4 - no bubbling in the air lock, some but little activity in the fermenter. SG measured at 1.004!
SO -could it have pooped out and fermented everything already? I was going to do the Fermaid K and DAP thing at the 30% break (1.045), but it looks like it sailed past that point?
Recommendations? Let it sit, or go ahead and add the Fermaid & DAP, rack it, or what?
 
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cmac62

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You will not know if fermentation is done until you take measurements 1 to 2 days apart. I would guess that yeast is not done. It may not need the 30 break additions, but I'd measure SG a day or two apart and also leave your mead in the primary for at least two weeks. Good luck :mug:
 
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Hesster1977

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Thanks! Was not sure what to do next. I will wait the 2 weeks, and take sg’s a few times. I was hoping to get below 1.000, more like .996, then backsweeten to get to 1.015.
 

bushpilot

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If your SG reading is right, don't add any more nutrients! It would be useless to the yeast, and maybe tasted in the final product.
 
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Hesster1977

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Appreciate that advice. I had watched a mead video where a couple back-sweetened a batch of Dragon's Blood, and thought that was maybe a way to go for more sweetness and Tart Cherry flavor. But my batch is more like a Barkshack Ginger Mead take on Charlie P's recipe. So I will let it sit for 2 weeks, rack it, age it for 1-1/2 months, then add a 1/2 cup of honey (for the "sparkling") and bottle it. Will the existing yeast still work for this or should I add something like a few grams of Red Star Cote De Blanc yeast?
 

videojunkie1208

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If your OG was 1.070, the existing yeast will be viable for your carbonation efforts.

However, your carbonation goals and backsweetening are contrary to each other. In order to backsweeten, you have to kill the yeast. In order to carbonate you need viable yeast, which will eat your backsweetened honey and cause bottle bombs.
 
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Hesster1977

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I now understand that, and will now rack it soon and leave it for 1-1/2 months. I am learning a lot from this site on methods and procedure's, and common mistakes one can make. Yesterday a took another SG reading on a newly purchased Hydrometer, as my old tired one was off +0.003 (tried a calibration at 60 deg in H2O, and it read 1.0003). The batch has held steady at 1.000 for the last 3-4 days, so I think it is time to rack into a Carboy and let it sit for 1-1/2 months, and add in a little Cinnamon Stick and Oak Cube infusion. It shows minimal activity, just the odd bubble when looking at it, no cake on top or anything - looks pretty clean. Still a little not sure if I should add any Campden Tabs when racking, cause I still want carbonation as the recipe calls for - but I do not want the batch to go bad at the same time. Everything I read says don't "Kill the Yeast" by cold crashing or adding Sulfites or Sorbates. It actually tastes pretty good - Orange Blossom Honey and Tart Cherry's, no cough syrup taste as it is not a potent batch. Then to figure how much sugar of juice to add w/o blowing up the 22 oz beer bottles, recipe calls for 3/4 cup sugar or equivalent sugars for the yeast?
 
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