Mead not fermenting(newbie at mead)

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We put together a simple honey mead and added orange slices and raisins for yeast nutrient(about the size of small raisin box per gallon jug) and the added Mangrove Jack Mead yeast. After 3 weeks with little airlock action the mead was set up to be racked to new clean 1 gallon jugs(2 jugs total). There wasn't any dead yeast at the bottom. The jugs were wrapped with towels to keep light out and were in a room of about 72F for the duration of the ferment as well. During the fermentation period, for the first week or so, I would swirl the gallon jugs and the air locks would start to pop away but then later they would settle down. We decided to add an new yeast to each jug, thinking that maybe we had expired yeast. It's now day 5 of the new yeast and still little fermentation action seen on the airlock and no foam seen on top of the mead. Should I add yeast nutrient now to kick start this? We were following a simple recipe(2kgs of honey/gallon plus orange slices and raisins) that has worked for my son in the past so we are at a loss of what to do next. A quick taste of the mead after 3 weeks when racking and I found the mead very sweet and honey flavored indicating to me that we aren't fermenting? Any idea what is stopping this from fermenting and can I rescue this mead? Thanks in advance for any help you can give.
 
If the amount of honey is too high, the excessive sweetness could cause the yeast to not ferment.

The other thing is that a small box of raisins does not provide the necessary nutrients for a gallon of mead. You need to add proper yeast nutrients, preferably at the start. Organic based nutrients like Fermaid-O are much better than "Yeast Nutrient."
 
Ideally you would use some Go-Ferm and hydrate the yeast priot to adding to your must. You should see that yeast get started in about 30 minutes with a "cream" on the top.

You can add some of the must to the rehydrated yeast to get it acclimated to the pH that it is going to be put into. After another 15 or so minutes you can add it to the must to get it all going.
 
2 kg per gallon is a bit much. 2kg for a total volume of honey and water 4 litres is very difficult to ferment without some very advanced protocols.

What yeast was used?

Consider doing the following.
Check the Specific Gravity to understand where your at.
Add:
- 500 ml of water.
- Fermaid-O 5 to 10 ml (Nutrient)
- Check the pH if <3.2 add potasium bicarbonate 5 ml.
- Shake it or stir it like it owes you money.
 
2 kg per gallon is a bit much. 2kg for a total volume of honey and water 4 litres is very difficult to ferment without some very advanced protocols.

What yeast was used?

Consider doing the following.
Check the Specific Gravity to understand where your at.
Add:
- 500 ml of water.
- Fermaid-O 5 to 10 ml (Nutrient)
- Check the pH if <3.2 add potasium bicarbonate 5 ml.
- Shake it or stir it like it owes you money.
I just saw your post and ordered Fermaid O. It comes in a 2 oz packet. How much would I add to each gallon jug? Another question, if 2kgs per gallon is too much and created a must that would be hard to ferment, would diluting the must by 1/3 work? I have another empty 1 gallon jug and thought if I draw the 2 jugs down to 2/3 full and place the draw off in a new jug and top off all 3 jugs with campden treated water, new yeast and Fermaid 0 to create a more fermentable must? Would that be a good way to go forward? Thanks again.
 
Yes diluting would work. 4kgs (8.8 pounds) of honey into a total volume of 3 gallons gives you about 2.95 (3) pounds per gallon. Thats very do-able. The amount of Fermaid-O is somewhat dependent upon the yeast used. If fermented dry (1.000) will give you about 13.5 ABV.

I would target between 1.5 to 2 grams per gallon. Mix it with a bit of water. If you had some ferment starting the nucleaic reaction if just dumping it in dry is awesome to witness. Think Mentos and diet cola.

I my opinion there is no reason to treat the water with camden. Buy some good spring water or distilled water. Do not use tap water unless you boil it for at least 5 minutes. Spring water brings some micro nutrients that are beneficial. Boiled water or distilled to me although acceptable just tastes kihd of flat.

Other than those suggestions your approach sound pretty reasonable.

Good luck, let us know how it turns out.
 
2 kg per gallon is a bit much. 2kg for a total volume of honey and water 4 litres is very difficult to ferment without some very advanced protocols.

What yeast was used?

Consider doing the following.
Check the Specific Gravity to understand where your at.
Add:
- 500 ml of water.
- Fermaid-O 5 to 10 ml (Nutrient)
- Check the pH if <3.2 add potasium bicarbonate 5 ml.
- Shake it or stir it like it owes you money.
The yeast we used was new store bought Lalvin D47.
 
Yes diluting would work. 4kgs (8.8 pounds) of honey into a total volume of 3 gallons gives you about 2.95 (3) pounds per gallon. Thats very do-able. The amount of Fermaid-O is somewhat dependent upon the yeast used. If fermented dry (1.000) will give you about 13.5 ABV.

I would target between 1.5 to 2 grams per gallon. Mix it with a bit of water. If you had some ferment starting the nucleaic reaction if just dumping it in dry is awesome to witness. Think Mentos and diet cola.

I my opinion there is no reason to treat the water with camden. Buy some good spring water or distilled water. Do not use tap water unless you boil it for at least 5 minutes. Spring water brings some micro nutrients that are beneficial. Boiled water or distilled to me although acceptable just tastes kihd of flat.

Other than those suggestions your approach sound pretty reasonable.

Good luck, let us know how it turns out.
I'm going to buy a gallon of spring water tomorrow and pitch some D47 yeast with Fermaid 0 added to all 3 gallon jugs as I will have 3 jugs after drawing off 1/3 of gallon from the 2 mead jugs adding it to the new gallon jug and topping off with the new yeast and nutrient. Thanks for all the help, I appreciate it.
 

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