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drchritton

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I made a mixed berry melomel a few days (approx 48 hours) ago and I'm concerned as I'm not seeing any activity from the airlock.
It's a 2 gallon batch made with:
6lbs clover honey
3lbs frozen mixed berries (partially crushed)
Approx 1.5 Gallon spring water
Yeast: Lalvin 71B-1122

I lightly simmered the water and berries after crushing them and added the honey after removing from heat. I allowed the must to come down to 103F before pitching the yeast which was rehydrated (Per package instructions) at 98F. I added yeast nutrient and pectic enzymes as well.

I am concerned that I may have shocked the yeast when I pitched it into 103F must. now I don't know if I should repitch a new batch of yeast or just add yeast energizer and hope for the best.
This is only my second batch of mead and my first melomel as well as my first time heating the must before pitching. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

Dan O

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I made a mixed berry melomel a few days (approx 48 hours) ago and I'm concerned as I'm not seeing any activity from the airlock.
It's a 2 gallon batch made with:
6lbs clover honey
3lbs frozen mixed berries (partially crushed)
Approx 1.5 Gallon spring water
Yeast: Lalvin 71B-1122

I lightly simmered the water and berries after crushing them and added the honey after removing from heat. I allowed the must to come down to 103F before pitching the yeast which was rehydrated (Per package instructions) at 98F. I added yeast nutrient and pectic enzymes as well.

I am concerned that I may have shocked the yeast when I pitched it into 103F must. now I don't know if I should repitch a new batch of yeast or just add yeast energizer and hope for the best.
This is only my second batch of mead and my first melomel as well as my first time heating the must before pitching. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!
Welcome to the most addictive hobby on the planet!
Did you rehydrate the yeast with GoFerm?
Dry yeast rehydrated with GoFerm will start fermentation a lot faster than non-rehydrated yeast.
Or did you pitch it in dry?
Did you use the whole packet of yeast?
Was the yeast beyond the expiration date?
Yeast have a shock phase they go through when first pitched. I've had batches start up to 4 days after pitch.
Have you made sure you have a good seal on your bucket? ...as well as the airlock?
Is there liquid in the airlock?
What temperature is the must now?
What is the ambient temperature in the room? If it's on the cooler side, say 65°F, fermentation will kick off slow. Temperature makes a difference.
These are just some of the obvious things you should look for to help you troubleshoot.
On a side note, 3 lbs. of fruit for 2 gallons will be a fairly light fruit flavor, if you didn't already know.
Generally, fruits are 1-3 lbs./gallon of must. 1 lb. being noticeable as a background to the honey, 3 lbs. being very fruit forward.
I hope this helps you.
Happy meading 😎
 
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drchritton

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Welcome to the most addictive hobby on the planet!
Did you rehydrate the yeast with GoFerm?
Dry yeast rehydrated with GoFerm will start fermentation a lot faster than non-rehydrated yeast.
Or did you pitch it in dry?
Did you use the whole packet of yeast?
Was the yeast beyond the expiration date?
Yeast have a shock phase they go through when first pitched. I've had batches start up to 4 days after pitch.
Have you made sure you have a good seal on your bucket? ...as well as the airlock?
Is there liquid in the airlock?
What temperature is the must now?
What is the ambient temperature in the room? If it's on the cooler side, say 65°F, fermentation will kick off slow. Temperature makes a difference.
These are just some of the obvious things you should look for to help you troubleshoot.
On a side note, 3 lbs. of fruit for 2 gallons will be a fairly light fruit flavor, if you didn't already know.
Generally, fruits are 1-3 lbs./gallon of must. 1 lb. being noticeable as a background to the honey, 3 lbs. being very fruit forward.
I hope this helps you.
Happy meading 😎
I rehydrated the yeast but I did not use GoFerm.
I used approximately 1/2 of a 5 gram package of yeast.
I believe I have a good seal on the bucket and the airlock although I'm not entirely sure, I did just open it up to check on it to find it was doing absolutely nothing.
The must, at present, is 72F, same as the ambient temperature in the room.
I decided to go ahead and repitch a different strain of rehydrated yeast (Red Star Premier Rouge) into it along with more North Mountain nutrients & North Mountain energizer.
I am aware of the possible issues with repitching a different strain but I haven't been able to get straight answers on any of the forms I've posted this dilemma too so I went Rogue and we'll just see what happens.

also the 3lbs of fruit were primarily for color as I will be adding a mixed berry puree in secondary.
 

CKuhns

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Air locks at best are a poor indication of how well ypur ferment is going.

The best way to tell if your making any progress is to use a hydrometer a few days apart. If you dont have one i would encourage you to get one.
 

Raptor99

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The best way to tell if your making any progress is to use a hydrometer a few days apart. If you dont have one i would encourage you to get one.

+1 on the hydrometer.

Having said that, with 71B I usually have visible fermentation in less than 24 hours. I have learned that to ensure a good start for the yeast I can do several things:
* Check the pH of the must to be sure that it is in a healthy range for the yeast. I usually shoot for 3.4 to 3.5.
* Rehydrate the yeast with GoFerm according to the GoFerm manufacturer's instructions at the recommended temperature for the yeast. Lallemand recommeds 104 degrees F for rehydration of 71B
* Once there is visible fermentation in the starter, add an equal volume of must, taking care not to shock the yeast by changing the temperature by more than 10 degrees C (about 18 degrees F) at a time

I wait for visible fermentation in the starter before I add it to the must. That helps me verify that the yeast is good and is started. When I follow this procedure there is usually visible evidence of fermentation within 12 hours, or 24 hours at the most.
 
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