New brewer problems.

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Budica

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I'm a first time brewer and I decided to try to knock up 5 x 1 gallon carboys of mead yesterday evening. Joes Ancient Mead, Plain Sweet Mead, Fire Mead, Lemon Star Anise Mead and Cinnamon Cyser Mead. I used 71b 1122 for all but JOAM (bread yeast).

The last two, Lemon Star and Cinnamon Cyser both haven't started bubbling yet, 12 hours later, whilst the other three are gurgling away, and I am wondering why? I pitched the yeast in exactly the same way as everything else, (2g yeast, hydrate in boiled tap water which has cooled to 43C, add to wort when at 24C, gentle shake to mix in and put on airlock.). The Cyser contains scrumpy cider and half a lemon, and the Lemon Anise contains half a lemon. I'm thinking that the lemons may have reacted and stopped it fermenting? Why would it do that? How do I counteract that? Adding additional yeast and nutrients?

I didn't use yeast nutrient for anything other than the plain mead.

Thanks for any advice in advance.
 

TandemTails

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They could be fermenting but aren't putting out as as much co2 as the others. My most recent cyser looked like it wasn't fermenting at all but when I took a hydrometer reading it had already fermented to 8%.

Do you have a hydrometer? If so, did you take an original gravity reading (OG)? If you have a hydrometer, check the gravity and see if it's dropped any.
 

porterpounder

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Could be fermenting w/o visible action, or the lemon may have decreased he pH enough to limit the yeast activity. Take a gravity reading to see if it's really not fermenting. If it's not check the pH with strips.
 

fossilcat

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Wouldn't hurt to add a 1/2 tsp of Potassium Carbonate (Potassium Bicarbonate works too but less potassium by weight). Mead doesn't buffer well.
 

bmwr75

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Lemon is the common denominator and may have made the pH too low. I add 1/2 teaspoon of K-bicarb to every 1 gallon mead batch even those that don't contain citrus that lowers pH. Honey is acidic all on its own.
 
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Budica

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Wouldn't hurt to add a 1/2 tsp of Potassium Carbonate (Potassium Bicarbonate works too but less potassium by weight). Mead doesn't buffer well.
Would that bring the current yeast in there back to life and start fermentation, or would I have to add more yeast? Where is a quick place to get some Potassium Carbonate the UK, Hollands? I don't particularly fancy waiting for a delivery.

I don't currently have a hydrometer, maybe I should also pick one of those up tomorrow too.
 

bmwr75

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Go to your local apothecary and see if they will sell you some potassium carbonate or bicarbonate.
 

fossilcat

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My local brew store had Potassium Bicarbonate. I got the Potassium Carbonate from Amazon. And as bmwr75 suggests, your pharmacy probably has one or the other too.

Without a hydrometer, you can't really be sure that your fermentation hasn't started or won't start for that matter with the addition of P-carb - so definitely get one. It may already be fermenting, but real slow due to the low pH. But rather than wait for the P-carb to work (or not) pitch another package (all 5 gms) anyway. Yeast thrives in higher populations - it's less stressful for them.

Also add about a 1/2 tsp each of Nutrient (fermaid K) and DAP, and then violently stir or shake the heck out of the must to infuse as much 02 as possible.

Then go to www.denardbrewing.com and learn about staggered nutrient addition, rehydrating your yeast, aerating and de-gassing, pH and temp control, etc.
 
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