Starter ok... Pitch went wrong

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

DShoaf

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2009
Messages
48
Reaction score
1
Location
Kalamazoo
Made a yeast starter for my 5 gallon batch mead with D-47. Activly fermented within an hour. Was in the small carboy for 2 days. Mixed up the water and the honey and other ingredients and pitched the starter into the must the next day (day 2/today). Currently it has been about 5 hours and the air lock is popped up but it is not perking like active fermentation would. I am concerned because it took a long time to get to the popped state and I think that the yeast might not be taking. How long should I wait before I try reyeasting? Or what can I do to salvage the mead?
 

Tusch

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
1,379
Reaction score
14
Location
Spring Valley
It has only been 5 hours, you have a long time before you really need to worry. Give us some details though, what is your recipe? Are you using nutrients, and are they being applied in a staggered schedule? If you had a starter going, which by the way isn't usually necessary, you have little to worry about.
 
OP
DShoaf

DShoaf

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2009
Messages
48
Reaction score
1
Location
Kalamazoo
First I would like to say I followed a recipe given to me and this was before I did any research on what I was doing exactly. As I understand now that less is more in mead making. At any rate.

The Starter
6 Cups of H2O
1lb honey
1 packet Levin D-47
Boiled H20 and put honey in when cooled to 150 degrees. Waited until that cooled to about 90 degree and pitched the rehydrated yeast. One hour later active fermentation, to my delight you can imagine.

The Next Day I Mixed the Mead Recipe
4.5 gallons H2O
12 lbs Honey
*remember I made a starter which brings the full batch to 5 gal/13lbs
15 tsp Malic Acid
7.5 tsp Tartaric Acid
1.25 tsp Wine Tannin
3.75 tsp Yeast Energizer
5 tabs Campden (Crushed)
I pitched the yeast starter after the must had a 24hrs for the campden to be effective. I used purified water in this stage, but note the starter was boiled tap. Mixed everything together and pitched the yeast starter today.

I am going to leave it alone for a while, but after reading the FAQs I think by adding the acids before I pitched I may have made a inhospitable environment for the yeast. I would be greatly appreciative for your inputs. Thanks Dan
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,940
Reaction score
12,870
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
First I would like to say I followed a recipe given to me and this was before I did any research on what I was doing exactly. As I understand now that less is more in mead making. At any rate.

The Starter
6 Cups of H2O
1lb honey
1 packet Levin D-47
Boiled H20 and put honey in when cooled to 150 degrees. Waited until that cooled to about 90 degree and pitched the rehydrated yeast. One hour later active fermentation, to my delight you can imagine.

The Next Day I Mixed the Mead Recipe
4.5 gallons H2O
12 lbs Honey
*remember I made a starter which brings the full batch to 5 gal/13lbs
15 tsp Malic Acid
7.5 tsp Tartaric Acid
1.25 tsp Wine Tannin
3.75 tsp Yeast Energizer
5 tabs Campden (Crushed)
I pitched the yeast starter after the must had a 24hrs for the campden to be effective. I used purified water in this stage, but note the starter was boiled tap. Mixed everything together and pitched the yeast starter today.

I am going to leave it alone for a while, but after reading the FAQs I think by adding the acids before I pitched I may have made a inhospitable environment for the yeast. I would be greatly appreciative for your inputs. Thanks Dan
Wow- 22.5 tsp of acid? That's a lot. Where did you get the recipe? It might be a perfectly fine recipe- don't get me wrong! I am just concerned about that much acid in a 5 gallon batch.

It'll take a while to get started- yeast must reproduce before it'll begin fermentation, so don't worry about it for at least a few days.
 
OP
DShoaf

DShoaf

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2009
Messages
48
Reaction score
1
Location
Kalamazoo
The recipe came from a small pamphlet that is purple called Winemakes Recipe Handbook. It is an extrapalation for the Dry Mead Recipe that was originally for 1 gallon. Everything was multiplied by 5 in order to achieve the extapalation for 5 gallons.
 

Tusch

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
1,379
Reaction score
14
Location
Spring Valley
Yup, as hightest recommends acid and often tannin should be added to taste post fermentation. Sometimes you do need to adjust for proper ph in prefermentation, but for a traditional mead like this you certainly don't.

But waiting is a good option. This isn't a terribly high SG recipe, so I wouldn't imagine it would take terribly long to get going, I'm just a tad worried about the acid and resulting ph. If it wasn't for the acid I would guess this would get going by the end of the day tomorrow, but wait a few days after that before you start panicking :)
 
OP
DShoaf

DShoaf

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2009
Messages
48
Reaction score
1
Location
Kalamazoo
As for making the mead it was a shoot then aim process. I appreciate the help and I am going give it some time. If it doesn't have any activity by tuesday night I am going to pitch Lalvin EC-1118 to give it a kick start. I will keep you updated. Thanks
Dan
 
OP
DShoaf

DShoaf

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2009
Messages
48
Reaction score
1
Location
Kalamazoo
I guess my paranoia got the best of me because this morning when I woke up I have good airlock activity. I clocked her at about every 4 seconds. Thinking about adding some fruit to it, but cannot decide on what flavor. I am hopeing that if I put some fruit in secondary it will be ready to drink a little sooner. Thanks for all the help so far. Any ideas on the fruit or fruit combinations that would help reduce the ageing time?
 
Top