Yeast nutrient added late in fermentation

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Dec 5, 2020
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I have three separate one gallon batches of mead fermenting and thought one stalled. I stagger the nutrients and add more every few days instead of every 24 hours. I just added some today, but I took gravity readings and now I’m realizing it’s day 14 and they might’ve all just reached their alcohol tolerance.

I’m really not sure since my first and only previous batch was 5 gallons but I miscalculated and added more honey making it 6 gallons and let it sit for months, so I knew for a fact fermentation continued after the last nutrients I added.

The one I thought was stalled went from 1.18 to 1.04 making it 18%. I used Lalvin K1-V1116 so that’s where it should’ve stopped, but the ferment was very noticeably less active and ended sooner than the two other batches. Those had lower starting gravities, so I would expect them to be less active. Or if it stalled like I had thought, or just went slower because of too high of a starting gravity, I’d expect it to finish later than the other two and not sooner.

Any comments or advice on the matter in general? But also, will adding yeast nutrient after fermentation ends have any negative effects? Is a low-vigor, 14 day ferment something you can expect using K1-V1116 with a 1.18 starting gravity?

Also the mead is made up of water, honey, black cherry juice, and blackberry preserves. I didn’t do any precise measurements but knew what gravity I was shooting for. They came out to 1.18, 1.14, and 1.12. I also split the nutrients from a 5 gallon kit for these 3 one gallon batches, so they did get more nutrient than necessary but nothing excessive.
An SG of 1.18 is extremely high (about 22% potential ABV)! At that level, fermentation can get wonky and sometimes the yeast won't even start. Usually people step feed the honey if they want to get that high of an ABV.

K1V is a hardy yeast though and a 2-week ferment is actually quite possible with this one - I recently did a 16% mead with it that took 10 days to go dry, so 18% in 14 days isn't out of the question. The extra nutrients from the black cherry juice and preserves no doubt helped it too. Any nutrients at this stage unfortunately won't help it to ferment along and could be detrimental to the flavor of the mead. You're probably fine, but I wouldn't recommend adding any more.
The "danger" is that the yeast if close to or past 9% ABV will not make use of the nutrients. Those extra nutrients that don't settle to the bottom will become part of the flavor of the mead... and you're not trying to drink yeast nutrients.