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Wine Making & Grape Growing Forum > Wine Making > Meads > First Mead, slow ferment?

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Old 11-16-2016, 07:50 AM   #1
zadvocate
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I bought 4#'s of local honey to make a gallon of mead. My first time. I used 71b rehydrated with Goferm. From 1-1.5 grams of fermaid i added half at the beggining then 1/4 after 48 hours and I will pitch the rest after 72. Orignally I was going to wait for a 1/3 break but it has gone slow so I added it. I put in a little FT Rouge because I had some on hand. The starting gravity was 1.114 starting and is now down to about 1.10 after 3 days. This seems slow to me. The temp is around 65 in the must. I took an old down comforter and wrapped it around the bucket today to see if the temp will rise.

Just wondering do meads ferment slower? or is it the temp?

 
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Old 11-16-2016, 08:18 AM   #2
mennyg19
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I only did one mead, so I'm kot exactly a pro, but mine stayed in the primary for close to a month. I didn't take any gravity readings (except before and after) so I cant know for sure, but I just waited until I saw it stop fizzing for a few days.
I started at 1.122 and ended at about 1.008
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Old 11-16-2016, 02:52 PM   #3
Whitehrs
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I've done 3 meads and all needed a blow off jar, instead of a standard airlock.
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Old 11-17-2016, 04:46 AM   #4
Rampage4all
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I've done several meads now and they all took weeks to finish fermenting.

 
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Old 11-26-2016, 07:00 PM   #5
davemo
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Hmm i think u might be misunderstanding the 1/3 break concept. But all the yeast should have all been added at the start imho (ive made prolly 50 batches of 5 gallon mead). Also u may want to rethink the 71b. Why well 1 very good reason for home mead makers. 71b can NOT be left on the wine after fermentation without off flavors showing up. In other words after the airlock stops bubbling you need to rack the mead within say 3/4 days.Might i suggest another old wine yeast that does well (all i use) that is cote des blanc by red star it actually can be left on the wine for a while and may actually improve the flavor

 
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Old 11-28-2016, 04:53 AM   #6
zadvocate
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Not sure what you mean. I know the 1/3 break means to feed the yeast nutrient after 1/3 depletion of the sugar. I added all of the yeast at the start. It's been 2 weeks and the hydrometer is reading 18 bricks. (Started at 26). Been stuck at 18 since last week. I see plenty of bubbles rising and i did degass every day twice a day for 7 days. I think the temp is too cold 62-65) so last night I moved it upstairs to a warmer room. I'll let it sit there and see if that helps. I have looked into a lot of mead resources and they all use 71B. I had planned on racking as soon as primary finished. Cotes Des blanc does look good and I may try it for my next batch.

 
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Old 12-15-2016, 08:12 AM   #7
huesmann
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OP, did you aerate your must?

 
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Old 12-15-2016, 12:16 PM   #8
snoopthulhu
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I've tried one mead so far, a one gallon batch. Ferment didn't start. After 3 days of literally no action, I made a starter and tried again, adding extra energizer. I started aerating the must daily. No action at all. After 4 days of this, I decided to add some frozen blueberries to the mix as a last resort, and did the press and stir method daily for heavy aeration. Three days later I finally noticed some action, right when I was going to dump the whole thing down the drain. It went slow for a few days then picked up steam. Going to rack it shortly.

 
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Old 12-15-2016, 05:51 PM   #9
winojoe
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Did you adjust your pH? The sluggishness is usually from the pH being too low because of the honey.

I always wondered why people would tell me to use two packets of yeast, and that the fermentation would take weeks. Never understood this. Why would the fermentation take so long? Finally figured out that they use two packets because that was what it took since fermentation was sluggish.

So, I measured the pH, it was 2.8! This is way too low. I am surprised the yeast even survived. I used a small amount of Calcium Carbonate to bring the pH up to 3.6. After two weeks, the mead was fully fermented out, and did not have that weird "medicimal" taste (for the lack of a better description) that you get from a long fermentation.

Now I always check my pH, and acid levels, before pitching yeast.

The Calcium Carbonate was very powerful. Use it sparingly. You do not want the pH to go to high (over 4.2) otherwise bacteria (and other things) can start affecting your must.
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Old 12-15-2016, 05:59 PM   #10
winojoe
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I highly recommend reading the book "The Compleat Meadmaker" by Ken Schramm
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