A lesson learned

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mmadmikes1

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Started my first Mead 2 1/2 weeks ago. Straight Honey water and yeast. Well while fermentation was going, it was SLOW as he11. Re pitched a yeast starter I gave 2 days to get going. Still Slow as he11. Yesterday I took lid and air lock off bucket and covered with towel. Today it is going like a bat out of He11.
I have always covered and air locked my wines. Never a problem and if you read the forums you will see it is an on going debate. Guess I have had my opinion changed.;)
 

arcticsid

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Mike, sometimes it isn't always good to ask what you already know!!!
 

Malkore

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Just opening the top really doesn't cause that much gas exchange to oxygenate the must. That's why we shake, stir, or bubble pure O2 in with micro-airstones to aerate.

You probably just had a really long lag time. It happens.

Either way, sounds like you're good to go. Practice good sanitizing and cleaning and an open fermenter really should not pose a higher risk of contamination. After all this is how it used to always be done :)
 

arcticsid

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I have been curious about those airstones. Seen one in a beer making catalog a few days ago but have never heard it mentioned in making wine.
 

Wade E

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I agree, it almost always starts slow and around the 3 day mark is going mad for about 4 days and then the gentle decline, dont be surprised if this batch takes quite longer then your used to as meads can take their sweet a$$ time when they want!
 

arcticsid

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I guess it comes back to the patience thing. Us winemakers could be doctors, seems like we have to have paitience to stay in business, oh wait, patients. Whatever!!LOL
 

Luc

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Well I am a bit in doubt here.

I always make a yeast starter one day upfront pitching it to the must.

Next day when the starter is fermenting vigorous I add it to my must and generally I have a full vigorous ferment within a few hours to overnight.

I also do not believe that the sudden exposure to air will have done the trick in this case.

Did you use sulphite and maybe overdone it ???

Luc
 

arcticsid

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Luc you were the first person I ever heard talk about a starter back when I took on this ridiculous hobby. Now I am absolutely sold on using a starter, and I too have always found that after pitching the starter I have great ferment action within hours.

I also whip the must good before pitching the starter, that last good shot of oxegen before the yeast is introduced for me seems to work the best.
 

mmadmikes1

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Luc, it was slow as in 2 weeks then I re pictched with a yeast starter that sat 24 hours and was still slow, once I took off lid and covered with a towel it finally started moving, not 3 days ,Wade ,almost 3 weeks. And I did read enough to learn Mead takes time, more time
 

Luc

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Mike,

Still even my meads never had such a prolongued lag-time.

The only time when I had trouble getting a wine started was when I was trying to ferment an over-sulphited plum wine a few year ago. It sat there for more as a week. Then I aerated it by splashing the wine from one bucket into an other and it started like hell.

So sulphites was the first thing that came to my mind.

Luc
 
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