A lesson learned

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


smart @$$
Aug 18, 2009
Reaction score
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.;)
Mike, sometimes it isn't always good to ask what you already know!!!
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 :)
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.
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!
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
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 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.
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

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.


Latest posts