Can I restart fermentation after adding campden tablets?

Discussion in 'Meads' started by ringmany, Jun 10, 2019.

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  1. Jun 10, 2019 #1

    ringmany

    ringmany

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    Hi everyone,

    I decided to start making 'Joes ancient orange mead (Mike's Modern).

    https://www.winemakingtalk.com/threads/mikes-modern-orange-mead.12492/

    I added all the ingredients, using D-47 yeast. I then left it, along with another grape mead for 3 months. The grape mead turned out fine.

    However, I thought I already took the gravity of the orange mead, thinking it was done, I mistakely added 2 campden tablets as I was about to bottle. Taking a gravity reading it's currently 1.090, so it looks like fermentation never started.

    I've tried adding dried active yeast, nothing. A couple days ago, I added 5 yeast B1 nutrient tablets, then EC-1118 yeast. Still nothing has happened.

    Is it possible for me restart, or even start the fermentation at this stage? All the honey was incredibly expensive, so I'd like to try and salvage this if possible.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Jun 11, 2019 #2

    Arne

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    Quick question with this. What was your starting gravity. If it was high enough, it might of fermented and stopped at 1.090. Just a thought ,
    Arne.
     
  3. Jun 11, 2019 #3

    NorCal

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    I would give the must a vigorous splash rack, binding a good portion of the free SO2 with oxygen. I would then make a separate starter and after getting a good fermentation going, pitch it into the must.
     
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  4. Jun 19, 2019 #4

    Desolus

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    Did you never notice a bubbling airlock?
     
  5. Jun 22, 2019 #5

    ringmany

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    Hi everyone,

    Sorry for the delay in reply.

    I didn't record the original gravity.. stupidly enough. There was so many ingredients int he demijon that when I forget to take the gravity, it was a little too inconvenient.

    Gravity is currently 1.090. Yes, I believe there was deffo bubbling at the beginning.

    I've started a side fermentation using 1 tbsp honey, 250ml water, dried yeast. It's been around 2 hours and I can hear it bubbling already. I'm going to wait a few more hours, then add it to my primary vessel with the original mead I made.
     
  6. Jun 22, 2019 #6

    George Burgin

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    +1 on NorCal. Did you taste the wine? Three months is a long time to just let must sit there on any gross lees that may have been produced. 1.090 is a very high gravity, in fact, that's a typical starting gravity. D47 has an alcohol tolerance of 14%. I suspect you may have a low alcohol liqueur.
     
  7. Jun 22, 2019 #7

    ringmany

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    Hi,
    Yes I did taste the mead. It's quite nice, although incredibly sweet, almost like juice. So the alcohol content isn't there, but the product itself does taste quite pleasant, which is why I want to salve it.
     
  8. Jun 22, 2019 #8

    George Burgin

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    Let us know how the yeast slurry works. You used EC-1118 for that, right?
     
  9. Jun 22, 2019 #9

    ringmany

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    I tried using EC-1118 before to the original one, but that didn't have any effect, but that was added to the primary rather than starting a separate one to add later.

    This must is using 'Youngs dried active yeast' which the original recipe I was following for Joe's ancient orange mead only suggests using bread mead.
     
  10. Jun 22, 2019 #10

    George Burgin

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    Ok, I'm no expert on yeast slurries. I had to do it only once but was successful. Keep in mind that because of the Campden, any yeast introduced to the must will not reproduce. So, I wonder if 250ml is going to be enough. You'll never have more yeast than what you add with the active slurry.

    When I had to do this one time before, I used a gallon of active yeast slurry I allowed to ferment for almost 2 days so I knew I was introducing 2nd and 3rd generation yeasties.

    Again, I don't think 250ml is going to do the job.

    And, I would make a slurry with the robust workhorse, EC-1118.
     
  11. Jun 22, 2019 #11

    ringmany

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    I'm only making 1 gallon of mead. I feel that adding another gallon of yeast slurry is going to dilute everything which I currently have, as half with be water and the other half my flavoured mead.
     
  12. Jun 22, 2019 #12

    George Burgin

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    Out of ignorance, my suggestion was for a 6 gallon batch. I don't have a volume suggestion for 1 gallon of must. Let me know how it turns out.
     
  13. Jun 25, 2019 #13

    ringmany

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    Bad news, it didn't work. Got the starter up and running, left for 24 hours, it was bubbling away. Did splash racking of the original, added the starter to the primary. Dead. No activity after another day.

    That's a shame cause it was expensive buying all the honey.. at least compared to buying 1kg of sugar for £2 lol.

    So it looks like I should start again. I went to a market recently and they were selling mead. They recommended only using Heather honey and champagne yeast, then leaving for at least 2-4 years to drink.

    I was using Orange Blossom honey from Tesco in mine. Do you have any recommendations for a particular type of honey to use. Does it have to be smooth and clear, or can it be thick?

    Thanks.
     
  14. Jun 25, 2019 #14

    Desolus

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    The clarity of the honey has nothing to do with the sugar content, but it does have something to do with flavor compounds. Pollen is honeys primary flavor causing compound, and it's not clear. Water content is another factor, more water can give the appearance of clarified honey, but once it dries you'll be right back to the same turbidity and it's not really a factor for us because we are making mead and adding honey to a pre determined gravity anyway.

    So buy the darkest and most turbid honey of the variety of your choice. Seriously, just pick a variety, any variety, and then select the most turbid one on the shelf.

    Different varieties age differently, mesquite honey requires years before it's palatable, orange blossom requires a few months, but benefits from extended aging like all mead.

    Adding fruit can greatly reduce the aging requirements because the compounds of the fruit lead to higher alcohols in the wine, which readily create esters with the less desirable compounds in the honey.

    Always check your gravity before you do something drastic like poison your wine lol.
     
  15. Jun 25, 2019 #15

    Arne

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    If you didn't throw the batch away, try making another starter. instead of pitching the starter in the big batch, take a cup or two out and put it in the starter. If it gets going good, wait a few hours to a day and throw another cup or two in. With only a gal. it won't take very long to get it all in there. Arne.
     
  16. Jun 25, 2019 #16

    Arne

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    B y the way, did you take an origional reading? That thing might of fermented out. I made the joam once, and it came out really sweet. If this is what happened and you want to cut the sweetness, try adding more of the origional ingredients, just leave out the honey and get the ferment restarted. Arne.
     
  17. Jun 25, 2019 #17

    Desolus

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    Campden tablets are K2S2O5

    Which in the presence of water hydrolizes
    K2S2O5(s) → K2SO3(s) + SO2(g)

    The SO2 can be easily oxidized further to make it non toxic to your yeasties. I recommed a hose with an air pump to oxiginate the must for a few hours, given the amount of sugar left over the yeast you add after disolving sufficient oxegen to react with the SO2 will be able to ferment the remaining O2 out, and then you could add more K2S2O5.
     

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