Fermentation Stopped Day 4

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Hesster1977

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This is a great web site, and I did a lot off research on this site before making my first batch of Mead after 15 years or so. So I am making a batch of Ginger Mead, used 7 lbs of honey, a jar of Tart Cherry juice, and 6 lbs of Tart Puree, did the hydrate thing with the 10g of RS Prem Cuvee Yeast, and so on. OG measured at 1.070, fermenting in the basement at 65 deg. Day two - used a stir wand with a drill 2x, 1/2 tsp nutrient, and little noticeable yeast activity. Day 3 - very active yeast bubbling, like boiling almost in the fermenter, and 2x on the stirring, 1/2 tsp DAP, lots of foaming - a good sign. Now day 4 - no bubbling in the air lock, some but little activity in the fermenter. SG measured at 1.004!
SO -could it have pooped out and fermented everything already? I was going to do the Fermaid K and DAP thing at the 30% break (1.045), but it looks like it sailed past that point?
Recommendations? Let it sit, or go ahead and add the Fermaid & DAP, rack it, or what?
 
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Rice_Guy

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With a gravity of 1.004 on a mead I would assume that it has fermented as much as it can. What you have listed for process sounds good!
The OG of 1.070 is low therefore stress on the yeast is less and I would have hoped for less than 1.000 finished gravity. Meads are nutrient deserts and catching 1/3 sugar with extra aeration should have helped push the gravity lower. BUT at this point I would have patience. Residual sweetness helps balance flavors, chances are good this turns out well.

Welcome to wine making talk.
 

Hesster1977

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Appreciate the response. Just amazed that it fermented so quickly, doesn’t seem right. So I had intended to rack it after getting to .996 to .994, and then back sweeten with a Lb of honey and 20 oz of cherries to get to 1.015. But now not sure what my next step should be.
 

Rice_Guy

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Next? The first question is how do you like the flavor?

If you like the flavor let it be. This year cyser stopped at 1.010 and got a first ribbon. Not my plan, ,,, but I am only the farmer growing yeast. They run the show.
If you don’t then play more. I would expect on a young wine by adding sugar (honey) and cherry and what ever oxygen goes along with this you would restart the fermentation.
 

Hesster1977

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Appreciate that advice. I tasted it last night, and a little funky with a note of tart cherry but it is prob still fermenting a little. I had watched a mead video where a couple back-sweetened a batch of Dragon's Blood, and thought that was maybe a way to go for more sweetness and Tart Cherry flavor. But my batch is more like a Barkshack Ginger Mead take on Charlie P's recipe. So I will let it sit for 2 weeks, rack it, age it for 1-1/2 months, then add a 1/2 cup of honey (for the "sparkling") and bottle it. Will the existing yeast still work for this or should I add something like a few grams of Red Star Cote De Blanc yeast?
 

Hesster1977

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More help request from a "Newbee". So yesterday I carefully racked after steady readings of ~1.000 into a 5 gal Carboy, and there was a pretty healthy cake of old spend stuff in the bottom. Made sure not to siphon off any of that. In doing so, I had a little more headspace than anticipated, so I used a Sodastream to blast some CO2 into the headspace. All went well. Checking on it today, it is surprisingly clear already, and has a good color. BUT - very surprised to see at least +1/2" of suspension already in the bottom of the Carboy! So - is it OK to sit on that for the next 1 to 1-1/2 months, or should I, and at what point, rack it off again?
 
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then add a 1/2 cup of honey (for the "sparkling") and bottle it.
Is this a 5 or 6 gallon batch? If so, that amount of carbonation honey should be fine.

is it OK to sit on that for the next 1 to 1-1/2 months, or should I, and at what point, rack it off again?
This is a controversial point. I watch the wine, and when the sediment stops building up and starts to compact, I typically rack. You can mark the carboy with a grease pencil to keep track of the sediment level.

However, folks are doing Extended Maceration (EM), letting the wine soak in the pomace for up to 8 weeks. Since that is not a problem, letting your wine set for 1 to 1.5 months should not be, either.
 

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