Orange blossom honey mead.

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Biggz

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Hello Everyone, I have giving a go at some Orange blossom honey mead on 11-8-22, I did not have any tools n such when i started but i seem to have everything now and I know i should have just waited till i got everything but i am new to this/older/disabled/and poorish=kids(lol) and did not know if i would even be able to purchase certain items living on a fixed income. So I do not have a starting gravity, Original gravity I am so sorry. I have the Hydrometer and everything i need now to make mead and wine in the future but the problem i am having is for the last 5 days i have checked the gravity and it still reads 1.050. I live in the mountains of Colorado and it has been cold here but my house is sat at 67 degrees and the room my mead is in is at 67-68. Is that too cold for the fermentation?

Also when i go to rack for the first time if it is not down to 1.020 or lower can i add more yeast or something to get it to go down more? The flavor is really good though that Orange blossom honey is really delicious!!! Thank you for all your help

1 gal glass carboy
3 lbs of Orange blossom honey
1/2 packet of Red Star Classique
1 tsp Nutrient
1 tsp Energizer

Thank you
Biggz
 

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sour_grapes

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I did not reply to this, hoping that a meadmaker would chime in. I will give my (uninformed!) thoughts.

No, I don't think 67-68F is too cold. A bit warmer would be better, but I usually ferment (grape wines) at those temps or cooler.

Was there initially signs of fermenting activity? Are there any signs now? If it is really stuck at 1.050, it would taste VERY sweet. Does it?

If it is stuck there, I would be inclined to make a starter, something like this: Making A Wine Yeast Starter To Restart A Stuck Fermentation - Wine Making and Beer Brewing Blog - Adventures in Homebrewing
 

Biggz

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Thank you for the reply Sour_grapes, yes the fermentation was going pretty fast to start. it is still throwing little bubbles to the top of the carboy.
The mead is not real sweet but does still have some sweetness left that can probably be made into alcohol. Thank you for the help Sour_grapes!
 

Raptor99

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Most wine yeasts will be fine at around 67-68 degrees F.

Honey has very little nutrients for yeast, so most mead makers add nutrients in stages, called SNA (Staggered Nutrient Addition). More info here: Improve Your Mead with Staggered Nutrient Additions

In addition to YAN (Yeast Assimilable Nitrogen), yeast need small amounts of minerals and vitamins. Since honey has very little of these things, it is better to use organic nutrients like Fermaid-O and Fermaid-K for mead.

If the problem is nutrients, then adding more yeast won't help.

A simple and inexpensive way to make your own organic yeast nutrients is to take a package of bread yeast and boil it for 5 minutes in a small amount of water. That will kill the bread yeast (which you want to do) and release the minerals and nutrients in the yeast cells. Then let that cool and add it to your mead. Yeast are happy to be cannibals, eating dead yeast cells.

I would not add any more "Yeast Nutrient" at this point, since that is just DAP plus urea, neither of which will provide the minerals and vitamins that your yeast need.
 

Raptor99

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Here is some info on your yeast: Temperature range: 59-86 F. Alcohol Tolerance: 13%. (source: Red Star Premier Classique (Montrachet))

If you put 3 lbs. of honey in 1 gal. of water, your OG would have been about 1.108 and the potential ABV would be 14.37% (source: The Mead Calculator – Got Mead? The Largest Mead Resource on the Web). Your yeast has an alcohol tolerance of 13%, so it might not ferment dry. If your current SG is 1.050 and the estimated OG above is correct, you are currently at about 8% ABV. So the yeast can go further, see my post above about nutrients.
 

Biggz

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Thank you for the reply and great information Raptor99, i will look into both those resources.

Thank you
Biggz
 

Biggz

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yes it is a hydrometer, i got this model here. I can get my hands on a refractometer if need be though, and i do plan on getting one in the future just to have. Thank you Sour_grapes
 

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sour_grapes

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No, no, hydrometer is what you want. I was just trying to think of a reason for the 1.050 reading despite the must not being very sweet. A refractometer gives a falsely high SG reading after fermentation has started due to the presence of alcohol.
 

Biggz

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Well i moved my mead 2 days ago from the room it was in to my electronics room that is a degree or 2 warmer and i just checked my gravity from my mead and guess what? It has moved down to 1.040 so the little bit of warmer temp has helped.IMG_20221130_150925076.jpg
 
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@Raptor99's analysis of your situation sounds good, so the yeast reaching it's maximum alcohol tolerance was a strong possibility. However, since warmth spurred activity, that's not quite true. It may be that the next time the ferment sticks, it means the yeast is done.

At this point, I'd do nothing. Time is your friend. Give the mead time to ferment out, or to do nothing. Aging it at least 3 months is a good idea, and if you age at least 9 months the yeast is dead, so bottling is safe.

If the mead tastes good at that level of sweetness (whatever it may be), that's great.

The biggest concern at this point is ensuring the yeast is done, so you don't get a renewed fermentation in the bottle, which will blow corks and make a mess.
 

Raptor99

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If you like the level of sweetness, once it has aged a few months and cleared, you could stabilize and bottle it. With that much sugar, I would hesitate to bottle it without stabilizing.
 

Biggz

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If you like the level of sweetness, once it has aged a few months and cleared, you could stabilize and bottle it. With that much sugar, I would hesitate to bottle it without stabilizing.
So use the campden tablets and potassium sorbate?
 

Biggz

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Back again, i decided to leave it alone. My question is to when should i look to be racking for the first time I started this mead on 11-8-22?

Thank you
Biggz
 

Biggz

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Hello winemaker81 thank you for the reply, I just checked the SG and it was still at 1.040 and it has stayed in the little of the warmer room since it had fermented down from 1.050 to the 1.040 and that was checked last Wednesday Nov 30th only 5 days ago.

Thank you
Biggz
 
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