Author Topic: Mead fermentation  (Read 6159 times)

Offline jmmcfarland

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Mead fermentation
« on: June 06, 2012, 09:07:11 AM »
I started my first mead a month ago. I was planning on transferring to my secondary but my last gravity reading was still high (1.065). Any advice would be appreciated. Also O.G. was 1.110.

Offline nateo

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Re: Mead fermentation
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2012, 03:45:19 AM »
Nutrients? PH? Temp? Yeast Strain?
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Offline jmmcfarland

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Re: Mead fermentation
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2012, 10:44:17 AM »
I added Gypsum, acid blend, yeast extract, Irish moss and Champagne yeast. My PH is 3.2 and my temp is 76 degrees.

Offline nateo

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Re: Mead fermentation
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2012, 11:14:08 AM »
Acid blend should really be used post-ferment, to taste. Yeast gets grumpy under pH - 4. How much yeast did you use? Did you rehydrate it?
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline jmmcfarland

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Re: Mead fermentation
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2012, 07:17:33 AM »
I only used one package of yeast that I didn't hydrate per the instructions. I'll take note to hold acid blend till after fermentation. I went ahead and moved it over to my secondary yesterday. Fermentation is still going. Just seems to be very slow.

Offline nateo

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Re: Mead fermentation
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2012, 07:30:37 AM »
The reason you're supposed to rehydrate yeast is so it can take in water in an unstressful environment. Dry yeast act like a sponge when they're rehydrating. They can't control their cellular pumps while they're dry, so anything in the rehydration liquid will rush into the cells. So the must rushed into the cells, and the yeast's stored-up nutrients rushed out of the cells, and then the yeast struggled to pump out the excess sugar.

Any gravity over 1.040 or so has a harmful level of osmotic pressure for unhealthy yeast. Anything over 1.100 or so has a harmful level of osmotic pressure for healthy yeast. Osmotic pressure literally squeezes the guts out of yeast, if their cell membrane isn't healthy enough to resist it.

Basically, you killed most of your yeast by dumping straight into the must. The yeast that was left was unhealthy, and has struggled to ferment your must. I'd expect it to continue to limp along for months. If that's not something you want to deal with, get a few packs of yeast, rehydrate them properly, then add those to the seconday. Red Star yeast is like $0.50/pack and you can't really use too much.   
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline nateo

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Re: Mead fermentation
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2012, 07:42:41 AM »
If you haven't seen this, you need to:
http://www.ahaconference.org/wp-content/uploads/presentations/2008/KrisEngland_NHC.pdf

That .pdf changed my life. If your mead takes more than two weeks to finish, you're doing it wrong.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline jmmcfarland

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Re: Mead fermentation
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2012, 09:29:06 AM »
Thanks for the advice. I will take all this into consideration in my next batch. Now I'm going to try and salvage this one.

Offline nateo

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Re: Mead fermentation
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2012, 10:02:39 AM »
I'd probably use 6-8 packs, and see how that goes. Honey is expensive and spending $3-4 on yeast is cheap, comparably.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline jmmcfarland

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Re: Mead fermentation
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2012, 08:14:09 AM »
Mead has cleared thoroughly and was bottled last night. It finished at 1.010 and tastes great! Thank you for the advice. I will be attempting a Prickly pear melomel next.