Author Topic: Restarting mead fermentation after already stabilizing initial ferment  (Read 1802 times)

Offline sdavis84

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I am making an apple pie mead which is stalled out at 1.08.  I made a major mistake and accidentally racked it into potassium sorb ate/metabisulfate before realizing it wasn't done.  I brought up an active 1/2 gal starter of Lalvin 1116 and pitched it at peak activity 24 hours later.  Seemed like it might get it going again but now slowing down and flocking out still around 1.08.  I oxygenated well and did staggered nutrient additions over first 3 days.  My impression was the potassium sorb/ metabisulfate should not stop active ferment so rep itching active yeast should work.  Any suggestions?  Mead tastes great just way too sweet.  Thanks!

Offline Jeff M

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Re: Restarting mead fermentation after already stabilizing initial ferment
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2014, 02:37:21 PM »
Maybe make a second small batch that ferments dry and blend?  I was under the impression that once Potassium K is present you are pretty much stuck.  From what ive just read it looks like the Potassium Meta inhibited the active yeast and the potassium K kept them from reproducing.
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Offline dkfick

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Re: Restarting mead fermentation after already stabilizing initial ferment
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2014, 06:00:04 PM »
I'm not really sure what you can do... Possibly blending it with another batch already in an active fermentation  would dilute the KMeta and K Sorbate enough to allow for continued fermentation?  That's all I really can think of.
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Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Restarting mead fermentation after already stabilizing initial ferment
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2014, 01:15:16 PM »
What was the OG on this?
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Offline sdavis84

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Re: Restarting mead fermentation after already stabilizing initial ferment
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2014, 12:22:41 AM »
Og was around 1.13

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Restarting mead fermentation after already stabilizing initial ferment
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2014, 05:53:04 AM »
Ok. You didn't happen to measure FG with a refractometer?

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Offline sdavis84

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Re: Restarting mead fermentation after already stabilizing initial ferment
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2014, 07:51:05 AM »
Nope, only have hydrometer.  What would you learn with fg reading using refractomter vs hydrometer?

Offline dkfick

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Re: Restarting mead fermentation after already stabilizing initial ferment
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2014, 08:41:24 AM »
To use a refractomter for the FG you would need to also use a calculation to estimate the true FG because a refractomter doesn't account for alcohol properly.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Restarting mead fermentation after already stabilizing initial ferment
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2014, 12:04:46 PM »
To use a refractomter for the FG you would need to also use a calculation to estimate the true FG because a refractomter doesn't account for alcohol properly.

and even then, when the OG gets up there things start to get wonky. still a neat tool. I wouldn't own one except I snagged a cheap one of amazon for ~20 bucks
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Offline Jeff M

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Re: Restarting mead fermentation after already stabilizing initial ferment
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2014, 05:23:26 PM »
Back to OP, I read that if you heat your mead to 170+ it should denature the Sorbate.  The problem is it becomes a sulfur compound and that may stick in your mead.... Id start working on a batch to ferment dry to mix.
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Offline dkfick

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Re: Restarting mead fermentation after already stabilizing initial ferment
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2014, 08:47:06 AM »
Back to OP, I read that if you heat your mead to 170+ it should denature the Sorbate.  The problem is it becomes a sulfur compound and that may stick in your mead.... Id start working on a batch to ferment dry to mix.
You may want to be careful while heating it as well... I think the boiling point for alcohol is like 173F?
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Offline sdavis84

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Re: Restarting mead fermentation after already stabilizing initial ferment
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2014, 10:49:19 PM »
Doing a little reading and I believe wine makers add these chemicals preferment to their grape must to kill off all the wild yeast/ bacteria before adding yeast of interest.  I am going to wait some time for the chemicals to de gas and then try pitching a huge active yeast slurry

Offline dkfick

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Re: Restarting mead fermentation after already stabilizing initial ferment
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2014, 07:55:58 AM »
Well... They add KMeta at the start to knock out most of the wild yeast and bacteria but not potasium sorbate.  That's your preservative.  It's the one that is the problem.

The KMeta is mostly gone after 24 hours.
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Offline sdavis84

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Re: Restarting mead fermentation after already stabilizing initial ferment
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2014, 11:40:14 AM »
In theory, since potassium sorb ate inhibits yeast growth but not kill active yeast or fermentation, would it be possible to still ferment must with potassium sorb ate if enough yeast are pitched?

Offline Jeff M

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Re: Restarting mead fermentation after already stabilizing initial ferment
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2014, 12:24:10 PM »
Dan is right, Winemakers do indeed use a small amount of PMeta to inhibit Wild yeast until the selected yeast strain takes over in sufficient amounts that the Wild yeast cant play a significant factor if present.  How much PMeta did you drop in how many gallons?
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