Author Topic: Stuck Mead Fermentation  (Read 383 times)

Offline dannyjed

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Stuck Mead Fermentation
« on: July 02, 2022, 11:25:13 am »
My buddy has multiple hives and we came up with the idea of making a Bochet. We ended up using probably too much honey approximately over 25 lbs for 6 gallons. The OG was 1.170 and I used 2 packets of 71B yeast with nutrients. The mead is now stuck at 1.070 which is too sweet. I tried adding EC-1118 which didn’t make the gravity budge at all. Not sure what else I can do to get this gravity down. Any suggestions from the mead makers out there or should I just label this as an after dinner sweet type of brandy thing?


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Offline denny

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Re: Stuck Mead Fermentation
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2022, 12:18:55 pm »
what did you do for nutrients?
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline dannyjed

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Re: Stuck Mead Fermentation
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2022, 01:40:08 pm »
Fermaid K and DAP.


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Dan Chisholm

Offline denny

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Re: Stuck Mead Fermentation
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2022, 02:06:27 pm »
Fermaid K and DAP.


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I think that should be good, but I'm far from a mead expert.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline mchrispen

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Re: Stuck Mead Fermentation
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2022, 02:13:40 pm »
Even with that perceived high finish gravity, you are at 14%. Most likely it’s done.


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Offline fredthecat

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Re: Stuck Mead Fermentation
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2022, 05:54:50 pm »
Even with that perceived high finish gravity, you are at 14%. Most likely it’s done.


im no mead expert, but 1.17 is a massive OG.

even if it fermented down to 1.050 that would be about 19% ABV (might be wrong here i am using an online calc quickly)

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Stuck Mead Fermentation
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2022, 06:00:13 pm »
I would add water.  Problems solved.
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Offline dannyjed

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Re: Stuck Mead Fermentation
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2022, 09:09:16 am »
I would add water.  Problems solved.
I thought about this as well. I think I will try it in a small amount and see if I like it. I can always scale up.


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Offline Dan Schreffler

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Re: Stuck Mead Fermentation
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2022, 10:43:22 am »
As others have said - that is a really high starting gravity.  Not sure what you intentions you had for the mead when you created the recipe.  Not much you can do to get the yeast to consume more of the sugar at this point.
You do have a great base to do some blending.  I think some raspberry juice would dilute the sugar as well as add some needed tartness to balance the sweetness.  Do some trials using a small amount to dial in the ratios and then scale up.  You have enough to try a couple different fruit juices - cranberry, blackberry, etc.  Tart flavors to balance the sugar.
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Offline joe_meadmaker

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Re: Stuck Mead Fermentation
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2022, 02:46:57 pm »
I agree with most of what's been said.  As Dan suggested, you can try adding some tart fruit or juice to see if it helps balance things out.  I see you tried hitting it with some more yeast.  You could try cutting it with water (so effectively bringing down the overall gravity and alcohol level) and doing that again.  Although if you want to try that I would do it with a small starter-size part of the batch to see if you get any activity.

If you really want to get the gravity down, you can make another batch to blend it with.  For the second batch just make sure you have a low enough OG so it will ferment to dry.  Although something else to mention on that, some honeys ferment out really well and some don't.  For me it's always been darker wildflower honeys ferment really well, and lighter colored ones tend to stop at a higher SG.  I've seen exceptions, but in general that's been my experience.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Stuck Mead Fermentation
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2022, 01:15:58 pm »
I've been there before myself. Once you get this far along it's hard to coax any more attenuation because the ABV is already so high. You could try getting a big, active starter going and pitch that with some aeration, but I still don't think you're going to get much more out of it.

With the right acidity balance, you can possibly get as high as 1.050 FG to drink like a sweet dessert wine without being cloying. If you find a tart fruit juice with a low enough gravity (lemon, lime, unsweetened cranberry juice, or sour cherry juice, maybe), then you might just be able to blend them to taste and call it a day.
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Offline fredthecat

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Re: Stuck Mead Fermentation
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2022, 04:54:01 pm »
i had some bad experiences with beers and alcohols that finished way higher than expected. i feel bad for you, it is such a frustrating fault. as people said, watering it down sounds good to me, but - would you water it down (de-oxygenated water?), then let it sit in carboy to see if further fermentation takes place?

-would oaking it help to add some tannins to offset any remaining bitterness if it is still at say 1.03?
-other ways to counteract the sweetness, like boiling a hop solution or other bittering agent?

Offline dannyjed

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Re: Stuck Mead Fermentation
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2022, 05:08:35 pm »
I really don’t want to add any tart juices. We made a Bochet and I don’t want to cover up the flavor of the caramelized honey. So, I think I’ll take a small sample and add some water and see if I like it any better. If not, I might try the idea of making another very dry mead and blend.


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Dan Chisholm

Offline dannyjed

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Re: Stuck Mead Fermentation
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2022, 08:46:07 am »
Okay, I took a sample and watered it down.  It took a lot of water to bring the gravity down to around 1.025 almost a 1:1 ratio. I did not care for the taste as it was too weak and tasted almost like a uncarbonated soft drink. So, onto plan B which is make another batch of dry mead and blend. Thanks for the tips everyone!


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Dan Chisholm