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Mead Question - Fermentation Process

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Stooart

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Hi Guys,

Eight days ago I made up a few batches of mead, this is the first time I have done this since 1997... see what marriage does to you!! anyways... here is a rough description of what I created.... they are all experiments conjured from the ether... I used EXC-1118 yeast.

Sweet Mead 30L - 5kg Honey, .500grms sugar, Granny Smith Apples (lots), water (bubbling away fine right now)
Sweet Mead 5L - 2.5kg Honey, Pink Lady Apples, water (bubbling away fine right now)
Dry Mead 5L - 1kg Honey, .100grms sugar, .250grms Blueberries, some raisins, water *(stopped bubbling this morning)*
Spiced Mead 5L - 1.5kg Honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, Pink Lady apples, water *(stopped bubbling this morning)*

So, after 8 days, would you expect the dry and spiced mead to have stopped bubbling? If I look very closely I can see "bits rising and falling in the spiced mead... but the dry has no "floaties' so i can tell what is happening... it is a beautiful colour though :)

My guess is that both have stopped bubbling because they have used all of the available nutrients?? I am just surprised as i though i had to wait about 4 weeks before stacking? They all smell fantastic! especially the spiced one :)

Here are my questions...

1. Should I add anything to either non-bubblers?
2. Should I just stop freaking out about nothing and be patient?
3. Is it too late to use my Hydrometer? I only got it today so do not have starting details...
4. How early is too early to stack for the first time?

Thanks heaps,
Stuart.
 

hoppy2B

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Can I assume you mean 'racking' and not 'stacking'? Which is the process of transferring to a secondary fermentation vessel.
You don't need to do that, you can just leave it where it is for another couple of weeks.
Usually after the primary fermentation is complete and it stops bubbling it will start bubbling very slowly again in a day or two.
When you think its all done fermenting you can check with the hydrometre to make sure whereby you will have the same hydrometre reading 3 days in a row.
Do you carbonate mead? I have no idea.
 

Helles

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Honey should need a yeast nutrient and an acid blend to help with fermentation
As it it is lacking in nutrients unlike wort for yeast anyway
At least i have always added these for this purpose
Had no problems @ 12 %AV
But i do use a champayne yeast

Ive never used Wyeast so not sure about that But
My meads normally take a few months to finish
While i rack a couple of times and let clear could take 9 month - 12 months
At 1.5 kg per 5 lt + some fruit of some sort

Yours seems to quick for me
If you can try hydrometer reading
If the honey came with a label it will say so many grams of sugar per serving say 89 g per 100g serving
89g x 10 =890g per kg
890g divided 5 lts = 178g per lt
=1.076 OG or some where close to this
See if it lower than this or close
 

felten

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I wouldn't go adding any acid until you know what the pH actually is, if the mead is too acidic it can halt fermentation.
 

Stooart

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Okay, I have just spent the last 20mins laying on the floor watching my mead... the two "stopped" ones are not actually stopped... they are just not bubbling out of the air seal thingy as they used to... when watching closly, i still see very tiny bubbles/movment towards to top of the container.... I think i just have to be patient... it is just such a dramatic change... I went to bed last night and they were doing one bubble per second... woke up and they were doing none!

I will keep you updated with progress. :)

Stuart.
 

Helles

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I wouldn't go adding any acid until you know what the pH actually is, if the mead is too acidic it can halt fermentation.

Just a normal process for mead making for me
Yeast nutrient and acid blend all though acid blend is not needed
Yeast nutrient you will need ( wyeast im not sure if this has enough in it or not)
 

hoppy2B

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EC-1118 has a low nitrogen requirement and a wide ph tolerance, seems like a good choice.
We used 1116 I think it was, with SN9 in a red wine last year and it came out pretty good. Never add anything else to it and it works just fine.
 

Stooart

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Yours seems to quick for me
If you can try hydrometer reading
If the honey came with a label it will say so many grams of sugar per serving say 89 g per 100g serving
89g x 10 =890g per kg
890g divided 5 lts = 178g per lt
=1.076 OG or some where close to this
See if it lower than this or close
Thanks so much! I just checked my Honey, it is 82.5G per 100g serving... so mine works out to be...

82.5g x 10 =825g per kg
825g divided 5 lts = 165g per lt
= 1.063 ish???

I will check and let you know :)
 

glenwal

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Okay, I have just spent the last 20mins laying on the floor watching my mead
it would have been quicker to google "My airlock has stopped bubbling" and read about why you shouldn't be relying your airlock. There are many many reasons why your airlock will not bubble whilst its still fermenting, and many as to why it will continue bubbling after fermentation is complete.
 

Stooart

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Just an update.... after reading heaps overnight I realize now that I should not use the bubble out of the airlock as a measure of anything really, but it is still interesting to note the changes to my mead as time passes.... the solution to my problem is to be patient, but in the mean time... :D

I am at day 9 now
Sweet Mead 30L - 1 bubble every 3 seconds
Sweet Mead 5L - 1 bubble every 6 seconds
Dry Mead 5L - No bubbles but 3 raisins dropped to the bottom overnight and a fourth while I was watching just then...
Spiced Mead 5L - No bubbles but still see "floatie stuff" rising and falling within the bottle.

Regarding the raisins dropping, the one I saw happened so quickly! All was fine and then a raisin dropped to the bottom in less than 3 seconds... I could see no other bubbles or anything else moving when this happened... so interesting to see. :)

I am not going to use my hydrometer on the smaller 5L bottles as they all have fruit floating at the top... so it's hard for me to read... but my 30L sweet mead is currently showing 1.035 Specific Gravity... is that an okay value for day 9?? It smells sooo nice :)

Thanks,
Stuart.
 

Helles

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Just an update.... after reading heaps overnight I realize now that I should not use the bubble out of the airlock as a measure of anything really, but it is still interesting to note the changes to my mead as time passes.... the solution to my problem is to be patient, but in the mean time... :D

I am at day 9 now
Sweet Mead 30L - 1 bubble every 3 seconds
Sweet Mead 5L - 1 bubble every 6 seconds
Dry Mead 5L - No bubbles but 3 raisins dropped to the bottom overnight and a fourth while I was watching just then...
Spiced Mead 5L - No bubbles but still see "floatie stuff" rising and falling within the bottle.

Regarding the raisins dropping, the one I saw happened so quickly! All was fine and then a raisin dropped to the bottom in less than 3 seconds... I could see no other bubbles or anything else moving when this happened... so interesting to see. :)

I am not going to use my hydrometer on the smaller 5L bottles as they all have fruit floating at the top... so it's hard for me to read... but my 30L sweet mead is currently showing 1.035 Specific Gravity... is that an okay value for day 9?? It smells sooo nice :)

Thanks,
Stuart.

1.035 sounds good to me
I dont think the raisin sinking means anything other than it is water/mead logged
 

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