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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    Posts
    97

    Smile mead help not sure what to do next

    Made a batch of Joes ancient mead back in Sept- has never really cleared, the some of the fruit sank but its pretty cloudy- did bubble away nicely at the beginning but then stopped. Probably it was kept a little too cool

    Racked it today the reading on the hydrometer was 1.14 which is sweet?
    and the percent potential alcohol is 14, have no idea what it was to start with so no idea what this means
    it does smells really good

    Question

    Its back in a carboy- what to do now? leave it?
    should we check with hydrometer again? when?
    is it drinkable?
    with all the fruit and sediment out the carboy is not very full- is that a problem

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Kalamazoo,MI
    Posts
    326

    Default Re: mead help not sure what to do next

    I have a batch of this started a month ago, most said it will finish sweet. Directions said after two months to bottle and drink.
    Its my first shot at mead, made wine before though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,033

    Default Re: mead help not sure what to do next

    Well that all depends on the starting gravity. Unless you began the must as undiluted honey, this never started fermenting (or didn't get very far). 1.140 is more like a starting gravity, and more like 18.5% potential alcohol. Very possible that it was too cool and the yeast just never got their boots on. I'd warm it up and repitch if it doesn't start fermenting pretty readily.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: mead help not sure what to do next

    Followed the reciepe directly using fresh (new) fleishman yeast did bubble away but really slowly for the first 6 weeks but then never cleared
    so how does one repitch it? or is it better to start over?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,033

    Default Re: mead help not sure what to do next

    Rehydrate another sachet of yeast and add it to the must. Oh, wait, just read your first sentence. Bread yeast won't cut it; it's bred for CO2 production as opposed to flavor and alcohol tolerance. We have our culprit . Find your local homebrew shop and spurge the dollar on some wine yeast.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,975

    Default Re: mead help not sure what to do next

    Joes ancient orange mead calls for bread yeast and I think classic jaom is sweet and not terribly alcoholic. I wonder if the hydrometer is being read properly or as you said it is too cool where you fermented it. Taste it and see if your horse has diabetes is the next step! If it hadn't worked some, I think it would be growing mold by now wouldn't it? Thaat all said, the moderator knows much much more than I!! Good luck. My first batch was started end of August and Is one heck of a parts washer solvent, but not very drinkable yet. You may need to give it more time.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cupertino, CA, USA
    Posts
    280

    Default Re: mead help not sure what to do next

    Can bread yeast even survive north of specific gravity 1.14?? That is higher SG than I would consider starting at. My Cyser started on 9/29/11 at SG 1.098, with Whitelabs WLP720 yeast. I racked on 10/4 at SG = 1.034. It clarified very well and was bottled after New Years. It is already wonderful to drink.
    Last edited by MichaelShantz; 01-08-2012 at 07:22 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,033

    Default Re: mead help not sure what to do next

    Hunh... not familiar with JAOM. Bread yeast will ferment a very small amount of ETOH, leaving a mead of this gravity brutally sweet by most standards. But the beauty of making your own is exactly that you can make it how you dig it.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cupertino, CA, USA
    Posts
    280

    Default Re: mead help not sure what to do next

    I see. I'll delete my ignorant comment. Well, however you like it I guess. I've always liked to make Cab wine on the dry side and so when I made cyser, I just modified my recipe for apple wine and I really like it that way, pretty dry but with honey flavors. To be honest, I was always worried about leaving that residual sugar in there and seeing the corks pop if some stray organism started working it later.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,033

    Default Re: mead help not sure what to do next

    Goodness Michael, I hope we haven't made anyone feel ignorant and I apologize if that was something I said.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cupertino, CA, USA
    Posts
    280

    Default Re: mead help not sure what to do next

    Not at all. A small beaker of JAOM will do just fine.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: mead help not sure what to do next

    going to ignore it for a while- bubbled a few times after racking so is still alive- taste is sweet and smells like alchol, will make next batch in summer when its warmer

    maybe repitch it in a couple of weeks if not changing?

    was the honey to high in sg? it was made from runny honey (was to runny by refractometer to sell!)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,033

    Default Re: mead help not sure what to do next

    Too high for bread yeast? Possibly. Bubbles after racking are normal and not necessarily indicative of fermentation: the saturated CO2 dissolved into solution is dislodged by the racking activity, and offgasses. If you want to stick with the bread yeast, I'd be sure to rehydrate properly (in warm water not must, follow the packet directions).
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  14. #14

    Default Re: mead help not sure what to do next

    THere are many issues with this whole thing but I bet your next mead will be better! Not that this one will be bad, but mistakes can teach us.

    Can you publish the original recipe? Not everyone would be familiar with what you speak of otherwise. I am not familiar with ancients

    I am not familiar with Fishmans yeast. There is better data on other known yeasts. One that I like for stuck fermentations is called Champagne. I also consider checking the temperature, adding nutrients, or getting a robust starter going before repitching. Heating pads help.

    18 % PAV here also, though perhaps Canadian hydrometers use metric? Or maybe our 18% is there 14?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Kalamazoo,MI
    Posts
    326

    Default Re: mead help not sure what to do next


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,778

    Default Re: mead help not sure what to do next

    I made apricot mead one time. It took 6 months, but was well worth it. I used fleischmann's bread yeast, and it will go quite a ways alcohol wise before it dies. (sorry, I didn't own an sg meter then, and I don't brew anymore) I'm going with letting it continue to brew, maybe a pinch more yeast, just put it in the water heater cabinet and forget about it. And be sure the co2 can get out.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Bardstown, KY, USA
    Posts
    321

    Default Re: mead help not sure what to do next

    I have made two mead's. My first one is great! The second.... not so much. However, I bottled my best mead and plan to try to hold it for one year....... Never give up!
    Grandchildren are the best.... Bees a close second....

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: mead help not sure what to do next

    Go get some red star chanpagne yeast and you'll be ready to sample in 45 days.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: mead help not sure what to do next

    I bought packets of red star and turbo today when I picked up some more air locks. My next JAOM will have a packet of that added instead of the fletch mans bread yeast so I can have a comparison.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,975

    Default Re: mead help not sure what to do next

    I would guess it will be a hot tasting brew that will need a couple years to tame with very alcohol tolerant yeast. JAOM is meant to be a quick finishing never fail mead. If you jack up the level of alcohol, you change itinto something else. If your SG is stopping the fermentation, I wouldn't jump all the way to champagne yeast. Mebbee 71B-1122, but you have still left the realm of JAOM. Turbo is designed for turning table sugar into alcohol for distilling, unless youy just want to get drunk, I wouldn't use it for good tasting mead.

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