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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    322

    Default First batch--stuck or normal?

    Started July 9, Basic Medium Sweet Mead, no heat method from "The Compleat Meadmaker": 15 lbs honey, 5 t. Carlson yeast nutrient, 2-1/2 t. Carlson energizer, and 2 pkts. Lalvin 71B-1122 yeast, water to make 5 gal..

    I added a crushed vitamin B tablet (according to the book, Morse and Steinkraus came up with 2 formulas for additives to enhance fermentation that consistently resulted in mead that completed fermenting in two weeks. My Carlsons seemed to be missing the B vitamins they recommended.)

    Starting SG 1.112. Aerated it on the 2nd day and it foamed up hugely and smelled very yeasty/beery. The air lock has never bubbled. Possibly didn't have airtight lid as I used the screw on type on a 6 gal. bucket with an airlock. Or maybe I aerated all the CO2 out at the beginning?

    Opened it a couple times over the past 6 weeks and each time smelled very strongly "beery". Today I tasted it and the "beeriness" is almost gone. It is still a bit sweeter than I'd like and definitely has some alcohol, but doesn't taste bad at all. My hydrometer measured 1.027. I racked it into a 5 gal. carboy and added 1 tsp. nutrient and 1/2 tsp. energizer to see if I can get it to ferment a bit further. Should I pitch some more yeast or is it working normally? Without getting bubbles, I don't know how to know if it's finished or possibly stuck. Did I keep releasing the CO2 when I opened it to check it, so it never built up to bubble? Any suggestions would be welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,524

    Default Re: First batch--stuck or normal?

    I would guess the 71b has gone as far as it is going. I have made that schramm recipe and it is a fairly sweet mead. I was worried about what to do with it but a year later I seem to only have six bottles left out of the five gallon batch. I would guess you didn't have a good seal or your air lock would have bubbled. Pitching the same yeast will do nothing. It will be poisoned by the existing alcohol which is at that varieties tolerance. Pitching a yeast with a higher alcohol tolerance will result in a dryer product but I have no idea what it will end up tasting like.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,524

    Default Re: First batch--stuck or normal?

    After thinking about this, I think if you repitched KIV-1116 it would probably take it a little further if you could get it started. I would maek a starter and add it to your mead half strength in say a quart jar and see if it keeps going and then add that to your full batch. Make sure you get the mead racked off the 71B lees, it will get some funky esters coming as the dead yeast starts to break down and be metabolized. Do that no matter what you do.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    470

    Default Re: First batch--stuck or normal?

    I agree with Vance. Alcohol tolerence of 71b is 14%
    http://www.lalvinyeast.com/images/library/71B_Yeast.pdf
    Using the gravity calculator here
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...-to-meadmaking
    starting gravity of 1.112 gives almost 17% alcohol!!

    I also question the temps. July in TN? Max temp for 71b is about 83 deg, but I'm sure optimum temp is less. You could have picked up a rogue yeast which would give the "beer " smell

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