Re: sugestions on why fermentation failure
If you want faster starts (especially with a high-grav mead), try building up a big starter a few days ahead- start with a small volume with a low SG to get them going, pitch that into a slightly bigger volume, then pitch that into your main fermenter.
I always start in a 7gal bucket, then rack to a carboy after it's going good. (I also always use some fresh fruit, so there is no problem with nutrition, haven't done a straight mead).
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