3rd week of my first mead/ here are my gravity readings so far.
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  1. #1
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    Default 3rd week of my first mead/ here are my gravity readings so far.

    Would anyone care to analyze these numbers and let me know if things are going well or not (if you can even tell by the info I'm about to provide)?

    #1 Jan 02 original gravity = 1.071/ Jan 13 SG 1.050/ Jan 24 SG 1.038

    #2 1.089 1.071 1.058

    #3 1.075 1.061 1.034

    I hope this is enough info for someone to be able to give some sort of indication as to what is going on. I know that the decreased numbers are a good thing and that is the direction they need to go. Just wondering if the rate in which they are dropping is good. Also, does this help in advising me when I can or should rack these into secondaries?

    Any discussion would be very appreciated and more than welcome.

    Thank You.

    Todd
    Last edited by trottet1; 01-24-2017 at 03:44 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: 3rd week of my first mead/ here are my gravity readings so far.

    You didn't say what yeast you used? Some metabolize sugar faster. It looks like a slow start. As long as they are still fermenting you should be fine. You should rack after fermentation stops or is mostly stopped.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: 3rd week of my first mead/ here are my gravity readings so far.

    I'm sorry. I used lavlin 1118. I know that is one thing right off the bat that I will be changing when I improve on this in the future. You had actually advised me in a previous post about this batch and suggested that this yeast will probably produce a very dry mead.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: 3rd week of my first mead/ here are my gravity readings so far.

    It would but almost any yeast would given your Starting Gravity. You will end up with a mead just above 10% ABV. The ferment seems rather slow, Which is not a problem as usually slow ferments result in a mead that carries good honey flavor profile. With that said the ferment seem dangerously slow and may stall, You did not mention any tannins or nutrients. I would be a little concerned about a stall Because Ec-1118 is known ad old reliable. A work horse of a yeast that runs through the ferment. As long as the SG continues to drop you will be good to go, I would be inclined to give it a bit of DAP if the SG is 1.038 after three weeks, Or check your hydrometer.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: 3rd week of my first mead/ here are my gravity readings so far.

    I have put nothing in the way of yeast nutrients in any of the 3. #3 however, does contain 2 cut up apples. Not sure it that is beneficial to the yeast or not. i will go to the brew shop tomorrow and get some DAP. Thank you.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: 3rd week of my first mead/ here are my gravity readings so far.

    I agree with Tenbears on this one! I would however be careful with DAP as that can leave your mead tasting terrible if the yeast does not use it and this late in the ferment it may be to late for that! Nutrient is important with meads in general due to a lack there of in honey! I would choose to add some raisins, break them up a bit and add them if you want to add nutrients. Otherwise I would buy some generic nutrient, fermaid k or fermaid o and use that if you can. Your yeast should have dropped your numbers about 10 points a day with a healthy ferment.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: 3rd week of my first mead/ here are my gravity readings so far.

    At this stage I would not be concerned with the yeast not using the DAP, as mead with a ABV below 10% spoils very quickly. If these meads do not go to dryness they will not be viable. So you will have to do something to restart the ferment. There is in every instance still well above the 50% sugar break. So there is ample sugar for the yeast. Although raisins are a good start they add more in the way of Tannin than nutrients and require compounds to be adequate. The Fernaids are a good suggestion. regardless of what you choose you have to get this to ferment to dryness.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: 3rd week of my first mead/ here are my gravity readings so far.

    Thanks folks! I'm going to head to the brew shop tomorrow and see if I can salvage this batch.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: 3rd week of my first mead/ here are my gravity readings so far.

    Your welcome! Good advice from Tenbears on spoilage! If by chance your ferments have stalled or are stalling there is a method I read about to get them going again that sounds really good. I have yet to need this option but in case you do here is the link https://www.denardbrewing.com/blog/post/Sfno/

  11. #10
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    Default Re: 3rd week of my first mead/ here are my gravity readings so far.

    that is a pretty slow primary ferment. It makes me think that either there was not enough O2 in the must at the beginning, or the room you're fermenting in is rather cool. Perhaps both. A cool room is not a big problem if there is enough oxygen, because an active ferment generates a certain amount of its own heat. I'd like to know if you stirred the must at the the first few days, to oxygenate.
    Also, in an active fermentation there is a natural circulation of the must, which helps keep the yeast active. In a very slow ferment there is less circulation , so it can be helpful to occasionally stir the must to keep things circulated.

    Colorado's link is a very good suggestion.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: 3rd week of my first mead/ here are my gravity readings so far.

    Hey hops,

    I did not stir the must during the first few days. Just shook vigorously the first day. Also, the first week they sat in a closet that was about 59 degrees f. They were then moved to an area that was warmer (around upper 60s to low 70s.

    Here is where I may have messed up. In total beginner fashion, I acted in haste yesterday. When I was taking the readings, I attempted to "degass" and "oxygenate" the must. It was a real shoemaker method and I'm actually a little embarrassed to admit this. I used a turkey baster as my thief, so when I was done with my readings, I pretty much put the baster in the must empty and squeezed. It was a real lame attempt to oxygenate and degass. I read afterward (why would I research more before I actually started?) That oxygenation should only take place during first few days and with a real method as opposed to my hack method. So there's where I am at now. Going to the shop today to buy the right tool for the job and to get the above recommended nutrients.

    Thanks for weighing in on this and I hope I provided some good entertainment lol.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: 3rd week of my first mead/ here are my gravity readings so far.

    I've used a baster as a thief a time or 2 as well. Just be certain it's sanitized.
    I don't see why you're trying to degas at this stage, though. O2 (a gas) in the must is necessary for the yeast to work in the primary fermentation, and their exhaust, CO2, is required as a layer on the must to keep it from spoiling before it's finished. The only time you need to degas is at the end of the last ferment, if you are wanting perfectly still mead.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: 3rd week of my first mead/ here are my gravity readings so far.

    I was reading somewhere, online, that C02 was poison to the yeast. After speaking with the guy at the brew shop and reading your response (pretty identical to the guy in the brewshop), I'd say it is pretty safe to disregard what I read (or perhaps interpreted) from an old archived post on some random forum. I am learning all the things not to do for my first real batch. I will read my book I just got last week cover to cover before proceeding.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: 3rd week of my first mead/ here are my gravity readings so far.

    As was mentioned by Hops temperature is critical for fermentation! Here is a link to a PDF chart for Lallemand yeasts http://www.math.fsu.edu/~gmizell/mea...0Reference.pdf

  16. #15
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    Default Re: 3rd week of my first mead/ here are my gravity readings so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by trottet1 View Post
    I was reading somewhere, online, that C02 was poison to the yeast. . I will read my book I just got last week cover to cover before proceeding.
    Good catch HOP...

    And people wonder why I try to stifle people who spew misunderstood feldergarb to beginners here!

    It is best to begin with simple mead making basics, and follow time tested techniques. Than to try complicated techniques that have tenuis methods explained by people who don't really understand them well themselves!

    Co2 shielding is not only necessary for preservation, But yeast produces alcohol in the absence of O2. Oxygen is only needed for the yeast to multiply. after that it is not necessary for the ferment.
    Last edited by Tenbears; 01-25-2017 at 08:05 PM.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: 3rd week of my first mead/ here are my gravity readings so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenbears View Post
    Co2 shielding is not only necessary for preservation, But yeast produces alcohol in the absence of O2. Oxygen is only needed for the yeast to multiply. after that it is not necessary for the ferment.
    I agree with this statement. After primary fermentation it is important to preserve the mead protecting it against spoilage.

    Everyone should start with the basics and practice in small quantity before venturing into more complicated recipes. There is a lot to learn if you have an open mind! There are differences of opinion on this subject and nobody knows everything about anything even though some believe they do. Everything evolves and new things are learned all the time, so practice with small batches and experiment. You will have some failures and some successes and the beauty of this hobby success tastes great!

  18. #17
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    Default Re: 3rd week of my first mead/ here are my gravity readings so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenbears View Post
    Co2 shielding is not only necessary for preservation, But yeast produces alcohol in the absence of O2. Oxygen is only needed for the yeast to multiply. after that it is not necessary for the ferment.
    Yes, introducing O2 after fermentation causes oxidation, and makes your mead taste like wet cardboard...I had a taste for paste when I was a kid in elementary school, but cardboard not so much.
    If you want to be successful, study successful people and do what they do.
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  19. #18
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    Default Re: 3rd week of my first mead/ here are my gravity readings so far.

    It is best to begin with simple mead making basics, and follow time tested techniques. Than to try complicated techniques that have tenuis methods explained by people who don't really understand them well themselves!
    This was my original intention. 3 seperate gallons. 1 with more honey, 1 with less, and 1 with apples. Then I started reading archived forum posts and let them get in my head. I gotta keep reminding myself that I'm not looking to make some award winning mead. Heck, I don't even drink much. I'm just passing time to help ease some cabin fever, and maybe have something drinkable to share with friends during camping season.


    And people wonder why I try to stifle people who spew misunderstood feldergarb to beginners here!
    I for one appreciate this. I perceive it as you (and other valuable members) preserving the integrity of the forum.
    Last edited by trottet1; 01-26-2017 at 09:50 AM.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: 3rd week of my first mead/ here are my gravity readings so far.

    trot, you might still be able to rescue these batches in temps about 65 up to 72 using that method previously discussed. If you MUST keep your fermenters in the basement, then perhaps you could put them in a closet warmed by a light bulb.

    I haven't made up my mind about your oxygen levels at this point, maybe Tenbears or someone else can chime in.... but I think you will still have some O2 in there because you have not reached a point to rack it to secondary yet. My thinking is that even though you have tried to degas, when you add the rescue yeast that you should gently stir the must to introduce a bit more O2. This will also release some of the CO2 that is in solution, giving you your blanket. A little bit of agitation of the jug while it is fermenting could be beneficial, but remember, you are not trying to degas it, just keep the yeast in contact what little O2 is left, so it can reproduce!

    THen also remember when it comes time to rack to secondary, do not splash the must as much as possible avoid O2 introduction.
    CO2 will naturally come out of solution while racking to cap the must.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: 3rd week of my first mead/ here are my gravity readings so far.

    Are we sure the ferment has stalled? Lalvin EC-1118 has a temperature range from between 45-95 So it should ferment even at 60F fairly reliably. For me I would warm the must of all 3 to 70-75F If I did not see an increase in fermentation I would add some nutrient. And a small amount Since you are dealing with 1 gallon I would add about 1/16 teaspoon Dap (Di-ammonium phosphate) increases YAN, (yeast available Nitrogen) this promotes the multiplication of yeasties when oxygen cannot be infused in the must. Do one gallon and observe the results. If a ferment improves then follow suit on the others. If not you will have to make a new starter. I would up the sugar content a bit in order to give the starter more to digest when introduced to the must. I would think 2 tablespoons of honey per would do the trick. STARTER In 8oz 105F water add 2 tsp honey 1/8 tsp fermaid K or O and a Sacket of EC-1118 stir gently and place in a warm location. when the starter foams it is fermenting Add 1/3 of the starter to each carboy and affix air lock after adding nutrients and 1/16/tsp dap to the musts you have not yet done so. That should recover the ferment. and up your ABV a little.
    Last edited by Tenbears; 01-26-2017 at 06:44 PM.

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