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Discussion Starter #1
About seven months ago I made up a six gallon carboy of mead with 15 pounds of honey, 1 pack of Lavalin EC1118, 3 teaspoons of yeast energizer, and plain water. I rolled the carboy around (Swirled) several times each day until there was no more visible bubbles of gas in the mixture. It came out fairly bland tasting with just a slight tang to it. Going by the taste of it several friends and myself could not detect any alcohol in it.

Where did my alcohol and taste go to? Did I ruin this batch by daily swirling of the carboy to allow the escape of the gases which was suppposed to keep the yeast from being killed off before fermentation was complete? Seems to me (no hydrometer) that the 15 pounds of honey should have produced an alcohol content of around 15 percent at the completion of fermentation.
 

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i'm not totally sure but i made mead about 10 months ago. it is pretty stought. i dont think that rolling it around probably helped any thing. i put in similar ingredients and kept a air lock on it. did yours have a air lock? i never shook mine around. i only racked it about 3 times. i think that maybee you killed the fermenting by rolling it around all the time. remember that air bubbles are what you want to see. i also taste mine several times through the whole process to make sure things are going as expected.
 

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Kwest: Yes I had an air lock and this was the first time I tried swirling the must around. I had read on here somewhere that in doing that the CO2 was released from the mixture and this would keep it from killing the yeast off which in turn would give the batch a complete fermentation by using up all the sugars.

beedeetee: No there was no sweetness at all left when the fermentation completed. The wine has a slight tartness and a very faint fruit flavor to it. It just doesn't have that detectable raw alcohol taste of a new mead like all the others I have made in the past. Boy I hate the thouight of having to kick back with several bottles of this stuff on the counter as I watch a little TV just to see if indeed there is alcohol hiding in it. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Get a hydrometer if you want to be sure. Or to make a $6 investment in making better mead :).
I have a couple of those beasties laying around somewhere. I used to use a hydrometer when I did kits and also while I was working out my recipes but have gotten too lazy I guess as I just make a few old favorites and the ingredients don't change for me.

Someone on here suggested that swirling a must around would release the gasses that eventually smother the yeast and that by doing this you would get a more complete fermentation. I had remembered that in several kits I had made up years ago one of the steps in the kit process was to use a drill mixer to stir the batch until it foamed and repeat this several times until foaming was no longer visible. Then rack the mix into your secondary.

I used 15 pounds of honey in this mix which usually gives me a slightly sweet finished product with alcohol that is easily detectable in the mouth when first bottled. This batch that I swirled several times a day until fermentation stopped had a slightly tart (dry) taste to it and the alcohol was not detectable to the taste.

Since there was no trace of sweetness to this batch I would assume there are no residual sugars and fermentation was complete. So with or without the use of a hydrometer I would assume that the alcohol content would at least be as high as it has been in all previous batches I have made and since it fermented to dry it should actually be a tad bit higher.

This weekend I think I will start two identical mixes and one I will swirled and one I will not. I will check both with the hydrometer at he start and the finish and then I shall see I hope just what happened. :doh:
 

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Dissolved CO2 won't smother yeast. On a very minor level the carbonic acid contributes to the declining pH that eventually causes them to lose vigor, but that's it. They stop working from lack of nutrients, temperature dropping, finishing the fermentable sugars, or reaching their alcohol tolerance. The agitation, however, is beneficial in rousing the yeast which will increase attenuation (percent of sugars fermented).

If you were to tell us how much honey went into how much must, we could opine pretty accurately on how much alcohol you got if it fermented to dryness. If it's dry, it'll have alcohol.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The agitation, however, is beneficial in rousing the yeast which will increase attenuation (percent of sugars fermented).

If you were to tell us how much honey went into how much must, we could opine pretty accurately on how much alcohol you got if it fermented to dryness. If it's dry, it'll have alcohol.
I used 1 packet of EC1118 yeast, 3 teaspoons of nutrient, 15 ponds of honey (about 1 and 1/4 gallons of honey) and the balance of the 6 gallon carboy was plain water.

I did sit down and sample a 750 Ml bottle and a half the other night and it did seem to have some alcohol but it had none of that harshness to it that a new Mead has. Not sure if the swirling of the carboy several times a day had anything to do with that or not. I was just afraid that somehow my alcohol had escaped with the gas bubbles. :eek:
 

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Alcohol evaporates at 173 F so as long as you didn't heat it, it should still be there. Maybe you got some ultra smooth hootch there.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Temperatures were about 68 to 70 degrees in the room were the wine was fermenting. Maybe it's just that the people who said there was no alcohol as well as myself are sort of immune to it. We all have a couple of glasses of one kind of wine or another about every night. Doctors orders for us poor old heart patients you know... :no:
 
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