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Ancient Orange Didn't Take Off



Hey y'all, this is my first time posting and I'm worried about my ancient orange mead!

I started my one gallon batch lastnight and followed Joe's directions and ingredients to the letter and left it in my cabinet overnight. It's about 66 degrees in here.

This morning, when I checked, there was no airlock activity...it didn't even look like anything had foamed up into the 3 inches of airspace I allowed.

So today, about 14 hours after I first pitched the yeast, I added some more yeast (1 tsp)...this time I rehydrated it first (ah! don't beat me!) in some warm water (didn't measure the temp) and a little of the must...waited till it was all foamy and dumped it into my gallon jug.

Immediately I noticed airlock activity, but now it seems a bit slow...it's bubbling at about one bubble every 20 seconds. It's on top of the heater right now at about 70 degrees and covered with a towel to keep out light.

My questions are:

-Should I have waited bit longer to add some more yeast? Since it was cold...would it have just taken longer to start bubbling? I remember reading in the directions to wait at least 3 hours before panicking...so after 14 I got a little panicked...

-I can't keep the temperature of the must constant...it's gone from 66-75ish, how will this affect the fermentation, taste, etc...? I can have it constant at 66 degrees by leaving it in my cabinet...is that too cold?

-Shouldn't my airlock be working overtime pumping out bubbles? It seems slow compared to the posts I've read about this ancient orange taking off at lighning speed.

Thanks to anyone who can give me some thoughts!


Senior Member
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Dec 8, 2004

Welcome to the Forums! You'll find lots of help here from many knowledgeable people. Until they chime in, though, you'll have to make do with me! ;D

Yes, this is going very slowly, and yes, the temperature is the the most likely culprit. If you can pick up a warming belt, or electric blanket, you will likely see a huge difference. I wouldn't add more yeast, as the yeast in there now are dormant, not dead. Get the temp up to the high 70's or even 80's, and you'll have lots of activity.

Again, welcome!


The Honey Farmer

Good day Ardissa, I started my AO 2-11-06. I put it in my pantry with my other batches at 62 degrees. Nothing happened for 24 hrs. so into the guest bathroom with the temp.at 75 degrees. After 5 hrs. I had bubbles. I left it in there for two days and then moved it back into the pantry. Still lots of bubbles coming from the airlock and the pantry smells great. As far as the extra yeast???? Anybody with more experience??? A quote from Oskaar, "patience prudence"

Good luck and goodday,Dennis


I wouldn't add more yeast, as the yeast in there now are dormant, not dead.
Well I'm glad to hear my little yeasties aren't dead! Oh well, I was hoping to have a batch to share with everyone for Easter but I guess I'm going to have to be patient with this one!