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Cherry Mead - DOA?

MeadMan51

NewBee
Registered Member
Sep 5, 2020
3
0
1
Sunshine State
Recipe: 9 lbs honey, 2 lbs sugar (used up a partial bag), 3 jars cherry preserves, 1/2 gal Ocean Spray Cran-Cherry, 16 oz Black Cherry Conc., approx 4+ gal Spring water. 1 Tbsp DADY (rehydrated), 1 tsp nutrient, 1 tsp energizer. 6 gal fermenter bucket. SG 1.114, pH 4.4

After 24 hours, no apparent activity with the bubbler. I opened it up and found a nice kroesen on top, stirred it up and added 2 packets of rehydrated Lavlin EC1118.
I checked it again 1 day later, no bubbler activity, kroesen had formed. I added about 1 tsp of nutrient after a good stir.

48 hours later, rechecked it again, same situation. Added another tsp of nutrient.

72 hours later, still no bubbler action, same scenario present.

Should I check the SG and if no apparent drop from OG of 1.114, is it time to dump this mix? If there is some drop in SG, at what level would be worth saving it?

I am wondering if the preserves had some kind of inhibitor or preservative to prevent fermentation?

Scratching my head here, usually the EC1118 will kickstart a fermentation, but it apparently had little or no effect.

Suggestions welcome.
 

MeadMan51

NewBee
Registered Member
Sep 5, 2020
3
0
1
Sunshine State
Did a recheck on the cherry preserves, the Ocean Spray Cran-cherry, and the Black Cherry Conc. None of these apparently have any preservatives used in their ingredients.
 

EricHartman

Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Mar 4, 2019
320
22
18
Indiana
it will all be based on if your SG is dropping. bubblers are nice but they are unreliable as indicators of fermentation. If the pressure can escape anywhere else it will and you will not get bubbling through your airlock. check the SG and see if you have had a drop.
 
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MeadMan51

NewBee
Registered Member
Sep 5, 2020
3
0
1
Sunshine State
Thanks for the Homer-Doh reminder to check SG first. It measured at 1.050, so fermentation has been occurring. That's the good news.

Now the disappointing news, I'll probably have to take some silicone sealant to all of those Gamma 2 5 gallon bucket tops I bought that were supposed to be airtight. It seems that they are NOT airtight on my buckets, hence no bubbler action. They claim they will work on 3.5 to 7 gal buckets - NOT.

Live and learn.
 

EricHartman

Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Mar 4, 2019
320
22
18
Indiana
In the primary fermentation you don't need to worry about a good seal. there's so much CO2 being produced that oxygenation of the mead is basically impossible... heck in an ideal word we are adding oxygen/air to the must for the first 1/3-1/2 of fermentation. In the secondary you really don't want to be using buckets as you will have quite a bit of headspace and you will promote oxygenation over the long aging time. The bucket tops will keep junk from falling into the must which is what you need out of it. The bubbling sound is nice but probably not worth the effort of trying to seal the buckets.
 
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