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Extremely slow fermentation

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Flgrownwiner

NewBee
Registered Member
Aug 13, 2013
3
0
0
Hey yall, Im making a 5g batch of orange blossom mead and having trouble getting a normal speed ferment. I brewed on 7/8/2013 with an OG of 1.088. i added some wyeast wine nutrient and 1/4 tsp of irish moss, and pitched with a smack pack of wyeast sweet mead yeast. within a week i noticed no appearent fermentation, so i pitched 1/2 a package of red star premier cuvee. i just sampled some for a taste and gravity reading today (8/13/2013) with a SG of 1.049. Its my best green mead Ive ever tasted and attribute that to the slow fermentation speed. Any ideas as to why this batch is slow slow and puttering along? Fermentation room temp is at 72 F
 

joemirando

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Hey yall, Im making a 5g batch of orange blossom mead and having trouble getting a normal speed ferment. I brewed on 7/8/2013 with an OG of 1.088. i added some wyeast wine nutrient and 1/4 tsp of irish moss, and pitched with a smack pack of wyeast sweet mead yeast. within a week i noticed no appearent fermentation, so i pitched 1/2 a package of red star premier cuvee. i just sampled some for a taste and gravity reading today (8/13/2013) with a SG of 1.049. Its my best green mead Ive ever tasted and attribute that to the slow fermentation speed. Any ideas as to why this batch is slow slow and puttering along? Fermentation room temp is at 72 F
I'm not familiar with either irish moss or wyeast products, but I have two questions:

  1. Have you checked the pH?
  2. Did you aerate the must?

I haven't used Premier Curvee (yet.. I have a packet of it in the fridge, waiting for something I want to just liquor the hell out of), but from what I've read, it is a very robust yeast with an alcohol tolerance of 18%. It SHOULD be tearing through that bad boy like nobody's business. That's why I asked about pH and aeration.

I had a big batch (6 gal) of traditional that I used Cote Des Blancs in. I know what you mean about the taste and aroma. It was truly amazing. Made my mouth water just inhaling from the top of the carboy. The problem was that it too was an incredibly slow fermenter. Thinking about it now, I wonder if a large part of it could be that the slow fermentation gives dissolved CO2 a chance to outgas and not build up. Regardless, it was quite promising... until it hit the 6 week mark and, although the SG was dropping constantly, it was constantly slow, and I worried about contamination. So I pitched something stronger into it and, BOOM, it was back to the usual fermentation rate and sour smell. Its now aging, and will be a fine semi-dry traditional... in a year or so.


Good luck,

Joe
 

UKTony

NewBee
Registered Member
Dec 24, 2012
270
1
0
Richmond, VA
Irish Moss is a seaweed derived fining agent used by many brewers to help make a clear beer without the need for a filter, and to prevent chill haze. Irish Moss accelerates protein coagulation during the end of the boil which helps prevent chill haze. Many of our brewers use this product in every batch. Use 1 teaspoon per 5 gallon batch, and it is added with 15 minutes remaining in the boil.
 

Flgrownwiner

NewBee
Registered Member
Aug 13, 2013
3
0
0
pH 3.5. must aerated for 5 minutes. 1 minute shake, 4 minutes with an aquarium airstone and pump.
Ive used premier cuvee for 7 other batches and have noticed very rigorous fermentation. same with the wyeast sweet mead.
No clue why this is taking so long, but this batch is meant for late summer/ fall 2014 as a blueberry melomel. Speed isnt much of an issue, just wondering why it is so slow
 

Marshmallow Blue

NewBee
Registered Member
The one time I used Premiere Cuvee it was also slow. It did end up making one of the workplace favorites but it was exceptionally slow, dropping just a couple points in the last 2 months of it. I think if you've had good luck with cuvee than don't let it slow you down. I however have had amazing luck with Cote Des Blanc.
 

joemirando

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
The one time I used Premiere Cuvee it was also slow. It did end up making one of the workplace favorites but it was exceptionally slow, dropping just a couple points in the last 2 months of it. I think if you've had good luck with cuvee than don't let it slow you down. I however have had amazing luck with Cote Des Blanc.
I was very happy with the taste and aroma of Cote Des Blancs, but for me, it worked incredibly slowly. It go to the point that I worried about bad stuff working its way into the mix and ruining 6.5 gallons on me, so I eventually repitched with something more aggressive.

I have not yet used Premier Curvee, but I've got a packet sitting in the fridge. From what I've read, its got a high abv tolerance and I would expect it to be a quick, strong fermenter.

One of these days, I'll go back to Cote Des Blanc with a 1 gallon mix and give it a fair shake.


Thanks,

Joe
 

akueck

Certified Mead Mentor
Certified Mead Mentor
Jun 26, 2006
4,958
10
0
Ithaca, NY
IMO you underpitched a little and possibly also underfed. One smack pack is really only good for an OG of 1.050 or so. The extra half a pack of dry yeast helps. How much nutrient did you add?

As long as it is continuing to ferment, slow is not bad. Some of my better batches took extra time fermenting.
 

fatbloke

good egg/snappy dresser.....
GotMead Patron
Well my money is on that yeast......

I've tried it 3 times and 3 times had problems.......

Someone should sue them for inaccurate description and poor quality product.

Both the wyeast dry mead yeast and the two from white labs seem fine, but that particular one really does seem a PITA. .....
 

Flgrownwiner

NewBee
Registered Member
Aug 13, 2013
3
0
0
I used 1/2 a teaspoon, following the directions. I used wyeast sweet mead yeast on a batch of oaked raspberry melomel thats now in tertiary and it fermented just fine. Very different environments though because i had raspberries in primary so there were vastly larger amounts of nutrients.

Im fine with letting it putter along because im making it for next summer. i am just afraid that the slow fermentation will cause noticeable autolysis.
 
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