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fermentation stuck to yingyang

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shubert69

NewBee
Registered Member
Oct 7, 2013
2
0
0
Hi Folks

I converted the sweet mead recipe found in the "Compleat Meadmaker" to a one gallon batch

1 Gallon of water
3.75 pounds of Honey (5 cups) Orange blossom Honey
1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
.25 tsp yeast energizer
1/2 packet (2.5gram) lalvin 71b-1122 yeast

The OG was 1.11 and the last reading (before the "oh $%^$ it stuck) was 1.060 so 7.5% alcohol more or less? No activities.. No little happy bubbles..
At that time I noticed the PH at 1.32.. I increase this to 1.36

So it's way too sweet therefore I added some additional water (about .25 gallon). And racked it

I re-pitch the same yeast (71b-1122).. no Go. So I re-pitch with EC-1118 as a lot of folks suggested.. still no go

My temp is also between the recommended 59-89.

So I'm at a complete loss as to what the must is thinking.

I'm also tempted to sing to it or read it a night time story...

I would really hate to waste all that orange blossom honey :(
 

Medsen Fey

Fuselier since 2007
Premium Patron
How did you measure the pH? It would be extraordinary for the pH to be below 2.5 - I've never seen one lower than that.

What is the temperature? 59 to 89 is a huge range and at 59 it can impede a challenged fermentation.

When did you add the EC-1118?
Have you aerated it since then?
Do you have potassium bicarbonate or calcium carbonate available?
Is your energizer a tan powder?


Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT
 

anir dendroica

NewBee
Registered Member
Oct 15, 2009
175
3
0
Corvallis, OR
Your pH is not 1.32 unless you added hydrochloric/sulfuric acid by mistake. It would burn your mouth to taste it at that level.

The lowest pH you could attain without harsh chemicals would be about 2.2 (pure lemon/lime juice), and as Medsen says 2.5 is about the lowest you will see in meadmaking. Assuming you already added some carbonate/bicarbonate, I recommend checking with a different meter before adding any more.
 

shubert69

NewBee
Registered Member
Oct 7, 2013
2
0
0
My apologies...The Ph was at 3.2..no 1.32. Must have been watching too much "breaking bad" lol

The good news is that fermentation is now slowly taking place :)

Indeed the energizer is Tan colored. I have aerated every day since I added the EC-1118.
I actually used baking soda to raise the Ph to 3.6.

I will try next time with a little less honey (4 or 4.5 cups instead of 5) and using the same quantities for water volume (1 gallon).

thanks for all the replies.. much appreciated
 

ClubGonzo

NewBee
Registered Member
Aug 26, 2013
1
0
0
My apologies...The Ph was at 3.2..no 1.32. Must have been watching too much "breaking bad" lol

The good news is that fermentation is now slowly taking place :)

Indeed the energizer is Tan colored. I have aerated every day since I added the EC-1118.
I actually used baking soda to raise the Ph to 3.6.

I will try next time with a little less honey (4 or 4.5 cups instead of 5) and using the same quantities for water volume (1 gallon).

thanks for all the replies.. much appreciated

I have the same problem with several small show mead batches...fermentation seems to have slowed down severely or even stuck in some cases...I'm waiting for a new pH reader (my previous broke down recently) but I suspect that a low pH value is the perp in this scenario, as I've provided lots of nutrients and oxygen (aerated a lot in the beginning + loads of nutrients, did it again after two weeks when fermentation stalled visibly).

However, my question is essentially: will yeast cells impaired by low pH resume fermentation if the pH is raised again, in general? In my case it's been a month since first pitch. Will the cell stay dormant for that long, or do I have to fix the pH and re-pitch?
 

Medsen Fey

Fuselier since 2007
Premium Patron
However, my question is essentially: will yeast cells impaired by low pH resume fermentation if the pH is raised again, in general? In my case it's been a month since first pitch. Will the cell stay dormant for that long, or do I have to fix the pH and re-pitch?
There are no guarantees, but usually the yeast that are there will become active if the pH is raised. However it may take them a few days. If you don't get action you can repitch.
 
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