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Is this normal?

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scout

NewBee
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Sep 4, 2005
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Or did I seriously mess stuff up? I decided to rack some cranberry mead I have going in order to get it off the lees. We will hopefully *crosses fingers, knocks on wood, and goes in search of a chicken to sacrifice* be moving to our new house this week, and I didn't want all the stuff to be stirred back into suspension (since I am not planning on trying out sur lie aging at this time) during the drive from one house to the other.

This batch was blipping once every 2 seconds just before racking, and if it is blipping at all now, I don't wait around long enough to measure it. I mean I never see a bubble in the trap. Ever. After 3 days. There are tiny bubbles around the top of the mead, but this brew has been doing some serious bubbling over the last two weeks, and the lack of activity in comparison is bothering me. I have checked the seal on the stopper and it's fine. I'm just confused as to whether I seriously messed up this batch by prematurely racking it.

Some pertinent details: O.G. was off the scale due to a miscalculation with measuring my honey, estimated 1.145, current temp has remained within the mid to high 70's. Current S.G. is 1.025. Used D-47 yeast. Full details are on my blog site.

I'm just wondering if this is okay, if I just stressed my yeasties out too much and they went caput on me, or what. At about 17% ABV, my thought is "Hey it might be done, and now just wait for it to clear." But I don't know right now. If so, this would be the first brew I have witnessed finish fermenting, so some reassurance would be nice. *grins*
 

Pewter_of_Deodar

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Sep 23, 2004
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Scout,

According to my calculations, you are at about 16% ABV, which is probably at the tolerance of the yeast. So the fermentation may be done...

Let it age for a few months with the trap in place, then take another SG. You may get some really slow activity, but the batch may be done...

Good luck,
Pewter
 

scout

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Thanks for the reassurance, Pewter. I was thinking that was prolly what happened, but the dramatic drop in activity was really bugging me. Once we get into our new house, I'll squirrel it away and forget about it for three months and then see where we are. *grins*
 

Pewter_of_Deodar

NewBee
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Sep 23, 2004
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Scout,

You were actually getting a lot more out of your D-47 yeast than might be expected. And this can happen when you have things going well, temp is right, yeast were well fed and healthy, etc. You rack the yeast and suddenly they suffer a temperature change, alcohol that might have been in a layer now gets spread throughout the batch, and suddenly the yeast get clobbered. It sounds to me like you may be about where you wanted it to stop anyway. With 16% ABV, you may want some additional sweetness to smooth out the bite from the alcohol. 1.025 may be about right...
 

scout

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Sep 4, 2005
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Actually right now, the bite isn't so much from alcohol as it is from the cranberries! Yow, they come through loud, clear, and TART! *grins* I'm hoping that that is something that mellows a bit with the aging.
 
A

Archie Zietman

Guest
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I just racked my mead off the lees, and the fermentation rate plummeted. Put a flashlight up to the side of the top of the carboy, the light reflects the hard-to see bubbles. If it warn't fer that I probably would have thought it was done and bottled it.
 

Dmntd

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Apr 18, 2005
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I have racked mead to soon and had fermentation slow or stop. Searching the internet I found a number of wine makers/making sites with some very good info about yeast in active fermentations.

This one gets referred to a lot - http://winemaking.jackkeller.net - on the forums.

Racking to soon can leave much or most of the live yeast behind with the lees, if this happens it will slow fermentation.

Anthony
 

scout

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After a couple of days, fermentation picked back up on this one. Nothing near as fast as it was, but a respectable one blip every 10 seconds or so. I don't know what it's doing right now, because I did just what I said I would do. We moved last weekend (no internet until today, that's why so late in responding), and I put it away in the farthest corner of my pantry to forget about it. I have a reminder on my calendar to check it in 3 months. :) I figure by then it will be done, hopefully cleared, possibly a little aged, and maybe ready to bottle. *grins*
 
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