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No ferment started, how long is to long?

Lomaric

NewBee
Registered Member
Sep 25, 2020
3
0
1
Northern Virginia
I am a Mead newbie and have a mother that has also decided to try her hand at it as well. She has started a batch that hasn't started and we have been trying a few ideas to get it to start, but haven't had any luck. My question is the must is now about 1 month old (under airlock) and hasn't had any fermentation started (OG:1.120), so is it in danger of going bad?
 

Foothiller

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Apr 1, 2015
77
12
8
Sierra Foothills, CA
Some more details would help, like what type of mead is it, if you used fruit juice did it have sulfite or sorbate in it, what yeast did you use, etc. Sulfite and sorbate are preservatives that would prevent fermentation. OG 1.120 is somewhat high, maybe too much for some yeasts.

In saying it has not fermented, are you just going by a lack of air lock activity, or is the specific gravity lower now? If there is an air leak, it could have fermented without air lock activity.
 

Lomaric

NewBee
Registered Member
Sep 25, 2020
3
0
1
Northern Virginia
This is a traditional mead made with 3.5lbs of wildflower honey from Costco. No fruit juice was used for no preservatives. Was started with 2.5g of red star premier classic and added 5g of lalvin ec-1118 after 2 weeks of no change in hydrometer readings. She has added yeast flakes and fermaidk at this point as well. Now I am coaching from afar, she does what she thinks is right but she says it hasnt started, its over a month old, and shes looking to dump it...... and I told her to wait.

So is a month to long to sit?
 

Foothiller

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Apr 1, 2015
77
12
8
Sierra Foothills, CA
Nothing jumps out as a reason for not starting, unless those yeasts were too old, especially since EC-1118 is often used to get stuck fermentations going. The sanitation must have been good, since 2 to 4 weeks could be enough for wild yeast to start fermenting. You could try making a starter of about a quart, using a fresh pack of yeast and scaled-down honey and Fermaid-K, with a lower starting gravity like between 1.05 to 1.07 — enough to get a good fermentation going to add to the real batch, but not so much to stress the yeast. People have had good results with Costco honey, but it’s affordable enough to not be a disaster if nothing works. If you need to start over and know a mead maker, maybe they could help get a batch started.
 

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