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Question About Bubbling Decrease

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The Ash Bee

NewBee
Registered Member
Jun 27, 2013
21
0
0
North Carolina
Hey all,

I recently (June 24) put together a Strawberry Hibiscus melomel:

1 oz hibiscus flowers
2.5 lbs quartered, frozen strawberries (thawed)
3 cups sourwood honey
Spring water
Red Star champagne yeast

The OG was 1.090, and within 24 hours the batch was happily bubbling away. I even took a couple scoops of strawberry out to prevent any blow-out from the airlock. However, today, the batch has slowed down to about a bubble per 50 seconds. A batch I made on June 10 is still going strong at a bubble per 5 seconds, so why should the strawberry batch be so "tired" already?

Thanks,
Ash Bee
 

danr

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Aug 2, 2012
432
2
0
San Diego, CA
Have you taken a recent hydrometer reading? Changes in specific gravity are a much better indication of fermentation than airlock activity.
 

Chevette Girl

All around BAD EXAMPLE
Moderator
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Apr 27, 2010
8,398
18
0
Ottawa, ON
I would offer that the strawberry might be getting closer to done than the other batch, but as danr suggests, we really need a hydrometer reading to know for sure.
 

The Ash Bee

NewBee
Registered Member
Jun 27, 2013
21
0
0
North Carolina
Well, you were right! I checked the SG today, and it was at precisely 1.000!

Now, should I transfer it to secondary fermentation now that the SG is at 1.000?

(Oh well, I was going to upload a picture, but the site wouldn't let me. "exceeds quota....")
 

Midnight Sun

NewBee
Registered Member
Jul 13, 2010
436
5
0
Anchorage, Alaska
If you are fermenting in a bucket, then rack to a glass carboy and airlock. If it's already in glass, then it would probably be better to leave it until fermentation has completed and the yeast start to drop out of suspension. After fermentation is finished, stick in a fridge for a week; most of the yeast will have dropped by then and you'll have an easier time racking.
 

The Ash Bee

NewBee
Registered Member
Jun 27, 2013
21
0
0
North Carolina
If you are fermenting in a bucket, then rack to a glass carboy and airlock. If it's already in glass, then it would probably be better to leave it until fermentation has completed and the yeast start to drop out of suspension. After fermentation is finished, stick in a fridge for a week; most of the yeast will have dropped by then and you'll have an easier time racking.
Thanks for the info, Midnight. What would you define as the point when fermentation has completed? I thought that since the batch has reached 1.000 SG that this could be called the "completion" point. I still get a bubble around once a minute, if that helps...?

Ash Bee
 

Midnight Sun

NewBee
Registered Member
Jul 13, 2010
436
5
0
Anchorage, Alaska
Mead/wine ferments can go below 1.000, although rarely go much further than 0.996. When you get no change in gravity after 3-5 days, and the gravity is near 1.000, then fermentation is basically done.

At this stage there is still a lot of dissolved CO2 in your must, so judging by bubble rate is inaccurate at best. Off gassing can take a month or two.
 

Chevette Girl

All around BAD EXAMPLE
Moderator
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Apr 27, 2010
8,398
18
0
Ottawa, ON
Around 1.000 is where we say "good enough to rack to secondary" but "finished" is when the SG stops changing significantly over time. As Midnight said, if you're already in glass, leave it till it's finished, if you're in plastic, it's a good time to get it off any fruit.
 
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