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Stalled Fermentation - Help

Scott Albrecht

NewBee
Registered Member
Dec 10, 2020
2
0
1
Tavistock
Hello All

I am new to the forum and new to making mead. I brewed a 1 Gal batch a year and a half ago as a trial, my wife loved it so much I hardly even got a taste, lol. So now I have a 5 to 6 Gal batch going of just a traditional, with the hopes of putting about 4 Gal to secondary keeping it the way it is, and running a couple 1 Gal trials of melomel. My OG was 1.090 but it has stalled at 1.050, here's what I have done so far:

Nov. 17 dissolved 15lbs of honey into 5 gal reverse osmosis water with 5 campton tablets, wait 24hrs.

Nov. 18 mixed in 5 tsp yeast nutriant 2.5 tsp yeast energizer, pitched I packet of Lalvin E1118 SG 1.090

Nov 30 bubbling has stopped, gravity reading still high at 1.050

Dec 7 gravity still reading 1.050 It seems to have stalled

Dec. 8 rehydrate another packet of lalvin E1118 in some room temp rev osmosis water and pour in to the fermenting pail

Dec. 10 only a couple bubbles on the surface

What am I doing wrong?

I'm not sure why it stalled, temp has been kept between 20 and 22 degrees Celsius the entire time. any advice would be greatly appreciated, I would hate to have to throw it out and start over.

One thing to note, is that I used honey from costco, which I later found out, is just a blend of what ever honey they can get, would this matter?

Scott
 

Crispy

Grumpy Old Drone
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Apr 28, 2016
83
24
8
Burlingame, California
>> Nov. 17 dissolved 15lbs of honey into 5 gal reverse osmosis water with 5 campton tablets, wait 24hrs.

>> Dec. 8 rehydrate another packet of lalvin E1118 in some room temp rev osmosis water and pour in to the fermenting pail

>> One thing to note, is that I used honey from costco, which I later found out, is just a blend of what ever honey they can get, would this matter?

Scott

Do you know what camped tablets did you use ? Potassium or Calcium ? Do you know what they do ? Why so many ?

What was your rehydration protocol exactly, step by step ?

There is nothing wrong with any of Costco's honeys, do not look there for answers.
 

Scott Albrecht

NewBee
Registered Member
Dec 10, 2020
2
0
1
Tavistock
Crispy, thank you for your reply !!

I used ABC Cork Campden Tablets (SMS), I read somewhere that when making mead you should use 1 tablet per gal inorder to kill the wild unpredictable yeasts that honey has from the bee pollen. They said wait 24 hours before pitching yeast, which I did. The first pack of yeast (just sprinkled on the top after worki g in the nutriant and energizer) worked very vigorously for 3 or 4 days after pitching, then just stopped.

I thought when pitching the second pack of yeast to help it get started a little faster I would put it in some room temp reverse osmosis water for about 15 to 20 mins before pouring into the fermenting pail. That was a couple days ago, still not much happening.

I didnt think it was the honey, but at this point I'm grasping for answers.
 

Crispy

Grumpy Old Drone
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Apr 28, 2016
83
24
8
Burlingame, California
I never use any yeast inhibitors when making mead just from honey, water and yeast and believe most of the mead makers do not either. Only when adding whole fruit and not pitching yeast from the very beginning I would consider using some and not in the amount you have used. By adding that many tablets you made your yeast work very hard and inhibited their ability to multiply and to create a healthy yeast biomass. Whatever number of yeast cells you introduced did not get a chance to properly reproduce and multiply and that number dwindled to very low count after few days. By not rehydrating the yeast properly you inhibited their growth yet again.
Right now you can probably still rescue this ferment by proper restart procedure. This means building a very strong yeast starter and adding your existing must gradually over time. Start with proper rehydration using goFerm and probably double or triple amount of dry yeast you originally used.
 

Cobrac

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Sep 6, 2016
667
8
18
Västra Götaland, Sweden
You shouldnt use RO-water without go-Ferm. RO-water doesn’t contain any salts and therefore water will rush straight into the yeast hull and destroy the little ones. Rehydrate in regular water or most preferably together with go-ferm. Crispy sent a couple of links that is useful.

I have personally restarted once and I did this:

I sprinkled my dry yeast into the go-ferm solution.

After 20 min I slowly added must (added a tablespoon every 5 min) and stirred gently. And when the yeast slurry/must reached 5 degrees from the stalled fermentation I added the slurry into primary. The EC1118 is a work horse and it shouldn’t have any problems to restart.
 
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