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Trouble with first batch

nthaile

NewBee
Registered Member
Apr 6, 2018
2
0
0
Alright I am having trouble or at least I think I am. It has been a whole day since I sealed my fermenting bucket and there still aren't any bubbles in the airlock. I am not sure if my mead is fermenting or not. In the recipe I used

3 pounds of honey
1 galleon of water
1 packet of Lalvin D47
1 tsp of yeast nutrient

I followed the directions on activating the yeast and kept it within the temperature range while it was activating. The only thing I can think of and I may be wrong considering I am new at this, but the must was still warm from when I blended the honey and water in a pot. The must was the same temperature as the yeast when I pitched the yeast. I even put some of the must in the yeast after the 20 minutes that the packet said.

Please help I don't know much about this at all.
 

darigoni

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Jun 4, 2016
822
6
18
Brookline, NH
Geez...............

Read the other post that's going on right now, about "stalled fermentation or being impatient". There's some good points on where to find info on how to make mead.

Bubbles don't mean anything. Do you have a Hydrometer? If not, get one! It's the only way to really tell what's going on.

Buckets leak and it's still to soon to tell what you have or don't have.

D47 is very temperature sensitive and should not be used unless you have some way to control temperature. Especially by a NewBee. The temperature range is 59-68F and should probably be kept on the lower side of that.
 

nthaile

NewBee
Registered Member
Apr 6, 2018
2
0
0
I've seen people say that D 47 is a good yeast for people just starting out I also have some Lalvin 71B-1122.
 

Shelley

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Sep 13, 2013
332
8
18
Harford, NY
MeadMagic.com
Buckets leak a lot, and if your bucket is on the large side you may not see much airlock activity. Crack open the top and listen. Do you hear a "hiss" or see tiny bubbles at the top of your liquid? Those are both signs of fermentation. If not, then you can consider re-pitching yeast. I'm assuming you don't have a hydrometer -- you'll have to rely on time and tongue (taste-testing) for your mead, and you will not know for certain what the ABV is at the end. This is not a mead-killing problem.

Don't throw out the batch, and don't give up. I've done many a batch with this same basic recipe and they've turned out fine. Take good notes (I can't emphasize this enough!) so that you can improve next time. I just bottled a batch of spiced mead that I think is to die for. I started with the same basic approach as you did, but I referred to previous meads and experiments to refine the final mead.

If you used grocery-store honey, then the resulting mead will probably be unremarkable. Mead is like wine -- good honey makes good show mead, mediocre honey makes mediocre show mead. It sounds like you also heated or boiled your honey water, so that's going to lose some flavor as well. Read around more about spice additions or oaking while your brew ferments. If you taste the batch in a couple of months and it's "meh", then spice and/or oak may give it more pep for you. You may be tempted to try fruits, and I'd caution against it. Fruit additions need more TLC than spice, IMO.

I also recommend reading up on the staggered nutrient addition (SNA) techniques while your brew progresses. I'm a patient hobby meadmaker, so I'm perfectly OK adding my nutrients up front (like you did) and waiting for my mead to age. If you want to accelerate the process from pitch to drink, then the SNA and TONSA protocols may fit your style better!
 
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