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Two different ale yeasts, stuck fermentation for both?

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OldSoul

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Dec 2, 2014
46
1
0
I did a yeast experiment using two different wine yeasts (71B and BA11) and two different ale yeasts (WLP090 and WLP530). The wine yeasts fermented to completion in a couple weeks, yet at day 30 the ale yeasts seem to have crapped out and are stuck at around 1.022. They both taste great (although very different from each other of course) but I figured they would still ferment to completion (started with an OG of 1.095 for all four batches).

Here is the recipe and process used for both batches with ale yeast:

-13 lbs orange blossom honey
-Spring water filled to 5 gallons
-5g of K2CO3
-¾ teaspoon yeast energizer/nutrient mix (1 part Fermaid-K, 2 parts DAP)
Mixed together with mix-stir, then oxygenated with pure O2 for 90 seconds
OG=1.095

Yeast Starter:
6 oz honey, water to 1800ml, 1/2 tsp yeast nutrient mix, and one vial of liquid ale yeast. (one had WLP090, other had WLP530). Placed on stir-plates for 24 hours, then cooled in refrigerator for 8 hours, then decanted liquid and pitched the remaining yeast into the primary.

Added -¾ teaspoon yeast energizer/nutrient mix at day 1, 2, 3 and 1/3 sugar break. Degassed every day until 1/3 sugar break as well.
Spent first couple weeks at 66 degrees F.
Fermentation seemed to be moving along fine, brought up to 70 degrees F after 3 weeks once I suspected they were slowing down.
The pH is 3.6 for both batches.

It's been 30 days and now they're both sitting at a gravity of 1.022, and have been for a few days in a row. They taste great, semi-sweet, but I was hoping they'd ferment all the way to around 1.0.

Any suggestions? Rather than pitch a wine yeast, is it OK to pitch another high-gravity ale yeast? Is there an issue with pitching another yeast this far along (will it leave any off-flavors at this point if there's too much yeast)? It looks like plenty of people have had success with similar yeasts and fermenting to completion, so not sure where mine went wrong?

Cheers,
Billy
 

Medsen Fey

Fuselier since 2007
Premium Patron
Can you check the pH?
To you have some yeast hulls or Fermaid O? You nutrient regimen was kind of low and beer yeast are used to having more?
What temp is it?

If you need to pitch a new yeast since you are already at 9-10% it will be tough for anything but a strong restart yeast to work - EC-1118, Premier Cuvee, QA23, DV10 or Uvaferm 43.

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OldSoul

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Dec 2, 2014
46
1
0
Thank you for the quick reply. My pH is 3.6, and the temp has been at 70 degrees for the last couple weeks. Aft the end of the day the SNA amount I used adds up to 1 tsp Fermaid K and 2 tsp DAP. I got that off BJCP Mead instructions as well as this site, but is there a better SNA regimen to follow, especially when using ale yeasts? Looks like the BOMM SNA is actually two parts Fermaid K to one part DAP. That would have left me with 1 tsp DAP, 2 tsp Fermaid K. Would that have been enough nutrient addition, or should I increase the total amount? Thanks for any insight, I'm also looking to understand how to get my process right for next time.

Also, if I add Fermaid O now, I'm guessing I should gently stir it and try not to get any oxygen in there, since it's so far along in the process. Any recommendations for how much Fermaid O to add?

Appreciate your advice, I'm very grateful for the expertise on this site.
 

Medsen Fey

Fuselier since 2007
Premium Patron
In a 5 gallon batch, your nutrient additions total up to about 125 ppm YAN if you figure 10g DAP, and 4g Fermaid K. To put it in perspective, s typical beer wort probably has >300 ppm. If you have Fermaid O, adding 2g per gallon may help, but because it is late in fermentation, it may be too late for it to get this to completion.

The BOMM protocol seems to work pretty well, but that is specific for 1388. One if the reasons 71B is popular for meads is that it has one of the lowest nitrogen requirements of any yeast out there.

If you raise the temp by 3 or 4 degrees, you might nudge them along.

Endeavor to persevere.



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