SLow starting mead

Discussion in 'Products of the Hive' started by melrose, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    Son and I started 5 gallons yesterday, ~20hrs later and still no activity in the airlock. :dontknow:

    I make 15 to 20 gallons of wine a year, my experience is that the next day we see bubbling, even if at a minimal.

    I sealed the lid from the outside, thinking that the o-ring may have leak-by as there is about an inch gap where the ring doesn't meet. Plans are to let it sit a couple of more days to see if the yeast fires off, then, if not, try to reactivate the mix.

    Anybody have issues like this? What have you done to compensate?

    Thanks
     
  2. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I'm not a wine maker, but an inch gap in an O ring :shock::shock: how did you seal from the outside, I would have used beeswax JMHO.
     

  3. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    Yeah... apparently the new lid had a short ring, I din't know until we got everything all together for cleaning... I put the lid on tight, wrapped duct tape around the outside. Best I could do considering, when/if I have to restart the yeast, I'll have another bucket ready.
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    What kind of bucket are you using? Only thing I could see in my mind was a carboy.
     
  5. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    Carboy is for the secondary. Your bucket is the primary, must, yeast, ingredients etc, after a week or reach SG, you rack off into the secondary (carboy), then other carboys until you're clear.

    I have seen recipes that mention only using a carboy throughout the process, but once water/honey were mixed, I didn't have funnel to get the must into the carboy. So stuck with my SOP, and used the brewing bucket as the primary. No diff really, 'cept a carboy wouldn't be giving me the o-ring issue right now. :lol:
     
  6. jesse.rizzo

    jesse.rizzo New Member

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    Just be sure to take a hydrometer reading before you do anything. My guess would be that the lid is still leaky, and you're fermenting just fine.
     
  7. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    Thanks, hopefully fermenting fine, better not have a dang leak after adding the duct tape.
     
  8. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    Easy to check , use a balloon or condom over the carboy and will see if you have a leak in bubbler or seal.


    if in a bucket, use lightly soap water in spray bottle (or better if you have Starsan sanitiser), just spray all around the lid and check for bubbles.

    within a few days you will see a difference in the color and should also smell it.....

    ​had many a batch of beer not start fermenting right away. Patience is all you need. Unless you pitched old yeast, or too hot must when you pitched or lastly far too little yeast for volume, it will eventually take off. Good luck.
     
  9. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    OK, I changed lids today, 5 days after starting. There is little foam, but def some sparkling going on in the mead. I have a lid now that has a complete o-ring.
    I checked the SG, right now it's at 1.09. This seems like a starting point... like it probably hasn't changed since starting the must???

    After 5 days, where would you see your SG given everything is on track?

    thanks
     
  10. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    Holy cow..... I just added the new o-ring/lid, walked out of the room, came back and the lid was bowed and bubbles running out of the air lock.
     
  11. jesse.rizzo

    jesse.rizzo New Member

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    I take it you didn't take a starting gravity reading? That's a good habit to get into, for this exact reason. How much honey did you use, and for what size batch. We should be able to estimate the starting gravity and figure how much/if it has moved yet.
     
  12. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    Yeah, the son and I were so engrossed in doing something together that I forgot.
    We used about Just under 3gal of honey.
    We started it July 3rd, July 7th it was at 1.09SG, July 10th SG was 1.07. I'm thinking that by the 14 it should be at 1.04 and I'll add some raspberries to finish it off. :wink:
     
  13. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    If you haven't done it yet, I would suggest that you add (after cooling), a cup of very strong tea. The tannin in the tea is an important contibutor to the finished taste A small amount of citric acid (for the amount of mead made from three gallons of honey, I estimate a level to a heaping teaspoon of citric acid crystals) should be mixed in. Without some acidity, the taste of the mead will be very flat. If you can get some tartaric acid instead of citric acid it should be even better.
     
  14. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    Thank you efmesch, I have not, wasn't in the recipe. I believe I have tartaric acid, no tea bags... what kind of tea? Just regular?
     
  15. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    That's the best. :grin::thumbsup: