I'm on day 9 of my first attempt at home brewing (1 gallon batch), and based on my measurements on day 5 and today it appears to be stuck at 1.010
Original Gravity was 1.065
Kind of just went gung-ho into it and only read later that a typical mead will have an OG of 1.092 or thereabouts and then finish at 1.010 to 1.000 or less. I expected this with its OG to go very dry with 9-10% ABV
Below is the log of my process. If anyone could have a look and let me know anywhere I went wrong and how to best go about restarting it (if I even should) it would be much appreciated.
Boiled 1/4 ounce of cascade hops in about 2-3 cups of water for an hour, leaving 3/4 to add on the last 4 to 7 days before bottling. At the end of the boil mixed in about 0.945 lbs of dark, what I'm assuming is buckwheat, honey. Once cooled, added the hop water to 1/2 filled (with tap water) 1 gallon carboy. Added rest of honey (0.9 lbs raw wildflower honey). Meanwhile, 1/5 a packet of Red Star premier blanc yeast has been rehydrating for 20 minutes in some luke-warm to room temp water. Aerated half filled carboy by shaking it up a good while before topping it off, pitching the yeast, and adding 1/4 tsp of yeast nutrient (urea and DAP). Intention is to add 1/4 tsp more every other day until 1 tsp total has been given.
Sp. Gr. reading: 1.062 which I corrected to 1.065 based on the temperature of the must (86 degrees f)
Put airlock on without water.
Other notes for day 1: burning eyes when I added yeast nutrient to must. I'm guessing the ammonia in the urea reacting to possible residual bleach from sanitizing. I rinsed the carboy after sanitizing with bleach but apparently not well enough.
Added water to airlock.
Degassed by stirring before adding 1/4 tsp more yeast nutrient.
Bubbling in airlock has slowed considerably. Ambient room temp between 77 and 79 degrees. Up 2-4 degrees from previous days. Decided to add yeast nutrient portion 12 hours early.
Sp. Gr. 1.010
Noticed white "raft" floaties on top of must. Assuming nothing to be concerned about.
Didn't add last 1/4 tsp of nutrient as fermentation appears to have stopped.
Racked off the lees into secondary carboy.
Sp. Gr. still 1.010
Taste: awful, harsh, bitter. Kind of like stale warm Budweiser. Bitter can be expected due to the hops.
I have some ideas of what I did wrong: Insufficiently healthy yeast colony pitched due to perhaps not using enough, and/or not sufficiently rehydrating and proofing the yeast. If I'm to try restarting should I rehydrate the remainder of the packet with something like Go-Ferm? Insufficiently aerating must (I've read of others aerating with a paddle on a power drill twice a day for 4 days or so).
Goal is to emulate a particular commercial dry hopped mead I had once and really enjoyed, which I know to be 12.5% ABV.
My carboy is now 4/5 full after racking. I'm thinking to top off with water and add about 0.3 lbs of additional honey before pitching new yeast. This is based on some calculation I did with a mead calculator but I did not account for the lost volume.
Other notes: I was expecting at some point to see some foaming but aside from the before mentioned floaties the top of must remained fairly still throughout the fermentation.
Anyway, would be very grateful for any advice.