3

I'm making mead for the first time. I used bakers yeast and a baloon as an air lock . The tutorial said that the yeast will be off gasing for 3 weeks but my mead only off gased the first day. Now it's a bit inflated but nothing compared the first day Is it okay or should I add more yeast. It's in a warm environment

Photo after first day

5

You may not have a perfect seal, so the gas is dissipating into the atmosphere. This is not a problem. The airlock serves only as a safety mechanism - it prevents buildup of gas, while also preventing anything getting into the container. An airlock is one of many ways to achieve this. You can put a bit of aluminium foil over the lid, a teatowel, anything that won't let dust or bugs through, basically.

Don't worry about the balloon, and never ever use the airlock (whatever type you use) as an indication of fermentation. Gas coming out can be caused by more than just fermentation, and no gas coming out can be caused by more than an absence of fermentation. If you want data, you need to measure the liquid with a hydrometer.

3

In case your fermentation has indeed deaccelerated this soon (and I agree with Frazbro that your balloon airlock is no indicator of that), it might be, along other factors, because of too much honey (high initial gravity musts are harder to ferment) or too little nutrient (honey itself does not have the necessary nutrients to keep your yeast healthy).

Two simple techniques you can employ, even with the setup you are using, are:

  • Oxygenate the must. Remove the airlock and agitate your fermenter to dissipate the carbon dioxide and let more oxygen in. You can do this once or twice a day for the first few days of fermentation without fear of oxidizing your mead.
  • Add nutrients. Boil some water (50mL is enough) and bread yeast (10g) for a few minutes to kill the yeast and add it to the must. The yeast husk will feed your fermenting yeast.
1

Your bottle is a screw top. Air could very easily be escaping through the threads of the jar top.

Don't rely on visible action to prove fermentation is happening. You need take SG readings to see if there is any sugar, and you need to take a second one a few days later to see if the SG is still going down. If it's still going down, then you are fermenting. If it's not then your fermentation may be stuck.

By the look of what's inside your jar, you either have a lot of floating solids or you have a healthy Krausen on top which to some degree probably means you are still fermenting.

Also the moisture at the shoulders of that jar look pretty wet to me, which generally also means you are still offgassing CO2, which doesn't always mean you are still fermenting, but is another indicator that you may be.

Finally, I have seen ferments complete so fast I thought the yeast never activated. Only after checking the SG did I realize oh, it's already finished. I had one do that quite literally overnight. Poof, done.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.