2

After 4 days my mead started to sparkle and I can see Co2 bubbles forming pretty fast but it's the second week now and there is no bubbling in my airlock or even a pressure build up. I know it's completely air tight and I'm a little bit confused about that as I'm a novice brewer. Can anyone help?

I opened my batch and it was self carbonated but not fermented. The starting SG was 1100 and final SG was the same, so I degassed the must and add more yeast. Now I need two more weeks to see the result.

6
  • 1
    So during the second week there is still gas bubbles forming in the mead, or was that only during the first week?
    – Kingsley
    Feb 9 at 22:06
  • Actually there is still bubbles forming. It seems I'm supposed to wait until the mead turns still and taste it. The ambient temperature is around 27 C degrees, maybe that's the problem which slows the process.
    – Jack
    Feb 10 at 4:29
  • 1
    An ambient of 27C is pretty warm for yeast. For a majority of ale yeasts, above 16C (43F) is about the point where the yeast really slows down (to the point where it might look to be stopped). Lager yeasts can go much lower. I don't know much about wine yeasts, but I guess they're similar to ale yeasts WRT to temperatures.
    – Kingsley
    Feb 11 at 0:05
  • Well, I think I made a lot of mistakes this time like not adding yeast nutrient and using boiled and filtered honey etc. There is not much to do now, the rest is a waiting game. Some say, it's ok not to see airlock activity and it's also ok to brew without yeast nutrient. We'll see.
    – Jack
    Feb 11 at 7:52
  • 1
    I would suggest that you may be incorrect when you say "it's completely air tight." The CO2 is going somewhere and in my experience it is unlikely that it is all dissolving into the must. What style of fermentation vessel are you using?
    – Rob
    Feb 11 at 21:00

1 Answer 1

3

Probably primary fermentation is complete. Leave it for another week.

It could also be things like fermentation has slowed, because the ambient temperature has dropped, and it is not complete. Or a whole bunch of other reasons.

One of the easiest ways to get a better idea of what is going on in the ferment is to take a sample, and test it with a hydrometer. Generally the idea is to test it before adding yeast, and when you think fermentation is complete. Of course, it can be tested in-between too.

The hydrometer measures the density of a liquid, and suspended sugar increases the density. When the yeast converts the sugar into ethanol, the density decreases. So by taking measurements, it becomes clear just how much sugar remains in the ferment. These measurements will also allow you to calculate how much alcohol is in your final beverage. So it's worthwhile to buy the (inexpensive) equipment, and take the time to test.

Generally you can tell the fermentation is complete when the hydrometer reading is approximately where you expect it to finish, and there has been no further changes for 3 days. I write "generally", because environmental factors need to be taken into account too - if there's been no change for 3 days, but your fermenter has frozen solid, well that's a different matter.

So assuming you don't have this gear, what can you do. First, I would wait until at least two weeks are past. At the end of fermentation, the yeast will start to settle to the bottom. So if the fermentation vessel is clear, you can watch for this. There should be absolutely no issues leaving the ferment for 2, or even 3 weeks on the yeast. If it's cool/cold, even longer.

You can also taste the mead, if it's still really sweet, generally fermentation isn't finished. (This assumes there wasn't so much sugar, that the yeast can process it entirely).

Note that it's important to leave the yeast to finalise the fermentation. During the initial vigorous phase of fermentation, the yeast makes some untasty by-products. But once the first phase is done, the yeast re-processes these compounds into something else (that doesn't taste bad). If you package or quickly refrigerate the ferment before this happens, the quality of your final beverage will suffer.

1
  • Thanks a lot for your advice. I' ll check the result at the end of this week, maybe it's all doing well without airlock movement.
    – Jack
    Feb 10 at 4:42

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.