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Fermentation doesn’t seem to be taking?

First of all, I am not an experienced beer brewer, but I have a lot of interest. I had previously brewed a Mr Beer kit a few years ago, and later became really interested in the process of making Mead.

I have brewed several gallons of mead over the past couple of years, so I decided to give an all grain IPA a shot. I stopped by a local brew supply story and he gave me a recipe and the grains and hops, then I went home and gave it a go. I went with the bag method, and it seemed to turn out pretty good once I got to the fermentation stage, but I had a lot of trouble getting the it cooled enough to add the pitched yeast, since I hadn’t anticipated cooling it as much as I needed to. After letting it sit in my garage fridge, checking it occasionally until I got it down to 85 F, popped on the airlock, then pitched the yeast. My OG (I know… way too low but I was new at this part) was only 1.012. It seemed to bubble a little, but after 2 weeks I checked the gravity (I’m quite familiar with this part from making mead) and I was only at 1.5% ABV. I pitched more yeast and waited another couple of weeks… I’m barely breaking 1.5% still. It smells like beer. It doesn’t taste bad… it’s just weak as hell.

This past weekend, after 5 weeks since I first started fermenting, I melted 2 lbs honey and 2 lbs sugar in a pot with some of my beer, added it to the 5 gallon bucket, and pitched a whole new round of yeast. I assume I’ll basically have a mead/IPA hybrid, but I’m just hoping I get up to 5% finally… but it still doesn’t seem to be bubbling. My airlock seems to be sealed really well. Does anyone have any advice?

What your making is called a braggot. A beer mead hybrid

My first thought is about the “mashing” method you used… Did you crush the barley? Was the mashing temp strictly followed? How about the amount of barley to water? Many variables… Do inform the gang of your methods… We can help solve your dilemma…
Did I say welcome to NB’s forum? If I didn’t… Welcome… Lotsa very good brewers here… And very helpful too!
Sneezles61

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Do you have a bigmouth. Fermentor. They have the tendency to leak

That starting gravity is extremely low. As asked above. Explain your mashing process.

Sounds like you didn’t have conversion but we need more info. Welcome to the forum, you will soon be bombarded with tons of knowledge and answers to your questions.

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Thanks for the warm welcome. I went into a local brew store, where he put together a grains and barley mixture that he gave to me. I think one of my biggest issues honestly was the lack of heat. I had planned on using my Deep fry pot for turkey since it’s well over 6 gallons with the burner… but with the quarantine hitting as I was starting up the brew I realized that I left my pot at my apartment in Baton Rouge, whereas I live in Houston (I commute during the work week often because my job is in Baton Rouge). I wasn’t hitting the temps I wanted so I split it into two big gumbo pots I had.

At this point I think I’ll do what I can to salvage something from what I have, perhaps bottling a tester… and if it’s garbage I’ll hit up the forums here to help me start again with my proper pot and boiling. What I’m really confused about is that I added enough honey and sugar to have fermentation definitely rolling, but I’m not seeing a single bubble or back pressure coming through the airlock on my bucket.

Ifn it isn’t bubbling… Adding all kinds of sugars won’t get it going…
The process for producing fermentables sugars is in the mash…
The process to eat, fart CO2 and “pee” alcohol is done in a manner that takes a bit of nurturing…
Sneezles61

So what’s the status now?

Like what. Other. People say. Looks like. You did not. Have. Any. Convertion. From your grains. During. The mash. One way to check next time. Do a. Iodine test. And take a preboil. Gravity check. Even during the boil take. A gravity sample. To low. You can add dme. To achive your. Og gravity

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