View Full Version : 1st mead - please advise on next step - started it 4-5-08

06-30-2008, 11:40 AM
Midwest Dry Mead Kit

12lbs (clover honey)
2.5 lbs(wild flower honey) - I increased recipe to 6Gal, thats why I added this extra honey
Yeast - Wyeast Activator, Pitchable (4632) Dry Mead
Nutrients from kit.
6 gal (purified water, no chlorine..etc)

Used non boil method. Heated 2G of water to about 95 degrees. Mixed honey in brew bucket until it was well dissolved. Added nutrients and additional 4 Gal of room temp water.
OG - 1.105

Activity was steady.
4-27-08 - Gravity - 1.062

5-14-08 - Activity slowing but still signs up life. Nervous that it has been sitting on the yeast to long. I racked mead from brew bucket to 2 3(gal) carboys with a little head space. There did not seem to be any sediment on the bottom of the brew bucket. There was darker looking must at the bottom, so I left it behind.

About a week in the 2 3gal carboys it starting to clear like crazy and drop sediment. Maybe it needed oxygen?


So the last couple of weeks, it has had steading little bubbles coming up from the must. After looking through this site, it looks to be de-gassing.

My questions are: There is some sediment currently and its still de-gassing. I have been just leaving it alone. I can wait. Will this eventually subside by itself?

Should I transfer it? I only have a 7(gal) carboy available. I would be worried about the head space in the large carboy, since I think it pretty done fermenting. Or can I just wait til things look good and not worry about the sediment in the current situation etc?

PS - I plan on making a still mead and will bottle it in wine bottles. When it is safe to do this? I want to see if it stop de-gassing to take another gravity reading.

Medsen Fey
06-30-2008, 01:39 PM
Welcome to the forums Anton!

Before you consider bottling, you definitely want to make sure the mead has finished fermenting and that it has cleared. Your mead took 22 days to go from OG of1.105 to 1.062 which is a little slow, and the bubbling you see could be some continued slow fermentation. You probably should check the gravity now to see where it is, and that way you can see if it continues to drop over the next 2-3 weeks. If the gravity continues to drop, you are still fermenting, not just degassing. Using you hydrometer is the best way to tell if your fermentation is finished (or stuck).

There are a lot of reasons why a fermentation can be slow. If the must is not aerated, if the pH is too low (a frequent problem with traditional meads), if too little nutrient is used, if the temperature is too low, etc., can all give sluggish fermentations.

I would not rack again until you measure the gravity and see if you are done (with a gravity at or below 1.000). If you are done, you can rack to a seven gallon carboy, and the degassing will chase the air out of the headspace. The extra headspace only becomes a problem when the CO2 is all released. If your mead is not done, then please let us know and some of the silverbacks may be able to help you get it going again.

Good meading!

06-30-2008, 05:57 PM
I will take a current gravity here soon. I just hate messing with it. Jamming a probe (in my case a auto syphon) to extract. I was thinking of buying a wine thief for gravity readings. Anybody have a suggestions to easier less intrusive way of getting gravity samples? I guess as long as things are sterile, its ok. :icon_thumright:

PS - being a home brewer, I am finding out that there is not instant gratification (with mead) Unlike making a beer in 2 weeks then kegging it. Builds quite the patience aspect
This site is really great, I found so much info. In the future, I think I may just make 3ish gal batches. This way I can bounce it back in forth between the 2 3gal carboys. I need the 7gal for the beer.

07-01-2008, 12:08 AM
Yeah, I used to say I was going to keep things small too. Now I've got four 5 gallon glass carboys, a 6 gallon plastic bucket for some of my more active primarys, and about ten 1 gallon glass carboys I use for experimenting with new recipes.

That being said, "Welcome to the addiction!" ;D

Oh, I also agree with the leave it alone for a while philosophy as far as this batch goes. If you really think it's done, you can always sulphite and sorbate it to kill off any remaining yeasties, but I'd just let it sit a while longer and see what happens. Don't forget to give one of those gtavity samples a taste test to see how things are really progressing.

07-01-2008, 03:16 AM
One word "Wyeast"

Do a forum search and you'll understand why your ferment is slow. Pull a current gravity and echo it back here.



07-01-2008, 10:33 AM

Took gravity - 1.016.
So it has a little ways to go. Tasted good. So, guess wait a few more weeks to see if the yeast is still eateing away. Will research the Wyeast info.

Thanks for the advise from everyone!