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View Full Version : My first mead .... and already a problem "sigh"



tarmyniatur
10-23-2008, 12:12 PM
Hello mates !

I read this forum for few months, and at last my first post for my first problem.
Before anything else, I wanted to warn you : my english is very poor (but good for a french ^^). Maybe my translation is bad ...

I started my mead on Wenesday August 6, 2008 :
volume : 2.2 gallons (10 L)
honey : 5.5 pounds (mountain honey) (2.5 kg) and 2.2 pounds (1 kg) after one week.
nutrients for the starter : 1 tsp (I think : 2 - 3 g)
1 packet of WYEAST 4184 MEAD SWEET (brouwland.com)
temperature of fermentation : between 68F and 73F
SG : 1.100
pH : I don't have anything to measure it with...yet

To make my mead, I followed instructions given in the section of Mead Newbee Guide and on the website www.hydreaumiel.org.
The first month, I could see activity in the airlock, maybe one bubble per 2s.
I rack my mead to remove the lees one month later (september 6) (one bubble per 30s). The smell was good and so the taste, but like an apple cider for the moment.
After mid-september, fermentation was slowing down (one bubble per 30 min) because of temperature I think (62-67F). I moved the batch to a warmer place and I started to mix the mead every week (september 17). Fermentation seemed to increase (one bubble per 10-15 s), but during one month density measurements do not vary (1.048). It is strange because I can see bubbles in the carboy.

Have you got an explanation to suggest ? I do not see where the problem is .... For the moment, my mead smells good and the taste is pleasant, like a cider. There is somme alcohol, but not so much.
Thank you a lot mor your answers !!

Olivier

Angus
10-23-2008, 01:20 PM
Welcome Olivier,

I can probably answer this one. The yeast you used is good for up to about 11% alcohol by volume. The amount of honey you added for the volume would give a potential of 17% ABV. It sounds like you had a perfectly good fermentation up to the point where the yeast gave up, leaving a lot of extra honey unfermented.

If you want to reduce the gravity more because the Mead is too sweet, then you could select another yeast from the table here (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=625&Itemid=42) that can tolerate more alcohol and will eat up some of the available honey.

Good luck on this, you are doing the right things to get a good Mead. Just needs to be tweeked a little.

Angus

Odinsson
10-23-2008, 01:56 PM
This may not be a solution but is it possible to just add more water to bring the batch size up and reduce the gravity that way?

tarmyniatur
10-24-2008, 12:09 PM
Damn ! I should have thought of that ! :BangHead:
I ordered a new pack of yeast (dry mead), now wait and see !
Thank you all, for your answers ! Cheers !

Angus
10-24-2008, 02:25 PM
Watering down can work to reduce the amount of honey by volume, making it less sweet. But, the alcohol is currently at about 11%. Adding water will also reduce this by volume.

There are a couple of other issues to be aware of if you are going to add water. First, don't add too much since you will end up with a very thin Mead, low in alcohol and honey. Also, if you add just the right amount, it may bring the ABV down to a level that the dormant yeast are now in a happy environment again and start back up. This will cause them to eat more honey, which although it will make more alcohol, it can perhaps go past the sweetness point that you want to be at (i.e. sweet, semi-sweet). You may also find that the yeast were just stressed too much and will not start up again.

So, if you want to reduce the amount of left over honey, and keep the alcohol at about 11%, be very careful when you add water. Then, if the yeast do not start fermenting again, add some more to get them working again. Or, do not add water and try the Dry Mead yeast understanding that your alcohol will be higher than the 11%.

Good luck,

Angus