View Full Version : blending meads

04-02-2009, 11:38 PM
so, i've got a mead that finished a wee bit early and left a lot of sugar (dwojniak attempt), and am going to blend it with a dry mead. any tricks to this? or is it just letting the new mead finish and then blend to the desired sweetness?

04-03-2009, 01:21 AM
The thing you want to think about is if the yeast present in either mead might restart fermentation when you blend the two meads together. If that happens, you want to not be in a bottle-type situation where things might explode. You can either blend and store under airlock for awhile, or stabilize both meads first to prevent renewed fermentation.

04-04-2009, 01:49 AM
i would love for the mead to restart fermentation-i have a lot of residual sugar left in the dwojniak attempt (current gravity is 1.130-oops). basically, i'm brewing up a really dry batch of mead to mix with the original mead. this new batch had an original gravity of 1.110 and using Lalvin EC-1118.

so, should i blend when the fermentation is still cruising on the new batch, but the gravity is nearing 1.000, or should i wait until this is finished? and if i blend while it's still actively fermenting, should i blend slowly as to not shock the yeasts (the original batch is about 15% ABV-this new batch, should finish around 14%), or does it really matter?

i have been planning on bulk aging for awhile, so i'm not so concerned about bottle bombs-but, always thanks for the safety check:thumbsup:.

Medsen Fey
04-04-2009, 11:14 AM
If both of these batches are the same size, the combination would give you a gravity of 1.120 with 7.5% ABV and if the EC-1118 is able to chew through it all, you should be able to get the gravity down to about 1.040 with 18% ABV. What sizes are these batches?

First question is do you have a container big enough to hold it all? If not, you may need two carboys to work with. I'm going to address this as if they are both 1 gallon batches.

You wouldn't want to mix it all up at once as that might stress the yeast quite a bit. It would be better to get the new batch started; I'd rehydrated with GoFerm, and pitch into the new batch. I'd aerate it well, and let it get rolling, with a double size dose of nutrient at the end of lag phase and I'd keep aerating the snot out of it. Once it was going strong, with a gravity down to about 1.070 or so, I'd add the old batch gradually to it 1 quart at a time (If I didn't have a container that would hold it all, I'd now split it in to two batches and add a pint to each).

After adding each quart, I'd measure the gravity and aerate. In theory, after the first quart, the gravity should rise to about 1.080, and the ABV will have gone from 5% to 7% which the yeast should be able to tolerate. Each subsequent addition will have a reduced impact. When the gravity drops back to 1.070, I'd add the next quart. Hopefully, it will all be added over a period of about 4 days and with a little luck it will ferment on down to near the ABV tolerance.

One additional step you can take to make the old must more fermentable is to pasteurize it. I'm not sure why this helps, but it is well documented in wine literature. I'm not a big fan of heating mead musts, but I might consider it in a situation like this to make sure that it gets finished.

Alternatively, you can just let the new batch go dry, and blend to taste, and if it referments just keep adding the old must to taste until it stops. Doing it this way may still leave you with some left-over sweet must, but you can soak some fruit in it and pour in on vanilla ice-cream - yum!

Please let us know what you decide to do, and how it turns out.


04-04-2009, 05:20 PM
thanks for being so explicit with the instructions, that really helps.

the original recipe i have in two 1 gallon carboys; now, i have two more 1 gallon carboys going. i do have five gallon carboys empty right now that i can mix everything together.

i rehydrated with Go-ferm and have already put in all my Fermaid K (i did double the dose-not by intelligent thinking, but by accident-mistakes inherent in splitting batches;D).

I just checked gravity and it's reading 1.070. i'm a bit reluctant to pasteurize the old must-but am willing to if you can talk me into it.;)
How long do i need to pasteurize for (if i bring it to 170F)?

just to make sure i have this right:
at this point i pour the two gallons of new must into the 5gal carboy, then slowly add in one quart of the must and add a new quart after the gravity gets back down to 1.070. sound right?

okay, wish me luck.

Medsen Fey
04-04-2009, 05:37 PM
15 seconds at 161 F should do it.

I don't think you really need to pasteurize it, especially since you've made 2 gallons to blend with it. That makes the stress on the yeast as you add the old must even less, and you'll be able to add it in quicker, and it will drop to a lower gravity than 1.040 if all goes well.

I'd put the 2 gallons of new must into the 5-gallon carboy, and then start adding the old must. You don't have to worry about the headspace during fermentation. The CO2 will protect the mead.

Bon Chance!

04-04-2009, 06:09 PM
yea! thanks for talking me into not pasteurizing.
i just finished sanitizing the carboy and will be starting the project as soon as i'm done typing (if the baby stays asleep).

i'll let you know how it all turns out.

again, and again, my deepest thanks,

04-04-2009, 09:33 PM

Where'd you get those calculations from?
I tried using the blending utility to work out a recent project but I've been unable to get it to process even some simple numbers. mind posting your formula? This seems like an appropriate topic thread to post it in :)


Medsen Fey
04-05-2009, 09:59 AM
Well, there’s no fancy formula – just some basic cyphering. Anyone wanting to verify these numbers, please point out any errors.

To start with the easiest example, if you mix 1 gallon of must with gravity 1.130 and ABV 15% with 1 gallon of must with gravity 1.110 and ABV 0%, everything just falls halfway in between.

1 gallon 1 gallon 2 gallons
1.130 + 1.110 = 1.120
15% 0% 7.5%

How do you put something in a tabular format and keep it that way? Someone please tell me.

Now if your new must ferments down to 1.070, the ABV is (1.110-1.070)*131 = 5.24%. I used 5% to keep it easy.

So if you take 1 gallon of must that has gravity 1.070 and ABV 5% and add 1 quart of must with gravity 1.130 and 15% ABV, your going to get a total of 5 quarts of must. Start with the ABV since that is easier.

(4/5 * 5%) + (1/5 * 15%) = 4% + 3% = 7% ABV

Then calculate up the gravity. For this it is easier to do it by converting the specific gravity to gravity points. 1.130 is 130 gravity point. 1.070 is 70 gravity points.

(4/5 * 70) + (1/5 * 130) = 56 + 26 = 82 gravity point (gravity 1.082)

In my prior post I just used the rounded number of 1.080 just to give an idea of the number to expect. With all the error that can occur with readings, you just want to be in the ballpark.

So for practice purposes let's try to figure out what to expect mixing in the quart of old must into his 2 gallon batch of new must. So we are now going to have 8 quarts of new must in a 9 quart final volume. First the ABV.

(8/9 * 5%) + (1/9 * 15%) = 4.44% + 1.67% = 6.1% ABV

And for the gravity calculation,

(8/9 * 70) + (1/9 * 130) = 62.2 + 14.4 = 76.6 gravity points (gravity 1.076)

So that's how I do the calculations - clear as mud, huh!

Obviously adding to two gallons would cause less of a jolt to the yeast, and should work well. Dave, if you took a measurement after adding in the quart, what were your numbers?


04-05-2009, 10:29 AM
How do you put something in a tabular format and keep it that way? Someone please tell me.


Awesome, Medsen making up new HTML tag codes!!! :D

The math checks out by my take.

To create tabular data, try using the HTML table tags. The tr element defines a table row, the th element defines a table header, and the td element defines a table cell.

Here is a simple 2 row x 2 column example:

<table border="1">

I don't know why this doesn't work in this reply, so hopefully someone can start a new thread with the details of adding tables, (don't want to hijack this thread!)

Thanks Medsen!


Medsen Fey
04-05-2009, 12:14 PM
Actually, I want to go back and correct myself - there is a fancy formula:

S1*V1 + S2*V2 = St*Vt

Wayneb posted the explanation Here (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showpost.php?p=111266&postcount=5) (Thanks Wayne :icon_thumright: ). I performed essentially the same calculation.

04-05-2009, 12:30 PM
That formula even has a fancy name: the rule of mixtures.

One of the projects in my research group is focused on making a ceramic-metal or ceramic-polymer composite that "beats" the rule of mixtures. Turns out nature is good at that, but we suck.

04-05-2009, 05:30 PM
Math, my old enemy, we meet again!

04-05-2009, 11:08 PM
Or you just use the Blending Calculator that is part of the Mead Calculator

(see the menu on the left (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=745&Itemid=16))

04-06-2009, 06:19 AM
maybe I was doin it wrong, but I couldn't make the blending calculator work for me.

I'm trying to solve for volume:
I've got 5 gallons of Oskaarz You Blue My Berriez at 1.020
I want to blend it down with a dry black current mead to 1.002 (where he had it, maybe 1.005? not pertinent here)

V2 = V1 * (SGt - SG1)/(SG2 - SGt)

that gives me V2=5 * (1.002-1.020)/(1.00-1.002)

V2=5 * (-.018 )/(-.002)



I think I'm still doin' it wrong.
a little help? :dontknow:

Medsen Fey
04-06-2009, 09:51 AM
You're on the right track. Assuming no refermentation, you'll need 45 gallons of mead with gravity of 1.000 to blend with 5 gallons at 1.020 get the total down to 1.002.

5 gallons at 1.000 will get you to 1.010 which might be a lot more pleasing than 1.020.

If you get the dry batch really dry, with a gravity down to 0.995 or below, you'll need a lot less.

04-06-2009, 04:23 PM
You're on the right track. Assuming no refermentation, you'll need 45 gallons of mead

That's wasn't a mistake? Zoiks! :o

This has been quite educational but it's time for me to take a different approach!

So what I can make right now is more along the lines of 2 gallons, maybe 4.
Using the original formula if I make 2 gallons of dry mead at .998 and mix it to 5 gallons of mead at 1.020 I get:


(1.02*5)+(.998*2) ----> 5.1+1.996=7.096

Now all I want is the St, so if I jut subtract my Vt from it I should have the SG of my new 7 gallon mead, however

7.096 - 7 = 0.096? I know that's not right.
where did I go wrong?

04-06-2009, 05:14 PM
Multiply not add. So 7.096/7= 1.014. ;D

Medsen Fey
04-06-2009, 05:31 PM
where did I go wrong?

When you first mixed honey, water and yeast. The downfall of many a good young man! :evil4:

Sorry, I couldn't resist. ;D

Your answer was good up to 7.096 = Vt * St. since Vt = 7 gallons then:

St = 7.096/Vt = 7.096/7 = 1.013

So making a 2 gallon batch very dry would bring you down a good bit.

And by the way, now that you've worked your way through that formula you have officially earned your geek card! Congratulations. :icon_geek:

04-06-2009, 06:55 PM
When you first mixed honey, water and yeast. The downfall of many a good young man!

lol! True words wrath, true true words.

Multiply not add. So 7.096/7= 1.014.

oh duh! :p

okay that's making way more sense. Now I'm getting a good feel for how far I can blend this down.

Thanks for the help guys, I'm gonna stick this thread in my useful brew links bookmarks.


~proud holder of a shiny new geek card

04-09-2009, 02:43 AM
hey, didn't mean to disappear. i've been a bit nervous about jinxing my mead mixing.
the only time i measured after an addition was the very first quart (ish). that time it was 1.080-i couldn't freakin' believe it (i guess math works;)). like i wrote before, it was at 1.070 before the addition, so Medsen has been spot on.
i'm almost done. i've been adding just like you advised (when it gets to 1.070). i'm on the second gallon, now and have a bit over a quart left. i've been slowly increasing the amount since my larger carboy has, comparably, so much more volume than what i'm adding.

wolfie, about saving this one for the future, no kidding. this experience has taught me much (by standing on the shoulders of giants-thanks Medsen), and i'm glad for the experience.

okay, now i need to hijack my own thread:
so what do ya'll think about an oak addition for the bulk aging on this one?
i was thinking medium, maybe medium+, oak cubes. i've never done any, but i'm very excited about the idea of trying it.

04-09-2009, 10:49 AM
I'm a fan of oak in meads, especially ones that finish slightly sweet, since the oak tannins help to counterbalance the sweetness and make them seem less cloying. I'd say, go for it. If you have a choice between oak sources, I like a little American medium + to start (say an ounce and a half of the cubes in 5 gallons), and after a couple of weeks, I'd add another ounce of French medium. This "layering" will give the oak character more complexity, and it is something that the users of cubes have over those guys who age in barrels. ;)

Be sure to thieve and sample a little, every week or two, to determine when you have enough oakiness in the result. Aim for a little bit more oak flavor than you think you'd like to end up with, and then allow it to age, integrate and mellow with time. But by all means don't just throw in the cubes and forget them, unless you're looking for overpowering oak presence in the result.

04-10-2009, 02:47 AM
sounds great. thanks, for in depth description of what types and how long. that answered the next questions that i had.

when the fermentation has stopped, i'll let ya'll know what the final gravity ended up being.

and, of course, huge thanks for all the help.


06-19-2009, 12:43 AM
this batch finished up awhile ago, but i have just been lazy about testing the final gravity (though it's been racked off the lees for quite some time, now). so, it stopped at 1.040. it was cruisin' really strong for awhile and i totally thought it would make it past that, but c'est la vie. it's okay, my wife and i love really sweet meads.
two are on oak (American), right now, and i'm thinking i'm going to oak the other two gallons, as well, but maybe with Hungarian? hmmm....or French with a bit of American? decisions, decisions.