View Full Version : First Batch a Flop?

09-08-2009, 02:32 PM
First Batch a Flop?


I'm using the Basic Mead Recipe found in Patricia Spence's book "Mad about Mead".

16 pounds wildflower honey
4 tsp acid blend
6 t yeast nutrient
1 packet Epernay 2 yeast
1-1/2 tsp grape tannin
Water to make five gallons

I wanted a dry mead and used the calculator on the GotMead.com site; the quantity of honey was reduced to 13 pounds. Also, I used Red Star Pasteur Champagne yeast because that's what the guy at the brew supply store told me to use. After mixing the honey and water thoroughly I added everything but the yeast (made a starter). The next day the starter was added to the bucket and it was covered. However, the neglected to stir the batch; it did bubble some without too much to skim.

Racked it to a glass carboy about 7 days later and it bubbled for just a day or two. Another request to the brewing supply guy and he said to add yeast. He also told me to leave the must in the carboy and just sprinkle the yeast on top. Zilch has happened, but I left it for another week. Specific gravity is approximately 1.020.

At the moment the mess is back in the primary fermenter and I am going to try adding another packet of yeast. Or do I need to add more honey? Or should I simply throw out the must and do a new batch?


09-08-2009, 03:33 PM
Being new to meadmaking I don't have a lot of advice, but I'd say it's possible that you have issues due to the lack of aeration of the must. Before going and pitching more yeast (in a starter first if you decide to go that route), I would try aerating, although it may be a bit late in the game for aeration, from what I've read your best times for aeration are within the first 3 days of fermentation. And also if you have a ph tester, or even the ph strips I'd check the ph levels and make sure you're not too low after adding the acid blend. I believe champagne yeast is supposed to be pretty tolerant of outside factors, but without aeration, even the toughest strains could go dormant. Anyone feel free to chime in if I'm off base here.

What was your SG? Around 1.095?

09-08-2009, 07:43 PM
Your current SG is 1.020? Well, it's not dry but you've certainly got fermentation. It's only been a week, so you're not behind schedule.

Relax, don't worry, drink some mead! If the gravity sticks at 1.020 then we can figure out what to do next.

Medsen Fey
09-08-2009, 08:04 PM
Relax, don't worry, drink some mead! If the gravity sticks at 1.020 then we can figure out what to do next.

Aaron is right on the money. If your gravity is still dropping then you have no problem.

09-08-2009, 09:20 PM
Just a little more. You may not see any obvious airlock activity at this point. That doesn't mean a thing. Fermentation could have slowed to the point you won't visibly see movement or you might have a very tiny airleak on one of your seals. (Since you have positive pressure, an airleak isn't an issue right now.) Don't pay any attention to anything but the hydrometer.

You should leave this batch in the carboy to bulk age with the airlock on it. Don't bottle until the gravity has been stable for at least 3 months. It's tempting to be impatient and play with with this batch. Don't. The flavor will change over the next few months. Time is a forgiving mistress of mead.