View Full Version : a few quick questions lol

11-09-2009, 04:45 PM
Hello everyone,

My name is Matthew and I am new to mead making, I have started 3 batches so
far, and I have a few questions.

I have always loved mead and hard cider so when I found out I could make
them At home I jumped right in starting a bunch of different Batches, buying
books and going to the library. I guess i should have read that they take 3mo
to 1year to finish! (such a horrible hobby for a impatient person such as

a if anyone knows of any groups, clubs and meet ups in the New York area please
let me know.

Thank you ahead of time for your suggestions.


1st batch was Joe's Ancient orange spiced mead (no questions) 1 gal batch 2-3
weeks till it is finished.

2nd was: The compleate meadmaker recipe
(5gal batch)
15lbs wildflower dark honey
4 gallons of water
2 tsp yeast nutrient
1 tsp yeast energiser
2 Packets of lavin 71b-1122 yeast

I boiled 2 gals of water and let it cool to 190 degrees added everything except
the Yeast, let it sit for 30 mins. then added it to cooled water in the primary.
yeast was rehydrated and pitched.

Original gravity was. 1.12 @ 70 degrees. on 10-10-09 stored in a closet with
65-70 deg avg temp.

I racked it to a secondary 5gal clear Better bottle on 10-28-90 with a gravity
of 1.052 (tasted great low alcohol taste)

As of today it is still very activly fermenting, I am hopeing to make a
semi-sweet mead without additives (I will use them If needed but trying to avoid
to make a better mead).

My question for this mead is:

1. is a long fermentation normal under these conditions?

2. should I rack the mead every 2-3 weeks to keep it off the lee's?

3. any suggestions to make a better mead would be appreciated.

4. how long should this mead take to be drinkable.

3rd batch is a cyser
6.5 gal batch
10lbs wildflower honey
1 gal spring water
4 galons of Musselmans Apple cider.
1 stick of cinnamon.
2 packets of Red star Pasture champagne yeast.

It used the same procedure as above,

I pieced this mead together from a few different websites.

The Original gravity was 1.10 @ 70 degrees on 10-17-09

as of 11-9-09 it was still in the primary and fermenting activly In white pail
so no more info is availible.

My questions here is:

1. What else suggestions would you have to rack to a seconday, should I add more
Cinnamon, apple juice, spices. and when?

2. how long should the primary ferm take for this cyser,

3. how long till it is drinkable.

11-09-2009, 05:28 PM
Hi, Matt! Welcome to the "Gotmead?" community!!

Let me start out by thanking you for providing the details of your recipes. That really helps when we're going to offer advice/suggestions/comments.

Now for my comments. First, if you haven't already done so, I recommend that you take a look at the NewBee Guide (a link to it is on the left side of this page); I think you'll find that many of your questions are already answered over in those pages.

As far as predicting when a particular fermentation will be complete - that is difficult to do in more than a broad-brush sense, since every fermentation is different, and different methods of management (aeration, nutrient addition), as well as temperature, starting gravity, and yeast strain come into play to determine how long any given batch will take. However I can confirm that with 71B you do want to rack to get the mead off of the lees layer before yeast autolysis starts (that's a breakdown of dead yeast cell walls), since the flavors imparted from autolyzed 71B are not too pleasant. Other yeast strains can be left in contact with the mead long after autolysis has begun with no ill effects. In fact, a process called sur lie is often employed to extract things from autolyzed yeast in order to add to the complexity of the finished mead. But that's a more advanced technique that you might want to save for a later batch.

As far as what else, and when, to add to your cyser - that is a matter of taste. I hesitate to offer any suggestions other than to check out the recipes that have been discussed at length here in the forums - because it is hard to predict from here what you might think is missing or underrepresented in your batch. For your first batch I'd say to let it finish as it is. Then when you taste the mature cyser (and it will take a few months to mature after fermentation has finished) you can determine if you want anything to be different with your next batch.

11-12-2009, 09:25 AM
i am by all means NOT a professional. but i do not like the red star champagne as much as the ec1118. ec is the lazy mans yeast. it's tough, quick starting, high yields, and has very little (if any) off flavors. the few variations i have made from this magical yeast have been quickly corrected.

i think what i am saying here is. WELCOME TO GOTMEAD! the knowledge and experience contained in this messageboard can help you to make hooch like the pros!

(better than the pros if you ask my opinion.)