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View Full Version : Straight honey mead, drinking time?



Cundog
03-19-2010, 11:10 AM
I've had a straight honey mead going since early January. I racked it last week and it's sweet like an apertif wine with a hint of beer taste. that would be from using beer yeast, I'm sure. It's good as is. Unfortunately, I did not know to get an SG reading when I started the batch, so I have no idea what the alcohol content is. It's been racked several times and there is no more fermentation going on. It's clear as a bell with no Lees. What do you think? Can I just drink it now? Thanks.

Jeff C.
Cundog

Medsen Fey
03-19-2010, 11:28 AM
You can start drinking it whenever it suits you, but the flavor will probably continue to improve for many months. Some of that "beer" flavor may relate to yeasty flavors that will fade with time and it may taste much better in 1 year. Even if you are happy with it now, be sure and put aside at least 1 bottle to allow it to mature for at least 12 months - I think you'll be glad you did.

Congratulations on a successful batch!

Medsen

Cundog
03-22-2010, 08:48 PM
Well, I backed off and just had a tasting Saturday night. Taste was good with just a hint of yeast/beer taste. Bottled it tonight and brought up another question for ya'll. There was a bit of bubble in the mead, but settled out in the bottle before I capped it. I used beer bottles and cider/apple wine bottles and capped. Have a created bombs or will they be okay? Thanks

akueck
03-22-2010, 08:57 PM
What was the SG when you bottled it?

If you post the recipe we can estimate the OG, which will at least let us guess the alcohol content and if your yeast might still be alive. A few lingering gas bubbles might just be the residual CO2 coming out of solution, but it's impossible to know just based on that observation.

Cundog
03-22-2010, 09:04 PM
basically, 1 gallon jug, 3 pounds honey, 25 or so raisins, bottled water, 1/2 packet of beer yeast, I think nottingham? I'll have to check that, can't remember. Had an sg of 1.08 saturday and 1.08 today. I gave it a good 4 minute stir about a week ago. Unfortunately when I started this one I hadn't learned about taking readings yet. So, I don't have a initial reading.

AToE
03-22-2010, 09:18 PM
1.08 or 1.008? 1.08 is pretty high, probably stalled.

Cundog
03-22-2010, 09:29 PM
I'm still learning to read the thing. When I drop the hydrometer in it's the 80 above the 1.100. I think that's right. thanks.

Cundog
03-22-2010, 09:29 PM
if it is stalled, what does that mean???

AToE
03-22-2010, 11:07 PM
That means that the yeast didn't get to it's rated alcohol tolerance and as such is at risk of starting up again unexpectedly. Essentially it means that your fermentation never finished.

I can't remember what that yeast's ABV tolerance is though, so you might be fine, do you know that off hand?

Cundog
03-22-2010, 11:22 PM
I know the guy at the home brew store said it should only finish around 5% or so. It's probably close to that. I've been looking through the site trying to see what others have had happen and if it doesn't restart, it'll just be sweet with low alcohol. That's fine, it's just one gallon. It's wierd that it settled there, when the JAO styled mead I'm just about finished is around 9 to 11%.

akueck
03-22-2010, 11:50 PM
Check this out for instructions on How to Read a Hydrometer (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1952&Itemid=14). See the Mead Calculator (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=745&Itemid=16) for help estimating the OG. 3 lbs of honey in 1 gallon of must is about 1.110, give or take about 5 points.

Nottingham will go well, well past 5%, especially in a fully fermentable must. I'd expect it to reach no less than 10% if treated properly, and at least 12% if treated well.

If you are at 1.080 now, get that mead out of the bottles and back under an airlock. Don't worry about splashing, aeration is probably a good thing at this point and might help kick your yeast awake again. You can also try adding some yeast nutrients.

If you don't want to try and ferment more, you should at least take steps to prevent renewed fermentation. Using sulfite & sorbate is the most straightforward method.

Cundog
03-22-2010, 11:55 PM
will it be okay in the bottles until tomorrow? It's a bit late to go unbottle 6 beer bottles and 1- apple cider bottle. I guess I can go and sterilize and get it back in. thanks for the help.

akueck
03-23-2010, 12:40 AM
Chill the bottles for now. If anything has started up, it will slow it down and drop the pressure as well.

Cundog
03-23-2010, 12:51 AM
thanks for the help. i'm on the east coast. It's almost 1am. mead is unbottled and back in the carboy..... shook up well and guess we'll see what happens. I want it to move along to a higher alcohol lever and get some of the sweetness down. I added some raisins in to get the yeast possibly fired back up. I'll get some nutrients tomorrow. Learning curves, man..... Thanks again.

Cundog
03-23-2010, 08:18 AM
I have a little bit of airlock action this morning, but a very little bit. shook a little more to get some aeration into it before I left. Should I repitch the yeast?

Cundog
03-23-2010, 09:35 PM
well, I'm not sure what to do now. I unbottled and put the mead back into the 1g carboy. added about 16oz of water so I had no head room. As I said, I threw in a few raisins hoping to wake the yeast up. Not working. I had about 4% alcohol and now I'm thinking I should have just left it alone in the bottles. Opinions?

akueck
03-24-2010, 12:47 AM
Pitching more yeast might help. Might want to check on the pH of the mead first, just to make sure it's not too low.