View Full Version : First attempt at mead!

04-17-2010, 10:13 PM
Hello, first post and first batch of mead! I do have one question at this time. Right now my 5 gallon batch of mead is in primary firmentation. Its been there for two weeks now. I am wondering if its normal for the time between bubbles in the air lock to decrease in time. I went from about 13 sec. at the start to now about 9.5 sec. between bubbles two weeks later. I would only assume at this point that this is normal but im new and dont know any better.;D Its a basic mead with 15 lbs of honey and water, nothing more. Went straight into firmenter with an air lock and never touched it from there. I keep it in a room thats about 70 degrees. Also used a slap pack yeast for mead. Should the yeast slow down soon? I thought it started out fast and started to peater off, not speed up? Oh ya it started out at around 1.113 does this all sound good to you pros?

Dan McFeeley
04-17-2010, 11:50 PM
Hello and welcome to the forums!

Everything kinda sort of looks ok, based on what you're saying. A fermenting honey must is going to slow down over time, two weeks sounds ok, starting gravity looks alright. A slap pack yeast -- is this for brewing or vinting? Any idea what kind of yeast strain it is? That can be helpful.

Take a look over at the yellow side bar on the left, click on the NewBee Guide, if you haven't done so already. Lots of good info there.

Keep us posted!


04-18-2010, 11:13 AM
I cant find the yeast package now but I can tell you that it was labeled dry mead on the front of it. Thanks for the nudge on the newbee guide! I thought I had looked at it already but I guess that was a different forum. Lots of good info, more info than most other places!

Medsen Fey
04-19-2010, 10:04 AM
Welcome to GotMead Beebe!

You are making what is known as a "Show Mead" which is made with nothing but honey, water and yeast without nutrients or other flavor additives. The dry mead yeast should work okay for this but it is going to probably be a long slow process.

The decrease in the time between bubbles reflects the growth of the yeast and more-rapid release of CO2. Although following bubbling rates is not a good way to track a fermentation's progress, it can give you some insight. This growth to the maximum number of yeast occurs much more quickly in batches with nutrients (and aeration) and a mead given these things will often reach the maximal fermentation rate in a day or two rather than weeks. Fermentation provided with nutrient also finish faster - usually within 1-3 weeks.

Eventually the time between bubbles will start to become longer, and eventually it may look like there is no bubbling. At that point it will become important to watch the gravity number over time. Even if you don't see bubbling, the gravity can continue to drop slowly over time. Your mead won't be finished until the gravity stops decreasing. In the case of your mead this could take many weeks so be prepared to let it sit for the long haul.


05-01-2010, 12:59 PM
Well, the mead just keeps bubbling away! One month into it at this point and I have a bubble every 12 sec. I still have it in a plastic bucket and I was wondering if I should transfer it into a glass carboy at this point or not worry about it and just leave it untill its ready to rack. The bucket is a six gallon bucket with five gallons of mead in it!

Medsen Fey
05-02-2010, 09:05 AM
What is the current gravity?

I would suggest stirring it up well including all the lees at the bottom so that you don't lose any active yeast, and then racking to the glass carboy. The aeration that occurs might actually spur them along a bit, but more importantly, your mead will be protected from oxidation as this could go on for many more weeks (or months).

05-02-2010, 08:48 PM
I agree Beebe. Checking the specific gravity of your mead with a hydrometer is the key to seeing how far along in the fermentation process you are with it. Starting off at 1.113 sounds just fine. You should be well along the way in fermenting this now depending how many nutrients such as nitrogen the yeast had early on. Don't worry about this now as you're weeks in the fermentation already. But as the Newbee Guide explains, staggered nutrient addition early in fermentation process can significantly shorten the whole time to the final result. You should be fine and I would strongly consider racking this to your 5 gallon carboy now. That will kick up the yeast and put it in suspension again to keep things going. I'd plan on keeping your show mead up to a year to achieve an excellent result. That's the long haul Medsen referred to. It only get's better with age. Keep careful records of your process so you learn from each batch. I do one gallon batches to learn more about the process and yeast characteristics from each one. The more information you share with the Mentors like Medsen and McFeely, the better information they can share with you to make sure your show mead comes out well. All the best Medford girl, I'm just up the road. Oregon has some awesome honeys to use. Be sure to check out Meadowfoam honey from the Willamette Valley when you get the chance.


05-08-2010, 08:54 PM
I racked the mead today into a glass carboy. Stirred it up well and took a reading. Sitting at 1.0487 at this time and was at 1.1134 when I started.

I dont know at this time if it takes a bit for firmentation to start back up but I havent seen any out gassing at this time. I also am using one of those silicone type carboy caps and it doesent seem to fit all that tight.

Anyway I took a little taste of the mead that was left in the bucket and even with all that schmutz in the bottom it tasted real good!:) The wife even thougth it was tasty!

05-09-2010, 04:37 PM
OK, so I had a brand new silicone stopper on the carboy and it didnt seem to fit very tight.:( Sure enough it wasnt, so after I wraped it up in tape the bubbles started up again!:) Seems like maybe a cork style plug may be the better way to seal it up!

Buzzerj, Ill keep an eye out for that honey! I just relocated from portland a few months ago and I must say that I like the weather down here a lot more!!