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View Full Version : First batch of mead - to skim, or not?



daveplml
06-11-2010, 07:33 PM
Hey all,

I'm a beekeeper and, to put our older honey to use, just whipped up my first batch of mead last night.

The recipe I used is similar to the one online here (http://users.soe.ucsc.edu/~karplus/mead-recipe.html), with some small tweaks.

3 gallons water
5 lbs honey
2 tablespoons jasmine tea
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 package Red Star Champagne yeast
Yeast nutrient according to instructions

I pasteurized the honey + water at under 160 for ~30 minutes, added the spices, and simultaneously let the yeast activate for a bit, and then mixed it all together and put it into a 3 gallon carboy for the first fermentation.

Overnight, some significant residue has collected at the top of the must:

http://imgsrc.com/imgbank/dscf4526.jpg

Should I worry about cleaning this off prior to racking in ~a week or two, or should I leave it? Or, should I rack more than once to give the mead additional clarity?

Thanks for your thoughts!

--Dave

AToE
06-11-2010, 08:05 PM
Don't worry about that scum at all - as to racking, you'll want to wait until the fermentation is finished before you rack the first time, and then wait a few months before racking again (it'll take quite a while to clear).

That amount of honey is very low, is that as per the recipe you got? That only should get to around 8% alcohol and very very dry (I like dry myself, but that is pretty low on the ABV, most people shoot for the wine range of 11-14%, this will help give it more honey flavour).

daveplml
06-11-2010, 08:42 PM
hmmm... could I drop another 1-2lbs of honey in @ first rack? I think I've read somewhere that it makes it sweeter...?


Don't worry about that scum at all - as to racking, you'll want to wait until the fermentation is finished before you rack the first time, and then wait a few months before racking again (it'll take quite a while to clear).

That amount of honey is very low, is that as per the recipe you got? That only should get to around 8% alcohol and very very dry (I like dry myself, but that is pretty low on the ABV, most people shoot for the wine range of 11-14%, this will help give it more honey flavour).

Chevette Girl
06-12-2010, 01:14 AM
That will sweeten it briefly, until your yeast eat it all again :)

Most of the melomels and meads I've made have used in the neighbourhood of 2-1/2 lbs of honey per gallon and ferment out dry with a wine yeast.

AToE
06-12-2010, 02:17 AM
Considering that you used champagne yeast (very high ABV tolerance) it will pretty much eat whatever sugar you give it. Not necessarily a bad thing, it would be good to get the ABV up a little higher (fuller taste, better aging ability), but if you want any sweetness you're going to have to stabilize this and then add honey. Try using the search function for "stabilize" either in posts, or just in thread titles.

Or you can just add some more honey and let it go dry.