View Full Version : Can fermentation last just one week?

02-04-2011, 08:21 PM
Hello from Texas :). New mead maker here. I looked at some basic recipes online and kind of just wung it for my first attempt. Probably not the smartest idea.

For 1 gallon, I used 2.5 lbs of regular store bought honey, and mixed with crushed plums, pears, blackberries, a tsp vanilla extract, and few slices of ginger (as well as nutrient and campden). Brought to boil, and let sit overnight.

I then used montrechey yeast. Then I pitched the yeast the next day.

It started bubbling about a half day later and then it started going pretty well. The airlock was going once per second. This lasted for four or five days, then it dropped to once every 5 seconds, and today (day 7), it's about once every minute.

So, my questions: "Is fermentation over?" or "is it ruined?" It smells like beer that's been sitting out a day, and the Hydrometer reads right at 1.0, which I am thinking probably isn't a good sign. Any suggestion would be appreciated.

02-04-2011, 08:31 PM
Welcome to Gotmead!

It certainly is possible for fermentation to be over that fast. With nutrients and all the fruit, Id say that was normal. If your hydrometer says 1.000, then you know you are at least close. It can go lower than 1.000, but for my calculations and in my mind, 1.000 equals done. Its a good idea to continue to monitor your gravity for a few weeks to make sure it is stabile before declaring fermentation over though. What was your gravity reading before you started?

And just a tip, you really dont have to boil your honey, its probably better if you dont for aroma and taste might get attenuated if you boil. Check out the NewBee guide to the left of the page too, lots of good info there. Hope your mead turns out good!

02-04-2011, 08:47 PM
I've had ferments that hit 1.000 or lower in less than 24 hours, so you should be all good.

+1 to the comments above, boiling is unnecessary but you'll see it in a lot of old recipes (and recipes from people who normally just make beer).

Shadar Aman
02-04-2011, 08:53 PM
I've had fermentations take less than a week before, and I've heard of fermentations completing in 24 hours or less. A week is perfectly reasonable for a healthy ferment. What temperature were you fermenting at? Higher temps can result in much faster ferments, though they also can produce off flavors that can take a while to mellow.

With your honey and fruit quantities, you'll probably go below 1.000. Do you know what your starting gravity was? Definitely don't bottle this until either you stabilize it or the SG doesn't move for a month or two.

I agree with triarchy (and that ninja AToE) that boiling isn't needed. Not only can it blow off some of the more delicate honey aromas/flavors, it can set the pectin in fruit, resulting in a haze that doesn't like to clear.

That aside, your recipe sounds good to me.

02-04-2011, 09:15 PM
Thanks everyone! It sounds like I'll just monitor for a while. It has been fermenting at about 69 or 70 degrees. And for next time I wont boil the honey.

02-04-2011, 09:26 PM
and sorry, I forgot to mention, I didn't check my SG before I fermented. Rookie mistake.

02-04-2011, 09:41 PM
No problem. By my calculations, you started with an initial gravity of somewhere between 1.090 and 1.100 (give or take, depending on how much fruit you used), and so you've got a mead that is somewhere in the 12 to 13% ABV range. Not bad for a first attempt!

Welcome to "Gotmead," BTW!!