View Full Version : First Batch Help

02-05-2012, 10:17 PM
Recipe first, yeah?
-9lbs Wildflower raw honey
-3 gals distilled water
-WYEast 2206 Bavarian Lager Direct Pitch Activator

Sanitized with Star San and boiled water used for Must

added Activated yeast at 80 Deg. Fahrenheit

Concerned about no activity in airlock, I aerated after 14hrs by stirring with a sanitary ladel. At that time, must had what I assume to be a "fermenting character" ie. bubbling on agitation, strong yeast smell.

Now, 46 hrs later, and still no activity/bubbling in my air lock.

Do I just need to practice more patience here? Or are there problem indicators I should be looking for at this stage?

Thanks in advance for your help

02-06-2012, 12:19 AM
really need to use hydrometer. bubbles are not always accurate.
whats your total volume? ie is that in a 3 gal or 5 gal carboy?

the big thing your missing is nutrients.
unlike beer, mead needs lots of nutrients added otherwise yeasts will crawl along and can do a poor job of fermenting.

02-06-2012, 01:05 AM
the big thing your missing is nutrients.

Any specific recommendations for a nutrient supplement with the yeast I'm using, or are they universal?

02-06-2012, 01:42 AM
i have no idea what that yeast would require. start with normal amount. how much that is depends greatly on what nutrient you can get.
also need to know how far along the ferment is. need hydrometer readings.

02-06-2012, 07:54 PM
Yeah, this probably really needs nutrients. With just honey and distilled water you are missing a lot of stuff the yeast need.

both of the following if you can get them would be good... (examples)

Assuming about 3 gallons of volume ...
about 1.20 tsp of DAP
about 0.60 tsp of Fermaid-K
a lot people weigh it out, but then you need a partial gram scale...

02-07-2012, 11:49 PM
OK, I bought some nutrient and a hydrometer today at Neilhouse Brewery and Homebrew Supply

To my mead I added:
Wyeast nutrient - 1/4 tsp

I took the following measurements:
Hydrometer Calibrated to 60 F
Reads 1.054

Actual Temp = 64 F
So actual sg probably pretty close from what I have been able to gather from youtube tutorials on hydrometers

Yeast looked active and smelled healthy. Still no action in the airlock though, I fear my primary fermentation bucket lacks a sufficient seal. I have it taped off now and am assuming the positive pressure generated from the yeast/fermentation should keep any outside air from entering the batch.

02-08-2012, 02:41 AM
Ah yes, the leaky bucket. I was going to ask if you had it in a bucket. Yep, they usually leak.

It's not a problem, I usually do my ferments open (just a loose cover to keep out the bugs). Once fermentation is totally complete you probably want to look into moving it to a less permeable container.

02-08-2012, 08:08 AM
Well, the Mead Calculator says, 9 pounds of honey in 3 gallons of water gives a starting S.G. of 1.108.

If your at 1.054, your heading in the right direction. Don't worry about the bubbles.

02-08-2012, 05:28 PM
Well, the Mead Calculator says, 9 pounds of honey in 3 gallons of water gives a starting S.G. of 1.108.

If your at 1.054, your heading in the right direction. Don't worry about the bubbles.

That's great info again Mr McLean! I just started a two gallon batch last night, using a tad less that 6# honey and it was the first time using a hydrometer and it read 1.106 so guess I'm in the ball park for a med sweet mead which is what i'm after. I gotta learn how to use that calculator, lol.

02-11-2012, 11:32 PM
Yeah, things seem to be going smoothly, but I have no real idea when to rack to my secondary fermentation vessel now. I was kind of banking on the "after two weeks when your air lock activity slows" indicator.

What SG should I be looking for to indicate I am ready to move my carboy? Or will that be a solid indicator at all?

Also, I have 4 gal fermenting now, and a 6.5 gal carboy. Am I at risk of my mead oxygenating given the amount of air space I will leave when I rack it to the carboy?

If so, how can I avoid this?


02-12-2012, 03:29 AM
Hard to say what, if any, particular SG means your mead is done. Best indicator is that the SG stops moving. If it is near where you'd expect your yeast to stop, or if it is totally dry, then that's a good sign that things are done. If it sticks really early, something is probably amiss.

I'm not sure how the lager yeast will do in the mead. I'd expect it to hit at least 10% abv, maybe more. I guess you'll find out. ;)

That much head space is a bit much. You can often find 3 gallon carboys, so you could totally fill one of those and a smaller 1-gallon container if you wanted. Otherwise folks will either purge the headspace with an inert gas (CO2 or N2 or Ar) or add something to the container to take up volume. Corks & marbles seem to be popular, make sure the marbles are aquarium grade so nothing leaches into your mead.

02-14-2012, 11:34 PM
Mead came in at a 1.026 sg today again @ 64 degrees F. Looks "clearer" or lighter brown, I guess. Bubbling has decreased significantly and smell is decidedly reduced though has a pronounced "beer" distinction.

Progressing normally I suppose. Thanks for the tip on the hydrometer, as my airlock has had no action to speak of thus far.

02-18-2012, 05:04 PM
took another SG reading today: 1.016 at 64 degrees F

Some particultes had gathered on the surface, so I am adding some pics here. Pics aren't great, but best i could get with my camera.

Please take a look and share thoughts.


02-18-2012, 05:36 PM
Looks fine but I'd get it into a carboy and under an airlock, like soon!

02-19-2012, 04:22 PM
Looks good. Probably tastes good, if bit yeasty at this point...

02-24-2012, 01:27 AM
Just racked it over to a second fermenting "carboy"

its a Better Bottle brand 3 gal plastic carboy.

SG read 1.008 at 64 degrees

Flavor was nice, a little "yeasty" as predicted by skunk boy, will that settle down and smooth out?

Question, should I be adding anything else to the mead now? I don't want to add any flavoring, just any other additives that will assist in the final product?

Thanks again

02-24-2012, 02:26 AM
It will taste yeasty because there is a lot of yeast in it still. Once it finishes clearing up that flavor will be gone or mostly gone. Mead this age always tastes a little rough, that is totally normal.

I would recommend against adding anything else right now. The flavors of the mead are still developing, so you don't want to overshoot with any additions. Let it clear, age a bit, and then you can decide if you want to make any changes.

Chevette Girl
02-24-2012, 02:31 AM
Question, should I be adding anything else to the mead now? I don't want to add any flavoring, just any other additives that will assist in the final product?

Looks like it's doing quite fine on its own, there's no need to add anything at the moment, just let it finish and see what you've got. Then you can decide whether to stabilize or stabilize and backsweeten.