View Full Version : Making Mead for the first time...

07-30-2012, 11:22 PM
So Iím really new to this, Iíve only made one wine kit so far and now Iím taking now the task of making mead. And no surprise Iíve had some troubles so far. This is my Recipe and what I did.
15lbs of Wild Honey
15lbs Peaches
3lbs of Cherries
15OZ of Walnuts (Crushed Walnuts not even sure if it will work or not but I thought it would be fun to try)
3 gallons of Spring Water
And I added 2 QT of Mango fruit juice.
I chopped all the peaches and walnuts, then pitted the cherries and mashed them with a potato masher. I added the honey (Just let it sit on my counter for 24hrs to loosen up) after I poured it in I added a little water to the honey containers and shook it to loosen up the rest of honey. That worked really well for me.
I didnít heat anything. I did add .25 tsp of Potassium Metabisulfite and 1.25 tsp of Pectic Enzyme. Then I let the must sit for 24hrs before adding the yeast.
My problem with the yeastÖ I bought the liquid White Labs yeast and froze it. Then I was told you shouldnít freeze it but it might still be good. I added it with Yeast Nutrient and Energizer. My plan was to add ľ of the Nutrient and Energizer when pitching the yeast. Then another ľ 24hrs, 48hrs, etcÖ However being a newbie I was checking the airlock and not the gravity to check if fermentation started. Of Course at almost 48hrs after pitching the yeast I wasnít seeing any sings of fermentation. So I decided to add Lalvin 71B-1122 5g. I guess itís been 24hrs now and the must is blowing upÖ The Air Lock is going crazy. Iím wondering now if I should have waited before adding more yeast?
What should I have done with the yeast and what do you guys think about using the liquid White Labs Yeast? And finally, what about the receipt? Iím going for a 5 gallons batch of mead but my must is sitting at over 6 gallons right now. lol

07-31-2012, 12:01 AM
Big recipe for a newbee! You made the same mistake I did when I started.

With that much fruit and nuts, cap management will be a challenge. Make sure no gunk gets pushed up into the airlock.
MEA is a terrible thing if not checked, I've seen photos of mead on the ceiling!

A vigorous ferment is not uncommon, keep it as cool as you can. (But don't refrigerate it!)
No doubt your inexperience will (Like mine did) show up issues you can't even guess at at the moment. Don't despair though, most of these issues are solved with time.
Get this to clearing stage, rack it, put it in a dark corner and make a JAO.

You'll be having fun before you know it, and by the time you take a break and taste this brew, it may be doing OK.

07-31-2012, 12:04 AM
On the topic of yeasts.

Dry yeast has a much higher cell count, and rehydration's not a challenge.
The consensus here appears to be that Lalvin dry yeasts are recommended.

Lalvin's pretty much all I can get, so that's suited me.
They also have the best data available on their yeasts, so that's a plus if you try to plan anything.

07-31-2012, 11:16 AM
@kudapucat, the cap management has been a challenge. Iíve been changing out the Air Lock every morning now just to keep it clean. Iím stirring the must right now and had plan to do that for the next couple of days, then I was going to switch to just pushing it down after that.
I plan on keeping it in Primary Fermentation for 2-4 weeksÖ What do you think?

07-31-2012, 09:49 PM
I keep it there until it visibly stops. The rack it to clear in secondary, then to tertiary for ageing.