View Full Version : Eyes wide shut

01-27-2013, 01:44 PM
You blogs steer everyone to protocol for us newbies, asking us to describe our Receipes and methods. So being new to mead world here is what I did...I had an abundance of honey from my bees so I decided to do mead. I went to a "storm castle" site, and followed a basic Receipe from their. 4 gal spring water, 18 lbs honey and lavlin 118,( they called for 47 or something but couldn't find it.) some yeast nutrient. Followed the steps...super clean all that stuff. The must pot went nuts the next day...then petered out to nothing. So pitched more, stirred vigorously, started bubbling again then petered out to nothing.
So I went and got a sg reader...don't really know how to use it, it read 1.0. I assume that is not good. So I transferred it from the plastic must pot into my prepared carboy, pitched more yeast and nutrient ...that was three days ago..I,m looking at my big glass jug and am starting to talk to it, asking it
"what do you want me to do?"
It smells fine, I don't want to give up on it. So I,m thinking this...back to the must pot, pitch again, and add more water, my thinking is that the sugar content of my honey is to high. This is why....
A week and a bit ago, I started a second batch in a must pot, same honey I used for my first attemp, but 15 lbs, 4 gal spring water, lav118, nutrient and handful raspberries and 1 vanilla stick...it is doing well from appearences. The sg read 1.72 and temp was 72 what ever that means! I transferred it to a carboy and it's burping regularly. So this is why I think that adding water is how to rescue my dead batch. Can't think of anything else to tell you, but that I wish I had found this blog before I began. Be gentle on me...as you can see from my talking to my mead pot, thst i am the emotional type.

01-27-2013, 03:32 PM
Recheck your gravity reading. If it really reads 1.000, then you're not stuck. You're DONE!

01-27-2013, 03:32 PM
Welcome to Gotmead. From what I can tell from your post, you started with a 5.5 gallon batch (4 gallons water plus 1.5 gallons honey roughly). That puts your starting gravity (SG) at 1.117 or there about. You should read the NewBee Guide and check out the Mead Calculator. But part of what it will tell you is that you should always take an initial gravity reading and continue to take reading with your hydrometer until you no longer see a change in gravity for a few days running. This is the only good way to tell if your fermentation is done.

Now, you said you took a gravity reading with your hydrometer and it read 1.000. Its fairly common and important to read it out to the thousandths place, but if you are sure that it really is at 1.000, then good job. You fermented your mead to completion. It is dry and may require some time to age before it doesnt taste like rocket fuel, but that is normal. You can also read up on stabilizing and backsweetening if you prefer a sweeter end product.

On the second batch, I think you read your hydrometer wrong, as 1.700 would be a very, very high gravity and would not work well at all. Using the Mead Calculator, I put your SG at 1.108 roughly. Id say try to take another gravity reading and see if it doesnt come out closer to the 1.108. I see this batch going similar to the first, it should finish at around 1.000 and it will be dry. Good luck and you dont need to add water to either batch at this point.

Chevette Girl
01-27-2013, 04:33 PM
Yay, welcome to another Canuck! Where are you?

It does indeed sound like your first batch is done if it's reading 1.000. Have a taste of it, if you can't taste any sweetness left in it, then it's done... if it still tastes sweet, then check the SG again and let us know. As Triarchy suggested, a thorough read of the Newbee Guide should fill you in on a lot of the details about what happens during a fermentation, I think it's even got "how to read your hydrometer" somewhere in there, maybe try the appendices?

I suspect perhaps your second batch read 1.072? Either way, the best approach with either of them is patience, even if all the sugars are gone in the first one, it probably won't taste great for at least six months :)

01-28-2013, 08:05 AM
Thanks...I shall let you know today if it is " beginners luck" I,m going to go read the newbies installment on fermentation and all about the sg reading. I will report back on my meads status in a bit.
And yes another Canuck, I just relocated down to NB after living in Victoria BC for 30 years...My first winter...burr! But beautiful

01-28-2013, 10:39 AM
Eyes wide open, read the newbie articles all chapters. Think this is honing in on being a new hobby of mine..seeing as I keep bees it's a perfect match...and segwaying into this forum as the more perfect match.
Did my sg reading on batch #1.. And it is reading 1.0 yay to beginners luck...had a wee sip, and a little chat to it, " I'll be back to see you again in the summer"
Batch #2 read 1.024, still bubbling away nicely.
This is fairly exciting, and I look forward to reading and learning from this new world...old wine forum
Off to contemplate different meads and yeasts for my next summers honey harvest.
Happy meader