View Full Version : First traditional Mead question

05-31-2014, 05:38 AM
Hello fellow brewers/mead makers, new member and 1st post here.
Took up beekeeping last spring and although our two colonies didn't survive the winter
we were able to harvest a couple gallons of honey that they left behind, wildflower honey.
So, why not make some Traditional Mead for starters.

The recipe is pretty basic:

1 Qt wildflower honey
1 Pkt Lavlin D 47 yeast, hydrated
1 tsp nutrient
1/2 tsp energizer
Bottled water to make i gallon Mead

OG 1.100
Airlock activity after 8 hrs and day 4 now . Ferment/fermometer temp in the 62-64* F range and
it is "glugging" ? away with about 5 burps /min. So far things seem to be going OK.

Question is when i rack to secondary after primary ferment subsides would it be advisable
to add more nutrient and if so how much ?

05-31-2014, 07:38 AM
First off welcome to Gotmead :)
Also, sorry to hear about those bees :(

I can see no reason to add nutrient when ferment subsides. having left over nutrients is a bad thing because it will only serve as food for spoilage bacteria. Assuming ferment isn't stuck/slowing because of nutrient deficiency.. But even then you wouldn't rack to secondary in that case and adding nutrient may not be the best solution. Maybe you're confusing something about staggered nutrient addition (SNA)? In the case of SNA nutrients are usually added only until the 1/3 sugar break. Maybe a bit later for high gravity musts but I'd have to check on that (yours is not a high gravity must anyway). In your case the 1/3 sugar break would be when you reached an SG of 1.067 (no need to be EXACTLY on the number). While airlock activity is no precise indication of what is happening, I usually tend to have more activity by day 4. However, your temp is lower than what I ferment at so your activity should generally be slower anyway (and I never used D47)
Check out the SG and see how you stand in relation to that 1/3 sugar break. If you have not already passed it, you can add some nutrients if you think nutrients could be an issue. Don't overdo it because that nutrient should ideally all be eaten up by your yeast till the end. You can also aerate the must until that 1/3 break.
I can't say whether or not your 1/2tsp energizer is enough because you haven't stated what you used as energizer

05-31-2014, 07:54 AM
Thanks for your reply and the welcome Stasis.

The energizer is diammonium phosphate ,springcell, magnesium sulphate from LD Carlson co..
I followed this basic recipe from joys of meadmaking.com. Have to start somewhere.

However it is good to ask questions because someone not here mentioned that i might want to add
nutrient to the secondary for some reason.

05-31-2014, 09:15 AM
Btw aerating would consist of shaking that mead for 3 times a day until that 1/3 break. Some aerate less than 3 times, and others only do it for the first 3 days. mead making is like that, everybody does it slightly in their own way
*Maybe* the other person was referring to stabilizing your mead which would require campden tablets and potassium/sodium sorbate.
I think that nutrient is very close to DAP (Diammonium Phosphate). Just so as to give more info for future reading: DAP provides a lot of nitrogen or YAN/FAN but not a lot of other nutrients which yeast might need like Fermaid K (Or maybe tronozymol for europeans) does. Don't worry too much about the more intricate stuff now that nutrients are already added, just something to read about further ;)
1/2tsp of that nutrient might be just enough. Depending on your hydrometer readings you will know exactly how much sugar your yeast has eaten and how fast, and according to your readings you might add some nutrient before that 1/3 break to help give your yeast that extra push to help it finish your mead.
I suspect this mead might not finish completely dry. I tried using the minimum nutrients on a couple of batches and they finished around 1.010

Chevette Girl
06-01-2014, 08:32 PM
Welcome to Gotmead!

Sounds like you're on the right track there, D-47 likes things cool.

Stasis has a point, you might want to aerate your must a bit (whip it up so that you get some fresh air into it, just shaking it in its carboy will only help degas it, not oxygenate things), but only if your SG is still above the halfway point. There's no point doing it after that because the yeast don't need it, same reason as you wouldn't want to add more nutrients after fermentation is done (or really after it's done 1/3 of the fermentation) - what would the yeast do with it? They've effectively retired at that point and have no need for the nutrient.

If your SG is below the halfway point, life is good and your yeasties are doing their job just fine. When activity ceases, you want to check your hydrometer, and if it's close to 1.000, then you want to rack to secondary. You don't need to stabilize it at that point, but you probably should stabilize it before you bottle it, especially if you find it too dry and want to add more honey to backsweeten it (if you don't stabilize when you add more sugars, the yeast might just keep on eating!)

If it stops too early (ie, sweeter than you can stand to drink) you may want to look at restarting it (at which point, ask us and we'll guide you through it), but you'll probably be fine.

The best way to track your fermentation's progress is to check your SG. Then we can tell you how you're doing, even if it doesn't make sense to you yet :)

And my condolences on your bees.

06-03-2014, 08:37 PM
Thanks for your input and the welcome Chevette girl !

We are back in honeybees as of today, picked up 2 colonies this morning, lets make some honey for more mead !

06-12-2014, 05:56 PM
So just racked my 1st mead from fermenter to gallon jug. Auto siphon is a great little tool.
Gravity reading was .996 down from 1.100 15 days ago . currently 13.4% abv. according to my calcs.
Should i expect it to increase a little more over time ? Had a taste, like it already.