View Full Version : New here, and a few questions.

09-21-2014, 06:02 PM
Hello all!

I really like this place and it has taught me a lot so far. I started home brewing mead this month after researching over summer. I have a few questions.

I'm making a simple sweet mead.
Yield: 5 gal
Yeast: Lalvin EC-1118
Rehydration: warm spring water
I used unprocessed organic honey, adding it to the spring water and stirring until it was dissolved. I only warmed the honey, not the water.
I used 8 kg of honey (17.6 lb)

Original S.G. Reading was 1.112, September 8
September 15: 1.106
September 21: 1.102

I can't seem to find what the S.G should be in order for me to transfer it to a carboy.
I'm also wondering if the speed of the fermentation was proper and healthy.
I've read that to make a sweet mead, I should have added extra honey to the must when it's done fermenting instead of all at the start. Can I save this? I can stop the fermentation, right? What is the best way to do that?

My airlock doesn't bubble, (maybe I didn't set it up properly) so I have resorted to testing the gravity, which I've read is more reliable anyway. Opening the lid of my bucket isn't going to bother the mead any by letting in too much oxygen?

I hope to get a good sweet mead with a decent alcohol content.

Thank you so much!

09-21-2014, 06:31 PM
I am new here, coming from a wine making background but that is a very slow fermentation, you are no where near ready to go into a carboy.

If you have not already done so you need to stir it to get some oxygen into it.

Probably need to add some nutrient as well.

09-21-2014, 07:06 PM
When will I know it is good to transfer to a carboy?

Should I add a nutrient now, it's ok to do that and it won't bother things?

09-21-2014, 07:25 PM
Where are all the Mead experts today, no it will not hurt to add nutrient now. The SG needs to be down around 1.000 before you go to a carboy and airlock it.

Don't forget to stir this vigorously to get some oxygen into it.

09-21-2014, 08:16 PM
I have stirred it about twice a week so far, so four times. I'll do it more often. Just afraid of opening the bucket too much.

I thought sweet mead would have a different SG to end up at.

Thanks for your help Thig.

09-21-2014, 08:45 PM
If it finishes sweet you are correct it will be above 1.000 but with EC-1118 it probably is going to ferment dry and you are going to have to back sweeten. You really don't need a solid lid on it at this point, just a cloth or something to keep bugs out, it needs the oxygen.

What is the temperature of the mead? If it is too cool it may not ferment.

Medsen Fey
09-21-2014, 09:01 PM
Where are all the Mead experts today...

Still sleeping off the mead consumption from last night? :D
Besides, you are giving very clear and accurate advice. If the fermentation temp is low (in the 50s F) then that could cause it to be this slow. Other issues would be lack of nutrients, or possible low pH. I suspect the lack of nutrients to be the main problem here and adding Fermaid K (8g/gal) would probably get this going nicely.

09-22-2014, 07:45 PM
As I live in the NWT it'll take a while for things to come up here, maybe a week if I'm lucky.

We will have to wait to see if this works!

Medsen Fey
09-22-2014, 09:21 PM
You can always add some boiled bread yeast, or some bee pollen.

09-22-2014, 10:44 PM
You can always add some boiled bread yeast, or some bee pollen.

Is there some instructions on how to do this? Is this a normal practice? I have a lot of bread yeast around!
What is a good amount to add to a 5 gal must?


Medsen Fey
09-22-2014, 11:12 PM
For bread yeast, 10-20 g/gal should do

09-23-2014, 07:29 PM
Is there some instructions on how to do this? Is this a normal practice? I have a lot of bread yeast around!
What is a good amount to add to a 5 gal must?


I don't know what the recommended amount actually is, but I've found that 2 teaspoons (U.S. measure) helps.

What you do is to get some water boiling, sprinkle the yeast into it and let it boil for four or five minutes. Let it cool (scrape the sides if <yeah, right, 'if'> you have to, and mix it into your mead.

By the way, a goodly percentage of most (well, maybe just 'many') commercial nutrients is 'yeast hulls'. Same thing, but dried.

What this does, as I understand it, is burst the yeast cells and allow your live yeast to scavenge the nutrients without the possibility of the bread yeast taking over your ferment.

In addition to boiled bread yeast, I also often use raisins (after washing them well) to supplement the bread yeast.

09-23-2014, 08:25 PM
My local HBS used to have an already mixed combination nutrient with DAP and all the other stuff I can't remember right now but they really raised their price so he dropped them. He now carries only DAP so I'll be boiling bread yeast to cover the other nutrients, which I hope will be good enough. I'll have to look around and see if anyone else close by carries Fermaid K.