View Full Version : 4 gallon base divided to 4 different 1 gallon meads?

02-13-2015, 12:10 PM
I am thinking of creating a run that will start with 4 gallons, 8lb Orange Blossom honey, yeast, Energizer, and Nutrients ... a basic dry Mead.

Here is where it gets fun. I want to rake it a little early, while the fermentation is active but slowing down, and divide it into 4 meads.

1 dry, 1 gallon as is in a 1 gallon jug to finish out.

1 sweet, adding in 1 to 1.5 lb more honey, and firing up the fermentation, in a 1 gallon to run its course, and a little post sweetening.

In 2 different buckets I will have 1 gallon each of the original but will add Raspberry and Strawberry and about 3/4 lb of honey.
These guys will get raked when fermentation is done, left to settle and raked again.

My thinking is it is easy to start a single large batch, and then rake it down into the 4 individual small meads that are my end goal. Adding the fruit on the later side of the first fermentation I am hoping to achieve a stronger fruit flavoring.

Is this worth the effort, or should I focus on doing each as in independent 1 gallon run?

That leaves me with this, is a 1 gallon run with fruits ok in a 6.5 gallon bucket, or should I look at a different fermenting container?


02-13-2015, 01:58 PM
This is what I sort of do.

I will typically make a 4 gallon batch of a traditional. Then I will rack off 1 gallon and set aside. The rest of it will get whatever additions I'm doing, fruit, or spices or whatever. This way I have the 1 gallon left over to top up when I end up with the other three going into a 3 gallon carboy, but it will lose some from the fruit sludge, etc. Or, if I don't lose any, then I have 1 gallon of traditional to enjoy at a later date.

If you do 1 gallon batches, look for a smaller bucket for sure. Easier to manage. My LHBS has 2 gallon buckets that I use for 1 gallon batches.

-- Steve

02-13-2015, 02:13 PM
Do you feel you get a better flavor from secondary additions rather than primary? I have seen two schools of thought regarding adding fruit, spices, etc.

02-13-2015, 03:36 PM
Thanks for the reply ... I found 2 gallon buckets at my local brew supply house.
I am going to go with doing the straight Dry and Sweet mead in 1 gallon jugs, and then fruit will start in 2 gallon, eventually raking off into the 1 gallon jugs.

This will give me individual control.

As for fruit timing, I am going with a late addition so that I get more fruit flavor in the mead. My wife love sweet fruity, and I am trying to deliver that.

This is all new to me, I have read a lot, but I am now diving in (it is the time of year I get to invest in a new hobby) :)

02-13-2015, 03:50 PM
I personally haven't done enough of either to notice a difference.

But from my readings and researching, the theory is better original fruit flavour, versus a quasi cooked flavour from the yeast tackling it full force. Also some of the aromas fleeing out the airlock during the rigorous fermentation.

And also doing it this way, allows me to have that 1 extra gallon for topping up or enjoying later on as it's own thing.

-- Steve

02-13-2015, 04:31 PM
I would suggest if you want a strong presence of fruit you would do better by adding the fruit after fermentation is already over. You will get a better "fruity" flavor that way. In the primary it changes a good bit. Also, I would wait until you stabilize your mead before back sweetening as well. That way you can control it better and not end up with something too sweet if the yeast don't chow through it as much as you want. It takes a lot of guess work this way.

Medsen Fey
02-13-2015, 08:54 PM
Many folks start with a large batch and break it into smaller batches which can be aged until whatever fruit you desire comes into season. If I were you, and wanted 4 gallon-size batches, I make 5 gallons to start with so you'all have extra for topping up.


Medsen Fey
02-13-2015, 08:58 PM
This old thread has some info on fruit addition.


02-14-2015, 08:34 AM
Thanks for all the feedback, really appreciate it!