View Full Version : Low gravity meads

02-15-2015, 05:11 PM
I ve mostly made meads with sg of around 100 +-, with varying results. Im usually end up consuming them to young/soon... Anyway I was thinking maybe low gravity meads needed less aging. Anybody have some experience with lower gravity meads? what kind of yeast, aging time etc(recipes prosess ...) would one need for a mead with a sg of between 1.03-1.06 ?

02-15-2015, 05:39 PM
There are beer brewers who make mead with ale yeasts, so if you make one around 1.050 you are in line with also where cidermakers start out with apple juice. WVMJ

02-15-2015, 06:16 PM
So if one fermenting a mead with ale yeast or a mead in cider style with a champagne yeast(?) with a sg of ~1.05. What kind of aging time(months) would you think would be needed compared to a more "normal" mead with sg 1.100?

02-15-2015, 08:04 PM
I have toyed around with some low SG ferments and mine were generally ready right out of the fermentor. But you do need some extremely good sanitizing of everything, if you don't then you can run the risk of infected bottles or even an entire batch, just like beer. Also at the lower SG (1.050) you will have a lack of body, mouthfeel, etc, and will need to do something about that. Also the flavor of the honey will be greatly reduced unless you have a very strong honey to use. These are just my experiences so YMMV.

02-16-2015, 05:20 PM
Thanks for inputs...
So what kind of yeasts(if it matters at all) just to clear it up would I use in a batch with sg 1.05. If i ve went in the spectrum of Low to medium to strong flavoured stuff like : light honey, darker more flavorful honies, cyser ... grape pyment ... pure juice(or watered out) of berries like raspberry/tart cherry/blueberry/black currant.
Im no expert, but I think I read that yeasts like ale yeast are not wanted much in grape wines etc. Maybe some of this ingrediens, yeasts need less or more aging?

02-16-2015, 07:15 PM
I think the real problem will be a lack of flavor as EJM3 suggests. Here's why - all the flavor and all the alcohol is coming from the honey. To achieve a gravity of about 1.060 you will be using 1.5 lbs of honey to make a gallon of mead. That is a very diluted solution and that dilution dilutes the flavor. Sure, in place of diluting the honey with water you could dilute it with apple juice or grape juice or some other fruit juice but fruit juice contains sugar (about 1 lb in a gallon - wine grapes are an exception ) so you will need to reduce the quantity of honey still more... The only practical way I can think of to make a flavor rich mead with such a low gravity is to use the small amount of honey, then ferment it but then stabilize and back sweeten this to an astronomical level (tooth grindingly sweet) . You will have the low gravity, the flavor but I am not sure that it will be drinkable - although I am sure that one could sip this or use as a kind of syrup to add to ice cream or cake..

02-16-2015, 07:42 PM
So you have never tasted a beermakers mead before? Not all meads have to be made like wine, the lower alcohol levels are still in balance with the flavors. The first mead we tasted was from a beermaker, boiled honey and beer yeast, bottled in beer bottles, tasty good. WVMJ

Medsen Fey
02-16-2015, 07:57 PM
Was it carbonated? I find that makes a big difference in the perceived body, and the degassing boosts the aroma. So yes, a hydromel can be really good. I admit I like them a bit on the sweet side.

Still (non-carbonated) hydromels haven't really tickled my fancy, but that doesn't mean one can't be good.


02-16-2015, 08:38 PM
Yes Medsen, you are correct, carbed, and also I too like them a bit denser. Making a sourwood right now, full trad on it. Jack

02-17-2015, 06:21 PM
I think something with a lot of flavour like pure pressed from fresh berries 100% blackcurrant/raspberry juice will have a gravity of around 1.06. If I water that out 50/50 and add honey I dont think I would necessarily lack flavour, but I dont know for sure...

Would it be a good option to carbonate melomels(apple, grape, berries) to make it better?

How about the yeast questions in post #5?

Chevette Girl
02-19-2015, 03:11 AM
I've made fruit hydromels many times, usually with K1V-1116 or EC-1118 and they do take less time to age, they tend to ferment and clear quite quickly and I tend to like them carbonated too. What yeast to use? It really depends what you're looking for. I've made fruity beers with wine yeast before, it still works but as I haven't done side by side comparisons I don't know what the difference would be using a beer yeast instead. Perhaps taking a look at LoveofRose's early experiments that were the predecessors to his BOMM protocol might be of worth to you.