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View Full Version : Need Help With First Batch Of Mead!



SBoyle
07-15-2015, 08:28 PM
Hello everyone, I want to start off by saying that this is the first thing that I have ever brewed in my entire life so forgive me if i seem ignorant.

I have started my first batch of mead and it is on day three without much activity. There is no foam on the top of the must and there is very minimal bubbling happening in my airlock, granted I am using a bucket which probably isn't as sealed as they say. Anyways, I am wondering if this is just a slow ferment, did I do something wrong or am I just worrying a bit to much. :P Here are the ingredients I used and the amounts.

-2 gallons spring water
-6 lbs desert clover honey
-1 packet of safale US-05
-1.5 tsp yeast nutrient
It is sitting in my closet with the temp in the house being 72 degrees. I have not taken the temp of the must.

I poured the water and honey into a large pot and raised the temp to 150 and held for about 15 mins while skimming all of the scum off of the top. I left the yeast out prior to pasteurization so it could reach room temp. I did not hydrate my yeast before I pitched it since I did not know that this was something that you should do. I cooled the must down to about 75 degrees then proceeded to pitch the yeast. I also added 1.5 yeast nutrient at this point but no energizer. The next day I opened the bucket to aerate and add about .5 tsp more of the yeast nutrient. Today I opened the bucket to aerate a little bit more but when i opened there was no foam on the top at all. If any of you have advice on what to do.. Or what not to do.. :P Please feel free to post! Thank you.

Just checked the gravity and it's sitting at around 1.03

Squatchy
07-15-2015, 08:37 PM
Don't pitch in anything other than water, unless you use Go-ferm. Make sure yeast slurry and must is within 10 degrees of each other. Don't feed it until after the lag phase is over. If you keep it in the 60's it would be much better. I think you might need some new yeast and start over. Most people stopped heating the must/honey. I think you crippled your yeast at pitch. By day three you should be smoking by now.

SBoyle
07-15-2015, 08:46 PM
Should I just add new yeast to the must or should I start from scratch?

loveofrose
07-15-2015, 09:46 PM
Are you saying you added 6 lbs of honey and have a total volume of 2 gallons?
Because that would be an SG of 1.12. If your current SG is 1.03, then you are sitting at 11.8% ABV. Sounds like you are having a wicked fast ferment to me (a good thing!). You may or may not get more out of it as it is rated 12% max tolerance.

Check your gravity for the next few days before you do anything. US05 is notorious for super fast ferments that are silent as a mouse. I just had a barley wine beer finish in 3 days with no blow off or a single blurp (11% ABV!). It's a good yeast!


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html

Squatchy
07-15-2015, 11:19 PM
How do you come back and edit your post sboyle? That little one line edit makes all the difference in the world. I have not been able to figure how to edit after posting!

SBoyle
07-16-2015, 01:20 AM
I added 6 pounds of honey to 2 gallons of water which would make my total volume around 2.5 gallons I believe. Thank you for the reply though, put my mind at ease. :)

SBoyle
07-16-2015, 01:21 AM
It should be right under your comment window in the bottom right hand corner!

loveofrose
07-16-2015, 06:39 AM
Ok. So you started at ~1.100. You are sitting at 9%. It will likely keep going.


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html

kuri
07-16-2015, 07:37 AM
I added 6 pounds of honey to 2 gallons of water which would make my total volume around 2.5 gallons I believe. Thank you for the reply though, put my mind at ease. :)

For whatever reason, the norm in talking about volumes is to mention the weight of the honey and the total volume of honey+water, so 6 pounds of honey in 2.5 gallons of must in your case. There's nothing inherently superior about that way of referencing volumes, but it's the way everyone else is used to so it's probably worth your getting used to it as well.

Your must will go through several stages. At first, nothing looks to be happening. This is the lag phase. Then if you stir you will get a sometimes massive amount of foam forming. This can last from a couple of days to a week. Then stirring will still release some bubbles but no real foam, probably somewhere around the half way point. After that you probably shouldn't be stirring any more, since that's about the last point when you'd want to add oxygen. (Always use sanitized instruments to stir, of course.) If you went from 1.100 to 1.030 in 3 days, you are probably well past the foaming stage now, and into the seal-it-up-and-let-it-finish stage.

In general, the best way to tell how your mead is doing is to take a gravity reading at the beginning and then periodically throughout. If you are getting a reduction of 0.010 a day or so you're doing fine. More than that and you're doing really well.