View Full Version : First batch going, will it be good?

12-02-2015, 12:08 AM
So two years after getting the honey (local) with which to create that elixir known as mead, I finally got it going 3 days ago. It almost turned into a comedy of errors before it even started, when the honey was discovered to be largely crystallized. :o
But hot water bath plus light zapping in the microwave got it liquid enough to ooze through the funnel into the six-gallon carboy.

Here's my "recipe":
approximately 12.5#, give or take, of Oklahoma honey (some wildflower, some alfalfa),
tap water to the six-gallon mark, stirring well (ish) when part way filled,
6 teaspoons Fermax, added to mixture then stirred in, and
one packet Lalvin EC-1118, re-hydrated in about 1/2 cup warm tap water, stirred to dissolve well & allowed to cool to room temp then dumped unceremoniously into the honey-water mixture.

Yeast was pitched around 4:00 PM, airlock set in place, then I remembered I had not taken an OG reading. Oopsie...
Sanitize the thief and hydrometer, uncork the carboy, take my reading (1.090), restopper the carboy. The bucket o' Tempranillo I started the day before seemed to go a lot smoother than this mead...

By 11:00 PM, nary a bubble had emerged into the airlock. I was prowling this forum looking for the myriad ways I could have erred. I was moaning to my wife about the $$ wasted to buy honey that probably would go to the goats.

But Sunday morn, whilst laying abed, afraid to get up to face a failed batch o' booze cut down in infancy, Wife called out "The airlock just burped!" :cool:
All was well! By that evening the carboy had a good 1/2" of foam, the airlock was working almost as fast as the Tempranillo.

I have gathered that my mead will be dry (which I prefer in a wine, so that's ok), but will it be good? I'm used to the Cellar Craft wine kits that are almost foolproof, but mead seems to be a temperamental beast, and I have not the patience to baby it along, much.

12-02-2015, 10:31 AM
You need to read up on Staggered Nutrient Additions (SNA) here on the forum. SNA for me is additions of Fermaid K and DAP at the 1/3 (1.060 SG) and 2/3 (1.030 SG) sugar breaks.

Also, you need to aerate the mixture daily to get oxygen into it until it reaches 1.030 SG. No water is needed in the airlock until 1.030 is reached.

Failure to do these two things can lead to bad results.

12-06-2015, 10:46 PM
A week into the ferment, airlock steadily bubbling, I took a SG reading this afternoon. 1.030, down from OG of 1.090. Does that sound right? My batch of Tempranillo went from 1.106 to 0.990 in just one day longer.

And my previous beer/wine ferments have ingrained in me that an airlock should have water in it. To do otherwise seemed unwise.