View Full Version : Mead Fermentation problems

01-11-2016, 01:02 AM
I am new to mead making. I started a 5 gallon batch two weeks ago my starting gravity was 1.080 and now after two weeks its at 1.010-1.000. The must got some crazy bubbles that got up and into the airlock, and its bubbling about ones every 15-25 seconds. the taste is not very good not sweet at all. My question is how can I save this batch, do I need to add more honey nutrients, energizer. or just start over. Any help would be great.

My recipe

13 lbs of honey
2 tsp yeast energizer
3 tsp yeast nutrient
D-47 Yeast (two Packs)

01-11-2016, 01:29 AM
So your final gravity is either one or the other. It can't be both. You haven't told us enough about how you managed this batch for us to help much at this point. You could have done several things wrong to contribute to the bad results.
Better logs will get you better answers.
Speak to these things please.
Rehydration protocol, pitch temps, feeding schedule, temp management, degassing/aeration, racking, type of water, age of your yeast.

It won't be sweet with that yeast and that amount of honey. But, it might have off flavors as well depending on how you managed the above.

01-11-2016, 10:08 AM
Hi Alaskamead - and welcome. You ask how can you save your mead as if there is a problem to be solved but if the specific gravity of your mead is in fact at 1.000 then that means that the yeast has converted almost all the sugar from the honey. I would expect the gravity to drop a little below 1.000 because alcohol is less dense than water and if there is NO sugar left - at all - then the alcohol in the water would be less dense than pure water, so there is still perhaps another possible 4 - 8 points of gravity left to drop (or not) ... IF the gravity is 1.000. If the gravity is at 1.010 then the bubbles you observe are telling you that the yeast is still working on the sugars in the honey. That the yeast is taking more than 2 weeks is not itself a problem... That may have to do with all kinds of conditions you have introduced or failed to remove (eg, a too significant drop in pH; insufficient O2; excessive amount of CO2, temperature being not optimal for the yeast; inadequate nutrition at key points in the process, racking to a secondary too early, etc etc etc)...
You say that the mead is not sweet. But honey absent the sugar is not sweet and you asked the yeast to remove all - or most - of the sugar. Down the road when you come to bottle this mead you may want to sweeten it and that you do by a) ensuring that there is no active yeast in the mead and b) stabilizing the mead to prevent any stray yeast cells from reproducing and fermenting any sugar you add and c) adding more sweetener to make the mead as sweet as you prefer.
Alternatively, if you could add a pound or two of honey to the carboy and allow the yeast to ferment that dry and then add another couple of pounds and allow the yeast to ferment that dry and another couple of pounds and so on and so on until the yeast has reached beyond its tolerance for alcohol WITH sugars from the added honey still unfermented. That is a sorta kinda organic way to sweeten your mead but D-47's "tolerance" is about 14%. A gravity of 1.080 is about 10%
So you would want to add enough additional honey to raise a gravity of 1.080 to about 1.100 or 30 points per gallon. 160 points is about 4 lbs of honey and to increase the sweetness so that it will be semi-sweet you may want to have as your final gravity 1.010 which is another 1 lb and 4 oz of honey added to the 5 gallons.. So you are talking about adding 5.25 lbs of honey in two or three batches... Although , note , that a claim that D-47 has a tolerance of 14% means a tolerance plus or minus X % and that X might be minus 2% and plus 5%... I simply don't know and that COULD mean that the yeast craps out at 12% which is why I suggest that you add the additional honey in batches .. or it could crap out at 18 or 19 % in which case you will have a very high alcohol mead that still will not be sweet... I don't use D-47 so I am unfamiliar with its profile..

01-11-2016, 04:01 PM
My Snow Hammer last year went up to 19% with D47, so it's definitely possible.

01-13-2016, 08:37 PM
So I know now what was wrong with my mead. It was my own stupidity. When I tested the Gravity after two weeks and it read 1.010 about 3ish% I thought that is what my alcohol was 3% not that I need to subtract my Starting gravity from what it was after two weeks to get more like 10%. So I want to say sorry for those that got confused about what I was asking it was a lack of knowledge on my part. But little by little I am learning more. So thank you all for your help. and I hope that over time the taste will improved.

01-13-2016, 10:28 PM
No worries! Remember, 7 out of 4 people have trouble reading their hydrometer. (Credit goes to squatchy).

01-13-2016, 10:47 PM
No worries! Remember, 7 out of 4 people have trouble reading their hydrometer. (Credit goes to squatchy).

LOL. I don't know why that seems so funny this evening! I had a new person ask me in earnest a month or so, why 7 out of 4,,,,,

01-13-2016, 11:19 PM
Lmao! Tickles me every time.

01-14-2016, 12:44 AM
Well I'm happy I can be one of the 7 out of 4 LOL. Now I just hope It tastes good after 6 or 9 months