View Full Version : Incorrect honey ratios , please advise.

03-02-2016, 12:42 PM
Okay, so first attempt at mazing, using a 5 gallon demijohn which was supposed to be filled up to ~3 gallons because we ordered 7lb honey.

Completely neglected to think during the process and filled the demijohn up to the 5 gallon mark.

What are the likely consequences of this? Will it produce a drinkable mead?
Can additional honey be introduced to the mix at this point?

Yeast used: WLP720 sweet mead/wine yeast

Yeast was pitched at around 38 degrees C around 24 hours ago and no bubbles have been observed so far.


03-02-2016, 02:16 PM
That's going to make a hydromel/short mead; a mead with low alcohol and low body and likely low flavor. Also if your vessel is full to the top it's probably going to overflow when the ferment starts in earnest. You can always add more honey, problem is it seems like you don't have the room too. Maybe split the current must in to another fermenter and add more honey for two batches going at once.

03-02-2016, 03:20 PM
Thanks for your response, actually this sounds promising, as we had based our original formula on a few short mead recipes. I had also visited Gosnells brewery where they make a fairly light 5.5% abv mead and were aiming for something similar.

The demijohn is actually more like 6 gallons, so space is not so much of an issue. Would you recommend adding the honey directly in, or making a syrup with some warm water?

Low alcohol and low body are also not too much of a problem, although regarding low flavour, would it be possible/advisable to add some kind of fruit or spice as another flavour component, and at what point during the process would this be best?

03-02-2016, 03:49 PM
Huck, one thing you need to watch is the temp of your must. All yeasts have a temp range they do best at. Too cold and they can go dormant; too hot and they can make off-flavors. The optimum temp for WLP720 is around 21-24C. If your must is still as hot as 38C, I'd take steps to cool it down into the yeast's temp range.

You can do things as simple as put the carboy into a cold water bath. Or you can make an ad hoc swamp cooler by putting the carboy in a shallow basin of water, draping a moist towel over it, and using a fan to blow air at it. The air helps facilitate evaporative cooling.

Do you have a hydrometer? If not, it's highly recommended to have one to check the progress of your fermentation. You can get one for about $10 at your local homebrew store.

03-02-2016, 09:01 PM
You need to add about 7.25 lb. more of honey to get up to a typical specific gravity (~1.095) for a traditional mead. 7.25 lb. of honey is approximately 2.5 quarts of honey. Since you have 1 gallon of empty space in your 6 gallon demijohn, there is room to add the 2.5 quarts of honey. I would get the new honey to go into solution by using a degassing rod or lees stirrer inserted into an electric drill.


03-03-2016, 12:23 AM
Just information incase you're lazy, you can simply drop the additional honey in and even though it'll settle on the bottom the yeast will find and devour it without any problems.

03-07-2016, 02:55 PM
Progress update:

The must began bubbling around 40 hours in.

Extra honey was added on Friday afternoon, though the honey concentration sits at around 2lb per gallon. I understand this is low, however we are aiming for a fairly dry, low abv drink.

Temperature is averaging somewhere in the low twenties which seems appropriate for the yeast (WLP720).

Have been looking into getting a hydrometer, although how useful will this be, given that we didn't take the initial gravity after pitching?

03-07-2016, 04:11 PM
If you ever plan on making another batch of anything I would highly suggest getting a hydrometer. Air bubbles are in no way a substitute for a hydrometer.

03-07-2016, 05:07 PM
Get one now anyway. Use it to know if fermentation has finished. If reading stays steady for a week, fermentation has stopped

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