View Full Version : Ask - This Old House

01-26-2017, 08:53 AM
This week's version of This Old House had a segment on making mead. A little simplified, but the basics are all there:



01-29-2017, 09:37 PM
I saw it and it was pretty cool. They kind of ruined it at the end there, because the joke although funny, kind of made it seem like you can't make good mead unless you're a pro, but that's kind of the joke wih every homebrew beverage so I didn't get too bent out of shape. PLus it was kind of funny.

01-29-2017, 09:46 PM
Wow! Kind of surprised that it took this long for someone to comment about this. Yeah, the spit take, by Tom Silva, was pretty funny, but I would have liked to know whether they were kidding and/or was it really a mead that he made. Some of the things that were said about making the one gallon batch left me scratching my head. (i.e. Aging 6-9 months). But, all in all, it was a good intro to mead and want it's all about, on a main stream program.

02-01-2017, 02:03 PM
So that TOH (this old house) segment spurred me on and now I have two 3gal carbouys bubbling away. and of course, I'm doing all my detailed research after diving in. based on the simple TOH here's my recipe:

3qt of my own raw honey (malty flavor this past year)
9qt bottled water (local place 5gal jugs)
1/4 tsp nutrients (D.P.)
pasteur blanc yeast (50ml of my well water)

honey and water was all room temp, 67deg., and it mixed well together in a 7gal bucket. I stirred the nutrients and then pitched the yeast for a couple more stirs. on 29jan2017 noon the 1.088 OG must was placed in a 3gal carbouy, shaken like heck, and plugged with an airlock. since then bubble rate (in the S shaped airlock) is 50bub/min. (the other airlock is 20bub/min). so the yeast is working good.

I did that second 3gal batch just the same but with Lalvin QA23 yeast. it has 1.102 OG and it got the cup shaped airlock and pumping 20bub/min.

both carbouys are in the next room, at room temp of 67 (maybe 65 at night) with little light. on day 3 now, bubbling is still similar.

my intent is a no nonsense 14%ABV mead that only displays the honey flavors ( no adulterating my own produce), medium to light dry/sweetness.

after reading through the forums, I feel I have recipe for a stalled fermentation. that being the high OG to start, and the fact that I didn't aerate the must in the 1st, 2nd day.

what do you guys think?

02-01-2017, 06:02 PM
I would be more concerned that your yeast are starving and you didn't rehydrate your yeast. You can still (and should be) aerating and degassing.

02-01-2017, 06:53 PM
ok, aerate and degass. I think I did the yeast right, as the packet requested; 50ml 104-109 deg water for 15 min.

but my plan didn't include aerateing, areate how frequently? and durring which steps?

my plan, using the recipe above:

day 0 : mix and pitch and store in carbouy
day1-day2 : wait
day3: confirm bubbling
days4-30(or so) : watch for reduced bubble rate.
day 31(or so) : rack/transfer, take SG measure. I'm gonna use 4 1gal jug and wine bottle rest
days 32-180 wait with potential for another transfer depending on sediment/clariity
day181 - summer party 2gal
day 300 - winter party 2gal

02-01-2017, 09:09 PM
You really need to take hydrometer readings every day during primary so you can tell what's going on. There's no substitution for that. If you plan to make more mead in the future you should get a hydrometer first.

02-01-2017, 11:20 PM
You really need to take hydrometer readings every day during primary so you can tell what's going on. There's no substitution for that. If you plan to make more mead in the future you should get a hydrometer first.

I've got one of those. I know how to use it ... not sure now that I know how to employ it. so I took a quick reading. my two batches are this:

#1 OG=1.102 SG=1.080
#2 OG=1.088 SG=1.065

they are both looking at ~3%ABV already, late on day3.

my plan now needs (in addition to some aeration/degassing) regular SG checks. and nutrients ...

so whats a good rate of SG declination? should I expect -.020 every 3 days (or try to)? or is it more exponential and -.020 in 6 more days; -.060 on day 18? is there a bell curve to fermentation rates that I can follow (use for timming), like I would the "bubble rate" (i've been using) on an airlock?

02-02-2017, 08:56 AM
Fermentation can be linear, or it can follow a bell curve pattern. At the peak, I've had 30-40 point drops per day on some of my batches. It mostly depends on the yeast strain, its condition, and the must you're trying to ferment (things with fruit often go faster).