View Full Version : Got the Mead bug...

Suited Deuce
06-20-2017, 10:55 PM
After unsuccessfully attempting to brew beer when I was younger (pretty sure what I made was closer to wine...), I gave up. Too much for me I thought. Too many hobbies going on at the time. Well, here I am 10 years later ready to attempt making mead. I absolutely love mead, so why not. This is my first post, and I don't have many questions, but wanted to share my experience so far.

4.2 cups of local citrus honey (just over 3lbs)
7/8 gallon of purified water
One peeled orange in cheese cloth (roughly broken)
About ten roughly chopped raisins
Lalvin D-47 yeast
One tsp DAP

I started by rehydrating the yeast as per package instructions. Didn't do anything fancy like goferm or add apple juice, just time and warm water. I mixed about half the jug of water and all the honey to create a overly sweet but delicious concoction. I used a slotted spoons to vigorously stir and try to aerate as best as possible, and added the rest of the water, orange, and raisins. I took my OG, which was 1.096. I thought it would be higher, but I was fine with this because I wasn't ready to add more honey.

About eight hours after adding my yeast, fermentation kicked off like New Years. The airlock was going nuts. I realized my temp quickly approached 80 degrees and knew I had to do something to try to lower it a bit. I live in the south and with an ambient home temp of 76 and no place for an extra refer, I knew I had to put it in some water. I am using a 2 gallon fermenter, so it was easy to find a Rubbermaid tub that was empty and filled it to the must line. After about two hours, I dropped some ice in and it brought the temp down. The second day, airlock seemed to stop. Nothing at all. So I got a little worried, but later that day it was going again.. I woke up the next morning and saw zero activity. Being the third day I was curious as to why it could have stopped and thought maybe it's the PH level.

Making the decision of opening the container was tough because I had bought a "one time use" lid... turns out they snap right back on. I opened the must and stirred around a bit, slowly, then very vigorously. Before I closed it up I took my second reading, which was 1.036. Lots of movement for three days, but that's probably because of the temps.... I added 1/4 tsp DAP and stirred before closing it again.

Today I opened it up for a third reading. SG was 1.019. GREAT NEWS! It's not stuck. Not in the slightest, I still have a little ways to go, so I'll keep babysitting the water with ice to control temp, but other than that, she's gonna sit there for a bit before racking.

My only major question is about sugars available to ferment. After lots of reading, I know D47 taps out around 12%, which is good because my starting potential was about 12.4%.... if my hydrometer reading is at or below 1.000 does this mean even if there is yeast present they will stop fermenting? Basically, I think under 1.000 there are no sugars left. Is this true?

Also, can I rack it when it reaches 1.000? Or even 1.010 to slow fermentation and suit my taste? It's only been four days, and I've been advised to wait a month, just not sure how true that is....

I know if I want something higher abv, I'll have to choose different yeast, but my current favorite mead is around 10.5%, so I'm not going to get crazy. I'm super excited about the combo of the orange and local citrus honey!

TL;DR- Mixed it up, OG-1.096, second SG-1.036, today's SG- 1.019. Does SG 1.000 mean there's no sugar left? Can I rack when I like the SG?

-the Deuce

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