View Full Version : Slow start, high gravity
09-23-2004, 01:32 PM
I learned about mead making at a festival over labor day weekend... so yesterday some friends and I got together for a slapdash meadmaking party. We assembled some glass bottles, picked up stoppers and airlocks to fit them, along with a triple scale hydrometer, and had ourselves a grand time getting honey all over everything and only vaguely knowing what we were doing.
Most of our must/wort was around 1.133 gravity, and I just now read about how that may cause the mead to have a slow start or stall fermentation. How much of a problem is this? After about 24 hours, our mead isn't exactly a hotbed of activity, but it's bubbling along. Sounds kind of like rice crispies.
We're not really concerned with having the most amazing mead ever, just something tasty to bring to the festival next year :)
09-23-2004, 04:57 PM
Mead generally starts slower than beer. But since it's going, you have nothing about. What yeast did you use? Your starting gravity is extremely high. Even if it ferments out to a reasonably low finishing gravity, it probably won't be drinkable in a year.
You may want to make some mead with a starting gravity of 1.070. That should be ready in a year.
09-28-2004, 03:43 PM
Dont get scared by the generic aging statememts... you may enjoy your mead considerably before then ... but it does improve with age if allowed. Some meads improve so much that the old hands who have 4-5 batches in bottles already aged, refuse to drink thier young ones.... ahh but first mead excitment... so hard to leave it alone... and each time you drink some it is the best mead you've ever made :-)
Also there are many people who assume you are fermening to dryness roughly 18% ABV for your OG... I don't make this assumption as quite a few of us like mead to be different from a dry wine.
Now the yeast you use will Vary things... many people use lavalin ec-1118 champagne yeast that ferments out 18% ABV and possibly 22% on the high end. This yeast can produces some off tastes above 15% ABV though i have never encountered them below this. also it ferments very rapidly and can over heat which would produce more off tastes. They yeast itself is rather neutral in charachter and not a bad choice for a ferment kept cool IMO.
You might want to start my Cyser with K1-v1116 yeast
so you will have tasty drinks in a shorter time.
Don't worry so much about the starting gravity as K1-v1116 will kick off a 1.7 in my experience. though that gives a really sweet finish with about 12.5% ABV. With a finishing gravity in the 1.06-1.075 it is a very sweet mead that many might not like. I Drank 3 gallons of mine from that batch and used the rest as blending for an overly dry mead.
My typical recipe starts with a OG of about 1.12 -1.13 with k1-v1116 for a tyical result of 12.5 ABV with F.G 1.02 - 1.03
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