View Full Version : Basic mead

12-22-2005, 10:34 PM
I'm thinking of making a very basic/simple mead which will hopefully keep the flavour of the honey. I was thinking along the lines of
1 kilogram of honey per 2 kilograms (litres) of water (1:2 ratio). For the yeast I was thinking of EC-1118 which can cope with warmer temperatures. I'll have to wait at least a week before I can start as the predicted temperature for the next 3 days is supposed to be 38 degrees celcius. I'll probably wait until the temperature gets down to around the low 30's. It would be a 5 litre batch to start with as I have 2 kilograms of macadamia nut honey to play with.

Would a mead with this recepie require additional honey after primary fermentation, maybe 250 grams, as EC-1118 is supposed to be very effective at what it does.

Measuerments: 1 pound equivalent to 0.4536 kilograms,
1 gallon (US) equivalent to 3.785 lites

12-23-2005, 12:05 AM
That's a pretty powerful mead (~20% Alc if all honey is fermented).

Definitely keep the EC1118 cool, or you will get harsh flavours, and maybe start with 0.75 Kg per 2L, and add the rest after a couple of weeks.

One alternative, is use D-47 or 71B-1122 and then you only need around 0.8Kg honey per 2L, so you can make more :D

12-23-2005, 12:09 AM
Perhaps consider DV10 as your yeast?

- EC1118 is the original and is good for barrel fermentations. It ferments well at low temperatures and flocculates well with very compact lees. EC-1118 produces a lot of SO2 (up to 30 ppm) and as a result can inhibit malolactic fermentation. It is classified as a Saccharomyces cerevisiae bayanus.

Im no yeast expert however. And on paper that puts you at 500g sugar per 1L of water, but from what I understand the sugar content can vary, so perhaps make up your mind about back sweetening after you take you OG, then you will know what the yeast has to chomp through. I did over a 1-2 ration and had an OG of about 1.130....

But im hellishly new at this so im prepared to stand corrected.


12-23-2005, 10:37 AM
I'd recommend using ICV-D47 or 71B-1122 for your basic mead, with ICV-D47 as your first choice. EC-1118 as mentioned below, is a high producer of SO2 and H2S when not managed well during fermentation. Managing means temperature management, oxygenation and nutrient dosing. If it's your first mead, and you want to do a traditional I'd recommend using ICV-D47 as opposed to DV-10 as well. DV-10 and EC-1118 will both ferment to 18% ABV and higher when fed.

Here's what I'd suggest:

Shoot for a starting gravity of 1.120 - 1.125
Add the appropriate amount of Fermaid K based on the volume of your recipe
Rehydrate 10 grams of ICV-D47 (2 packets) with Go-Ferm
Aerate your must for at least five minutes with either a diffusion stone, a lees stirrer, wine degasser or a mixing spoon
Pitch your yeast
Aerate some more
Cap it and let it go until it stops bubbling
Rack and let it sit until it clears
Bottle and enjoy

Us a sanitized cloth instead of an airlock during the first three-five days
Add additional nutrients at the 1/3 sugar break and 2/3 sugar break
Aerate twice daily through the 2/3 sugar break
Cover with an airlock and swirl it daily (keeping the airlock in place)
Rack when the bubbling slows to 2 beats per minute
Let it clear
Bottle and enjoy



12-23-2005, 12:28 PM

I'm curious as to why you're recommending D47 above K1V-1116.

And nosy. I'm nosy.

12-23-2005, 01:27 PM
I like D47 over K1V for first time mead makers because K1V is such an aggressive yeast. I've seen folks who want to make a sweet mead get a high alcohol mead that tastes like rocket fuel, and the associated frustration with mead as a result. D47 is much easier to manage, and will leave an incredible honey aroma and respect the varietal characters of the honey. K1V is a good clean fermenter too, and will respect the honey as well, but, it can get out of hand in a hurry and take your mead dry before you know it. Then you have to backsweeten and that's really where the rocket fuel effect creeps in.

So I like D47 for first time mead makers because if they accidentally leave it on the lees for too long it won't matter because it is also good for extended lees aging, it's also great for mels and just about anything else except sparkling dry meads.



12-23-2005, 11:58 PM
I might have to find some D47 for myself.. I made a basic mead first time, and forgot to leave it open for the first few days, I think the ferment suffered because of it. :-\

12-24-2005, 02:40 PM
...it's also great for mels and just about anything else except sparkling dry meads.

I've considered using D47 for a sparkling dry mead. I plan on being lazy and just priming in beer bottles as oppposed to the whole methode traditionale, so I figured I'd be best off using a yeast that does well aging on the lees. Is there a specific reason you recommend against this yeast in sparkling meads? I'm guessing you would recommend K1V or DV10 instead?

Thanks in advance!

12-24-2005, 02:57 PM

DV10 straight through. D47 is great, but for a dry champagne style mead it is a little too flabby because of the peptides and long chain polysaccharides it releases during the fermentation and lees exposure. It's a little too round for a sparkling mead in my opinion. Whereas DV10 is also excellent for extended lees aging and it imparts more of the "classic" yeasty, estery, doughy, astringent oxidized nose you find in a fine champagne.

Meamaking, it's not just a job . . . it's an adventure!



12-24-2005, 03:46 PM
Great. Thanks for the tip!

12-31-2005, 10:14 PM
Thanks for the info, Oskaar. Sounds like D47 is the way to go.

I think I'll be waiting a few months (maybe end of March, start of April) before I get around to doing this as the current air temperatures (according to the thermometer upstairs) are around 35 - 39 degrees celcius. I don't know what they are under the house where I brew but I'm running out of room for foam boxes filled with water.

For aeration, would 5 minutes for shaking the demijohn (with cap on, of course) be sufficient or does it need to be a 'gentler' sort of aeration, slow turning or stirring in a 5 litre jug ?

01-07-2006, 11:48 PM
GAHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! im soooo confused, ok what about the yeast!!!! thats alll very confusing, hi im 19, i am confused and need help, plus i dont need to want that much mead at the moment.... ??? ok, who can help me? i want like 4 or 5 glasses.... *doesnt know how to convert any thing* so i wanna make a few glasses who can help

01-08-2006, 12:19 AM
A one gallon batch isn't quite as much as it sounds like. After headspace left, racking, or taking samples, your finished product won't be quite 1 gallon anymore. Also, if you only make enough for 4-5 glasses (sounds about like a single 750 ml bottle of wine), you probably won't get a chance to let it age. Joe's Ancient Orange mead recipe is very simple and is good to drink quite soon. It is located at:


Just as the topic describes, this mead is foolproof - IF you follow the directions exactly! One note I will add, though, is to try and use a clear jug. I used a milk jug (slightly opaque) and had difficulties seeing when the mead had cleared.

01-12-2006, 02:59 PM
???Hi everyone,
1st time poster and mead maker here. I'm trying to find out how much honey to use for certain size batches.
How much honey for a 1gal, 2 gal, up to and including a 5gal batch? Is there a ratio of honey to water. This is for
a straight mead, with no carbonation. Thanks for any help in advance.

01-12-2006, 04:08 PM
Welcome to the forum!!!

Do you want sweet, dry or semi-dry?

And also what kind of honey are you planning on using?

Let us know and we'll give you some ideas.



01-12-2006, 05:58 PM
Thanks Oskaar,
I would like a lightly sweet to dry mead. I have not decided yet. I don't like SWEET anything really.
I plan on using clover honey for now, and maybe trying stronger flavors down the line with later
batches. I bought the Sam's Club honey. It's supposed to be 100% "natural" and 100% clover.
Thanks again for the help.

01-12-2006, 09:58 PM
Hey Bill,

I don't recommend a number of pounds per gallon because the honey will vary by type, year, area etc. I recommend a starting gravity. For a good semi-sweet mead I would recommend a starting gravity of about 1.120 and use D47 Yeast rehydrated with G0-Ferm and supplement your must with Fermaid-K.

If you use the search tool to look up Go-Ferm and Fermaid K you'll see many discussions of how to use them.

You may also visit: http://www.morebeer.com they sell it there, and also have directions on how to use it.

Take some time and figure out your recipe, then post it.

I reckon it will look something like this.

17 lbs Clover Honey
4 gallons water
10 grams (2 packets) ICV-D47 yeast rehydrated with Go-Ferm
5 grams Fermaid-K in the must

Add honey until Gravity is 1.120, mix well until honey is completely dissolved.

Rehydrate your Go-Ferm, add the yeast, and pitch into your must.

Aerate well, and cap it with an airlock.

Let us know,


01-12-2006, 10:05 PM
Thanks for the ideas and I will keep you posted.

01-13-2006, 07:16 PM
This is one of your quotes from the recipes section: "Generally when I make a dry mead I use yeasts that go up to 15 or 16% ABV and give them a high enough initial brix to chew all the sugar down to complete dryness. I find that it really leaves that honey character in tact, yet, will be dry. For instance I have two dry meads right now that are both in the .996 to .998 range, no RS in either. Yet they both have a sweetness to them, the kicker is that they're both only 10 weeks old. They're not hot at all, but, they are largely unstructured in the nose and on the attack with flavors that need to mellow in order to make it drinkable. After the first taste and some swirling, that unstructured character fades, and gives way to the middle palate flavor which is pretty impressive for a 10 week old mead. Again, they still need time to mellow and integrate.

Hope that helps,

This is what I'm looking to accomplish. That subtle sweetness. No syrupy sweetness.

01-13-2006, 08:39 PM
Bear in mind that this is a "character" and not actual sweetness. There is a big difference.



01-14-2006, 12:25 PM
What % of alcohol does D47 give you. I would like it around 15-16% 14% is OK I guess.
I would ferment to dryness I guess, then stabilize, then sweeten if need be. I do plan to
keep some HIDDEN for a year or two from each batch.


01-14-2006, 07:46 PM
D47 is advertised at 14 percent ABV, but I have a cyser and a traditional sweet mead sitting at about 15-16 percent. D47 is a great yeast and I use it a lot in cysers and traditional sweet meads.



01-15-2006, 12:50 PM
Thanks again. ;D ;D