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Thread: First batch progress report.

  1. Default First batch progress report.

    Today was day fourteen of my first batch of mead. I sterilized a spoon, opened the fermenter and removed the oranges and raisins (which now looked like full-sized grapes!) that were floating on top of the must. I then racked over to a secondary fermenter and then added another half teaspon of yeast nutrient. It's now out in the garage bubbling away at "ten bubbles per minute". I plan on letting it sit this time until Thanksgiving before I rack again. I calculated a solid 8.5% ABV after only two weeks of primary fermenting. Drank what was in the hydrometer tube and it wasn't too bad. It will definately need lots of refining but after fourteen days it's slighty sweet on the tongue and leaves a dry aftertaste on the tongue. I guess that's the champagne yeast.

    The recipe that I went with is:

    5 gallons water
    15lbs. of raw wildflower honey
    5 large oranges
    1 cup raisins
    4 cinnamon sticks
    1/2 Tsp. of nutmeg
    1/2 Tsp. of yeast nutrient
    1 pkg. Wyeast liquid champagne yeast (4021)

    We'll see what transpires at the Thanksgiving racking.

  2. #2

    Default

    Sounds like a good recipe, but I'm wondering if it might be a little light on the nutrient side and fairly high on the PH. I've only used Champagne yeast once recently, of course mine was a dry champagne yeast, but I found it to be extremely aggressive. After 2 weeks, I'm surprised your gravity has only dropped as far as to an 8.5% abv. I used it in a cider and with a starting grav of 1.065 it dropped it to 1.000 in about 5 days. I doubt it's anything to worry about too much, higher sg's can make for slower fermentations, even for yeast as resilient as champagne strains, but I'd take a reading every day or so for a little while to ensure that fermentation is still taking place. Bubbles aren't always a good indicator at the type of activity taking place. If it doesn't appear to be dropping you may have a stuck fermentation, in which case with all that citrus I might start with checking PH. But if it were me, I wouldn't wait another month to check the grav again, I'd do it often just to ensure fermentation is continuing if you think it might be stuck.

    With your choice of champagne yeast, I'm assuming you're planning on having this ferment dry?

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by spasticcp View Post
    Sounds like a good recipe, but I'm wondering if it might be a little light on the nutrient side and fairly high on the PH. I've only used Champagne yeast once recently, of course mine was a dry champagne yeast, but I found it to be extremely aggressive. After 2 weeks, I'm surprised your gravity has only dropped as far as to an 8.5% abv. I used it in a cider and with a starting grav of 1.065 it dropped it to 1.000 in about 5 days. I doubt it's anything to worry about too much, higher sg's can make for slower fermentations, even for yeast as resilient as champagne strains, but I'd take a reading every day or so for a little while to ensure that fermentation is still taking place. Bubbles aren't always a good indicator at the type of activity taking place. If it doesn't appear to be dropping you may have a stuck fermentation, in which case with all that citrus I might start with checking PH. But if it were me, I wouldn't wait another month to check the grav again, I'd do it often just to ensure fermentation is continuing if you think it might be stuck.

    With your choice of champagne yeast, I'm assuming you're planning on having this ferment dry?
    You were right. When I read your response I went back and double checked my readings. I had gotten my mead OG mixed up with the OG of a Belgian Ale that I am currently brewing also. LOL! The mead is reading 13.2% ABV. The ale is reading 8.0%

    Yes, I'm wanting the mead to finish dry.

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