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Thread: New chap on the block.

  1. Default New chap on the block.

    Hi guys. I'm a total newby to mead making. A couple of weeks ago I bought a mead kit. Yeast, nutrients, honey, etc. Now I followed the instructions and everything seemed to go well. it foamed up bubbled for a day or so (I'm really not sure after this, as I'm a truck driver & was away for a week).
    Anyway My wife said it stopped bubbling sometime on the 2nd day and having looked at it, It's settled out the sediment and lost that honey/ water taste, but it still smells kinda yeasty and the hydrometer is reading 1.000. Surely this can't be good (or right)?

  2. Default

    If the hydrometer reads 1.00 then your honey has either fermented or settled to the bottom.
    What was your starting gravity reading?

  3. #3
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    Take us through your whole process. What were all of your steps? List out the recipe and instructions you followed, as well as all of your observations and any peculiarities you noted. Temp, gravity, type of honey, type of yeast, batch size, etc. And was the bubbling you spoke of in the airlock, or the mead itself? Both can be deceiving.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "Then glory in battle to Hrothgar was given, waxing of war-fame, that willingly kinsmen obeyed his bidding, till the boys grew to manhood, a numerous band. It burned in his spirit to urge his folk to found a great building, a mead-hall grander than men of the era ever had heard of, and in it to share with young and old all of the blessings the Lord had allowed him, save life and retainers." - Beowulf

  4. Default

    It was a brew shop kit. yeast, nutrients, tannins, etc. All in pre- measured packets, in numbered order. 1,2,3,4. 2kg honey (flavour not specified) 10 ltr water @ 20 degrees C. 1 x carboy, sterile, etc (However it is a 30 ltr carboy). Warm water (filtered rain water from the south pacific) and honey dissolved, add yeast + nutients, seal and let stand.
    The liquid began to develop a froth after half and hour or so. then I left it alone and went to work. I got back several days later and my wife had said that only a few bubbles had appeared within the airlock over the first couple of days. I then cracked the lid I saw the sludge on the bottom of the carboy and the fluid clear. The hydrometer I had used initially had read 0.9 When i got back and took another reading it read 1.000, So I went and purchased another hydrometer (thinking my old one may have been defective) and came back with the same result. Not knowing what it's supposed to smell like, I can only describe it as sort of yeasty, slightly sour to the nose, sweet wine type of aroma.

  5. Default

    2kg of honey in 10L gives a potential alcohol of around 8ish%.
    It would be pretty easy for the yeast to plow through that in a few days. The yeast will fall out when the sugar is gone and this is called the "Gross Lees".

    Typically you would rack it a Secondary container with an airlock and leave the gross lees in the original fermenter. Over a period of time there will be addition lees form on the bottom of the container as the mead continues to clear. When the mead is truly clear you should be able to read a newspaper through the liquid. When this happens the yeast taste and smell will disappear.

    The taste will change drastically in the first few weeks to months and generally improve over a year or 2.

  6. Default

    Ok that's good to know. So the hydrometer reading is ok then? I admit I would have thought the reading would have been similar to wine and I was/am concerned that it may have turned out as a low alcohol drink.

  7. Default

    I've just racked off into a couple of 5Ltr glass carboys, and was surprised to see it was still active. I had a taste and it's definitely got some alcahol in it, but I was a bit disappointed in the weak flavour so I added a couple of teaspoons of dark honey and treacle. Now it's bubbling away merrily again. I'll update again as things develop.

  8. Default

    You are likely going to have a weak tasting and thin bodied mead at 8%.
    I like to have mine over 12%. The issue is that honey is very fermentable and leaves little behind therefore. Fruit and/or spices can add flavour if you are reluctant to use more honey.

  9. Default

    Yeah thats what I thought of the initial test, weak & thin. I'm quite happy to add more honey. Even though the recipe originally only called for 2 kg honey I would definitely prefer a stronger, richer brew.

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