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Thread: Newb trying to understand...

  1. #1

    Default Newb trying to understand...

    I'm very new to mead making. I've done a couple batches of JAOM, and one JAO BOMM. Those have turned out great. I have now tried making another mead recipe, and had a question about gravity readings. On 12/5 when I started (before adding yeast) the gravity was 1.126, 12/7 it was 1.120, and on 12/10 it's reading 1.050. The first reading I believe I did a good job getting the honey dissolved in, but I'm new so who knows. The other two readings I didn't check the temp on. Room the mead is in has stayed pretty consistent temperature wise, for what it's worth. My question is between the last two readings is that a big/fast drop in gravity? This is the first batch I've done regular gravity readings with, so I'm learning as I go. Thanks in advance for any input. Also when I started this one I screwed up and doubled the amount of yeast energizer ( addressed this in another post ).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Birmingham, AL


    Everything sounds OK based on what you've said. What kind of yeast, what kind of nutrient, and what temperature average are you fermenting at?

    The yeast activity pattern is basically a bell curve. It takes a few days for the ferment to reach full speed but when it does, huge gravity drops of 30-40 points a day are not unheard of. After the peak, the ferment slows down again. The last 25 points may take as long to finish as the rest of the ferment did to get to that point.
    Last edited by pwizard; 12-10-2016 at 03:38 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Saratoga Springs , NY


    I agree with pwizard but I would add a couple of points. First , realize that fermentation is a living process and not an engineering activity. If the conditions are right the yeast colony itself will be growing so you can expect the amount of sugar the yeast can ferment to increase exponentially, and not in some straight line. The other point is that you may want the fermentation to be less aggressive. The higher the temperature the faster the rate of fermentation but the more aggressive the fermentation the more likely the yeast are to produce fusels - alcohols whose flavors are not always very desirable and which will then take significant time for them to be transformed into other more pleasant notes. There are people Claude Jelicouer, for example (a cider maker) who advocates a very slow fermentation where the drop in gravity is measured in decimal points per day rather than the 30 or 40 points mentioned by pwizard

  4. #4


    Sorry I'm slow getting back, but thank you both for the information. It's very helpful. I'm kind of worried that the fermentation is going too fast. Today, 12/15/16 it's down to 1.010, and definitely has a strong alcohol smell when opened to take sample. No matter what I am learning though, and having fun doing so, and that's always a good thing. Assuming I do have a lot of fusels in there, is there anything I can do to help that? I figure no matter what this will need to age for quite a bit.

  5. #5


    Temp control alone will make a huge difference
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

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