Hello Everyone,

I'm new to the forum and to mead making. I had some extra honey from my hives this season and put it into two slightly different 5 gal. basic mead recipes. I have since realized that I made a few mistakes along the way... Hoping they will be alright in the end anyhow (that was a lot of honey!). At the moment there is tiny bubbling activity still going on, more evidently in the D-47 than the EC-1118 . Both are clearing (D-47 moreso than EC-111 . Tasted both, didn't die... neither particularly terrible or good.

My questions for the two batches are the same and as follows, but I will post the two recipes at the end.

1. I left the mead in primary fermentation for one month, but am now reading that half that time is often recommended. One was slow to get going (D-47). I really tend to just dive in and wing things, so didn't realize until three weeks in that the air locks don't fill themselves with liquid (condensation was the thinking) and that they were supposed to have liquid added to them all along...

Both recipes started at 1.10 OG and were supposed to target 1.03-1.035. On Sunday I racked both carboys over to fresh ones. They are now both right around 1.01. What does that mean...? Should I do something to counteract this, what precisely should that be?

2. Both Carboys are now filled to the 4gal. mark within 5gal. carboys. Is this far too much space? I read somewhere that traditional meads resist oxygenation. Do I need to rack into smaller jugs? How bad is oxygenation really? I can see that much like the bees, this hobby is going to start adding up and filling up space in my garage in a jiffy.

3. Wow that was a sad waste of spent yeast and bottom liquid on the racking process. I should have made vinegar. Any other suggested good uses for this? Is there a good way to separate the liquid after it re-settles and add it back into the carboy?

4. How long (minimum) should I let these bad boys sit in second fermentation (or third if they indeed need to be in smaller vessels)? I have water in the airlocks now (hoy hoy! high five to self. mastered that one!) I read a suggestion to switch this to vodka for the long wait, is this the way to go?.

5. I very much like carbonated drinks. Thoughts on turning one or both of these recipes into a carbonated version at eventual bottling time?


The two recipes:


BATCH 1

13.5 lbs wildflower honey
5gal water (1.10 OG)
4tsp yeast nutrients
2 pkg lalvin D-47 yeast
** after two months or substantial slowing of fermentation, add 2tsp tartartic acid, 2 tsp malic acid + 1 pkg activated lalvin D-47 yeast, more nutrients and energizer if needed.

Target end - 1.03-1.035 OG
(presently at 1.01...)


BATCH 2

15 lbs wildflower honey
5gal water
2pkg lalvin EC-1118 yeast
5tsp yeast nutrient (1/2 at prep time, 1/2 one day later)
5tsp yeast energizer (1/2 at prep time, 1/2 one day later)

5 tsp bentonite planned at end before bottling

1.03-1.035 target
(presently at 1.01...)


Both started Feb 25, 207
Both racked March 26
Both now down to 4gal. volume within 5 gal carboys.


Thank you in advance for any wisdom and guidance that can be shared!