FerndalePalooza!30% Off Pairing Mead and Food!
Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. Default Not sure if I should rack my mead or continue waiting patiently.

    I started this 1 gallon batch almost 3 months ago now and I've been fairly non-standard in its making so I'll just start from the beginning.

    I am impatient and cheap so I watched a few videos and read a few recipes and just dove in. I bought 2 Kg of creamed honey because it was cheaper and put the containers in a hot water bath to liquefy it. I got impatient about that, so I threw it in a pot to apply some more heat to it and some water to get basically my mead mixture right there. Once it was 100% liquid I let it cool down most of the way (didn't use a thermometer) and then threw it into a jug I sterilized with boiling water. Here is where I made what I thing is the first BIG mistake. (the others have been bad but not like this) I used bread yeast because I'm cheap and I already had it. I weighed out 5 grams and just tossed it into the jug dry. I closed up the jug and sloshed everything around to make sure there were no dry pockets of yeast, then put it aside to ferment with an airlock in place.

    Fast forward a month, and it's still bubbling slowly. I racked out a small taste (not the best method but it worked) and it tasted like mildly alcoholic honey. I figured the bread yeast just didn't have a high enough alcohol tolerance and it died off way too early. I went out and bought sanitizer, a second jug and wine yeast. (Lalvin L67 I want to say, but that's straight from my terrible memory) I sterilized all my equipment and racked the "mead" into the second jug. I lost a little bit avoiding the sediment at the bottom, so I topped it off with water. I followed the instructions on my yeast packet, repitched, sealed with an airlock and set it aside to ferment.

    30 days later, I tasted it again and, while it was still somewhat too sweet, it was definitely more alcoholic. I considered racking it to age then, but it was still bubbling slowly and was still cloudy.

    10 more days have passed and it is starting to get clearer, but there is sediment that seems to be sticking to the wall of the jug. At this point, I haven't tasted it, and I'm not sure if I should rack it and start aging it or if I should just keep waiting until I don't see it bubbling anymore.

    To sum up:
    2 Kg liquefied creamed honey
    Filtered water to fill jug
    Bread yeast
    1 month of fermenting
    Wine yeast
    40 days of fermenting

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Saratoga Springs , NY
    Posts
    1,381

    Default

    Hi CaptainBarouq - and welcome. Let me ignore whether your impatience created problems - You should be very aware that the secret ingredient of all wine making is patience. Without patience no wine or mead tastes good. But be that as it may, you are not providing us with key information and that information is only accessible through the use of an hydrometer. We have no idea how large the jug is and so how much volume of water you used to mix with the 2 kg of honey (4.4 lbs)..and you say that the mead tastes sweet so we have no idea how much of the sugars have been fermented. If you can give us an idea of the total volume we can calculate the starting gravity but you need to measure the density (specific gravity) today to know how much sugar remains and so how much has been fermented. Hydrometers are essential- perhaps the ONLY essential tool in mead making, and they don't cost much (in the US they cost about $10.00).

  3. Default

    Unfortunately, I hadn't done enough research before diving in head first and hadn't (and still haven't on account of a tight budget for moving) bought a hydrometer. I know now what they are, where I can get one and how much they cost, but for this batch, I have no measurements to provide however much I wish I did. I was unaware that you could calculate the SG, so I wasn't going to worry about getting a hydrometer until I started another batch, but now that I do, I will make that a priority. As far as what I should do with my mead for the time being goes, leaving it to sit for a while longer won't hurt it at all will it? I don't expect it will, but this is my first batch ever and I'd rather get it at least a little right.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Saratoga Springs , NY
    Posts
    1,381

    Default

    How does it taste? You COULD let it sit a while longer but your vocabulary does not really paint a picture that I (we?) can use. By "jug" what do you mean? Does this have a bung of some kind or an airlock preventing air from oxidizing the mead? Is this a container with a very large surface area? ? If the neck is narrow and you have it sealed in some way to prevent oxidation then it may make some sense to let it sit a bit longer but if the mouth of this jug is open to the air then that is a recipe for disaster IF I read your post right and it has been fermenting for about 70- 80 days. But taste it. It cannot do you any harm whatsoever. If it is too sweet then allow it to continue fermenting (without an hydrometer it is next to impossible to know if it is or not) . If it is sweet but pleasantly drinkable then drink it. This sounds to me much like a sorta kinda folk mead rather than a mead that straddles a balance between art and science. There is nothing wrong with that but it's not necessarily something that you simply tweak to improve as much as redesign from the ground up...

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainBarouq View Post
    Unfortunately, I hadn't done enough research before diving in head first and hadn't (and still haven't on account of a tight budget for moving) bought a hydrometer. I know now what they are, where I can get one and how much they cost, but for this batch, I have no measurements to provide however much I wish I did. I was unaware that you could calculate the SG, so I wasn't going to worry about getting a hydrometer until I started another batch, but now that I do, I will make that a priority. As far as what I should do with my mead for the time being goes, leaving it to sit for a while longer won't hurt it at all will it? I don't expect it will, but this is my first batch ever and I'd rather get it at least a little right.
    You should just give it up and go do something else. Just sayin.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Saratoga Springs , NY
    Posts
    1,381

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatchy View Post
    You should just give it up and go do something else. Just sayin.
    Yeah, but my philosophy is to toss not as a last resort but as the resort after the last resort has failed.

    Holding onto it does not necessarily cost any money. It could be a disaster, so tossing it might be the right thing to do but unless you are sinking more money ... or time... after bad then holding on and tasting every week or so might not be so terrible. The thing is the mead might be nicely sealed with bung and airlock in a suitable vessel with no headroom and while it might never win best of show at the Mazer Cup it might still be drinkable in a few weeks or months. If it is a large pickle jar with lots of surface area exposed to the air then it may not be good for anything other than for poaching pears ...or composting...
    Last edited by bernardsmith; 12-14-2017 at 02:40 PM.

  7. #7

    Default

    My snarky comment was more about the attitude towards making mead. Not so much about screwing it up.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bernardsmith View Post
    By "jug" what do you mean? Does this have a bung of some kind or an airlock preventing air from oxidizing the mead? Is this a container with a very large surface area?
    By "jug" I mean a 1 gallon glass carboy with a bung and airlock at the top. There is only about 3 inches of head space at the top, which is what I've seen done in every example of mead making in this size of container. I have tasted it and, yes, it is very sweet and it is still bubbling, so I assume it is still fermenting to some degree, but until I get a hyrdometer, I won't know for sure.

    I didn't really have high hopes for this to be a batch that is all good. I went into it prepared to dump the whole thing, so all I really want from this batch is to learn what mistakes I can kind of get away with and how I can do better when I start another batch.

    What I have learned from this batch:
    Use actual wine or possibly champagne yeast
    Use less honey to get a less sweet product
    GET AND USE A HYDROMETER!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    UK - South Coast.
    Posts
    3,632

    Default

    Whereas, I'm thinking that there's no mention of yeast nutrients of any kind, so apart from a small amount of nutrition from dead yeast cells, it's likely to take a very long time to ferment - the first post "sum up" makes it sound like a show mead.....
    here's me home brewing blog (if anyones interested....)
    and don't forget
    What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away! Tom Waits.....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Saratoga Springs , NY
    Posts
    1,381

    Default

    {apologies - Off topic - but welcome back fatbloke. I may be mistaken, but long time no see... }

  11. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fatbloke View Post
    Whereas, I'm thinking that there's no mention of yeast nutrients of any kind, so apart from a small amount of nutrition from dead yeast cells, it's likely to take a very long time to ferment - the first post "sum up" makes it sound like a show mead.....
    I knew vaguely about yeast nutrients but I only saw one source use them so I didn't think they were really necessary.

    What is a show mead? Do you mean put it in a bottle as a decoration?

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

  12. #12

    Default

    Google told me first click
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Saratoga Springs , NY
    Posts
    1,381

    Default

    A show mead has three ingredients - honey, water and yeast. A traditional mead has four. The fourth being nutrients. Honey has virtually no nutrients or minerals that the yeast can use but they need those compounds if they are to transport the sugars through their cells and so produce alcohol. Show meads can take a very long time to ferment. My ignorance is on show here but my guess is that the more viable cells cannibalize the dead cells to acquire the minerals they need..

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bernardsmith View Post
    A show mead has three ingredients - honey, water and yeast. A traditional mead has four. The fourth being nutrients. Honey has virtually no nutrients or minerals that the yeast can use but they need those compounds if they are to transport the sugars through their cells and so produce alcohol. Show meads can take a very long time to ferment. My ignorance is on show here but my guess is that the more viable cells cannibalize the dead cells to acquire the minerals they need..
    You can feed the biomass yeast. So gofrem and fermaid o are still viable methods. At least according to The president of the Mazer Cup International. There is also no contra info in BJCP regs either.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  15. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bernardsmith View Post
    A show mead has three ingredients - honey, water and yeast. A traditional mead has four. The fourth being nutrients. Honey has virtually no nutrients or minerals that the yeast can use but they need those compounds if they are to transport the sugars through their cells and so produce alcohol. Show meads can take a very long time to ferment. My ignorance is on show here but my guess is that the more viable cells cannibalize the dead cells to acquire the minerals they need..
    So, would it be ill advised to try adding nutrients now?

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

  16. #16

    Default

    It's too late now. Next time you can do better.
    I did a podcast here on Gotmead life podcast. Start on 9/5/ it will give you a modern rundown on how to employ the most modern science.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Saratoga Springs , NY
    Posts
    1,381

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatchy View Post
    You can feed the biomass yeast. So gofrem and fermaid o are still viable methods. At least according to The president of the Mazer Cup International. There is also no contra info in BJCP regs either.
    Thanks Squatchy. Always learning and that is always good.

Similar Threads

  1. Shoe rack turns into wine rack
    By TAKeyser in forum The Hive
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 05-12-2015, 04:18 AM
  2. Bored with Waiting = JAOM
    By UKTony in forum Mead NewBees - Post your Questions Here
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-07-2013, 11:52 AM
  3. Things to do while waiting for your mead...
    By Tiwas in forum The Hive
    Replies: 84
    Last Post: 12-26-2011, 11:46 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •