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Thread: How much time should i leave the mead alone?

  1. Default How much time should i leave the mead alone?

    It is my first time trying this and while doing research i've read from 2 weeks to 1 year.

    I have not done it yet, just in case there is something terribly wrong, so you can correct me before the disaster.
    My objective is to get soft, low alcohol content mead. I'll try to sweeten some of them with artificial sweeteners.


    The recipe will be six 0.5 liter bottles, everyone with a different proportion (I'd like to experiment)

    1- 0.1 kg honey
    2- 0.2 kg honey
    3- 0.1 kg honey + 0.05 kg sugar
    4- 0.1 kg honey + saccharine (before fermentation)
    4- 0.1 kg honey + saccharine (after fermentation)
    6- I don't know yet, probably the same as 1 (suggestions accepted)

    I'll be using bread yeast and i'll leave it in a dark place at around 15ºC and I'll mix everything in the 0.5L water bottles and i'll use the balloon one way valve.

    Also I have another question: If I want it more sweet can I add sugar/honey right before consuming it, so the yeast do not have time to ferment it?


    I think that is all, thanks in advance for the help!
    Last edited by IsmaelNG; 06-09-2018 at 12:45 PM.

  2. Default

    A couple weeks to ferment is typical, then age for a couple months. But don't worry about aging small test batches like this. Drink it, learn start again. It's not a bad plan to make a bunch of small batches to figure out what you're doing. But get some yeast nutrients and a precise scale to measure your ingredients. You can add sugars right before drinking. Have fun. Learn what flavors the different sugars give. But don't expect these tests to come out very good.

  3. #3

    Default

    Half litre test batches are way too small. Keep in mind that you should be tasting these at different points in their life especially since you're still just starting out. Once you have more experience you might be able to taste a mead and imagine how it might age to a certain point but at the moment I would suggest tasting every couple of months.
    I think the very minimum would be 2 litres each batch.
    From those test batches the one with the most honey should taste best First of all we make mead with honey for a reason - because honey imparts a specific taste which makes it mead. Therefore using table sugar as a substitute doesn't work (that's why raw honey is some 30 times more expensive than sugar). Using saccharine as residual sweetness also works less than honey. In the batch with the most honey you might automatically end up with residual sweetness because bread yeast cannot eat all those sugars.
    In all these tests in order to be fair you need to end with the same perceived sweetness and in the case of sugar and honey as a sweetener you have to know how to stabilize the batches.
    I'm telling you this information so that you might structure your tests better depending on what your goal is, not so that you do not do the tests.
    Have you read about using nutrients for your mead?

    With bad protocol your tests could easily end up failing. You might get the batch with the least sugars and saccharine tasting best because the lesser sugars will not stress out the yeast under the poor protocol conditions. The saccharine will add sweetness which is inferior to sweetened with honey but which will be able to cover up some defects created by the fermented honey under poor conditions. You will easily end up with a fake results so you need to get your protocol refined. In order to refine your protocol you have to learn how to make non low abv traditional meads using only yeast, nutrients and honey.
    Last edited by Stasis; 06-10-2018 at 03:59 AM.
    "Shouldn’t we say wine is a mead-like beverage made with grapes substituted for the honey?" - Steve Piatz

  4. Default

    Thank you both, guys

    Quote Originally Posted by joe.vinciguerra View Post
    A couple weeks to ferment is typical, then age for a couple months. But don't worry about aging small test batches like this. Drink it, learn start again. It's not a bad plan to make a bunch of small batches to figure out what you're doing. But get some yeast nutrients and a precise scale to measure your ingredients. You can add sugars right before drinking. Have fun. Learn what flavors the different sugars give. But don't expect these tests to come out very good.
    I dont really know where can I get yeast nutrients close by, and i dont want to order them online and wait, so ill try to go without them. And yea, i dont expect good results, i just expect something edible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stasis View Post
    Half litre test batches are way too small. Keep in mind that you should be tasting these at different points in their life especially since you're still just starting out. Once you have more experience you might be able to taste a mead and imagine how it might age to a certain point but at the moment I would suggest tasting every couple of months.
    I think the very minimum would be 2 litres each batch.
    From those test batches the one with the most honey should taste best First of all we make mead with honey for a reason - because honey imparts a specific taste which makes it mead. Therefore using table sugar as a substitute doesn't work (that's why raw honey is some 30 times more expensive than sugar). Using saccharine as residual sweetness also works less than honey. In the batch with the most honey you might automatically end up with residual sweetness because bread yeast cannot eat all those sugars.
    In all these tests in order to be fair you need to end with the same perceived sweetness and in the case of sugar and honey as a sweetener you have to know how to stabilize the batches.
    I'm telling you this information so that you might structure your tests better depending on what your goal is, not so that you do not do the tests.
    Have you read about using nutrients for your mead?

    With bad protocol your tests could easily end up failing. You might get the batch with the least sugars and saccharine tasting best because the lesser sugars will not stress out the yeast under the poor protocol conditions. The saccharine will add sweetness which is inferior to sweetened with honey but which will be able to cover up some defects created by the fermented honey under poor conditions. You will easily end up with a fake results so you need to get your protocol refined. In order to refine your protocol you have to learn how to make non low abv traditional meads using only yeast, nutrients and honey.
    Maybe they are too small, but I just want to experiment a bit for my first time while going as cheap as possible. I will try to use the 0.3kg honey leftover in a 1L batch and try to age it a couple months. If it fails, at least i didnt spend too much money.
    About the non low ABV mead, I can't drink a big amount of alcohol, I am under medication and I can only drink something around one beer a day, so I dont want to get 0.5l of something at 12-15%. Using the calculator in this page i got 7% for all tests except the 0.2kg honey and the 0.1kg honey + 0.05kg sugar. That is why i want to use artificial sweeteners, to avoid raising the alcohol proportion. If the saccharine batch tastes good ill keep the formula for a while (until i can get my hands on stabilizers to backsweeten it with honey).

    Well, thank you again for the help!

  5. #5

    Default

    seconded, 2-2.5l is about the lowest I would go for tests (PET bottles are great for this); you'll end up losing a bit (maybe 10%) to lees[1], and a bit more to tasting (you need to draw 10-20ml each time you taste, and that's a significant proportion of a 500ml bottle if you do it 3-4 times)

    also, most hydrometers will be longer than a 500ml bottle so you won't be able to take gravity readings

    [1] the yeast deposit on the bottom, which you generally throw away

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