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  1. #1

    Default Raspberry Mead 1st time

    The first mead I drank was made from a beekeeper I met in St. Louis. ( I am a beekeeper.). It was wonderful. Of course, I got everything to make mead and made my first batch. That was almost two years ago. A year ago I tried tasting it and it was like, well, rocket fuel. My health got in the way of mead making, but I wanted to make some raspberry mead, and when feeling better I got everything together. In gathering bottles (swing-top beer bottles) I had to taste the mead again. It was ok. Not as fine as the St. Louis beekeeperís, but ok. With that said, I got everything together to make raspberry mead. I sanitize everything every time I mess with it.
    I started with 2 gallon bucket. I had marked it with a line every quart. I set my sights on a semi-sweet mead. I gathered up things I had packed away. My hydrometer dropped out of its case. I ordered another and continued putting things in the kitchen.
    While I gathering all the bits and pieces the new hydrometer came. I careful put it aside where no one would bump it. Later that evening, I reached for my knife to make a stir fry. The tip of the knife hit the hydrometer which I had not yet put back into case. Next day I took trip to local place selling brewing things and bought another hydrometer.
    Finally with everything together. I used 1 tsp. Of Carlson Yeast Energizer when I started the yeast (a whole pack(5 grams). I had a pack of Lalvin 71 B-1122 that expired in 08/18. (Yeah, I probably should have got new yeast when I got the new hydrometers.). I started mixing the brew. Temperature of water was 105 F. I used filtered water to make the must. I added 1 tsp. of Carlson Acid Blend and a 1 tsp. Of Carlson Pectic Enzyme.
    I added a gallon of water to my bucket. I then added 4 pounds 5 ounces of honey. To this I added all of the raspberries that I had in my freezer. This was about 2 quarts. The OSP was setting at 1.080. My bucket was filled to one quart below 2 gallons. I decided that was not enough space in bucket for yeast expansion.
    I removed a part of the mixture and put it in a gallon jug. I then added water to below the curve at the top of the jug. I added honey until the OSP was 1.050.
    I then added yeast mix spilt into two batches and tempered the yeast temp to the water temp. This was 12/2.
    Things went well. Next morning both batches were bubbling away. I mixed everything up.
    On 12/5 I added 1/4 tsp of Carlson Yeast Nutrient and mixed everything up good. The bucket and gallon jug are at 70 degrees F. The bucket was measuring 1.020. The jug was 1.028.
    I mixed everything up yesterday (12/6). Both the jug and bucket read 1.010.
    Now my concerns. I donít have enough honey left to complete the primary stage. Iím not too worried about the bucket, but the jug doesnít have any honey left and it doesnít have enough alcohol to not spoil.
    Should I add honey? I could also rack the jug and put it in the refrigerator to finish. Tonight was going to be the last time I added yeast nutrient. Now I just donít know what to do. I donít mind it finishing dry I can back sweeten later.
    Any help would be appreciated.
    Mary
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Saratoga Springs , NY
    Posts
    1,407

    Default

    Hi Mary - and welcome. I am trying to get a good handle on the actual volume of your mead. That would confirm or not your claim that there is too little alcohol in your mead for it not to spoil. My reading is that you used 4 lbs and 5 oz of honey - for a total nominal gravity of 1.150 . This is now dissolved in 3 gallons (approximately) of water so I would divide the honey's gravity by 3 and get an average gravity of 1.050 which suggests a potential ABV of around 6-7%. . That's about what you might find in a strong beer. You stated , though that your starting gravity was 1.080 but that was because you started with 2 scant gallons and I am ignoring the added fruit mainly because I have no idea how much 2 qts of raspberries weigh. My rule of thumb for fruit is that for every gallon of juice you extract you are likely to find that the gravity will be around 1.040 but a gallon of juice needs about 10 lbs of fruit for my rule of thumb to be even close to being useful. So not sure what you are asking. If you are asking whether this will "spoil". I would argue that if you transfer this into carboys or containers that you can fill up to the tippy top and so exclude air, then this will not spoil. If you are afraid that it might spoil then adding some acidity will help preserve this and if you are afraid that it might simply become oxidized then adding K-meta (campden tablets) will add free SO2 and free SO2 will inhibit oxidation. If , however, there is something about "completing the primary stage" in your question, I guess I don't understand what still needs to be "completed". At a gravity of 1.010 you can rack this into a secondary and allow this to age for as long as you want. It will (or should) still continue to ferment and the gravity should drop lower but now is a good time to transfer this mead to a secondary... But head room and air are not your friends when you do.

  3. #3

    Default

    Bernard,
    I think I am confused as you. My bucket is at the gallon and a half mark. OSP was 1.080. Last night after 5 days it was 1.010. That just seems really fast to be ready to rack into other jugs. I'm not worried about being able to find jugs to fill to the very tip-top. I got that covered. The gallon jug(or carboy as brewers like to call them) has the mead I was trying to make into a hydromel. The OSP was 1.050. There is a little less than a gallon in the jug. Last night the SP was 1.010. When I try to figure out the ABV it comes out to be 3.8 and that is the batch I am worried about spoiling. I wanted to try a hydromel to do a fast brew, I just didn't think it would go this fast. Thanks for your reply. I have read a thread or two where you have offered your advice. I would also like to make a Bochet. I found that thread very interesting.

    Mary

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