So, I finally put together my very first mead this evening. I used a recipe listed in one of the other threads: http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20230
Basically here is what I used:
1 gallon orange blossom honey
5 lbs of wildflower honey
1/4 tsp potassium metabisulfite
1 lb raisins soaked in water to rehydrate
fresh orange peel from 1/2 a medium naval orange
5.5 tbsp bee pollen
2 packets (10g) Lalvin 71B yeast (will be fermenting around 76-78 degrees F.)
I put everything together, except the yeast, and added the potassium Metabisulfite (more to sanitize the the orange peel and raisins and bee pollen -i'm sadly a bit nuts about cleanliness and sanitation). I filled the fermenter up to 5.5 gal, put the lid and airlock on and left it sit overnight. This evening I boiled 1.25 cup water, let it cool to room temp, and let the yeast soak for about 20 minutes. I stirred the heck out of the must, took and OG reading, and added the yeast.
Then I thought about the OG reading - 1.2. And that's at 76 degrees, so I'll need to add around another .02 to that (now I could be slightly off, my hydrometer sucks but it was where the line looked to be at the angle where I had it sitting). I can't find anywhere on the strain spec sheet if 71B can handle that high of a starting gravity. The mead calculator says it'll end around where I plan (around 14-15%) but my concern is if the yeast can even get a foothold with that high of an original gravity reading. I know I just need to keep an eye on it, but some thoughts in the meantime would be lovely.
I really should by a refractometer, I've got bad luck reading hydrometers, so I'm hoping I may be off a bit.