View Full Version : Adding Honey

04-28-2008, 03:10 AM
This is my first brew and I would like to say this site has been more than helpful.

12 lbs Wildflower Honey
4 gal water
3 sticks of cinnamon
5 cloves
1 pealed Orange
Red Star Pasture Champagne Yeast

Original SG: 1.07
Current SG: 1.00~1.01

I was about to rack it and tasted it and felt it wasnt sweet enough and was going to add more honey. And was wondering if I should prepare it like my must and pasteurize it or just mix it right in there?

Yo momma
04-28-2008, 06:12 AM
I would suggest not to pasturize your honey. You lose alot of aroma and flavor characters when you do so. Use the mead calculator on the main site and it will tell you how much to add to get it where you want it.

I use some of my must and gently stir in the honey until fully mixed. Be careful not to aerate it in this procedure.

04-28-2008, 01:59 PM
yo momma is right
no pasteurization needed,
your yeast should be resilient enough to fight off any wild yeast that may have grown in your honey

Medsen Fey
04-28-2008, 02:54 PM
Welcome haricari!

If you add more honey at this point, your yeast may chew it up to make more alcohol as you are nowhere near the alcohol tolerance of the pasteur champagne yeast (13-15% ABV). Your original gravity was 1.07 so your current ABV cannot be much greater than about 9%. When you add honey in stages (step feeding) it tends to push the ABV up (sometimes beyond the usual limit), but may give off flavors as the yeast become stressed. Now if you haven't used any nutrients, and did not aerate the must, the yeast may not be able to go even up to 13%, but it will still probably be able to go higher than where it is currently. So if you add more honey, a couple pounds of it may not contribute sweetness that will last as it will get fermented.

If you want to keep the current alcohol level and just want to make it sweeter, you probably want to "stabilize" your mead with sulfite and sorbate. This will prevent the yeast from continuing to ferment the new sugars added (in the honey). You don't need to pasteurize or treat the honey. You can do a forum search on stabilizing and "backsweetening" to find threads that discuss how to approach this (it isn't too hard). If you aren't one to use the chemicals, there are other methods such as filtering, or multiple rackings that you can read up on as well.

I would suggest checking you hydrometer readings carefully as there is a fairly big difference between 1.000 and 1.010. Also, adding 12 lbs of honey to a 5 gallon batch, I would expect your starting gravity to be a little higher (in the range of 1.085-1.090).

I hope that helps,

I hope that helps.

Dan McFeeley
04-28-2008, 03:20 PM
Welcome to the forums!

You needn't worry about possible contamination by adding honey. The osmotic pressure of honey is very high, more than enogh to kill anything that drops into it. The wild yeasts that are able to survive in honey are osmophilic yeasts, specifically adapted to high density environments. They die off when the honey is diluted to must levels.

You can add honey without worry -- just make sure the containers and utensils are sanitized, and you're good.

05-04-2008, 03:26 AM
thanks all, i followed yo mamma advice and used some must to dissolve my honey (roughly 4 lbs)

medsen I did add nutriants as well as some energizer when i initially made my must, posted around 4am my time after coming home from work so i must have forgot. I aerated it for the first 3 days. I thought my sg was low when i checked it as well.