View Full Version : Merciful Honey Badgers; what have I done?

06-22-2011, 10:54 AM
I made my first batch of mead, reading over two books I decided to kinda wing it and mix the recipes. I use just over 2.5 pounds of honey, one gallon of water, a whole pack of champagne yeast, I think 1/8th teaspoon of tannins, and 1/8th teaspoon of acid blend (forgive me my notes are at my house and I am not) and 2 teaspoons of yeast nutrient. I let it sit in the primary for one week and then three weeks in the secondary. It continued a strong ferment up into the second week of the secondary, then last night I racked to a new container to let it sit till the opening of September. Well in the process of racking I decided to have a sip and see if I have created anything good, it had a slow burn almost like a whiskey. Now I have had mead from a professional meadery and have not come across this burn before, I wish that I had taken hydrometer readings to find the levels. So my question is, does this sound stable and good or have I created something evil? Has anyone else came across a slow burning mead as well?

06-22-2011, 11:20 AM
This is only because it's a young mead.

More than just ethanol is created in fermentation. Other "higher" alcohols such as methanol are also created and are what creates that "hot" taste in a young mead.

With time that heat will go away. The amount of time it takes depends on a number of things, but most of the time you will have a very drinkable brew within a year despite it's heat right now.

06-22-2011, 11:34 AM
Thank you for your insight :)

06-22-2011, 11:49 AM
Thank you for your insight :)


I should also mention that with only 2.5 pounds of honey in 1 gallon and a genuine wine strain, this will probably have fermented completely dry which will also make it taste even hotter.

If you're not into dry wines you'll want to eventually back sweeten this.

06-22-2011, 08:26 PM
In sensible speak, this is
1.134 kg
3.785 litres
so guesstimating

1.134/1.4 = 0.810 litres of honey.
So 3.785 + 0.810 = 4.595 litres all up. (<5 quarts)
3.785 + 1.134 = 4.919 kg
so SG = 4.919/4.595 = 1.070

So there is very little chance at all that this is not dry now.
1.070 has a "alcohol potential" (I hate this term) of 0.070*135 = 9.45%

There aren't many yeasts that have a lower tolerance than this.

Get a hydrometer.
Confirm that your SG is 1.0 or below, then in a week confirm it hasn't moved.

Then you'll be safe to bottle.
Sit on it for a year. add honey in the glass to sweeten if need be. Adding honey to the bottle will result in mpore fermentation, which is a bad thing.

Please bear in mind that the above calculations are all guesstimates, and there's a 'mead calculator' to be found somewhere on this site that will make less mistakes than me.

Mind you, it would have been stronger if you added 2.5 pounds, then topped up to 1 Gal...

06-22-2011, 11:20 PM
In sensible speak...


As LoadnaBox said, it's young and will require some aging. Also, in the future, you may consider adding acid and tannin blends after fermentation to taste.

06-23-2011, 01:53 AM
Hello Lyka,

Welcome to Got Mead?

A couple of things here. I'm sure you're already getting the idea that winging it is not a great way to make mead and that combining recipes is not a great practice either unless you really know what you're doing.

Acid additions are unnecessary until your mead is finished and can be made if you feel that the mead needs to have more acid to balance out the overall flavor profile. Adding acid up front can also cause a stalled fermentation if the acid addition is sufficient to drive down the pH of the mead. Yeasties like an environment that is between 3.3 and 4.2 for the most part, and there are exceptions.

As mentioned below by other posters your mead is young and hot (but not in a good way) which means it will need time and a cool place to age and mellow into something truly wonderful.

Take a gander at the New Bees Guide to Making Mead here at GotMead and be sure to post up your next recipe for evaluation before you make it. Take the time acquaint yourself with different yeasts and how to prepare them for your next batch. You'll be glad you did.



Once again, Welcome to Got Mead? and we wish you the very best in mead, meadmaking and mead drinking!