View Full Version : Story of two meads...

10-08-2012, 12:07 PM
...and being completely clueless.

I decided to make some mead. I've brewed a few beers with some success so decided to try making some mead, largely because I had the honey and some other misc ingredients. However I *think* I may have run into some problems but being completely new to the whole process, I just don't know.

Mead one. Honey only, I believe it's called a "Show mead"? Is that correct. Temps for both meads have been at a low of 64 and a high of 72. It's pretty consistently been around the 68-70 range.

Recipe and process.
18#'s of wild flower honey from my hives and enough water to make move it up to 5gal. That's it.

Mixed it up, added a Campden tablet. Let it sit over night.

Next day I mixed up one packet of Lalvin IVC D-47 yeast per package instructions and 1/2 tsp of WYeast wine nutrient.

Mixed everything up thoroughly making sure to get it well aerated and put it all in a 6gal glass carboy with bubbler.

Starting SG on 9/22 was 1.126. I did check PH, but it was high, near or off the wine PH strips chart I had. 4.3+.

Fermentation started slowly and seemed to be taking off after 48hrs.

I added an additional 1/2 tsp of the same nutrients at 24, 48 and 72 hours and mixed it in.

SG on 9/24 was 1.119. SG on 9/25 was 1.111. I checked at the same time I added nutrients.

About half way thru the week I was concerned that it was fermenting to slow so added some more nutrients...not sure if that was good or bad at this point, but added another 2 tsps of the same wyeast wine nutrient.

SG 9/29, one week after pitching the yeast was 1.104 and final SG check yesterday 10/7 was 1.072.

It is still fermenting but I'm two weeks in and the bubbling is very slow and I'm only at the half way point where I want to end up 1.015-1.020.

I'm concerned about this mead and was wondering if this appears to be a normal progression or is there something else I should do.

Mead two is even more of an experiment and is a melon mead. I had 3-4 yellow watermelons in the Garden and I had been eating them all year long and was pretty much sick of them. Didn't want them to go to waste so here we are.

Started with ~1.5 gals of watermelon juice. All yellow except for one small red I had. 2quarts of mashed strawberries and 3 small limes. Total juices was again ~1.5 gals.

All of the juice was strained thru a #200 screen.

SG of the juice itself was 1.005. I added ~1.5 gals of water. I then added a little over 12#'s of the same honey which brought the SG up to 1.117 with a total volume of ~4gals.

I then added a Campden tablet, let it sit for 24 hours.

I then pitched Red Star Montrachet yeast according to package and added 1/2 tsp nutrients as I did the other recipe. I chose the Montrachet because I had read you wanted a bit faster fermentation with the melon types to get the ABV up to prevent bacteria growth on the left overs.

Fermentation took place pretty quickly starting less than 12 hours later and going pretty strongly by the next day.

I added 1 tsp nutrients at 48 hours.

This mead was pitched 9/29. SG on 10/7 was 1.069 and is still fermenting, by bubble anyway, more strongly than the other mead.

I did not check PH on this one as I had forgotten to.

Oddly enough this is the one that I thought I would have problems with but seems to be doing better than the other and if it continues should reach the goal 1.010-1.015 under four weeks.

Again not knowing what a normal progression is for mead does it look like the first one is running into problems?

I've vigorously shaken to oxygenate both of them a couple times. I *Think* they are fine as far as nutrients, although I'm not 100% sure the WYeast is the best choice.

Any thoughts? Any help would be appreciated.


Chevette Girl
10-09-2012, 12:26 AM
Welcome to the forum!

Your first mead is actually a traditional mead, since you added nutrients. But the progression doesn't sound out of line for that starting gravity. Next time though, aim for a lower initial SG if you want a quick clean ferment, sometimes it's a bit hard for the yeast to get going and it's not that difficult to add more honey to sweeten it up again later.

I've done watermelon mead (the brewlog's around here somewhere if you use the forum search tool) and I don't recall it being problematic in the early stages, it just caught a stink later on which seems to be slowly going away.

Oh, and one campden tablet per gallon is what you want to be adding, one in a 5 gallon batch won't do much.

Check your pH's again, they often drop during fermentation.

Good luck!

10-09-2012, 10:10 AM
Well it would appear the universe is simply trying to teach me a lesson. Seems every hobby and life endeavor I've run into in the last several years has one thing in common...patience :-) Raising kids, keeping bees and now mead...patience, patience, patience.

Thanks for the info. Looks like I will simply sit back and let it bubble away, slowly or otherwise.

Thanks again.


Chevette Girl
10-09-2012, 11:01 AM
Yep... although I somehow think that rushing mead will not lead to such exciting effects as rushing bees... :eek:

11-30-2012, 08:31 AM
nice post Oddly enough this is the one that I thought I would have problems with but seems to be doing better than the other and if it continues should