View Full Version : First Batch: Off to a good start, some questions going forward.

09-26-2013, 07:35 PM
Greetings, oh wise ones!

So in the past few days, I've gotten my very first batch of mead fermenting, albeit my process was admittedly a little bit haphazard and fraught with excitement and inexperience, but I attempted the follow the instructions of the LHBS as well as I could. I'm going for a medium-sweet mead.

Initial ingredients in the must:
14 lbs of local honey
Spring water to bring the batch to 5 gallons (probably about 3.75 gallons)
6 grams of DAP
1 capful of Wyeast energizer
EC-1118 (rehydrated according to instructions)

OG: 1.105

For the first two days nothing seemed to be happening, but as per instructions I added an additional 2 capfuls (one ~every 12 hours) of energizer and an additional 9 grams of DAP and aerated. The third day I had bubbles in the airlock about every 10 seconds, and I added another 9 grams of DAP, another capful of energizer, and aerated one last time. Now she's fermenting like crazy.

First question: Too much DAP?

Next, after perusing these forums I've realized that maybe EC-1118 isn't the best yeast to use for what I'm going for, i.e. it'll render the mead bone-dry, and I'll need to backsweeten it. I've found plenty of info on preferred methods of backsweetening, my question is, when exactly in the process should I be stabilizing and adding more honey? As the must approaches an SG of 1.000, I planned on racking it into a carboy, so should I stabilize with sorbate, wait the obligatory day, and sweeten then? Or should I wait until 6-8 weeks in the carboy and all fermentation has stopped, then do it?

As you can see I'm pretty new at this... so thanks in advance for your help!

09-27-2013, 04:13 PM
Alright, after some more digging and revising my search strategy, (I.e. Looking for "when to stabilize"), I found out that most people stabilize right after they rack off the lees (from the primary, I think), so keeping that in mind I plan on 1) racking into a 5 gallon carboy, 2) adding the proper amount of potassium sorbate, (maybe some campden tablets?) 3) waiting for all signs of fermentation to abate and gravity to stabilize, and 4) adding honey to taste then 5) waiting for everything to clear.

09-27-2013, 04:21 PM
From chapter 18 of the new bee guide:

1. About a week before you intend to bottle, rack the Mead one last time. This will remove the chances of the yeast lees being transferred into the bottles. It will also show you if the Mead is still active as fermentation may start back up again. It is at this point that chemicals such as Metabisulfites and Sorbates can be added to stop fermentation (see below for the instructions and use).

Here is the link (it is also on the left nav bar.


09-27-2013, 04:34 PM
Alright, thanks! I suppose I still wasn't looking in the right place, so I'll give that guide a more thorough read. Also, my homebrew shop had the "Compleat Meadmaker" book so I picked up a copy and have been thumbing through it as we'll.

Medsen Fey
09-28-2013, 12:05 PM
First question: Too much DAP?

No. Not enough.
2 grams DAP per gallon of must PLUS 2 grams per gallon of Wyeast energizer would be better ( still on the low side, but better)


anir dendroica
09-28-2013, 04:57 PM
Looks like CoolSage added 6+9+9 = 24 grams of DAP total. That's more than I usually add but at 220 ppm YAN or so it is in the correct range. Not sure how much nitrogen is coming in with the energizer.

Medsen Fey
09-28-2013, 06:51 PM
Sorry I missed those additional doses. This batch should have plenty of nitrogen.