View Full Version : Raspberry Melomel - Super Fast Fermentation

07-20-2015, 10:56 PM
So I started this batch yesterday. I started in a one gallon carboy. The recipe was:

- 3 lbs of honey (2 Orange Blossom and 1 Clover)
- Probably 3/4 a Gallon of water
- One tsp of pectic enzyme, one tsp of yeast nutrient and one half teaspoon of acid blend

Took a gravity reading and it was very high around 1.16:


So I added 12 oz of frozen raspberries and pitched my yeast (full packet of Lavlin D47) and let it sit:


I didn't leave enough head room and only some timely intervention with a sanitized turkey baster prevented an airlock blow out.

So fast forward to today at 1:30, 21 hours after pitching my yeast I degassed the mead and took a new gravity:


Yeah, that just below the 1.00 line. Um, what?

07-21-2015, 01:03 AM
Impressive! Which yeast?

07-21-2015, 01:29 PM
Took a gravity reading and it was very high around 1.16:

...today at 1:30...Yeah, that just below the 1.00 line. Um, what?

Did you mean the original gravity was 1.116 and todays gravity was 1.100? Hard to tell exactly, but the first picture looks like 1.116 and the second looks like 1.098 or so.

Did you take a gravity reading after adding the raspberries? Fruit juice is often well under 1.100 and lowers the gravity when added at the beginning of the ferment. My olallieberry melomel was 1.106 when I mixed the honey and water but dropped to 1.090 as soon as I added the berries, which was before I pitched the yeast.

07-21-2015, 02:06 PM
I'm thinking this is a misreading or the hydrometer was stuck to the side of the tube. I'm sure 3 lbs of honey won't take 1 gallon up to 1.16

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07-21-2015, 05:37 PM
Original I took was 1.16. My mistake was not taking a reading after adding the berries, something I will correct when I do this again. After degassing today it was 1.086.

Impressive! Which yeast?

One full packet of Lavlin D47.


07-22-2015, 08:30 AM
I'm thinking this is a misreading or the hydrometer was stuck to the side of the tube. I'm sure 3 lbs of honey won't take 1 gallon up to 1.16

I agree. 3lbs/gallon gives a gravity in the 1.100 - 1.115 range, variables that affect this are the accuracy of the honey weight and water volume. I generally take multiple gravity readings and add water until the gravity is close to my target. I like most of my meads to start around 1.100.


Your mead is doing fine. Again, you do get a gravity drop when juice/fruit is added and in my experience fruit meads do tend to ferment fast. Some of mine have fermented below 1.000 in a week to two weeks.

Back to your original gravity: Your first photo looks to show a gravity of about 1.116, not 1.16. I'm basing this on your photo: the scale of the hydrometer is mostly visible, starting from the top at 50 and going down past 100 to about 116. Unless you bought a specialty hydrometer such as an All-Grain type or Proof type (for whiskey), most of the hydrometers sold at home brew supply stores do not go to 1.160 - some triple scale hydrometers stop at 1.160 but many do not go that high.

07-22-2015, 03:27 PM
Quick pro-tip on adding inline images from imgur: You can append s, m, l, or h to the filename to auto-resize it (s = small, m = medium, l = large, h = huge)

For example, this image: http://i.imgur.com/UIoI90Z.jpg ---> http://i.imgur.com/UIoI90Z{add here}.jpg

small: http://i.imgur.com/UIoI90Zs.jpg


medium: http://i.imgur.com/UIoI90Zm.jpg


large: http://i.imgur.com/UIoI90Zl.jpg


07-22-2015, 06:10 PM
Thanks, for some reason its not letting me edit my earlier posts. Can't find the Edit button.

1.076 today.


07-22-2015, 07:32 PM
I think you only have a few hours to edit, then it goes away. I've had the same problem.

That melomel is looking good, nice red color. Can't wait to see it when it clears.

07-23-2015, 07:53 PM
1.068 today.


Can't wait for 1.050 (1/3 sugar breakish) so I can stop degassing every day. I took a sip of it today and its definitely starting to taste like a raspberry flavored fermented beverage.

07-24-2015, 05:00 PM

Getting closer to the break. Actually a nice little taste to it atm.

07-25-2015, 08:17 PM

Looks like tomorrow will be the 1/3 sugar break and the end of degassing.


I've found the 1 gallon degasser I got from the home brew shop to not be nearly as effective as my own hands.

07-26-2015, 05:23 PM
Looking like 1.047.


So I added more yeast nutrient for the 1/3 break. A lot of the literature I have read has said to stop degassing after the last nutrient addition. How do you guys feel about that?

08-02-2015, 04:15 PM
So I racked it today and I may have killed it.

So I was getting a bubble through the airlock every 7-8 seconds today before I racked. I racked it, took a SG (1.020).


Then I added some spring water to prevent oxidation.


I threw an airlock on it (with vodka, not sanitized water) and put it back to ferment. I watched for two minutes and the level on the airlock didn't change at all. So I figured maybe it had something to do with adding water after the must so I gently agitated the mead to hopefully mix some of the spring water. I'll check on it in a few hours but I really hope I didn't kill this batch.

Has anyone experienced this before, an immediate stop to fermentation after racking?

08-02-2015, 07:57 PM
I checked it and its back to fermenting.

09-01-2015, 02:37 PM
Be careful adding water to your finished product. That does slightly lower the gravity and ABV of the must and may cause the remaining yeast to get back to work. If you're not careful you could end up with a much drier, more alcoholic mead than you intended.

09-01-2015, 06:33 PM
Did you just pitch your dry yeast into your must? If you did you killed half of your yeast up front and the remainder were wounded badly.