First time mead, need some help

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First time mead, need some help

Postby turbo_ale » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:08 am

I made a mead at the end of April. Originally started off using 6 lbs honey & 3 lbs blue agave syrup, 9 lbs total sugars for a five gallon batch. Was told that ratio to water was not enough unless you want a very dry meed. I want a semi sweet mead so after 35 days of fermenting, I racked the mead into another carboy, which had another 6 lbs of honey and 1.5 lbs blue agave syrup at the bottom of carboy. The mead and sugars separated and cleared up, but no activity. Prior to raking I could see very small tiny bubbles rising to the top (fermenting).

Question: Should I get another vial of yeast and re-pitch to get this going again? If so do I need to carefully stir and get the sugars mixed up then pitch?

I used to start with WLP720 yeast.
The carboy is not temp controlled, average temp ranges from 68-74F
ON TAP:
1. 1C
2. 4B
3.
4.
5.
6.
Bottled: Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, 16B, 18B, 18E, 19B, 20, 21A, 23, 27
Fermenting:
Next: 5C

BEER, a mixture of malted grains, water, hops and yeast, that is transformed through the course of fermentation that transcends the simplicity of those basic ingredients, fundamentally into the drink of life.
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Re: First time mead, need some help

Postby turbo_ale » Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:55 pm

turbo_ale wrote:Question: Should I get another vial of yeast and re-pitch to get this going again? If so do I need to carefully stir and get the sugars mixed up then pitch?


OK, this is my plan, going to rack off the fermented mead into a sanitize container and leave 2" of mead above the fresh honey/agave layer. Going to gently stir this up, set the carboy into sink with hot water. Mix again when warmed up. Pour the honey/mead into a pot and heat to 180F. Pour back into the carboy then rack the rest of mead back into the carboy. Stir up and let cool to 80F and then pitch another vial of WLP720 yeast.
ON TAP:
1. 1C
2. 4B
3.
4.
5.
6.
Bottled: Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, 16B, 18B, 18E, 19B, 20, 21A, 23, 27
Fermenting:
Next: 5C

BEER, a mixture of malted grains, water, hops and yeast, that is transformed through the course of fermentation that transcends the simplicity of those basic ingredients, fundamentally into the drink of life.
turbo_ale
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Re: First time mead, need some help

Postby thetooth » Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:53 am

Should be interesting. Good luck!
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Re: First time mead, need some help

Postby hwasone » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:02 am

your friends were right - ish. with mead, most of your sugars are nye 100% fermentable, so the final gravity is going to be below 1 unless the yeast die of alcohol poisoning. so you can let them ferment all the way out, kill 'em good with campden, and backsweeten, or start with more honey, and a big ol' heap of patience.

as for kick-starting... good luck. i have a hard enough time (as in, no success ever) with beer that stalls out.

have a copy of zymurgy from about a year ago with the St Paul mead folk talking shop? it's a good read.
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Re: First time mead, need some help

Postby turbo_ale » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:14 pm

Well this Saturday I got another vial of yeast, I did the process as stated above, the sugars are definitely in solution. What I see now is a yeast layer at the bottom, the mead has not cleared or separated at this point. The mead is hazy, not crystal clear like before, so I think something is happening. There is no active ferment that can be seen by eye, time will tell. I did a gravity test of the mead before messing with it, 1.040, after the new sugars were mixed up the number is now 1.088
ON TAP:
1. 1C
2. 4B
3.
4.
5.
6.
Bottled: Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, 16B, 18B, 18E, 19B, 20, 21A, 23, 27
Fermenting:
Next: 5C

BEER, a mixture of malted grains, water, hops and yeast, that is transformed through the course of fermentation that transcends the simplicity of those basic ingredients, fundamentally into the drink of life.
turbo_ale
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Posts: 2702
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Re: First time mead, need some help

Postby hwasone » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:06 am

turbo_ale wrote:... I did a gravity test of the mead before messing with it, 1.040, after the new sugars were mixed up the number is now 1.088


mmm....booze :D
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