Author Topic: My first attempt at Mead. Please confirm my process.  (Read 354 times)

Offline kombuchawarrior

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My first attempt at Mead. Please confirm my process.
« on: January 09, 2021, 11:47:17 AM »
Hello friends!
This is my first attempt at Mead making. I have procured some nice natural raw honey direct from a honey collector. It has not been treated, not even filtered. Also has pollen. The temperatures here are low (around 11-13 deg C daytime, nighttime goes down to 4 degrees C). I want to make a 4L batch. I seek advice from elders to affirm I am on the right path please. Here's what my process will be.
Batch size. 4L
Ingredients:
Honey 1.3kg.
Water 2.7 litres (alpine spring water from a rivulet)
Yeast .6 gms per litre (yeast procured online rated at 15% ABV
DAP 2gms staggered/step fed in 3 parts
Energiser 2gms staggered as DAP nutrient
Lemon juice 3 teaspoon
Campden powder 1gm.

Process:
Sanitise all vessels
Heat honey to 35 deg to make it runny and filter manually to remove contaminants like bee parts etc
Add 1/2 the water heated to 35 deg C to honey
Shake well to mix.
Add DAP, Energiser, Capden & lime juice. Shake well
Add rest of the water and shake till honey is well assimilated.
Check Gravity reading, Close lid and leave overnight without Airlock
Activate yeast
Bring must to 20 degree C (yeast pitching temp is mentioned on label)
Add activated yeast to must (honey water solution)
Pour from one vessel to another 3-4 time to introduce oxygen
Leave for a month with airlock
Check OG again
Transfer to secondary and leave for another 3-4 months with airlock.
I shall try to maintain temperature around 20 degC using a digital temperature controller & a heat blower.
Check FG
Taste, back sweeten if required.
Bottle

Please educate me if the process sounds OK and fill up loopholes if any.
Thank you all for your time.

Kind Regards,
Jasii

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: My first attempt at Mead. Please confirm my process.
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2021, 01:11:50 PM »
Welcome to the forum and to mead making!

It sounds like you have definitely read a lot and learned the process.  Your recipe will make a great mead.  You don't need to change anything in the recipe.

With respect to temperatures, 4-13 C would indeed be quite cold for a mead.  As an alternative to blowing heat, I might suggest fermenting in a normal room-temperature ambient environment at 20-22 C, but set your fermenter into a small tub with ~5 cm of water, and place a soaking wet t-shirt over it.  A wicking effect will keep the t-shirt wet at all times and evaporation will provide cooling to bring the fermentation temperature down by about 2-3 C, which is a little better than ambient room temperature (and much better than temperatures down to 4 C which would be much too cold).  Is this feasible for you to do?

Follow your process and try to keep a stable temperature, and you should have a great mead on your first try.  Enjoy it!
« Last Edit: January 09, 2021, 01:13:43 PM by dmtaylor »
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline joe_meadmaker

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Re: My first attempt at Mead. Please confirm my process.
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2021, 02:34:19 PM »
I agree with Dave.  All looks good.

One more thing I'll add.  Based on the amount of honey you're adding, I would estimate your OG will come out around 1.105.  That could be off a bit, just an estimate.  If the fermentability of the honey is high, you should end up with a mead on the dry side, if you're not planning to back sweeten.  But that will be something to consider when you take the gravity reading after fermentation is done.

Hope it goes well for you.  Cheers!

Offline kombuchawarrior

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Re: My first attempt at Mead. Please confirm my process.
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2021, 05:07:07 PM »
Welcome to the forum and to mead making!

It sounds like you have definitely read a lot and learned the process.  Your recipe will make a great mead.  You don't need to change anything in the recipe.

With respect to temperatures, 4-13 C would indeed be quite cold for a mead.  As an alternative to blowing heat, I might suggest fermenting in a normal room-temperature ambient environment at 20-22 C, but set your fermenter into a small tub with ~5 cm of water, and place a soaking wet t-shirt over it.  A wicking effect will keep the t-shirt wet at all times and evaporation will provide cooling to bring the fermentation temperature down by about 2-3 C, which is a little better than ambient room temperature (and much better than temperatures down to 4 C which would be much too cold).  Is this feasible for you to do?

Follow your process and try to keep a stable temperature, and you should have a great mead on your first try.  Enjoy it!

Thank You so much Dave for the warm welcome and your words of encouragement. Mighty obliged Sir!
Temperature control is certainly a point of concern. With a precise temp controlled fermenter not at my disposal. I thought of putting a heat blower in a small kitchen and controlling the ambient temperature of the room via a dual temperature controller. This will be valid for the winters. In the summers I can shift the fermenter into a fridge and use the temp controller to maintain the temperature. Am I wrong in my thinking? I am sorry but my naive/inexperience has not made me understand your suggestion of using the T-shirt as a wick. I stay in a small town in the north of India and central temperature control of rooms is not available. We make do with a fireplace/heaters in the winters and fans in summers.
Kind Regards,
Jasii

Offline kombuchawarrior

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Re: My first attempt at Mead. Please confirm my process.
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2021, 05:13:06 PM »
I agree with Dave.  All looks good.

One more thing I'll add.  Based on the amount of honey you're adding, I would estimate your OG will come out around 1.105.  That could be off a bit, just an estimate.  If the fermentability of the honey is high, you should end up with a mead on the dry side, if you're not planning to back sweeten.  But that will be something to consider when you take the gravity reading after fermentation is done.

Hope it goes well for you.  Cheers!
Thank you kind Sir for your words of wisdom. Fermentability of the wild honey is unknown. Will come to know once I immerse myself in the process. Most honey sold commercially in India is not raw and as I have chosen to go with the wild, raw, unpasteurised version. There are a lot of variables that will remain unknown till I aim committed to the process. Will update as I go along. Would request some handholding from all elders here.
Kind regards,
Jasii

Offline JEFFSTEELE

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Re: My first attempt at Mead. Please confirm my process.
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2021, 06:54:18 PM »
Your temps look fine.  I personally don't put campden tablets in anything.  If you're worried your water could harbor some bacteria just boil it and let it cool to the temp you need.  Honey is naturally antibacterial and anti viral.  I use 4 lb honey ( approx 1 1/3 quarts ) per gallon of water and come out with about 16 to 18 percent.  Of course I do a whole hive mead.  If my calculations are right ( I'm not very good with metric ) you have a little over 4 lbs honey in about 3/4 gallon water.  My guess would be if the yeast does as advertised, 15 %, then you may end up with a sweet mead.  But that's alright, every bodies tastes are different.  I like semi or dry.

Offline joe_meadmaker

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Re: My first attempt at Mead. Please confirm my process.
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2021, 09:51:32 PM »
1.3 kg of honey will be a little under 3 lb.

Offline JEFFSTEELE

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Re: My first attempt at Mead. Please confirm my process.
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2021, 04:36:11 PM »
Good thing I said in advance I'm not very good with metric....LOL   I stand corrected