Author Topic: Is My Mead Okay?  (Read 322 times)

Offline Chocster

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Is My Mead Okay?
« on: June 02, 2022, 09:27:51 am »
Hey, new brewer here! I'll try to keep this post brief. I am on the 6th day of fermenting a gallon of mead in a glass carboy out of a mead-making kit and the bubbles in the airlock are slow, to say the least. I'm talking multiple minutes apart when I checked this morning. There still seems to be quite a bit of activity within the carboy itself. (I can see bubbles still coming up, slower than the first couple of days of course but still clearly there.) It's currently sitting in a closet on the higher side of the 65*F-75*F range, maybe that's an issue? I don't have the equipment to hold a solid temperature constantly at the moment. I'm pretty sure I degassed the mead correctly on day 2 and day 5 but the instructions were not exceptionally clear.

When degassing, I covered the hole and swirled the mead, letting out little bits of gas at a time. I got sprayed in the face on day 2 lol, on day 5, there wasn't nearly as much foaming. That's about as much information as I got about my mead. I've never seen a stuck mead so I ask; Is my mead normal or is it stuck?

Also, how sensitive is the fermentation process? Should I worry about moving the liquid too much if I am moving it? And how worried should I be about exposing one of my homebrews to light on days that I am actively working them?

Any information helps!

Thank you,
Chocster

Offline joe_meadmaker

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Re: Is My Mead Okay?
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2022, 09:22:44 pm »
I wouldn't be too concerned at this point.  A small batch may not take very long to ferment.  Especially at higher temps, which usually cause a faster fermentation.

Do you have any idea what your starting gravity was?  If not, do you know how much honey you put in?  That will give us a ballpark estimate.  One pound of honey per gallon of must will give you around 1.036 SG.  In case you're not aware, "must" is the term for the mixture of honey and water.  So it's basically the wine/mead equivalent of wort.

For degassing you don't need to keep the top covered.  Just open it up and swirl things around slowly (trying to avoid that volcano ;)).  If fermentation has slowed, don't worry about degassing any more at this point.  Not until you're going to bottle.  Moving it around isn't any problem.  You'll just want to avoid that when you get close to bottling time, so any sediment will settle at the bottom as much as possible.  In my experience, light doesn't effect mead.  I wouldn't store it in direct sunlight or anything like that, but any incidental exposure wouldn't cause any concern for me.

Offline Chocster

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Re: Is My Mead Okay?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2022, 02:30:58 pm »
I wouldn't be too concerned at this point.  A small batch may not take very long to ferment.  Especially at higher temps, which usually cause a faster fermentation.

Do you have any idea what your starting gravity was?  If not, do you know how much honey you put in?  That will give us a ballpark estimate.  One pound of honey per gallon of must will give you around 1.036 SG.  In case you're not aware, "must" is the term for the mixture of honey and water.  So it's basically the wine/mead equivalent of wort.

For degassing you don't need to keep the top covered.  Just open it up and swirl things around slowly (trying to avoid that volcano ;)).  If fermentation has slowed, don't worry about degassing any more at this point.  Not until you're going to bottle.  Moving it around isn't any problem.  You'll just want to avoid that when you get close to bottling time, so any sediment will settle at the bottom as much as possible.  In my experience, light doesn't effect mead.  I wouldn't store it in direct sunlight or anything like that, but any incidental exposure wouldn't cause any concern for me.

I appreciate your reply! I did not have a hydrometer on hand but the kit I used called for 2.5 pounds of honey for a gallon of mead. The must looks the same today as it did yesterday if not less active.

Offline purduekenn

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Re: Is My Mead Okay?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2022, 06:57:17 am »
When I've made 1 gallon meads with about 2.5 pounds of honey it took about 3 - 4 weeks before it was done and bottled. Best to use a hydrometer to get a final gravity before bottling.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2022, 08:10:57 am by purduekenn »

Offline Dan Schreffler

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Re: Is My Mead Okay?
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2022, 12:13:23 pm »
Everything joe_meadmaker said is spot on.  Just to add a little more... 

Did you use nutrients and what yeasts ?  The more you tell us about the recipe the more folk can help. #1 ingredient is patience ;-)

A sign of fermentation completing is the mead starting to clear.  I usually wait 4-6 weeks to allow the yeast to do all its work, but that is just my protocol at our meadery.  Airlock activity changes with temperature, so not a reliable indicator that fermentation has stopped.
 
Without a refractometer or hydrometer you can alway go by how does it taste?  How sweet is it?  Are you starting to perceive alcohol in the taste/smell?

Dan Schreffler
Space Time Mead & Cider Works
Dunmore PA

Offline joe_meadmaker

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Re: Is My Mead Okay?
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2022, 03:24:16 pm »
I did not have a hydrometer on hand but the kit I used called for 2.5 pounds of honey for a gallon of mead.

That should put your OG in the neighborhood of 1.090.  It could be a little more or a little less, but should be close.

If the fermentation has completely stopped, I wouldn't worry about trying to get it going again.  It's likely done, or for whatever reason is at a point where it's not going to go any further.  Different kinds of honey will vary on how much they will ferment out.

As Dan mentioned, you can give it a taste at this point and see how it is.  But at only a few weeks old, you have an extremely young mead there.  The flavor might not be very good at this point.  It may taste hot (alcoholic) and the honey flavors likely won't be anywhere near as developed as they'll be after a little maturing time.  I would tuck it away somewhere for a couple months to let it clear and mature a little.  Then give it a taste and see if you think it's ready for bottling.

Cheers man!  Let us know how it turns out.