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Old 07-04-2012, 01:07 PM   #1
mrwaffles
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Default 1 gallon mead batch questions

Hey All,

First time making mead and have some questions...

I want to do 1 gallon batches to start.

Can I ferment right in the 1 gallon jug?

How much head space do I need to leave in the 1 gallon jug?
Will it blow out the air lock like beer?

If head space is needed do I top off with more must after initial fermentation?

3lbs honey per gallon a good place to start?

Suggestions on yeast that works good for mead?

thanks

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Old 07-04-2012, 01:30 PM   #2
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Yes, you can ferment in 1 gallon jugs. Are yours plastic or glass, though?

Mead won't foam like beer, unless you've got berries or similar something in it.

Some top off in secondary and during bulk ageing.

http://brew.stderr.net/mead_og_calc.html - Mead OG calculator, although don't trust it blindly.

What kind if yeast depends on the mead you want.

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Old 07-04-2012, 02:34 PM   #3
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is there a link or post to yeasts for different types of mead?

I am going to use glass jugs.

Thanks

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Old 07-04-2012, 03:10 PM   #4
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Check out the Lalvin yeast types. Either from their official website, or here.

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Old 07-04-2012, 03:20 PM   #5
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Maybe these guys know of a better place but I learned everything I know about wine and mead making from Jack keller at winemaking.jackkeller.net. There's a lot of content there, you would do well to bookmark the site and go back to check over his musings from time to time. Here's a specific link to a page discussing many different yeast strains http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/strains.asp.

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Old 07-04-2012, 03:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
I want to do 1 gallon batches to start.

Can I ferment right in the 1 gallon jug?
Yes and a good place to start to learn how to make mead

Quote:
How much head space do I need to leave in the 1 gallon jug?
Will it blow out the air lock like beer?
Not a lot is required, if you start with a traditional mead, if you think you want to have fruit in the primary then you'll be better off with a blowoff tube instead of an airlock, fruit causes the most pressure and foaming during primary fermentation and can blow out an airlock, it's becoming more common to add fruit and flavorings during secondary not only for this reason but also for better transfer of flavor, color and aroma.


Quote:
3lbs honey per gallon a good place to start?
Depending on whether you want a sweet or dry mead this can change but 3 pounds per gallon is sort of the basic starting place

Quote:
Suggestions on yeast that works good for mead?
Like onihige mentioned, it'll depend on they type of mead you are making, what alcohol level you want to shoot for, how much honey you are using etc...

here are a couple of links about yeast

http://www.winemakermag.com/guide/yeast

And since I am a huge fan of lalvin strains

http://www.lalvinyeast.com/strains.asp


besides asking questions and reading posts here, another great resource for online information is the gotmead newbee guide.

http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?opt...=108&Itemid=14

A great book for information on honey, fermentation and ingredients is Kan Schramms "The Compleat Meadmaker" (although even the author admits some of the techniques are outdated)

http://www.amazon.com/The-Compleat-M.../dp/0937381802

ask as many questions as possible before your first batch, learn about sanitization, mixing must, proper temps, rehydrating yeast, aeration/degassing, nutrients, using a hydrometer, how different yeasts work for example some are finicky about temperature some are better for stuck ferments than primary fermentation. I know it seems like a lot but really it all comes together and isn't teribly difficult or tons of work, just important little things to getting off to a successful first batch and begining the obsession (yes it does become an addiction)

Good Luck and welcome to mead
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:46 PM   #7
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thanks for all the good info!

I do brew beer so am familiar with sanitation practices...

And have/will read up more here and the gotmead site.

Is degassing necessary on a 1 gallon batch? If so, is a few good swirls of the jug ok or do i need to break out drill and degasser wand and go to town on it?

figured any fruit or other additions would be done when I rack.

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Old 07-04-2012, 06:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwaffles View Post
Is degassing necessary on a 1 gallon batch? If so, is a few good swirls of the jug ok or do i need to break out drill and degasser wand and go to town on it?
Yeah it makes a huge difference no matter what volume you are working with, one gallon batches are easy enough to handle without busting out the powertools (unless ofcourse you just wanna play with them, no one would fault you for that). I kind of twist the carboy back and forth like it was a washing machine agitator for a couple minutes a few times a day.

Quote:
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figured any fruit or other additions would be done when I rack.
that's the route I go, all additions happen in secondary
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Old 07-04-2012, 07:51 PM   #9
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Well, most of the Q's have been answered, so I'll "put my money where my mouth is" and suggest "the swiss army knife of yeasts" (where meads are concerned) i.e. K1V-1116. A wide temp range, low foaming, low nutrient requirement, and known to produce excellent meads (well at least the traditionals).

Then you can think about whether you want to flavour or not.......

Oh, and I'd say, that if you make it in a bucket, make a bit more, say like 5 litres, then you've got something to top off with, after racking or flavouring etc.....

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