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Old 04-04-2012, 02:36 PM   #1
Hosedaddy
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Default First Mead batch problem/no problem?

I started my first batch of mead 2 weeks ago today. It started bubbling nicely, after 24 hours getting an airlock bubble every 1-2 seconds. However, 2 days ago, it had slowed to 1 bubble every 18-19 seconds, now I'm not getting any airlock bubbles and the mead has clarified. My buddy, who brews beer says that he thinks it should be ready to bottle based on my taste, but I wanted a second opinion.
As well, I should note, that it's a 1 gallon batch of sweet mead, straight up, no fruit or spices added (for my first batch).

Thanks,

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Old 04-04-2012, 02:53 PM   #2
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How much honey did you use?
What yeast did you use?

I did a half gallon befor that was done fermenting in 6 days and started to clear but was not really clear till after a month.

Bubbles are also not the best way to measure if the fermentation is done. Get a hydrometer and test the gravity. If you have 3 consistent readings over a week then it is done or stuck.

Mead takes a lot a patience so don't rush anything. It may get to a few months old befor you really want to bottle it.

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Old 04-04-2012, 02:53 PM   #3
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Rack it, then see what happens.

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Old 04-04-2012, 03:03 PM   #4
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I used 4lbs of honey, and roughly half a packet of yeast.

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Old 04-04-2012, 07:24 PM   #5
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Ok, I used half a pack of Red Star "Pasteur Champagne" yeast. I failed to check my SG at the start, but based on my first every hydrometer reading, I believe that my sg is 1060. I will monitor it through the week. I just racked my mead into a fresh carboy.

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Old 04-04-2012, 07:40 PM   #6
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A gravity of 1.06 is real sweet still. I bet there is plenty of fermentation left in that yeast. Let it sit for another 2 - 3 weeks and try the gravity reading again.

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Old 04-10-2012, 06:16 AM   #7
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SG hasn't changed in a week-ish now. Doesn't taste or smell all that great. It's pretty clear as well. I racked it last week, and there is new sediment. I'll probably end up racking it again soon. If the fermentation has stopped completely as it looks like it has, does it still age?

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Old 04-10-2012, 06:30 AM   #8
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When you said SG is 1.060, is that the SG now, or when you started?

I wouldn't rack it again, try gently stirring it a bit and wait. Mead takes time, it's closer to wine than beer.

It will continue to age and mature for as long as you leave it! Most people won't bottle a good mead for at least 6 months, and will age it in the bottles for at least another year or so.

Also, What are your temperatures?

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Old 04-17-2012, 06:42 AM   #9
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I don't know what my original SG was, I failed to take a reading. It is still stable at 1.06 though. It's honey colored, but clear.

I keep it in my bedroom closet, so the temperature should be between 70-72F.

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Old 04-17-2012, 12:37 PM   #10
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Little on the warm side but still safe for that yeast I believe, if over a week it stayed stable, imo i'd rack it off the sediment aka lees, let it sit a week or so and see how it looks/tastes/smells, it'll all changes for the better as it ages. 1060 or 1.06 (same thing) is going to be dessert wine sweet though.

If thats sweeter than you are looking for you can try a few things.....

First you can simply use water that has been boiled then cooled or good bottled spring water to top off your carboy after racking, that will dilute the sweetness but also going to lower the abv.

Second you could dry pitch more yeast, you said you only used 1/2 a packet? or could get real fancy, bring about a cup and a half of water to a boil, add half the remaining yeast to it, boil about 10 minutes, let it cool to around 100*F add a teaspoon of honey and stir the crap out of it, use a wire wisk if you have it, sprinkle the last of the yeast ontop leave it be for about 15 minutes to rehydrate then swirl it up good and pitch it, then you'd be adding some fresh yeast and food for it (the boiled yeast) and that may dry it out for you.

Third...yeah you have options if you want to bring the sweetness down....this will take your hydrometer reading down to sub 1.000, real dry no sweetness, go to your lhbs or wherever you get yeast and get some Lalvin 1118...the beast.....pitch that and stand back

One thing you didn't mention was if you used any type of nutrients, its technically not a neccesity you can make a show mead style without them but youre looking at a much longer ferment and aging period.

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