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Old 10-21-2008, 03:35 PM   #1
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Default First proper mead, and I'm pretty sure it got infected.

I take all responsibility for this. I couldn't afford to make beer that day, and I had a bunch of stuff laying around the house. So I made a Recession Mead. I had about 11# of Costco honey, and a quart of my aunt's pressure canned raspberry sauce. (Raspberries and sugar cooked down into a rough syrup. Amazing on ice cream) So I mixed it all up and threw it in my empty carboy with a 1500mL starter of White Labs Sweet Mead yeast that I made the night before. I made my starter by just adding honey until I got to about 1.070, added a pinch of yeast nutrient. My OG on the mead was 1.096. I also put a tsp of nutrient in the must. Now, about 2 1/2 weeks later, I'm down to 1.006

Sheesh, it's enough to make a guy want to stick to beer!

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Old 10-21-2008, 03:41 PM   #3
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Mead looks different than beer!
Some of the junk that floats out of the honey after fermentation can look pretty nasty, but I'm almost sure you don't have an infection.

POST PICKS!

ALSO...Mead ferments very slowly...we talk about months and years when we speak of mead...not like beer where we speak in days and weeks.

POST PICKS!

IT's fine!

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Old 10-21-2008, 04:02 PM   #4
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The reason that I think that it is infected is that I have 92% apparent attenuation out of a 75% mead yeast, and I got it in 20 days...but here's a pic, only cuz Yooper asked. It doesn't look infected, it's just the attenuation that's got me worried.

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Old 10-21-2008, 04:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TerapinChef View Post
The reason that I think that it is infected is that I have 92% apparent attenuation out of a 75% mead yeast, and I got it in 20 days...but here's a pic, only cuz Yooper asked. It doesn't look infected, it's just the attenuation that's got me worried.
Actually, BigKahuna asked for the picture.

Here's the neat thing about attenuation- there is apparent attenuation, and then real attenuation. Mead doesn't have the residual unfermentables that beer does, so apparent attenuation isn't the same, if that makes sense. If I used, say EC1118, on a mead that started at 1.100 and it finished at .990 (totally possible), the apparent attenuation would be 110.2%. Now, of course that's not possible. But it can certainly get to 15%, and that would be a real attenuation of nearly 89%. Again, certainly possible.

So, you're mead isn't done. You're at a little over 8%. It'll finish quite a bit lower- how low is the question. Probably not any higher than .996. I'm no expert with that yeast, but since it can go up to 15%, it might even finish lower than that.
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Old 10-21-2008, 04:32 PM   #6
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Thte good thing....Is that you really don't have an infection.

The bad thing...you used clear glass.

Put a t-shirt over that thing and put it somewhere where you can't see it....it's fine if you'll leave it alone.

Yoopers math means (to a dimwit like me) that you have a little time to go...and you still may not finish "Sweet" I'm not real familiar with that yeast, as I prefer wine yeast for meads, but you can't expect the yeast to magicly know when to stop....It'll go till the alcohol is strong enough to kill it. Any remaining sugar is what makes the mead "Sweet" At 1.096 OG, I'm thinking you'll end up around .996 eventually...maybe 0.990 like Yooper said... which is good...its dryer than you were expecting...but you'll be glad of that.

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Old 10-23-2008, 01:46 AM   #7
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Thanks guys, I felt like a noob all over again. Well, I guess I am when it comes to mead. This was my first real batch, I've only made quick mead in the past, and only in 1G batches.

ps. I do cover the carboy with a hoodie when I'm not taking pictures. I'd keep it in the basement with the beer, but I don't want them to become too good of friends...

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Old 10-23-2008, 03:10 AM   #8
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...The bad thing...you used clear glass.
I'm curious why you feel this is a "bad" thing?
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Old 10-23-2008, 03:15 AM   #9
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I'm curious why you feel this is a "bad" thing?
The Curse of Clear Glass:

IF YOU CAN SEE IT...YOU'LL FRET OVER IT!

That's Just how it is.....I do it...you do it too...if you are honest with yourself!

I know it's fine....I've seen it hundreds of times....well...no I haven't I used Ale Pails till about 25 batches ago.

Secondary was always done in glass...but it's a lot less to look at.
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:04 AM   #10
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The Curse of Clear Glass: IF YOU CAN SEE IT...YOU'LL FRET OVER IT! That's Just how it is.....I do it...you do it too...if you are honest with yourself!
I guesss I must be the exception as I am too analytical to worry about what I see... I've monitored so many fermentations (beer, wine, mead, & cider) that I 've learned to trust my measurements and my methods.

In 20+ years of home brewing, I've had only two problem batches (both meads). Neither had anything to do with the type of vessel in which the must was fermenting. Both, had everything to do with following recipes from books that used "old school" methods.

As a result of those learning experiences, I made it my goal to learn as much as I could about the science behind successful home brewing. To that end,I try to help others by conveying that knowledge to others...
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