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Old 02-18-2008, 08:36 PM   #1
gmay10
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Default mead- 3 months in

I need some help. I started my first batch (5 gallon) of mead Nov. 12. I used one gallon of honey and 6 pomegranates. I just put it into a 2nd fermenter 2 weeks ago. I tasted some and it has a distinct alcohol taste (used Montrachet yeast) but was a little yeasty and cloudy. What should I do next? When can I bottle it? I know it takes a year but I have no clue on a time line.
I hear the yeast taste will settle out with time along with the cloudiness.
Thanks for any help

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Old 02-18-2008, 09:57 PM   #2
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I may be wrong on this. I just started my first mead a few days ago. I thought the idea was to wait until fermentation was complete and then transfer to a secondary wait ~3 months and it should be clear(er) and go from there as to whether to rack again or add finings.

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Old 02-18-2008, 10:29 PM   #3
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You don't have to transfer to secondary, especially if you don't have two carboys, but it helps the clearing process. You don't want to bottle until fermentation is complete, shown by consistent hydrometer readings. I would suggest you leave it in your carboy without touching it until it is crystal clear, enough to read a newspaper through it is a common rule of thumb. Once it is good and clear, you can rack to secondary or a bottling bucket and you should be good to go. The cloudiness is from the yeast and their byproducts floating around, once fermentation is complete all of that will settle and it will be a beautiful crystal color.

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Old 02-18-2008, 10:41 PM   #4
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a secondary is a good idea though. let mead sit on the primary yeast cake too long, and you'll experience autolysis, which can indeed ruin the entire batch.

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Old 02-18-2008, 11:30 PM   #5
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I was actually going to transfer it again to another container since I need the one it is in. I heard that it is not a problem if you transfer from container to continue. I just need to make sure that I keep everything clean. I never took a hydrometer reading because I am new to all this. So no clue what is going on. I knew it would take a year so I figured I could make a novice batch.

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Old 02-19-2008, 09:41 PM   #6
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DO NOT move to secondary until primary fermentation has finished. if you rack early, its VERY VERY easy to get a stuck fermentation.

mead is not a great environment for yeast in the first place...a lack of nitrogen, and much higher alcohol levels than beer. Rack it early, and you remove too much yeast, and there's no nitrogen or vitamins left for the yeast to repopulate.

I speak from experience...wait until you're very very close to your expected final gravity before you rack out of primary.

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