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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Mead Fermentation?
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:03 AM   #1
Barleyman
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Default Mead Fermentation?

I made my first mead on 1-24-13. On 3-11 the airlock is bubblin every 38 seconds. Temp is 61 F. all the way. My ? is how long do I wait b4 I start doin hydrometer readings. I am used 2 beer so this is new.

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Old 03-12-2013, 12:19 PM   #2
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Straight away. Meads aren't like beers you can sample and measure all the way through. I just make sure to sanitise all the test kit, I even put the samples back in and never had a problem or infection.....

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Old 03-14-2013, 05:51 AM   #3
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OK, so I start checking gravity now? If it is still bubbling doesn't that mean it is still fermenting? Should I rack it right away or wait til I get consistent gravity readings. I used d-47 yeast if that matters. I want to age this b4 I bottle it.

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Old 03-14-2013, 09:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barleyman View Post
OK, so I start checking gravity now? If it is still bubbling doesn't that mean it is still fermenting? Should I rack it right away or wait til I get consistent gravity readings. I used d-47 yeast if that matters. I want to age this b4 I bottle it.
Bubbles may indeed still be fermenting slowly but you need to get 3 identical gravity readings, each one taken a couple of days apart so the 3 readings are taken in a week, then you can presume the ferment finished and the bubbles are a bit of "off gassing" from the dissolved CO2 and atmospheric pressure changes.

The only caveat that D47 carries, is that with honey musts its been found to produce fusels when fermented above 70F/21C. So you could also just leave it in the fermenter to drop clear if you wanted to.....
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:52 AM   #5
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I will say this about mead fermentation....it is quite common for it to take a few weeks to months for the final 10-20-30 points of your mead to drop. You would think the mead is finished based on the 3x/week hydro sample BUT you may find a few months down the road that the SG dropped even lower. I have had several batches of various meads take up to six months to ferment out.

Of course you always need to know your yeast's alcohol tolerance because if your OG exceeds the tolerance level you will more than likely not see 1.000 or below. What was your OG? What is current SG?

Regardless, since you are 2 months in and it seems that you have not racked since starting you can definitely go ahead and rack off any existing lees---you are at an ideal point to do so. Then you could decide if you want to leave future fine lees intact as your mead clears, it is quite common with D47.

Was this a traditional honey/water recipe or do you have fruit on board?

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Old 03-14-2013, 01:01 PM   #6
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Fatbloke's point is that bubbles do not always equal fermentation, and it is valid. I generally wait until I start seeing evidence of clearing before I worry about taking readings. I also tend to leave things in primary for a pretty long time (much longer than "recommended" by most instructional sources)...I pretty much like to have it crystal clear before I even think about moving the mead, but that's just me...

Personally, I've never seen a primary take more than a month to complete, and it's usually more around 3 weeks...this is all assuming proper oxygenation, nutrients and degassing...

Overall though, after 2 months I'm pretty sure you could start taking gravity readings regardless...

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Old 03-15-2013, 01:48 AM   #7
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rack it when a lees cake forms, no need to take readings until you can read a newspaper through the carboy.

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