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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Mead Must Gone Bad?
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:46 PM   #1
elaurens
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Default Mead Must Gone Bad?

I attempted my first crack at brewing Mead on 7/17. I added 14 lbs honey to 5 gal water to bring OG to 1.090. I put in bucket and covered, but did not make air tight. I saw no fermentation for 1 week.

On 7/24 I aerated thoroughly and added yeast nutrient.

Waited 1 week and took gravity reading on 7/31 - it read 1.100. Is that possible? I also tasted it, and it tasted as though it was fermenting, but my readings are saying something different. I added more yeast (White Labs Champagne) and with some yeast nutrient.

On 8/5 it seemed as though it was fermenting slowly.

Here are my questions:

Should I see more signs of fermentation at this point?

Is there a point where the must is beyond kick starting into fermentation?

What was I tasting?


Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 08-10-2010, 06:11 PM   #2
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Default Temperature

What is the average temperature where you've got it?

Good stuff to know.

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Old 08-10-2010, 06:34 PM   #3
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my first thought is that you measured your SG wrong somewhere. while temp can affect an SG reading 10 points is WAY out of the realm of possibility. 14 pounds of honey in 5 gallons of water should of gotten you a higher OG than 1.090. you may also want to check the PH of the must. if its below about 3.7 or so the yeast may be unhappy and not wanting to work for you. you can try warming the must up a little to give the yeast more energy to work with.

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Old 08-10-2010, 06:58 PM   #4
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If you didn't stir enough you may have extra honey sitting at the bottom of your bucket. Thus you get a different Specific Gravity reading at the surface and the base of the bucket?

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Old 08-10-2010, 06:59 PM   #5
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If you had undissolved honey sitting at the bottom of your bucket when you took your original SG measurement and then stirred up your must when you aerated you could get a higher SG measurement.

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Old 08-11-2010, 12:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TipsyDragon View Post
14 pounds of honey in 5 gallons of water should of gotten you a higher OG than 1.090.

I made a traditional mead a while ago with 15.4 pounds of honey and 5 gallons of water which had an OG of 1.096. That amount of honey and water ends up being slightly over six gallons of must.
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Old 08-11-2010, 01:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helms View Post
That amount of honey and water ends up being slightly over six gallons of must.
ah. good point. 5 gallons of must would have a higher SG than 6 gallons.
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Old 08-11-2010, 10:42 AM   #8
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As stated before, you most likely had layering of honey with more sitting lower and a lighter mix above that your measured.
Hightest has a spreadsheet in the sticky at the top of this forum that will take you from a guess, to straight math as long as you get you volumes right.
Personally I have read his FAQ a number of times and each time new light bulbs go off that make me improve my process.
Otherwise break out the hydrometer, and read up on SNA, and then just make a good mead.

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Old 08-11-2010, 01:41 PM   #9
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Guys, thanks for the help. Undissolve honey makes sense for the hydrometer readings discrepancy.

As far as temp, my house is air conditioned with a constant temp of 75 degrees.

Having never made mead before, I still am not sure if the must can go bad. Is there a point of no return where I need to toss the must and start over? I am thinking no, but would hate to go through the entire process only to find out that I wasted my time.

Any thoughts?

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Old 08-11-2010, 03:15 PM   #10
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Unless you really need the bucket that the mead is in, I would let it sit.

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