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Old 12-09-2007, 11:47 PM   #1
NewBlood
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Default My 1st Mead w/ questions

So I started my 1st 5 gallon batch this morning. I used 15 lbs honey and just over 4 gallons of water. Just enough to bring to 5 gallon mark. I did take a gravity reading after mixing and it was 1.100. I used a sweet mead yeast starter. What do you guys think?? It also showed a potential alcohol % of 13.5%. I have been to the gotmead.com calculator and get 1.110 and 14.5% for where it should have been with these numbers.

Did I use enough honey?
Will I need to add more when racking to secondary?
If so how much do you think I would need?

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Old 12-10-2007, 01:03 AM   #2
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I find my meads ferment faster when I give them the honey a little bit at a time and then rack them on to more. Just put that carboy in a dark closet and forget about it for a little while.

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Old 12-10-2007, 01:37 AM   #3
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15lbs of honey should have given you a much higher gravity, somewhere around 1.162 sounds about right. With the sweet mead yeast you'll probably get a FG around 1.050ish range, maybe a little higher since that yeast will crap out around 14-15%. Take that hydro reading again and make sure you adjust for temperature.

So to your questions,
1. yes
2. no

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Old 12-10-2007, 02:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z987k
15lbs of honey should have given you a much higher gravity, somewhere around 1.162 sounds about right.
You might want to recalculate. 15 pounds of honey mixed with 4 gallons of water will net slightly over 5.25 gallons at 1.100.

What I don't understand is how the OP can use over a gallon of honey and over 4 gallons of water and end up with 5 gallons total. However, the starting gravity looks pretty good for his volumes.

NewBlood, to answer you first question, I think you picked a tough yeast to use. I made the mistake of using 4184 once, and I doubt I'll ever use it again. Unlike brewers, mead and wine makers almost always use dry yeast, and there are several great choices out there.

I'd say for your choice of yeast you have plenty of honey. No need to add any more at any time.
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALPS
You might want to recalculate. 15 pounds of honey mixed with 4 gallons of water will net slightly over 5.25 gallons at 1.100.

What I don't understand is how the OP can use over a gallon of honey and over 4 gallons of water and end up with 5 gallons total. However, the starting gravity looks pretty good for his volumes.

NewBlood, to answer you first question, I think you picked a tough yeast to use. I made the mistake of using 4184 once, and I doubt I'll ever use it again. Unlike brewers, mead and wine makers almost always use dry yeast, and there are several great choices out there.

I'd say for your choice of yeast you have plenty of honey. No need to add any more at any time.
I think you figured it out for me. I looked at my bucket a little closer and it is over the 5 gallon mark. Also if i enter 5.5 gallons into the calculator I get the exact numbers I have now. I guess I need to pay a little more attention next time. I used White labs Sweet Mead Yeast. Why do you think it will be a tough yeast? Anything I need to watch out for??
Thanks again
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Old 12-10-2007, 05:08 AM   #6
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Hmmm, my calculator might be off (have to look into that), but when we did our sweat mead batch, 16 pounds topped to 5.5 maybe 5.75 gallons total we got 1.144 as an OG.

I think the sweat mead yeast is awesome... if you like sweat mead.

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Old 12-10-2007, 05:32 PM   #7
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I did 15 lbs of honey to 5 gallons of water which gave me an OG of 1.101 it finished at 1.012 and that was using White labs sweet mead yeast.

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Old 12-10-2007, 06:47 PM   #8
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Well its going at a pretty good pace. 5-6 releases every minute...I'll look at it again in a few weeks. If I have to make some adjustments I'll do it then I guess.

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Old 12-10-2007, 09:31 PM   #9
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Move on to other projects, this one is done for at least a month or two.

The one thing you do want to keep an eye on is nutrient additions. If you haven't added any yet, I would add a teaspoon or two to help those yeast get a good foothold. All that honey is going to make a very alcoholic environment for those little guys, and honey itself has no nutrients to aid the yeast. Your LHBS should have some wine/mead nutrient on the shelf. Honestly I give you guys props for going the full 5 gal route. I can't justify spending the money on that much honey, or tying up one of my 5 gal carboys for that long. Then again, not many of my friends are mead drinkers, and lot more are beer drinkers, so beer gets done in 5 gal batches and mead is in one gal. Though, it would be nice to have enough to cellar and completely forget about for a few years. Maybe I'll save up

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Old 12-19-2007, 07:41 PM   #10
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So I popped the lid to add a little nutrient and grab a nip for a to test. It showed 1.030 from a starting 1.110. Its only been 10 days I was quite suprised it has dropped so far. I guess I should just let it sit in the primary for a few more weeks or should I think about putting it to secondary soon?

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