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vgilbertson 12-30-2012 05:35 PM

New to Mead brewing
I mixed up my first try at mead making yesterday. 12 lbs of clover honey in 5 gallons of water. I had read somewhere to use re wine yeast os used Red Star Pasteur Red. This is a very basic mix - water, honey, and yeast. This afternoon the must is about 65 degrees and burping about once per minute.

Couple of questions:
1. Do I wait for the burping to stop before I rack or should I do it in a couple weeks?
2. When I rack can I split the must into smaller buckets to add fruit to 1/2 of it?
3. When I rack do I put it into a bucket with a burper so it vents? I am assuming I do.

Thanks in for you help


Intheswamp 12-30-2012 08:53 PM

Are you going to feed your must any nutrients to keep from stressing the yeast? Making a traditional can definitely be done without nutrients but the success and quality of the mead is enhanced by feeding the yeast.

I wouldn't rack until the air lock has been quiet for a week or two. Did you take a specific gravity reading of the must before you pitched the yeast? The best way to keep track of what is going on is with a hydrometer.

Sure, you can split your initial volume of must into smaller batches.

Once the initial fermentation is over the mead becomes more at risk of oxidation due to having no co2 blanket over the surface of the mead. Care should be made to top off containers so that only a small portion of the surface of the liquid is exposed to oxygen...this means basically filling a necked-container (jug, carboy) up to where the mead enters the neck area. When racking try not to splash the mead as this promotes oxidation...put your hose into the receiving vessel so that the tip is at the bottom and the mead quickly covers it. Normally the first rackings are into glass containers with necks...gallon jugs are nice small vessels.

Unless you are absolutely sure that your mead has completely fermented and there is no chance the yeast will start up again then you can seal it up, cork it, cap it, whatever. But, if there is a chance it *might not be through* then you need to air lock it.


vgilbertson 01-01-2013 02:07 AM

I bought and added nutrients today. Did not take SG when I started.

Thanks for the help


jackfrost 01-01-2013 02:18 AM

Make sure you aerate 2 times a day for first 3 days then 1 time for next three you need to make sure the yeast has oxygen to also keep them from stressing out

fatbloke 01-01-2013 07:06 AM


Originally Posted by jackfrost (Post 4733795)
Make sure you aerate 2 times a day for first 3 days then 1 time for next three you need to make sure the yeast has oxygen to also keep them from stressing out

Nah, with no initial gravity to work from, just aerate for the first 3 days - the O2 is only needed for yeast development, then on the fourth just give it a bit of a stir to help lift out some of the dissolved CO2 and then add about 1/4 of the amount of nutrients that you gave it and stir it in.

Then airlock it off and if possible just give the fermenter a bit of a swirl just resuspend any yeast that may have dropped out.

That way you've loosely approximated aeration to 1/3 and SNA without any numbers (taking a start gravity gives you greater control of the ferment, and allows greater accuracy in managing the ferment).

saramc 01-01-2013 11:36 AM

You could estimate that you have an OG of around 1.084... Assuming 35 gravity points per pound of honey per gallon of liquid added. I know all honey is not created equal, but at least you could have a general idea.

(lbs of honey * 0.035) / gallons of water = approx. gravity

12 * 0.035/5 equals 0.084; add to 1.000 for an estimated starting gravity of 1.084

vgilbertson 01-21-2013 10:11 PM

I racked my 5 gallons of mead last week into three 2 gallons water bottles. I used a blender to chop up blueberrys or one bottle, black berry's of another, and left the 3 rd straight honey. The first couple days they really bubbled out of the vents 6 to 8 per minute, now they have slowed down to maybe one per minute. i figure to leave if sit for 2 months before i bottle it.
Can mason's jars be used for bottling?


vgilbertson 01-28-2013 12:21 AM

2 weeks after racking the mead has pretty much stopped bubbling. It bubbled a lot after racking and was wondering if that it normal or could something be wrong?

jackfrost 01-28-2013 02:37 PM

Nope bubbling after racking is it just releasing some co2 that was trapped

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