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Old 05-15-2013, 11:58 PM   #1
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Default starter for my first mead?

hey all--

so, making my first mead (dry traditional) with 13lbs of honey and 1 pack of Wyeast 4632(dry mead). it'll be a 5 gallon batch but i'm a little stumped as to how much yeast i'll need. i usually use yeast calc and entering 1.090 og it says 321 billion cells. Is that correct? should i make a starter with a higher gravity than 1.037 og?

also, i've been washing and re-using yeast--can i do that with this as well after primary fermentation?

thanks for the help, sorry about the noob questions.

up next: Double Chocolate Milk Stout
primary: Ed's Pale Ale
bottled: Amarillo Pale Ale | Dry Honey Mead| Peanut Butter & Jelly Porter
drinking (kegged!): blonde w/centennial & cascade | Red Ale (Wyeast Greenbelt)
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:00 AM   #2
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A starter is not necessary but always helps & with mead all the help you can get can shave months off of aging time.

My starters have evolved into 2 1/4 cup total volume starters for normal 5 gallon musts and 4 1/2 cup starters step fed must for difficult recipes.

For your mead at 1.090 I would make the following:

2 cups warm spring water
1/4 cup honey
1/8th TSP yeast nutrient
10 raisins split in half.

Smack your wyeast smack pack and wait the recommended 2 hours. Pitch that into your starter must and whip it supper well to introduce plenty of O2. Wait around another hour or two and then pitch the yeast. With your main mead must just make sure and not skimp on the nutrients. I use both strait DAP and Yeast energizer. "Or any nutrient that is the tan colored style nutrient." Usually at 1 tsp/gallon DAP and 1/2 tsp/gallon energizer.

About 70% of the total nutrient gets loaded up front and the rest evenly distributed every 24 hours for 3 more additions. That works out to all 5 tsp of DAP up front with 1/4tsp of energizer up front. Then 3/4 tsp energizer every 24 hours for the rest. Also O2 is your friend while adding nutrients. I like to degas and whip up the must twice daily for the first few days. Then I put it up under airlock and forget it for a couple months till mostly clear. Rack and then forget it again for a few months, rack and then forget it again till I need the carboy for something else. Then I bottle.

I reuse yeast when I can from my meads. It is a great excuse to make Skeeter Pee. I recently started a Cider with yeast from a strawberry mead "unwashed". So I see no reason why you can't use the yeast again for something else after primary.


A painting says a thousand words. But a painting while on good mead just looks funny!

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