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Old 01-15-2008, 10:56 PM   #1
Don "Ho"
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Default Stated My first mead.

My wife bought a mead kit for me for Christmas. The kit was for 3 gallons. I mixed it up yesterday. Of course I find this site today, and been reading all afternoon. Now I am wondering if this mixture is gonna work. I did get "The Compleat Meadmaker" by Ken Schramm, and have be been reading it but when I make the mead yesterday, I used the instructions that came with it.

I dont have a hydrometer, (that will be corrected soon), so I didnt measure the gravity. I did follow the instructions to the letter, but like I said before, I am real nervous as to whether its gonna work.

Any suggestions on what I need to do know or what I should do to insure that the mead will turn out good.

Thanks
Don "Ho"

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Old 01-15-2008, 11:00 PM   #2
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never seen a mead kit...but I'm sure it'll turn out fine. Schramm's book is great, but I made a lot of mead before it was published, from bad recipes and instructions. Only have 1 batch that didn't turn out very good at all, and it was an experimental 1 gallon batch that I abused...

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Old 01-15-2008, 11:05 PM   #3
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Welcome, Dan!
First, and foremost, you should relax! I bet the mead will work out. Mead takes a long time before it's ready to bottle, I'm sure you know. As long as you were sanitary and followed the instructions that came with the kit, you should be fine. The best cure would for your ache would be starting another batch of mead, wine or maybe beer.

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Old 01-15-2008, 11:42 PM   #4
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Yep, pretty hard to mess up mead. The main thing with mead is time and lots of it. I'm a woosie alcohol drinker and our first mead was "hot" for at least the first 6 months. After a year, it's very smooth. Now I need to get a couple more batches of mead going before I run out.

The cool thing about mead is you can make a lot of different 1 gallon batches and have lots of fun experimenting. I might also recommend getting some hard cider started. It's also easy and fun to drink.

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Old 01-16-2008, 02:44 AM   #5
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Now that I'm not at work, I'll add that mead 'problems' are often very fixable. If you find you get a mead that's way too sweet, you can usually add champagne yeast to dry it out. If it gets too try, gradually backsweeten it.

I've used fruit to restart a stuck fermentation.

Cheap, 'bland' honey is great for melomels.

and aging will often fix a variety of off flavors or harshness/hotness.

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Old 01-16-2008, 01:26 PM   #6
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Default Stuck fermentation?

When do you know that is happening?

I have been checking on the mead since I put it in the bucket and I have yet to see any bubbles. Now that only has been since Monday. Am I getting into to big of a hurry?

Like to start another batch, just dont have the all the equipment to start another one just yet. Soon..

Don "Ho"

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Old 01-16-2008, 09:03 PM   #7
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The only way to truly know if your fermentation is stuck is using the aforementioned hydrometer. If you take a couple consecutive readings and it stays steady at a gravity too high to be finished, you're officially stuck. Then you can take a few approaches to restarting: nutrients, more yeast, warmer temp, etc. Something as simple as a swirling of the lees could even kickstart it.

Simply put, buy a hydrometer. They're inexpensive and one of your greatest tools.

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Old 01-17-2008, 05:46 PM   #8
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Default Got a hydrometer

And I checked the mead and it shows 1.084 (adjusted with temp) and that surprised me. I thought it would be higher but since I didnt take a reading at the beginning, I cant really make anything out of this.

With the top off and looking at the mead, I could see alot of tiny bubbles rising to the surface. I take this a sign that the mead is furmenting. So I guess I cant relie on the on the air lock.

I will will check again in a week and see how it is going. Thanks for the help.

Don "Ho"

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Old 01-18-2008, 10:03 AM   #9
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Ok, Take a deep breath. Its been three days. Mead takes time. A LOT of time. It can take a while to ferment and it will take a real long while to age to the point where it is at it's best. Get yourself in the mindset that you aren't going to be drinking this till next year at this time at the absolute earliest, two years from now would be better. Given that as a timeframe, worrying about your fermentation after 72 hours is a bit premature.

Just a thougth but if you had just made the batch of mead with the instructions provided, and hadn't gone and done a bunch of other reading, you wouldn't be nearly as worried as you are now. Relax. It will be fine and will taste great. Next year.
Paul

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Old 01-18-2008, 04:11 PM   #10
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I'm sure you were at or over 1.100 on day 1. mead starts fermenting quickly, but as alcohol rises, fermentation slows.

Its easy to drop 10-15 points per day for a week or two, and then see a significant decrease in gravity dropping for 2 more weeks (or longer) before it finally is finished.

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