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Old 09-10-2006, 10:59 PM   #1
andylegate
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Default strawberry quick mead help!

After doing some beers, I decided to try a mead. With the long fermintation time of mead, it's no problem as I've got my beers to play with!
So I picked one that sounded nice and easy to do, and got my wife to help with it. Pretty much it makes a one gallon batch. 3 lbs of honey, 4-5 lbs of strawberrys, and a package of Red Star Champaign Yeast.
So we got the stuff and two weeks ago we made it. After about a week, the strawberries had lost their color and I carefully spooned them out, and racked the mead to a glass carboy. At this point there was some foam, and I could smell some alcohol. I sampled a taste and it was very sweet with a little bit of alcohol in it. Thought this was going to turn out great.
At this point, the recipe I got called for Pectin to be added. I'm not sure if the recipe was right or not, but I added it. The must (wort? What is it called for mead at this point?) went crazy for a second and really started to foam. Put my air lock on it, and it started to gurggle away. I thought "Well, the pectin really got the yeast going." and left it alone.
Next week, the air lock is still bursting with bubbles every 10 seconds or so. Decided to go ahead and rack it. When I opened up the stopper, the smell hit me. Not bad or sour, but not quite what I expected. Again, I sampled some, and it hit me like a rock! It's not sour tasting but ALL the sweetness is gone, and the alcohol is VERY strong! It tasted VERY dry like a dry white wine.
Seems to me something went wrong. I still have the batch with the air lock (still gurggling). I want to put the sweetness back into it. I have an idea, please tell me if I'm barking up the wrong tree here:
First off, I wanted a sweet mead, not a dry wine!
heat up another gallon of water with 3 lbs of honey. Allow it to cool down to the same temp as the batch I have. Gently add at least half of this to the batch I have.
What do you think? I could try all over again I suppose, but I hate to waste the honey (at 6 bucks for 3 lbs) and the strawberries (at $2.77 a lb!).

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Old 09-10-2006, 11:16 PM   #2
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The reason it's so dry is because you used champagne yeast, which has an alcohol tolerance of 18%. So if you add more honey, it'll just keep fermenting into a dry mead with a higher alcohol content.

The best thing to do is to let it ferment out completely, not adding anything right now. Just let it finish, and it might take a while. When fermentation is complete, you can stabilize it by adding potassium sorbate and campden. Then backsweeten it to taste with some honey. This will keep the honey from starting fermentation again.

Meads take a loooong time to finish- put it away somewhere where you won't think about it. In fact, forget about it for a long while. THEN taste it, and stabilize it, and sweeten. I promise it'll be worth it.

Lorena

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Old 09-10-2006, 11:23 PM   #3
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Thanks! Like I said, I've got the patients to wait since I have my beers that I brew to play with. I'll go ahead and let it finish fermenting and then try what you suggested. Appriciate the help.

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Planned Batches:
Maple Ale
Past Batches:
Brewnet Brown
American Pilsner
Cherry Wheat Ale #1
Honey Ale
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Old 09-11-2006, 09:19 PM   #4
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You might also want to try... lactose, I believe? Someone correct me, but I believe there is some sugar people use (I haven't myself, but I've heard other people use it on these boards)that the yeasties won't ferment, but you can still use to sweeten your brue.

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Old 09-11-2006, 09:45 PM   #5
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Ive added lactose to milk stout, but not to mead. I would kill off the yeast, and then add more honey.

- magno

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