Thick layer of honey on the bottom - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Thick layer of honey on the bottom

Thread Tools
Old 05-14-2007, 09:10 PM   #1
Jan 2006
Posts: 128
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

I'm brewing up a light batch of mead, nothing fancy, just something to start out summer break.
- 4 lb honey
-1 gal water
-2 packs Lavlin K-1 yeast

Got this thing started back on Saturday, and it's bubbling away nice and happily. Question: what do I do about the thick layer of honey that falls out of suspension on the bottom of my carboy? Or will that eventually ferment out... or what?
I'd like it so as much as possible turns out here.
I never met a homebrew I didn't like.

Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2007, 09:24 PM   #2
Vermicous's Avatar
May 2006
Dover, NH
Posts: 554
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

For people that don't do a complete boil (myself included), honey clumping at the bottom is very common. It will eventually ferment out. But if you want to speed things up, go ahead and sanitize a spoon and stir it back into solution.
I'm like a chocoholic, but for booze.

Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2007, 10:31 PM   #3
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,599
Liked 158 Times on 148 Posts

I know at least one mead maker that pours part of the honey into the bottom of the fermenter intentionally. He says by lowering the OG of the main layer, the ferment starts faster and is more vigorous. The bottom layer mixes in and gets fermented without any problem.

Haven't tried it myself, but I have fermented juice for a melomel, then added the honey and gotten good results.
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

"I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk

Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2007, 10:52 PM   #4
MikeRLynch's Avatar
Nov 2006
Posts: 888
Liked 11 Times on 10 Posts

Four lbs to a gallon is pretty heavy for a "light" mead, I did a mead with 3 lbs, an OG of 1.09, and potential ABV of 12%. I don't anticipate this to be drinkable for another six months at least. Are you going to stop the ferment and keep it sweet?

Lost Elm Brewing Co.
Stafford Springs, CT

Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook

Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2007, 12:30 AM   #5
Jan 2006
Posts: 128
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

I prefer a drier mead than sweet. I've had some melomels that were almost like pancake syrup... but then I probably finished them too soon. I'll probably let this go until it's fermented as much as it can.

For the rest of youalls, thanks for the heads up! I'll let you know how this batch tastes when it... eventually... is potable.
I never met a homebrew I didn't like.

Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2007, 11:49 AM   #6
May 2007
Montgomery, Alabama
Posts: 292
Liked 6 Times on 3 Posts

I would leave it in the bottom. As the yeast needs the honey it will gravitate towards the honey concentration. Since it is in primary ferm however, you can stir it once a day but I don't. I do not boil the honey so I get a bit of the fall out also.

This will be a very sweet mead. The alch content will kill the yeast before it uses all the sugars even with extra yeast. I usually watch the bottom of the carboy and use a strong flashlight to watch the honey layer at the bottom. You will see this honey layer start to roll as the yeast consumes it. If you don't notice the roll look for the lees forming on the top on the honey and then they will just sink through as the honey thins.

I would start with about 2.5lbs per gallon of honey for a dry mead and then move up to 3lbs if you want a bit higher alch content. When you start racking ten taste and add a bit to sweeten. I started with 2.5lbs per gallon on my 5 gallon batch. I added 1lb more on the first racking and just added another on the second racking. This will be the last addition as I rack about once a month or so then I will check before bottling.

Lost Knight Cellers

In the Carboy:
Red wine
Roman Raisin Wine
Bottle aging/drinking:
Apple Wine (15% abv)
Strawberry Wine
Elder Flower Wine
Blue moon Clone

Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2007, 11:38 PM   #7
Dec 2006
Northern Vermont
Posts: 231
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Well it is a little on the high side OG should be 1.147 or 20ish ABV which granted is on the top end of K-1 yeast but if given proper nutriants this yeast has potential to take it dry.. tho it is going to take some time to smooth out.. K-1 is a killer yeast and can be step fed to like 22-23 ABV (if you like rocket fuel)
Next time I recommend same yeast and maybe 3.5 lbs of honey for 17ish %abv and some nutriant... also 1 pack is plenty for 1 gal.. I used 1 pack for a 5 gal batch of 13ish percent and it went all gang busters on the honey..
Other than that.. sounds like it might be good... let us know how it turns out


Penguin Brewing

Upcoming: Berry Melomel, Coffee Cream Stout, Plum Mead, Acerglyn.
Fermenting/Bulk Aging: Spiced Cyser, Grape Pyment, Sweet Mead.
Bottled: Maple Porter, Honey Red Ale, JAO, Pear Mead, Sweet Zinfandel.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2007, 05:40 PM   #8
fatbloke's Avatar
Dec 2006
UK - South Coast.
Posts: 2,698
Liked 182 Times on 167 Posts

Just for info, the recent 5 gallon batch I made, I deliberately didn't boil (honey from local supermarket, so already purified/sterilised etc etc). I used about 16lb's of honey, and although I gave it a good shaking, the mineral water that I topped it off with was too cool and there was about 2 or 3 inches of honey sitting in the bottom of the "jar" (a 20 litre plastic watercooler bottle), it only took about 2 weeks for the yeast to "munch it up" and it seems to have fermented out fine.



Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2007, 03:20 PM   #9
Lonek's Avatar
Jun 2007
Liverpool, PA
Posts: 92

When you guys bottle, do you add a priming sugar for some carbination or is this bottled "as is"?
In the Primary:
In the Secondary: Belgian Witbier
Ready to drink: Scottish Shilling 60, Liverpool Pale Ale

Gallons brewed this year:
5 gallons Belgian Witbier
5 gallons Liverpool House Pale Ale
5 gallons Scottish Shilling 60

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Thick layer of hops haighter Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 10-16-2009 10:14 PM
No Heat Honey Layer digdan Mead Forum 3 09-05-2009 05:17 PM
Acerglen, stuck fermentation? layer of honey? Dustwing Mead Forum 2 07-16-2009 04:41 PM
3/8" thick floating layer of trub? bja Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 11-25-2007 01:06 AM
Yeast Layer at the bottom of the bottle ksbrain Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 03-18-2007 08:35 AM

Forum Jump