First Mead Question

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DrunkenSailor

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Just started my first Mead, heres the recipe:

12 lbs clover honey
3 quarts water packed blackberries
water to 5 gallons
Wyeast #3632 Dry Mead liquid yeast (smack pack the day before)
4.5 tsp mead yeast nutrient

Question is:
I took a gravity reading and got 1.100. Does this sound about right? and what should I expect it to get down to? Or do you even worry about gravity readings with Mead?
 

RichBrewer

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DrunkenSailor said:
Just started my first Mead, heres the recipe:

12 lbs clover honey
3 quarts water packed blackberries
water to 5 gallons
Wyeast #3632 Dry Mead liquid yeast (smack pack the day before)
4.5 tsp mead yeast nutrient

Question is:
I took a gravity reading and got 1.100. Does this sound about right? and what should I expect it to get down to? Or do you even worry about gravity readings with Mead?
You want to keep track of gravity readings so you know when it is finished. You will also be able to tell the alcohol content.
Your reading sounds about right. You can expect it to finish below 1.000.
 

malkore

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You may need some yeast energizer as well, if the nutrient didn't have a source of nitrogen ..usually DAP.

I prefer to do my fruit in secondary...but others will argue primary is fine too. any idea how many pounds 3 quarts ends up being? it sounds like it'll be enough to give you a medium amount of fruit flavor. You can always taste it at racking, and add more if you feel it needs it.

1.100 sounds right for 12lbs, as the sugars in the fruit probably didn't get released unless you squeezed them first to break up the cell walls.
never used the dry mead yeast as I prefer mine on the sweet side, but you should indeed expect to go below 1.000 due to the alcohol content.
 
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DrunkenSailor

DrunkenSailor

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Thanks for the input. The recipe does call for putitng the fruit in during the secondary, so that will go in in about a month. Sounds like the gravity reading is OK.
 

malkore

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when you add the fruit in secondary, give it a little partial freeze first, and mash it up a little. no need to get the blender out and puree, but you want a nice open fruit so it can 'bleed' its flavors out into the mead.

its really easy with berries, harder with drier fruits like apples, pears, peaches, etc
 
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DrunkenSailor

DrunkenSailor

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malkore said:
when you add the fruit in secondary, give it a little partial freeze first, and mash it up a little. no need to get the blender out and puree, but you want a nice open fruit so it can 'bleed' its flavors out into the mead.

its really easy with berries, harder with drier fruits like apples, pears, peaches, etc
Great. Thanks for the input. When adding the fruit should I use a bag or just mix the fruit in with the Mead? The recipe says to use a bag, but which is better? The mead is fermenting nicely now so I am looking forward to the next step.
 

sirsloop

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Fruit will settle down to the bottom given enough time. When that happens you know its probably ready to rack or bottle.
 

malkore

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I've never bagged fruit. But, I'm usually doing berries or peaches so they come back out pretty easily after racking.

they will settle, and you'll rack very little to tertiary. my raspberry mead is just about ready to go into a keg. I have a few floaties and sinkers, and I think I'm going to put a piece of cheese cloth over my auto-siphon to avoid that.
 
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DrunkenSailor

DrunkenSailor

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If putting the fruit into the secondary what should be done for sanitation? If anything? Seems like boiling the fruit would lessen it's character in the mead?
Thanks again for the input.
 

sirsloop

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By the time you hit secondary, there will be 10% ABV in the Mead... enough to kill any bacteria.
 
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