Too Much Honey?

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BLTF

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Hi eveyone!1st time poster and mead maker.I just put a 1 gal batch on with 41/2 lbs of honey.Is this a bad thing?
 

stedtale

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I haven't made a mead, but have known several people who have, I think they did 12# per 5 gallons (approx 2.2#/gal). So, 4.5# may be a little high for 1 gal...but for what I know, the yeasties'll eat what they can until they can't take the alcohol any longer and die off. If there is some sugars left, you'll have a sweeter mead, if they eat it all, a drier mead. I'm sure someone'll post the OG and expected ABV for you...so listen to them...not me. :D
 

bknifefight

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I made a mead with 15 lbs for 5 gallons so that's 3 lbs / gallon. You are using 150% of that so you should expect something about 15% ABV
 
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BLTF

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Thanks!I was afraid that was going to be too much for 1 pkg of yeast to handle.
 

WheresOurFish

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Well, there are several factors that can determine whether or not you've overloaded your yeast. If you can post more information, the more experienced folks around here can verify for you one way or another. They'll likely need to know what yeast you used, and what your Original Gravity was. If the OG is too high, it can cause your fermentation to get stuck. The OG could be estimated, but an accurate reading will always be better. If you can add more information, I'm sure you'll get an answer pretty quickly.
 

jcobbs

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You can get too much sugar for yeast to get a good start. Did you pitch the yeast dry or hydrate beforehand? There are all kinds of variations but from what I've seen basic rule of thumb is 2-1/2 to 3 lbs/gal will get you a medium-dry to sweet mead depending on what yeast is used. Much more honey than that and the yeast has trouble getting a start. You may want to read the sticky on this forum for some tips on nutrient additions to help things along.

I try not to say "you shoulda done..." rather think about what I might try if I found myself in a situation. In that case I think I would try adding some yeast nutrient and giving it a few days to see if it would start. If not I'd maybe bump up the water at least another half gallon to lower the SG, make a healthy yeast starter, and repitch with some fresh yeast. As in all things brewing YMMV, for all I know your yeast may be going like crazy already, in which case feel free to ignore any advice from me :D Seriously though, check out the sticky--lotsa good info there...
 
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BLTF

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Well,thats another thing I didnt take an sg,and I used Fleishmans bread yeast,it is working but not as aggresive as I figured it would.Its only been on for about 18hrs.Thanks again fellas.
 

Matrix4b

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On a 5 gal batch I use 20 pounds. I like it sweet. Ofcourse I also use 2 packets of yeast. So I don't think that it should be a problem. Bread yeast might not be the best thing though. I use Lavin-D47 which is an agressive wine yeast.
 
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BLTF

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I use the JAO recipe and it called for bread yeast,I almost used the Lavin but figured Id stick with the plan then went and used too much honey,she says I need glasses but I wont listen to her lol
 

jaxn

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That is going to be A LOT of honey for bread yeast. Do you have headspace for more water?

Keep it warm. ~75 degrees.
 
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BLTF

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Yes I only filled it to the shoulder because I was expecting an agrssive reaction,as far as temp thats about what it is in my basement 75deg.
 

david_42

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4 1/2 lbs/gallon will ferment very slowly and leave you with an extremely sweet mead.
 

jaxn

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You'd probably be best off boiling some water, letting it cool to ~75 degrees, and adding it asap.
 

jcobbs

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You'd probably be best off boiling some water, letting it cool to ~75 degrees, and adding it asap.
I concur. I have some I made with the 3lb jar of Walmart honey and bread yeast, as per JAOM. It is very sweet, wouldn't want it any sweeter and I like sweet drinks. 2.5 lb with bread yeast makes a little drier mead, not dry by any means but more to most people's taste. 4.5 with bread yeast will be reeeeeally sweet unless your yeast can handle more than most bread yeast. I would add some more water and keep an eye on the fermentation. ....or you could leave it as-is and use it on pancakes :D
 
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BLTF

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Ok I boiled a little water let it cool an added which raised the level about 2 ".Checked it this am and its working "slowly".Is there a possibility this will be drinkable or should I really use it for pancakes?
 

jcobbs

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Ok I boiled a little water let it cool an added which raised the level about 2 ".Checked it this am and its working "slowly".Is there a possibility this will be drinkable or should I really use it for pancakes?
Oh I think it will end up being drinkable. Just kidding on the pancakes. It will likely be a long slow fermentation, but mead is a long-term proposition anyway. I wouldn't give up on it. There are a lot of experienced meadmakers on this forum and they may have some ideas for you. If it's still too sweet for you when the yeast conks out, you have a couple of options. I have read a number of posts where people pitched a higher-tolerance yeast and continued the fermentation. This is just me, but I think I'd make a second batch with maybe 2.5 lbs of honey and a wine or champagne yeast, to make a nice dry mead. Then you could blend to taste when they are both done. That way you control how sweet you want the final product. (And you end up with TWO gallons of mead, which is never a bad thing :) )
 
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