Weak Mead?

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Axxx

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Hey,
I just brewed 2 gallons of mead, I used a jar of unprocessed honey, and added some refined sugar to aid fermentation.

However, after leaving it for about a week, and fermentation grinding to a halt, I am dissappointed with the results. It seems the mead is incredibly weak, I am not sure exactly how weak, but after drinking about a quarter of a gallon, I'd say weaker than your average beer (4%).

I suspect it could be the very cheap yeast I used ("Allinson Dried Active yeast")
which is £1 for 125grams.

Any way I can beef up my mead?

Excuse my noobishness,
Axx
 

DUCCCC

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Well, you might want to let us know what size jar of honey, and how much, by weight, sugar you used. You very well might have simply not used enough to produce the alcohol volume you thought you might get.

Then there's your yeast selection. I'm not familiar with that type, is it for beer/wine? I imagine that only a pound for 125 grams indicates that it's a baking yeast, not brewing. Next time you give this a shot figure on about 1.5kilos of honey to a gallon (UK) of water, and try using a wine or mead yeast. I don't know if you can get Lalvin or Red Star dry yeasts nearby your location (which I'm assuming is the UK somewhere, since you used £, not $, and you don't have you profile filled in more), but something like a champagne yeast should get you closer to a high alcohol count you want. It will give you a much dryer, wine-like product as well, which you might not like, though.
 

Nurmey

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Cool! (Sorry, felt I had to check before contributing to the delinquency of a minor. :eek: )

The upside of doing a weak mead is that it ages a lot quicker than regular strength mead. I have some "lighter" mead that tastes really good after only a month or so, however, I am letting it age for a few more months.

You can feed it more honey to give it a little more oomph. I have not used bread yeast but from my understanding it ferments out pretty completely. You can sanitize the bottle and just add more to the top of your fermenter. The honey will drop to the bottom but the yeast will find it and kick your fermentation back up. Or you can heat a little water, add honey to liquefy it, cool the mixture and add that to your fermenter. I've just dumped the honey in without heating and it worked fine. Either way you get more honey in there is going to help up your alcohol.

Welcome to HBT!
 
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Axxx

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Actually, it ferments pretty well.
I just hadn't got enough Honey/Sugar in there.
I have since added a strong mixture of Honey, Sugar, Water and a few spices (Nutmeg, Cinnamon, etc), it's now fermenting very well. It's gotten alot stronger,
and the taste is boner-inspiring. The yeast is actually pretty resiliant, I'm surprised it still lives in such a highly alcoholic environment.

Anyway, aside from that, I'm 18, not 19 (must have mis-clicked the year), and this is my second attempt at brewing alcohol. The reason I started in the first place was because I inherited a bunch of brewing equipmen and supplies from my uncle after he died of a brain tumour (he used to brew his own alcohol all the time), I'm not an expert and I never claimed to be, so bless you if you want to take the piss out of me for the yeast I used.
 

z987k

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whoa slow down there. No one insulted you... we just generally like our members to be of age to drink in their country before we give out advice.

Now the other thing we tend to strive for here is quality to the utmost over quantity. Lucky for you mead is easy given you are patient. My roomate has ~25gallons going right now and it's been sitting there since the 1st of February. And, it's not ready yet either.

Now that said, brew what you like, cheap booze is easier and cheaper to buy than make though. As far as adding sugar to the mead, I'll assume that's table sugar (sucrose). And well it usually doesn't go well in mead(after all honey is mostly a simpler sugar anyways). If you like a sweeter wine may I suggest getting a pack of either White labs or Wyeast sweat mead yeast and a hydrometer, then mixing honey and water for a specific gravity of around 1.120 or so. You'll probably end up with a mead that has a good bit of residual sweetness and in the 13% abv range. With the sweetness it will take off a lot of the "young" taste meads have and you shouldn't have to age it as long. Say ~1month primary, 1-2 secondary and a month or two in the bottle and it should be great.
 

BuffaloSabresBrewer

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A possibility for the stalled fermentation could be from a lack of nutrients needed for fermentation. A pinch of yeast nutrient would probably solve that.
 

DUCCCC

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Axxx said:
... so bless you if you want to take the piss out of me for the yeast I used.
Easy there. I must have missed someone insulting you. I have only read people actually suggesting something better.
 

EvilTOJ

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You have to understand, Axxx, that we get a LOT of underage kids that are trying to make cheap hooch under their beds so their mommies don't find it. The way you described your process it sounds like that very scenario. However, one aspect of netiquitte is to lurk on a board before posting, and it doesn't appear that you did that. I can say that I've never told anyone here to 'bless off' for anything, and trust me, I'm one of the biggest jerks an the boards! Ask anyone!

People have given you a lot of very good advice on how to get your mead going again. And if the jar of honey you added to two gallons of water was only about 1 kg, that won't make a very strong product and will be very weak. Most meads take about 2 to 4 lbs of honey per gallon, and takes about a year to start tasting really good.
 
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