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Mead 1

June 3, 2017

Mead1-1I’m trying a plain old mead so I can compare it with cyser, the cider/mead hybrid. Also trying a new yeast. I wanted to get it going really well before pitching into the must. Time to do my first yeast starter!

A yeast starter increases the amount of yeast you pitch so it gets going really vigorously. Happier, healthier yeast = full fermentation with fewer off flavors. I started to use to calculate how much honey to use but read that honey is nutrient deficient. Decided to do my first yeast starter with apple juice. I used this recipe from WYeast for the starter: 1qt apple juice, 1pack yeast, 1/4 tsp yeast energizer, 1/8 tsp pectin enzyme

I’m also starting an IPA tomorrow so I’ll do a yeast starter for that while I’m at it. I wonder if the apple juice starter will tweak it much?


OSG: 1.124

Mead1-2Yeast: White Labs’ Sweet Mead Wine

Honey doesn’t have all the nutrients needed for yeast (like nitrogen) so you have to add things. I don’t want to measure the SG a bunch to find the 1/3 sugar break so I’ll just use a simplified approximate schedule. Converting to 3 gallon batch amounts with (3 / 5 * 5 gal grams). Stirring and swirling is to de-gas the must, releasing CO2 from the liquid.

  • Day 0 : stir and add 2.7 g of Fermaid K and DAP
  • Day 1: swirl
  • Day 2: stir and add 1.7g Fermaid K and 1.7g DAP
  • Day 3: swirl
  • Day 4: stir and add 1.1g Fermaid-K and 1.1g DAP just swirled again

Brew Log

  • 2017-06-11: Racked it. Quite cloudy, looks like this mead yeast from White Labs has low flocculation like the champagne yeast I’ve used. I’ll give it another week or two then chill it in the wine fridge for the yeast to drop out.
  • 2017-06-25: Racked it. Still really cloudy! It’s been putting out slow bubbles too, seems like mead has a long tail of fermenting. I’m harvesting the yeast for use in a future batch, it’s in a honey jar with spring water to separate and clean it.
  • 2017-07-04: Later today our air conditioning broke down and was out for almost 2 days so the batch was subjected to 90° F temperatures. Not good!
  • 2017-07-09: The color is very dark now. There were white floaters on top and I was worried about mold. Many many people said don’t worry, just rack it from the bottom so that’s what I did.
  • 2017-08-06: Racked gain. Tasted it, quite sweet! Maybe the fermentation didn’t go all the way in this one or perhaps it takes weeks and weeks to finish out. Anyhoo, no signs of white floaters so it seems all is well.

ipa-1SoCo Town Lake IPA

‘Nell wanted an IPA beer so I’m giving it a go. This is a recipe from SoCo Homebrew. The boil was complex, adding hops at 4 different times. Now though it’s just waiting and watch the bucket, 2-3 weeks until it’s ready.

OSG: 1.055

Yeast: White Labs’ California Ale

Brew Log

  • 2017-06-25: Bottled it! A week or so to carbonate and it will be ready.
  • 2017-08-14: Lynell loves this beer, says it’s better than anything she’s bought in the store. I’ll have to try it again sometime.


Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments (2)


  1. Morgan September 23, 2017 @ 1:09 pm

    I planned to bottle the mead today but it’s really sweet. Measured the gravity and it’s clear that fermentation did not finish. Boo! Racked it instead.

    OK, what to do? I put some must in a quart jar and pitched a packet of Red Star Cote des Blancs yeast. 1/8 tsp of yeast nutrient. Tomorrow I’ll pour that into the carboy. I’m considering adding a gallon of apple juice too.

  2. Morgan November 19, 2017 @ 5:07 pm

    Restarting the fermentation seemed to work out, at least in terms of reducing the sweetness. I added a gallon of apple juice when I pitched the new yeast b/c I was worried about nutrients and didn’t want to keep stuffing more additives into it.

    It became nice and clear after the fermentation stopped, it’s a lovely amber color. Tastes STRONG and a wee bit sweet. I can’t believe I started this back in June! We’ll see what it tastes like after some bottle time.

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