Me first mead

Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:53 am

Hey all,

Made my first mead a couple of days ago and I have some fermentation questions.

Here is my recipe

3.5lbs pumpkin honey
Lalvin 71B-1122
Go-ferm 1/8 tsp (for yeast starter)
Yeast nutrient (1 tsp after mead sanitized)
1 Campden tablet

Here is what I did.

Heated up 3.3L H2O to ~140F and removed from heat then stirred in the honey
Cooled down to 70F and crushed a campden tablet and covered for 24hrs for sanitization
After 12hrs made my yeast starter with 1 cup H2O and 3tsp of honey
Another 12hrs and the yeast starter was bubbling and pitched it into the must with 1tsp of yeast nutrient and aerated with a spoon.
Put in my ferm chamber at ~63F and after 48 hours still not any significant airlock activity.
Have given it a soft stir with a sanitized spoon and it shows some little signs on the top of the must of fermentation. I have not checked the gravity since before I pitched the yeast.

My OG was 1.126

This was working out of the first mead book I read and I have brewed quite a few beers both extract and all-grain and have seen very active fermentation's but this one is stumping me. I want to know what some others think about slower ferments. Should I raise the temp a little to get some airlock activity? Should I do a gravity check to see if it is dropping at all? I am new to this mead business and am very intrigued by the flavors.

Thanks guys!

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Re: Me first mead

Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:41 am

Hopefully you are seeing signs of fermentation by now. Let me point out a few things. Your recipe and process look great for the most part but there are a few things that we, at Moonlight Meadery, would do differently. First we would not have worried about sanitizing the must with the SO2, second the starter would have gotten pitched as soon as the yeast was rehydrated and active, typically thirty minutes or less, third is that we would have added the yeast nutrient, Fermaid K, in three smaller increments through out the beginning of fermentation. These are minor changes and I would think that what you did will produce a fine mead. It can take a while to show active signs of fermentation. Any other specific questions feel free to ask here or shoot me an email

Chris Killinger
Fermentation Specialist, Moonlight Meadery
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Re: Me first mead

Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:38 am

Congrats on your first mead. Didn't think I would ever make one until a friend gave me some honey, 20#, and didn't know what to do with it. Right about then is when Michael's article came out in BYO, so I went out and got all the rest of the ingredients, and away I went. It was patterned after "Desire", and I gotta say, it's pretty damn good. Sent it in to the Domras cup, mead comp in Ga. last year and placed 2nd outta 35 entries. Sent it to first rd. of Nationals this year and placed 2nd, so it's on to the FINALS!!!! Totally stoked about that. And I followed the additions like Michael stated in the article with yeast nutrient and Fermaid K along the way, at 3 different times.

Now I have 20# more, and am looking at making a Braggot.....anyone with some great recipies they want to share???

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