My mead finished its first stage of fermentation about a month after I started it. The airlocks were no longer bubbling, indicating there was no more CO2 being produced by the yeast – either because it had eaten all of the honey or because the liquid had more alcohol than the yeast could tolerate. Just to be sure that the mead had fermented enough, I measured the specific gravity of the liquid. It was had dropped from 1.3 to < 0.8 meaning there was more alcohol than water! (the specific gravity of water is 1.0). There was also a pretty strong alcohol smell!
The next step in the mead making process was to siphon the liquid out the 3 gallon container and into smaller bottles for the next stage of fermentation. You need to siphon off the liquid (vs just pouring it out of the bottle) because there is quite a bit of “sediment” on the bottom from the yeast. I decided to break the mead into 3 one gallon containers – leaving one as is (no additives), adding strawberries to one and blueberries to the third . Last summer I had frozen blueberries & strawberries from the garden with the idea that sometime in the not to distant future I would use them for mead – so I put them to use!
As soon as I added the fruit to the two 1-gallon containers, the sugars woke the yeast up and the second stage of fermentation began. I’ll be letting these 3 gallons of mead ferment & age for the next 3-4 months… then we’ll sample to see how they came out!