Mead – stage 2

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!

Mead – stage 2 fermentation

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!

 

#MakingMead

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First Attempt at Making Mead!

I’ve never been a big fan of mead as any I’ve tasted have always been pretty sweet – that is until  last fall, when  I toured the Sap House Meadery in Ossipee, NH.  I tried their mead – which was dry & delicious!     When the owners talked about the ingredients needed to make mead,  I realized that  except for the yeast & yeast nutrient, I had everything I needed right  in my yard – the water, the honey & different fruits!

I purchased  “The Compleat Meadmaker” by Ken Schramm to read more about the process & what was required. Last week  I  went to a local beer & wine supply shop (the Kettle-to-Keg in Pembroke, NH) to buy the containers, airlocks, hydrometer & lots of other stuff – and last Sunday (2/19/17), I started my first batch.

Besides learning the process of mead making, I’m learning a whole new set of terminology like carboy  (glass containers used to ferment wine, mead, etc), must (the unfermented mead)  & trying to remember the things  I learned in high school chemistry  like  specific gravity (measuring the density of a liquid vs water – you use this to determine how much fermentation has taken place.) !

The video below shows what I’m seeing 3 days after adding the yeast to the must  – so far so good the yeasts are doing their job!


This first stage of fermenting will last 2-4 weeks after which I plan on splitting the batch into 2 or 3 smaller carboys – for the 2nd fermentation stage.  I’ll add strawberries to 1 carboy, blueberries to another  & leave the third as is  so that we can try different flavors. The second fermentation stage will  go for 4-5 months before the mead will be ready.

 

#Mead  #HoneyWine