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First mead with an abnormal start

Hey everyone. Starting my first batch of mead. Using sack sweet mead instructions and yeast with honey native to the area. 15 lbs Sonoran Desert Honey and 3 lbs of Prickly Pear Honey. Yeast came in from NB really warm despite the ice pack. I live outside of phoenix, AZ. Got it settled, smacked and inflated. Everything in prep went according to plan. Well except the high SG. Was in the neighborhood of 1.140. Wasn’t expecting it to be so high. Anyway, just over 24 hours since pitch and two nutrient additions in (5 tsp per addition). One at pitch and one at24 hours. Two more left as per schedule. Still not much going on in the fermenter. Fermenting in an A419 controlled freezer at 67F. I welcome any comments or advice. I will update as things progress. Thanks everyone.


Your OG reading may be a little off. The Strangebrew calculator puts 18lbs of honey at 1.126 @ 5 gallons. Like extract brewing, it can be difficult to get the honey completely mixed.

The nutrient additions seem a little excessive? Curious as to where you found this info. A good read is Hightest’s
web site and the Staggered Nutrient Additions.

Is there some Krausen? Meads do not have the large foaming Krausens that beer do. There will still be one. But very small.

Which yeast did you use? I’ve gone that high and higher but used champagne yeast.

Sorry guys it has been a while. It didn’t let me know that anything was posted. Anyway, the nutrient additions were as per the NB Sack Sweet recipe. First Mead so I thought I would follow the directions.

As for the the yeast I used the Wyeast 4184 Sweet Mead Yeast smack pack. It inflated fully as I have done with my beers and the must temperature was well within range.

Now for what has happened since then…So by 48 hours and no activity I decided to pitch some more yeast thinking maybe it was just a bit much for one smack pack. I ran to my homebrew store and picked up some Lalvin EC-1118. Once I added that we were off an running within hours. Mead was in primary for a month before I finally stopped seeing active fermentation. Checked my SG a couple of times to make sure it was done. Racked into secondary with isinglass and potassium sorbate and degassed. Planning on at least 3 months in secondary before bottling. It will be a still mead.

Ok in regards to the OG. I used 15 lbs Sonoran Desert Honey and 3 lbs of prickly pear honey. To my pallete it seemed sweeter than normal honey. Not that it means anything but could that bumped the gravity a bit based on the type and sugar content of the honey?

Thanks for the input and I look forward to seeing how this comes out.

Based on my reading here,
the sugar content of honey dependent on the moisture content. Though specific variates may “taste” sweeter, if they are the same moisture content the sugar(SG) will be the same.

You could contact the National Honey Board for more info.

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