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Mead status/progress

—16.5lbs of unfiltered/raw unpasteurized Orange Blossom honey
—Wyeast Cider # 4766
—7.5gal carboy filled to the shoulder (I’m guessing 6.5 gals?)
—Original gravity 1.098 (August-27-2013)
—Been staggering Nutrient additions. Total so far: about 1&1/4th tsp.
—Day 8 gravity 1.074 = 3.15% abv
No off flavours, smells like fake grape candy and mild apple/pear notes present. In fact the whole room smells like candy just from what the airlock is expelling. Never really produced much kreusen (a couple scummy bubbles max) but has been steadily producing C02 since day 2.
—Temperature fluctuating with the weather from 72° to 76°, but pretty steady at 74°. This seems too cold to me. What do you think?

How does this sound? On track or a little slow? I’m used to brewing beer. With all this honey I feel like I should be farther along by now. I feel like if I had a wort this sweet I would have an overflow disaster, yet all is calm on the viking front.

Notes? Ideas? Thank you.

-First time Mead brewer

Did you use a hydrometer or refractometer for you 2nd gravity reading?

Hydro.

Meads do not produce the krausen like beers do. So don’t be concerned about that.

It seems strange that after 8 days you have only dropped 20 points. Especially with the warmer temps you are at. Maybe give them some more nutrients.

Give it time. It should be just fine.

[quote=“Nighthawk”]Meads do not produce the krausen like beers do. So don’t be concerned about that.

It seems strange that after 8 days you have only dropped 20 points. Especially with the warmer temps you are at. Maybe give them some more nutrients.

Give it time. It should be just fine.[/quote]

Thanks for the info. I gave it another 1/2 tsp this morning (After reading this). Is there a worry with adding too much nutrient? I’ve been really, really careful about this. I don’t know what the potentials are for going too far with nutrient.

Do you think it could benefit from some shaking/stirring/aeration?? I gave the must my best on day 1 but maybe I didn’t cut it.

Thanks!

You might want to check your pH. Meads can drop so low on the pH scale that the yeast run into trouble. If you are around 3.2or lower, you may want to take action.

I put a Ph strip in a sample and it’s reading <4. I can’t be any more accurate than that with the Ph strips that I have which read from like 4 to 12 or something. I need to get something more accurate from the brew store.

Would a touch of baking soda be a safe bet for the yeast to increase the Ph (increase alkalinity)?

I’m at day 17 and my ABV is 6%. No off flavours. TONS of fruit up front, nothing spicy or sour (which might be nice… but nothing)

Don’t add anything until you are sure you need it, so get those better pH strips.

You could add baking soda, but be careful as mead is poorly buffered and even a small addition can make a big pH change. I’ve read that Potassium Carbonate is better for this, but haven’t tried it myself.

If you wish to adjust pH in mead, potassium carbonate is the best. Baking soda makes the mead salty. Calcium carbonate is not very soluble and tastes chalky. I generally add 3/4 tsp per 5 gallons Of mead as a standard addition on top of staggered nutrient addition (SNA) of 1:2 DAP:Fermaid K at must creation, 2/3, and 1/3 sugar break. Mead lacks buffering capacity and is notorious for massive pH drops. A small addition of potassium carbonate helps avoid this so that you have a healthy ferment with minimal fusels.

Thank you!

I broke my hydrometer but I am going to guess by taste that i am well over 10% abv now. I’m not sure about fusel production, it doesn’t taste very hot, there are no detectable phenols… Esters I am not sure… Could they be responsible for apple and pear flavours? I have pear coming through really strong. It’s a wonderful mead already.

My next batch will be made with considerations from all of the above replies!

72-74F is definitely not too cold for a mead. I would have fermented closer to 60F with that strain.

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