Mead Lover's Digest #103 Wed 24 March 1993

Forum for Discussion of Mead Brewing and Consuming
John Dilley, Digest Coordinator


re:Mead Lover's Digest #101 (March 20, 1993) (R.) Cavasin" <>

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Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1993 13:42:00 +0000 
From: "Rick (R.) Cavasin" <>
Subject: re:Mead Lover's Digest #101 (March 20, 1993)

Jay Hersh asks about high gravity meads,

All my experience with very high gravity meads have been melomels.
I've used NO nutrient, just fruit, honey, water, and yeast. I basically
simmered the honey/water, skimming, remove from heat, add fruit, maintain
pasturizing temp. for ~20min, and then cool by immersing the pot in
a cold water bath. I then pitch the rehydrated yeast (I've used lalvin
ec-1118 and red star epernay II). I've done a couple with initial
gravities that are up around 1.12. Recently, a friend brewed a batch
of elderberry mead at my place. It had a starting gravity of something
like 1.13! The rehydrated epernay II was added as usual and the
mead was happily fermenting the next day. No nutrient in that batch
either (several weeks later and the fermentation is still going).
I don't know whether or not I'm getting the 'vigorous'
fermentation you describe however. The only time I've had trouble
getting things started has been the times I've used sulphite.
That's why I avoid it now.
One thing to note is that my batches have all been in the 1 to 2 gallon
range, so the yeast that has survived the pitching hasn't had to go
too far.
My suspicion is that your problem stems from some combination of

  1. bad yeast packet (always a possibility)
  2. low temp. (usually doesn't cause me problems but you never know)
  3. pitching dry yeast into high gravity must (I've done it successfully
    with 1.08 range musts in the past but have never tried it with
    high gravity musts).

Oh yeah, did you aerate the must? Judging from your persistently
stuck fermentation, I would guess that this is the most likely

Rick C.

End of Mead Lover's Digest