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Flaws in the ointment?

Etowah Meadery - Drink Unique
African Bronze Honey - 50% off for GotMead members


Registered Member
Sep 1, 2016
Thanks all for the contributions and the forum itself. This place is gonna be great to find my way around.

O.k., so a buddy and I have set off on making a couple of batches of mead. He made his first 1 gallon batch a week or two ahead of me, so I followed his method, and want to get a QC check done on how we did it.

Mine is a Cherry melomel. recipe is as follows:(I'm going from memory, so it'll be close. If the details are critical in specific area, I'll do my best to nail it down. We did log the recipe as we did it, so data is available.)

3 pounds of frozen sweet cherries
3 pounds of Sue Bee clover honey
around 1.5 gallons of purified water
sc1118 monpelier Lalvin yeast (used 1/2 a packet)

We used (starsan?) to sanitize new equipment consisting of a 1.5 gallon fermentation bucket and lid, S air lock and ancillaries.

Heated the water to 160 degrees, added warmed honey and then added cherries, then returned mix to 160. Let the mix cool to around 86 degrees in an ice bath, took some warm water in bowl and activated the yeast. We took a gravity reading with the cherries in. I'm thinking we should have taken it from just honey and water mix, before adding the cherries.

After seeing bubbles in the yeast, we pitched the yeast and gently shook the mix for 2 minutes, then added yeast nutrient and pectin and stirred, then sealed the container.

The yeast started bubbling the airlock within 10-15 minutes and continued for a full week. We did not stir or agitate during that time. After 7 days, the bubbling stopped and we checked the gravity again and it was dead on 1.00, maybe 0.99. We then used his wine pump thingy to draw the mead out of the fermentation bucket into a 1 gallon growler. I sampled the mead from the hydrometer vessel and it tasted like a red wine, kind of dry, just a little yeasty (I did draw some yeast with the wine thief for the FG test), and noticeably alcoholic. By taste, it's definitely stronger than a wine, with a bit of vapory effect after exhaling.

There has been little to no bubbling in the week after racking. I'm good with the dryness of it, and debate whether I'd want to sweeten it.

Is it possible to not need to agitate it after starting fermentation?

What we've done to this point (well, he has done) is his first batch of cyser (sp?) has been clarified and is bottled, his batch of blueberry and my cherry melomel is just sitting to clarify. I would think I'd rack it this weekend. The Cherry is very dark. nearly black with hints of red on the edges of the growler.

so main question is- are there any flaws or risks in the method we used?

am I right that we should take SG before adding anything else to the must?

Will residual yeasty taste fade, or do I need to take action on it? I've read about adding vanilla, which would compliment the cherry flavor.

Thanks for any insight!!
African Bronze Honey - 50% off for GotMead members
Etowah Meadery - Drink Unique