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Hopefully an easy question for you more seasoned brewers

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Registered Member
Apr 1, 2019
Hey guys,

My buddy and I started making mead early this year.
We've started by making 2 1Gallon batches with Great Lakes Honey from the supermarket. 3Lbs in the 1 Gallon glass carboy.
We've since then upgraded to seeking out local bee keepers and hitting the source.
Also we've upgraded to 5 gallon AlePails, which we use 16lbs of local wildflower honey.
The goal is to make Melomels, and with our first carboy batches we've added 4lbs of wild Maine blueberries frozen(thawed of course, and slightly smashed before adding) to one batch, and a 4lbs bag of strawberry, blueberry and raspberry mix from Costco for our 2nd batch.
We added fruit in our secondary ferm.
After that next month of fruit addition, we racked to a carboy, and or course took a small sample of each to see how they taste.
We noticed the overall taste was good, could have probably added another 2lbs of blueberries to the first batch. And our second batch tasted great! Berry greatness!
But the overall mouth-feel was light.
Here's my question...
What needs/can be added to thicken the legs of the melomel?
All tips are appreciated!



Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Nov 3, 2014
Ryan Carlson

So I thought we all knew about SIY's and found out this is not the case. Sorry. I try to write everything on a beginner basis and missed it here.
So And SIY is a Specific Inactivated Yeast. Although it's found in the nutrients section in the Scotts Lab Handbook. I don't count it as a source to count towards your YAN calculations. They are specifically designed to increase mouthfeel, aroma, and a rounder flavor profile. In the 2019 version, you can find it on page 46.

I have always felt that aroma and sometimes mouthfeel has been lacking in mead. Maybe even more so when we are talking about traditionals, of course, we can pick yeast strains that add to the volume. But what do we do when we choose a different yeast?
So I was pleasantly surprised when the started selling SIY's for this very purpose. There isn't a ton of info in The Handbook. It's very straight forward though so I'm not sure how much more can be said. I had found for the most part that I got the best results when I started using them full strength.

The issues these yeast serve to improve are even more prevalent in session meads. And this is where I started using them first and foremost. Although, I also reach for them when I am making dry traditionals as well.
As you know. High ABV lends it'self to more mouth volume. Because we used more honey in it. We also have more honey bouquet for the same reason. But when we drop all of that when making sessions we are faced with a dilemma. And that is why the SIY's we made.
As you know, many kinds of honey become a little tart or acidic once all the sugars are fermented. This is also addressed with SIY's.

I'm certainly no expert. But I was asked for help on a forum I contribute to. So I just have decided to write an instructional piece and share it to the entire community if the subject is fitting.

So I want to share my approach to sessions. And also speak very briefly of a few things we can do with full strength mead. Leaning more along the lines of Traditionals.

Let start with trads first.

So as many know we can coerce perception while at the same time the gravity stays the same.
Here are a few things I do with trad to move the perception in our favor. Many people have a hard time with the drier side of trads because of the same issues I spoke of above.
I hardly ever find a mead that isn't improved with oak. Lots of times it's an underlying fraction that doesn't need to very dominate. Often I fly them under the radar. You might not pick them up unless you have a good palate. But you would surely notice the difference if they weren't there. I have found that the tannins in oak can change the sweetness perception. This can work in our favor if we want to get all the goodness of a semi-sweet (bouquet/volume) but use the tannins to dry it out some. You can sometimes move it from one side of the fence to the other. Let's look at an example. Many times I have a hard time deciding how other judges will perceive the sweetness level of mead if it's borderline. Some judges will not even move a mead forward in a comp if they think a mead is in the wrong sweetness declaration. I won't hold a nice mead back if it's questionable. If it's so obviously wrong in a big way, I might. But if it isn't super obvious, I give the entry the benefit of the doubt. Let's pretend we have a mead that is just enough into semisweet that it probably won't be considered able to sit in the dry category. Well, by adding tannins we can push it over the fence into the dry category unless the oak is too much. We now have a mead that in theory will have more volume and bouquet than the other drys because it has the volume and nose of a semisweet. This should benefit us.

Let's proceed. In the same fashion, you might be able to push a mead that is just shy of moving into the semi category by adding SIY's that change the perception towards a sweeter profile with more volume. Even though all we have done is add SIY's.
I made a fabulous Tupelo trad that was bone dry and yet tasted as if it was 1008 or so. So as you can see. We can do different things with the perception that fakes out the pallet so to speak.

So this very concept also works in the session arena. I doubt we would ever seek to dry out a session unless we made it too sweet. And that can certainly happen. But I suspect most of us will want to beef up our trads so they are not so skinny and lacking in bouquet.
Like any adjunct. The effects will fade back some as a mead ages, and all the fraction begin to assimilate. Remember now if we are force carbing a session. The carbonic acid will change the sweetness perception on its own. Over time you will begin to have a feel for how much oversweet you will make them hit the magic spot once the carbonic acid is added from the carbonation.

I have tried more than once to help the community to get a better understanding of making finishing adjustments on the podcast on Gotmead. ANd have failed every time. It's very difficult to teach this type of thing without one on one interaction about a real mead.
I hope this makes sense for you,


Registered Member
Apr 1, 2019
Again, Im still very very green to this.
We used D47 Lalvin for the first two batches and then i switched to K1-V1116 to try something new. Haven't yet racked fruit into that yet, waiting another 11 days.
SIY's is something else to add, along the lines of a nutrient boost, correct?
So basically its another yeast but has nothing to do with increasing alcohol volume, just the mouthfeel and fullness of the mead/melomel?


Worker Bee
Registered Member
Jan 1, 2018
Montrose, CO
Hello MattyG,

Squatchy had pointed to this already, but if you haven't checked it out:
Select/Download the fermentation handbook, and start on page 45 of the handbook. It as easy to read tables that give a brief review of what each can do. The handbook says "yeast derivative nutrients", but essentially SIY.

They will not increase ABV, but are meant to help protect and enhance the mead/wine.

You'll also notice many/all of them are typically added at fermentation start, or right near the end. I can't recall one that would help if you add it post fermentation, and I don't think they're designed for that either.

I've just started using them on some new batches that are still a work in progress, so I can't tell if there's a real difference or not. I'll need to run more tests with my next round of small batches.

Medsen Fey

Fuselier since 2007
Premium Patron
I love the Scottlab handbook, but you have to take it with a grain of salt. For example, if you look at the section on meads and fruit wines, they don’t list D47 as a yeast for mead. Say what...??

A lot of those products are hard to find for home mead crafters.

Some things that you can do to boost mouthfeel:
1. Tannins as mentioned above
2. Lees aging (even age without being on lees tends to help)
3. Additions of Sur-Lie (available at MoreWine) or similar products
4. Addition Gum Arabic (available at more wine) or some of the combo products listed in the Scottlab book
5. Adding Glycerin - it may help some, but the impact won’t be huge
6. Adding maltodextrin
7. More fruit, even added to secondary
8. More ABV
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