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mead from just honey and water?

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blackshadow

NewBee
Registered Member
Apr 10, 2005
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Hi, I'm really new to this, and the only thing i've ever used yeast with is bread, and that didnt turn out so good either. I'm from ethiopia, and I had tej a few times, and liked it, but i think i would have preferred it without the bitter taste, which is why i'm gonna try making mead. All the recipes i've read so far have honey, water, yeast, AND other ingredients. I was wondering if it would be possible to make a good mead from just water, honey and yeast.
 

hedgehog

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 8, 2005
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Hello,
The short answer to your question is yes. Mead can be made with just honey yeast and water.
The long version of the answer is yes with a few considerations. Mead made with just honey, water, and yeast is called tradional mead. There is a section of the forum dedicated to traditional meads. If you use the search part of this forum you should find several posts with might help you out. Most honey does not have enough nutrients to feed the yeast through a complete fermentation. I have read in a few places that some of the wine yeasts can fight their way to a complete fermentation but it takes a long long time unless properly fed. The nutrient issue is simple as yeasts just need 3 things besides food: a nitrogen source, a tannin source, and some acid source to keep the pH low. Somehow the issue tends to attract a lot of contraversy so there are lots of posts on here discussing yeast nutrition. Personally I have made a batch of mead using just honey, water, yeast, and a prepackaged yeast nutrient. It fermented to about 14% alcohol in three months, and tasted quite good.
There are lots of good people on here who can answer questions and share the knowledge.
hope thats helps,
hedgehog
 

Oskaar

Got Mead Partner
Administrator
Dec 26, 2004
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The OC
Just a couple of things.

Mead made from just honey, water and yeast and acid blends or pH adjustments is show mead. Traditional mead can have other ingredients that add complexity but if the flavors are detected in higher levels that are obvious then they are considered faults.

Mead doesn't have to have a tannin source, it's nice to have it in there to balance things out and give some complexity to the end product.

Here's a link to a great article about mead fermentation:

http://consumer.lallemand.com/danstar-lalvin/InFerment/Mead_Basics.html

Hope that's helpful,

Oskaar
 

blackshadow

NewBee
Registered Member
Apr 10, 2005
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Thanks for the info. I was asking because I read somewhere that honey has all the nutrients the yeast needs and that you didn't need to add anything to the honey, but then all of the recipes that I saw had either some other nutrients or some other ingredients, and I didn't see any recipes with just honey, water and yeast. Maybe it was just me being dumb, and asking about the most obvious recipe of all. Well, thanks again for your help.
 

Oskaar

Got Mead Partner
Administrator
Dec 26, 2004
7,874
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The OC
Glad to help.

Most types of honey are notoriously low in nutrients which is why you sse the nutrients added in recipes (DAP, Nutrient, Energizer, Yeast Hulls, Raisins, etc.)

Did you get a chance to read the linked article. There is some great information you'll need for optimizing your yeasties environment for fermentation.

Cheers,

Oskaar
 

Jmattioli

Senior Member
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Mead with just plain honey, water and yeast normally is of the low alcohol variety. It normally will not ferment all the way with the majority of yeasts. K1V is a low nutrient yeast and my experience is that it requires hard water to complete fermentation. Hard water contains lots of potassium and calcium and magnesium which is a requirement for the low nutrient yeast. If you don't believe it, just try distilled water once and check the difference. It will definitely stall, even with K1V.

Joe
 
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