• PATRONS: Did you know we've a chat function for you now? Look to the bottom of the screen, you can chat, set up rooms, talk to each other individually or in groups! Click 'Chat' at the right side of the chat window to open the chat up.
  • Love Gotmead and want to see it grow? Then consider supporting the site and becoming a Patron! If you're logged in, click on your username to the right of the menu to see how as little as $30/year can get you access to the patron areas and the patron Facebook group and to support Gotmead!
  • We now have a Patron-exclusive Facebook group! Patrons my join at The Gotmead Patron Group. You MUST answer the questions, providing your Patron membership, when you request to join so I can verify your Patron membership. If the questions aren't answered, the request will be turned down.

My First Brews .... what should I look out for?

Barrel Char Wood Products


Registered Member
Nov 17, 2023
As can be expected from a total Newbie and a first time Mead maker I am trying to wrap my head around it all. My query is in 2 separate and arguably unrelated parts.

Part 1
I ordered my first mead making kit from CraftABrew. It comes with Lavalin d42 and some yeast nutrient. The recipe calls for 2.5.lbs of honey. Now, I decided to use some excellent unpasteurized blueberry blossom honey and 3lbs of it instead of two.
I followed the rest of the instructions to the letter--- except obviously the extra honey meant i could not add as much water before my 1 gallon jar was full.
Also, i checked online for ideal temps for Lavalin D42 and got between 70 -78 F and i set my temps to 72F. i later found out that their instructions mentioned 64-70F so i made alterations.
Now here are the issues.
1. Its been more than 24 hours and the fermentation does not seem to be getting along. there was a thick layer of foam, almost like soap scum but thick and gloopy looking but not aggressively bubbling up the sides or anything. not like they depict in the video (
) after 24 hours where it is quite active.
2. Despite this above issue, i followed the next steps and topped up the batch with some nutrient and swirled it around at which point the airlock did pop a bit but there was not alot of carbon dioxide buildup and the response to the nutrient was not aggressive.
3. It's been a few hours since the nutrients and the foam is much less than it was this morning. infact it now resembles a thin line at the top and i cant tell that there is any activity.
4. In another 3 days I will have to top off the nutrients again just wondering if i can do anything to fix this.
The purpose of asking all the above is really to learn a few things, so I will come to Part 2 of my query.
Part 2
I am now prepping my subsequent attempts at brewing some mead. Personally, I am looking for a lower ABV 13% or less and sweeter in flavor profile. (Ideally even in the 3-5% range for alcohol but I am trying to start simple for now as I am still very lost). Blueberry blossom, blackberry blossom, clover, Amazon wildflower are about the only honeys available to me. And i am in the mood for blueberry.
Unlike with the ready made kit, I am putting together things to use, so below is the recipe list and alternatives/ concerns that I hope the Hive mind can help with.

1. 3lbs or more of blueberry blossom honey
2. 1lb of Fresh blueberries to be added after 2 week fermentation (these will be cooked down to kill bacteria)
3. Some fresh lemons to add after 2 week fermentation (unsure how to treat or add)
4. Cloves, cinnamon and pinch of nutmeg also at 2 week mark (unsure how to steralize if ive had them in a jar for a while)
5. PBV santizier and star san ( i ordered PBV first becuase i read a source that said it was safe to use and no rinse required but found source indicating the opposite so bought star san - which is the right info)
5. Yeast nutrients - i read alot about raisins but dont know how to sanitize them before use so I also read something about Fermade O , K and someone else. unsure how this all comes together.
6. Yeast - i have ordered some Lavlin 71b 1122 and K1-V1116 as i read that they are both slightly better suited to my purpose. the 71b will help with sweeter mead, the k1 will help with keeping bacteria out. I am also toying with the idea of using fleishmanns. but i know the choice of yeast will impact what nutrients to go with, so how does this work? I read another completely separate article about some yeast requiring water first to activate. (as you can all tell, i am very far out of my comfort zone here as baking has never been my thing and nor has mead making)
So if you were to alter the above recipe to make it easier for a first timer looking to make a sweet nectar how would you re-write it and what combinations and steps would you add?
Sorry for the long post. I appreciate all your help everyone. there are soooo many recipes and none do a job of explaining the science of temps, yeast, nutrients, and sanitation collectively, its all broken information everywhere. i see everyone talk about sanitizing but then using raisins out of a box or from a bag, or dried orange peels they made themselves and just had lying around in a jar lol. Anyways thank you Hive mind :D

P.S. I had some clicks of my first attempt but couldn't figure out how to share them as the copy/paste and upload weren;t working
Barrel Char Wood Products

Viking Brew Vessels - Authentic Drinking Horns