• 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.

Yeah I'm a newbie but everyone has to be at least once in their life!

African Bronze Honey - 50% off for GotMead members

TTackett

NewBee
Registered Member
Aug 7, 2018
4
0
0
I think I may have already figured out my issue, but here goes.

My first batch I have tried a batch of cherry mead. Here is the recipe I used.

1 gal spring water
3 lbs. clover honey
2 1/2 lbs dark sweet cherries, pitted and stemmed
1/2 pack Lalvin K1 V1116 yeast
O.G. is 1.084

I warmed the honey(in the jar) in a pan of hot water enough to make it easier to pour. I then added everything to a 2 gal icing bucket that had been thoroughly cleaned and sterilized with Star San. I re-hydrated 1/2 pack of the yeast(at 108 degree F) and added it to the must. I then added 1/2 tsp of yeast nutrient and stirred it quite well with a slotted spoon. My starting gravity was 1.084. In about 5 days it appeared to not be doing much. My airlock was not bubbling, at all. As the mix had been bubbling quite well up to this point my only conclusion was that the o ring in the lid was not sealing. The room I was keeping it in had quite the aroma, as well!
At day 5, as it didn't appear to be doing much, I re-hydrated the other half of the pack of yeast and pitched it, along with another 1/2 tsp of yeast nutrient, along with 1/2 tsp of nutrient energizer, and again stirred well with the slotted spoon. Now, after 10 days total, it doesn't appear to be doing anything. No foaming through the cherries and no bubbling. I checked the current gravity, after 10 days, and it is 1.000. According to your calculator that is 11.24%ABV. Lalvin advertises their K1 V1116 topping out around 18%. I am wondering why fermentation appears to have stopped. I was originally making a 1 gallon batch, to start. I think where my mistake was, I used an entire gallon of water, as opposed to using enough water, along with the 3 lbs of honey, to make a total liquid volume of gallon. This actually waters down my must by right at 2 pints. I know reducing the sugar will effectively cut the alcohol production so I'm thinking that may be why my fermentation my have stopped. Any help? Suggestions? They will be greatly appreciated. I have hives on my property and have access to good, raw honey from Eastern Ky and Southern W.Va. It just makes sense I try my hand at making mead. It has interested me for quite some time. :D
 

Medsen Fey

Fuselier since 2007
Premium Patron
Welcome to GotMead TTackett!

K1V will go to 18% ABV, but only if there is enough sugar to get there. You started with a gravity to get to around 11%, and the K1V has done that. Your mead is essentially done once the gravity hits 1.000. It might drop a bit more over time as the yeast might not be completely finished so you wouldn't want to bottle it up yet (and it will need to clear), but now is a good time to rack it, and let it clear.

Sounds like you are on your way to some good mead.
 

TTackett

NewBee
Registered Member
Aug 7, 2018
4
0
0
Thanks for the reply. Being new to this I was curious if something had gone wrong. One other thing. I think I may bring my must up to the same temp as my yeast when I pitch. I've seen others comment about that and it makes sense. It would seem you're creating a better environment for the yeast to get a good start. Too big a temperature difference will cause a cold crash and it won't start at all. Is that right? I am about to start a batch of "Christmas Cyser" and am going to try this. Again, thanks for the reply.
 

Squatchy

Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Nov 3, 2014
5,177
20
38
Denver
Thanks for the reply. Being new to this I was curious if something had gone wrong. One other thing. I think I may bring my must up to the same temp as my yeast when I pitch. I've seen others comment about that and it makes sense. It would seem you're creating a better environment for the yeast to get a good start. Too big a temperature difference will cause a cold crash and it won't start at all. Is that right? I am about to start a batch of "Christmas Cyser" and am going to try this. Again, thanks for the reply.
Yes. You want to add a little must at a time to your yeast slurry to slowly bring the temps together. Think of slowly getting into a pool verse jumping in the deep end to start.
 

bernardsmith

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Sep 1, 2013
1,595
13
38
Saratoga Springs , NY
Hi TTackett and welcome. You suggest bringing a large volume of must up to the same temperature as the yeast but Squatchy's point is about bringing the temperature of the relatively speaking far smaller volume of the yeast down to the temperature of the must by using the must itself to slowly acclimatize the yeast to the environment in which those cells will need to work. The difference is subtle - but not small.
 

TTackett

NewBee
Registered Member
Aug 7, 2018
4
0
0
Being that I was working with a small batch(1gal), I was able to bring the apple juice AND honey temps up to 107F-108F. I kept the apple juice and honey containers in a sink full of hot water(my water heater is pretty hot) and kept an eye on their temps til I got where I wanted. Pitch temp of Lalvin K1V is only 104F-109F so it wasn't too difficult. I can see where it might be a problem if you were trying to bring 5gals of must up to that temp but one gallon was pretty easy. Logic tells me the yeast would multiply quicker in the warmer environment than cooler, hence pitching the yeast with the must at the same temp. Temp in my home is around 72F and 70F in the room where my mead is kept and won't take too long to cool down. Fermentation range for this yeast is 50F-95F so I'm right in the middle.

I also added 1/2 tsp of yeast nutrient and energizer. I used cheap WalMart brand spiced apple juice...already wishing I had done my own spices, though...next time! Starting gravity is through the roof. 1.170 if it were on the scale. That's somewhere around 22%-23% ABV. K1V goes to 18% so we'll see what happens. I am using an old 1gal glass milk jug as a fermenter. I allowed what I thought to be plenty of headspace but it still foamed out of the airtrap about 3 times. Each time I would take out the trap and stir with a small paddle. After the third time it settled down. It's less than 24 hours and the must is rolling, and bubbling through the trap like crazy, but no more foam. It actually smells pretty wonderful at this early stage!

I would like to eventually get a couple of 3gal carboys to make larger batches but for the time being making small batches will allow me to learn without losing too much if a batch doesn't work. I'm sure it will eventually happen, too. Anyway, thanks for all the replies. The cherry batc, btw, tastes like, with some age, may be pretty good. Only time will tell!
 

TTackett

NewBee
Registered Member
Aug 7, 2018
4
0
0
Thanks for this link. I'm sure there is a lot of information in this handbook that will be useful. I had tried another link but it had apparently been taken down.
 
African Bronze Honey - 50% off for GotMead members