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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 12:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:35 am
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I am making mead for the first time and am unsure how to tell when its time to move to the secondary container.

I started with a gallon of honey
4 gallons of spring water.
1 pack of yeast.
And 2 1/2 tablespoons of yeast nutrien which i staggered. 1/2 tablespoon for 5 days.

It started out at 1.060.
now, 7 days later it is at 1.010 and the bubbles have slowed to 1 per 30 sec.

Am i on the right track and how much longer should i wait to rack to the secondary?


Thankee for any advice.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 3:03 pm 
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Beer God
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Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:45 am
Posts: 356
Location: Somewhere south of sane
Something is wrong with your recipe and the numbers given:
1 gallon of honey weighs 12 pounds. You used 4 gallons of water so you have a total volume of 5 gallons. This gives you 2.5 pounds of honey per gallon of must. Typically, you should get about 36 "gravity points" per pound of honey per gallon of must meaning your starting gravity for this should have been about 30 points higher (about 1.090).

Either you had less honey than you think you had, you didn't thoroughly dissolve the honey into the water, your hydrometer is WAY off calibration or your honey is of a disreputable source.

Your fermentation temperature will affect the duration of your fermentation. Gravity change 1.060 -> 1.010 in 7 days is reasonable if you are fermenting around 65F. This is only about 6.6%ABV at this point, so even most beer yeast will continue to eat the remaining sugars. In fact, most beer yeast will take this fermentation all the way dry as you'll only reach about 9.3%ABV, so if you want a dry mead, your yeast still has some work to do. Even if you rack this to a secondary fermenter, the yeast in suspension will continue to eat sugar. Most mead makers target a finishing gravity and kill off the yeast with metabisulfite when that gravity is reached. Wine yeasts will typically ferment in the mid to upper teens ABV so unless you are using in excess of 3.5 pounds of honey per gallon of must, wine yeast will almost always produce a dry mead unless you kill off the yeast.

In general, the alcohol tolerance of your yeast will determine how far your mead will ferment.


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