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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello folks

I'm new to Homebrewtalk and I'm looking forward to get to know more about mead making.

I recently started to making my first mead. When I started my gravity (OG) was 1.110 and I wanted to make 14L mead in a 25L fermenter (I couldn't find anything smaller). 10.5L water for 5 kg honey with the right amount of yeast nutrient. I kept checking in on my mead as it progressed in the primary fermentation. On the 16th day I thought that the mead had stopped. This is what I found.
I checked after:
10 days (from start) - sp. gr. : 1.074
13 days (from start) - sp. gr. : 1.060
16 days (from start) - sp. gr. : 1.058 (Not much have happen compared from day 10 to day 13)

Since I thought my mead's fermentation had stopped. I did some research and found on this forum and others, that adding oxygen by gently stirring the must would help kickback the fermentation process.
I stirred the must gently with a wooden spoon for 30-40 secs (a lot of bubbles came up, so I'm assuming the must was saturated with CO2), without slashing and foaming too much (if at all). But now, I have a feeling that I mess up big time and I'm heading towards making honey vinegar.

What is your thought on that, did I blew it? Should I just go ahead and start a new mead? How much oxygen do you need reck your mead? What can I do if I messed it up?

Thanks a lot in advance!
 

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I don't think you have anything to worry. I haven't made mead in a few years, but it is slow going after the first few weeks. Longer, slower fermentations (on the order of months) is the general rule. Adding yeast nutrients can help at this stage as there is very little diverse nutrition available for the yeast with honey and water alone.

I had focused on melomels and cysers in the past to avoid this problem.

With enough time to rest, off flavors from oxidation have never been an issue for me. No matter what you do, it will taste great.

A thorough resource is ken schramm's book on mead making. well worth the cover price. As an aside - his meadery outside detroit makes great meads and melomels, but blind tasting, I can't say they are better than anything I made in my garage.

Enjoy!
 

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IMHO your fermentation has stopped but not by meaning that is done but is something wrong and it just seized.
With your description your mead at that point has only (1.110-1.058)x 131.25 = 6.8%ABV. It is very low because your potential is around 15%ABV. By some mistakes you made from beginning ( too big fermenter compared to amount of mead - too big head space), adding of nutrients at starting point (what kind of nutrients? if you used Go-Ferm only that is ok, but if you used Fermaid K with DAP that means yeast wasn't able to multiply). Which one yeast did you use?
that adding oxygen by gently stirring the must would help kickback the fermentation process.
you can stir must up to 8 day from beginning of fermentation, otherwise you are right - stirring that late is like playing with vinegar....
What is your thought on that, did I blew it? Should I just go ahead and start a new mead? How much oxygen do you need reck your mead? What can I do if I messed it up?
let say simple - with presence of oxygen yeast will multiply, without oxygen they will ferment. That the reason stirring is helpful during first few days (when is not much of alcohol present yet - Acetobacter need alcohol and oxygen to make vinegar fermentation), IMO - close your fermenter with airlock and check your readings of gravity after a week (try not to stir). If your specific gravity not change you can try restart your fermentation with new yeast - use S. carevisiae (bayanus) -example - Lalvin EC-1118.
A thorough resource is ken schramm's book on mead making. well worth the cover price.
Agree - but IMHO - better source for beginners is - Steve Piatz - The complete guide to making mead.
 
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