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first two meads

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inchrisin

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So, my girlfriend and I have had a hell of a hard time making our first two meads. We started last night. We got 19 Lb honey and divided it into 9.5 Lb honey (6Lb clover, 2.5 Lb wild, and 2 Lb Kroger) into two 5 gal carboys. One of the recipes has 6 lb fruit too (3 lb strawberry puree and 3 lb peach puree). They were still hot after the stovetop, so I put them in the bathtub with warm (not hot water) to cool them gently. I then added cold water and left them sit overnight. I woke up around 9am Eastern and pitched the yeast with some energizer (2 tsp each). The one with the fruit took off and started to spew chunky matter out of the neck of the carboy, so I racked it off into a 6.5 gal Ale Pale. I'll let it sit there for 2 weeks and re-rack into the carboy.

I'm wondering if our honey weight is too light, as we got an OG of about 1.062 on the plain one and haven't even taken a reading on the fruited one.

I'm hoping to get critique and a general time frame for when to do things from here on out. I'm looking to ferment about 72-75F and for about two to three weeks in the primary, and then rack to secondary for at least a few months. If I need more honey, should I be adding that really soon? How much energizer/DAP should I feed them and how often?

Thanks for the feedback.
 

Torch404

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Some times it takes a couple days for the ferment to get going. The wines I have started at that low of a SG showed very few signs of fermentation but also finished super quick, I believe that is under an 8%. Keep checking the SG and see if it goes down on the plain one that is how you'll know it's going. I see you used energizer, did you use yeast nutrient too?

I'd say give it another day or so and see if the SG doesn't start creeping down. If not get a good strong yeast starter and pitch that. Then it should take off for you. You may want to just make a starter for it that way you do not have to worry about spoilage. Only the hydrometer will tell you when the mead is done.
 

inchrisin

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Good call on a starter for the next day or two. I'll probably make one and split it between the two batches either way. I've only used DAP (energizer) so far. Should I be using nutrient too? How often for both?

I'm also considering adding more honey to both the batches. How much is typically in a semi-dry mead? I'm thinking at least a couple of pounds each.

Cheers!
 

Torch404

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I believe DAP is nutrient not energizer. I would use winecalc and figure out what ABV you want and then shoot for that SG. I think honey is about 20% water and 80% sugar so you'll need to work the exact amount out.
 

Mud

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An old standy for mead is 12 lbs honey + 4 gallons water = 12% abv if fermented dry. 12 lbs honey = 1 gallon.
 

inchrisin

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When should I be adding an acid blend to the mix and does this stabilize the yeast to prevent further fermentation, or is this yet another step?
 

Malkore

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DAP is energizer, not nutrient. Di-ammonium phosphate.

acid blend is used to balance sweetness to acidity, or to adjust pH before pitching. It doesn't have much impact on stabilization, although I do believe final acidity is part if what determines how much sulfite is needed for storage.
 

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