Start date August 31st 2002.
7 lb honey
rind of 2 lemons
1 tblsp chopped dried galangal
10 cardamom pods (cracked)
2 ¼ gallon water.
Lalvin ICV D47 yeast
1 tsp acid blend
1/8th tsp tannin
1 tsp yeast nutrient
Spices and rind were placed in a cloth bag and suspended in a pan with
the water and honey. This mixture was brought to a boil and skimmed.
It was then poured into a 2.8 gallon carboy and allowed to cool overnight.
The following day acid blend, tannin, yeast nutrient and yeast were
Saturday, September 28, 2002 brought 3lb honey to a boil with
2 pints water. Racked the mead into a clean carboy and added yeast
nutrient. At this time the brew was still sweet.
Total estimated %sugar added to brew = 10lbs honey assuming 80% available
sugars = 8lbs sugar in 2.5 gallon, 8 pints per gallon = 20 pints = 40%
sugar. Final % alcohol if all but 5% of sugar is used is 20%.
(Also calculated to 384 g/l or a specific gravity over 1135)
Tuesday, January 28, 2003. Racked mead and read specific
gravity. Currently registering SG of 1100 sugar on Brix scale.
This means that only 14% of the sugars have been fermented giving an alcohol
% of about 9%. The mead is officially stuck. Mead was raked
into a clean demijohn, 2 teaspoons of yeast nutrient were added.
A fresh yeast starter was prepared using 4 oz honey boiled in 1 pint water,
which was then cooled to which was added Lalvin EC-1118, Sacharomyces bayanus.
This is a champagne yeast, therefore one with a high alcohol tolerance.
The idea is to slowly introduce under fermented mead to actively fermenting
yeast by the following schedule:
Day 1: activate the yeast in a small volume honey + water
Day 2: add the yeast mix (1/2 pint) to clean demijohn, add ½
pint under-fermented mead. Keep in a warm place (next to radiator).
Day 3: Check demijohn, if actively fermenting add an equal volume (1
pint) mead. If not actively fermenting leave 1 day.
Onwards: add an equal volume of mead to the active ferment everyday
until the entire volume is used up i.e. 2 pts, 4 pts, 8 pts, remainder
Monday, April 07, 2003. Racked and SG tested. SG
now 1030, a further reduction in sugar by 12, giving a potential alcohol
concentration of around 14%. Mead has no indication of further ferment,
flat with lack of bubbles, good strong alcohol taste. Racked into
clean demi-john and moved to a cool place to settle and age.
Friday, July 18, 2003. Racked and SG tested. No
change in SG. Still cloudy, the following was added, 2 tsp sparkaloid
and 2 campden tablets. Mead was returned to cupboard to finish clearing.
Tuesday, September 09, 2003. Mead racked and SG tested.
No change in SG, a faint haze remains but mead has a good flavor and sweet
finish. One bottle corked for consumption at Harvest Day.
Saturday, December 06, 2003. Mead has cleared. Mead
from one carboy (of 2) racked into 1 pint bottles for consumption at Yule
Sunday, January 25, 2004 Mead moved to kitchen and allowed
to settle preparatory to bottling.
Sunday, March 07, 2004 Mead bottled, 3 x wine bottles,
2.5 pint bottles final yield.