Long Mead
Start date August 31st 2002.
7 lb honey
rind of 2 lemons
1 tblsp chopped dried galangal
10 cloves
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 added.
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 of mead.
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 Feast.
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.