Basic Mead (BX)


Posted by Brian

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Last Update: June 26, 2012

Plain Old Mead (BX)

Mead – Bronx, NY
3 gallons
OG: 1.107 FG: 1.055 %ABV: 7.8% SRM: -.-
Ingredients Total Boil Time
8.75 lbs Honey 0 minutes
Yeast Cool wort to 80ºF
1 Package Lalvin EC-1118 Champagne Yeast Hydrated, then pitched
Other Ingredients When Added
1 1/2 teaspoons Yeast Energizer Added after 12 days
to boost fermentation

I had bought a 5lb bottle of honey at the local Bangladeshi store a year or so ago, because it was $10, thinking I would make some mead from it one day. Somewhere along the line I had picked up another 5lb bottle, but over the last year I guess I’ve used a bit in cooking and such, so I only had 8.75lbs left. That limited me to about a 3 gallon batch for the OG I was aiming for.



Put the dry yeast into 2oz of water and let it sit in the fridge. Put the bottles of honey in a hot-water bath to reduce their viscosity. Boiled 2.5 gallons of water, then switched the stove off. Added the honey and then rinsed the two bottles out with the just-boiled water to get all of the honey out. Stirred the honey in and let this sit. After a little while, I moved it to the fridge to cool faster. When it got down to 80ºF, measured OG at 1.104, making the actual OG 1.107 with a potential alcohol content of 14%. Added yeast and transferred to carboy for fermenting.


Fermentation has appeared slow, I think in part to the large amount of headspace. I added 1.5 tsp of yeast energizer today and racked it to a new 3 gallon carboy to aerate it. It’s pretty full, but I’m thinking I shouldn’t have foaming issues with the mead. Definitely got action in the airlock now though.


The energizer really kicked things off. The mead was bubbling steadily and gradually slowed over the last two weeks. It is still bubbling, but now down to once every 35 seconds or so.


Bottled with a final gravity of 1.055, giving 7.87% ABV. Nice and clear, light in color with a strong bouquet.


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7 Comments on "Basic Mead (BX)"

  1. avatar Nate says:

    Nice, doing the mead finally. How long do you plan on letting it age before you bottle?

  2. avatar Brian says:

    Not sure. I’ve got way too much head space in the fermenter (3 gallons in a 6gal carboy), so I probably won’t do a secondary. Plan to probably let it sit for 2-3 months, I think.

  3. avatar Nate says:

    Probably best to keep it in the primary then to avoid air contact. I left my meads in their primary’s the entire time, the yeast settled to the bottom fine. They did ferment slowly and for a very long time though. I believe a couple were still slowly bubbling through the airlock after 3 or 4 months.

  4. avatar Brian says:

    This is starting out very slow. I think my OG may have been too high. I should have maybe added the honey piece-wise, instead of all at once. There is some fermentation, but bubbles forming on the surface are just sitting there. Also a little hard to gauge, I think, because of the crazy amount of headspace in the carboy.

  5. avatar Nate says:

    You might try adding some yeast nutrient. Honey doesn’t have the same nutrient that fruit juice or malt has, and the yeast can work very slowly or not at all without them.

  6. avatar Wally says:

    Honey can settle out in the primary at the bottom with the trub. Boiling the honey in the water can help suspend it more evenly.
    meads can take a while to fully ferment. You could also try bubbling some air into your wort next time for more oxygen and a more vigorous fermentation. It might not be too late to top yourself off to 4 gallons if you want to go that route.

  7. avatar Brian says:

    Thanks for the tip! Actually, I added yeast nutrient and racked it to a 3 gallon carboy and it really took off right away, with very consistent fermentation over the next four weeks… though slowing. It is still going right now, bubbling maybe once every 45-60 seconds. I think it’s doing pretty good.

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