Ask the Meadmaker: Bad Hair Day

Ask the Meadmaker: Bad Hair Day

Groennfell Meadery
3 minute read

​In which Ricky the Meadmaker answers questions about making Cyser with EC-1118 vs. D-47 yeast, how to get a perfectly clear mead, using Campden tablets to prevent bottle bombs, how much raw ginger to use in place of powdered ginger, and more!
Further Reading:
Homebrew Recipe for Root of All Evil
On Clarifying Mead
On Cleaning and Sanitizing
What’s that Smell?

I know that I am having a floofy slash bad hair day and I expect zero comments about it.

Welcome to Ask the Meadmaker, where I, Ricky the Meadmaker, answer your questions about mead making, mead drinking, mead brewing, and really any question you're willing to send to me. 

Our first question is from Fabian, who has been using EC1118 for cysers, which are meads that also have apple in them. He wants to know, if he switches to D47, the yeast we use at our facility, will they be too sweet, or will they be sweeter, or will they be different in some way? He wants to appeal to more palettes. The answer is: it probably won't have a higher final sugar content, higher final gravity, but what you may find is higher perceived sweetness because some of the compounds that are produced in an EC1118 - a champagne strain fermentation - give a perceived dryness, almost an acerbic feeling in the mouth that you don't get with D47.

William is yet another in a long line of people who have been adding honey and sometimes priming sugar to get a carbonated mead and then it gets hazy. And he wants to know -- guys I am done! If you want a perfectly clear mead. Perfectly clear, guaranteed. Guaranteed. You have two options, filtering and having a still mead or filtering and then kegging. That is it. If your goal is to have a clear mead, I believe those are your only two absolutely guaranteed options. 

Edgunsuk. I don't know how to pronounce that name. That's my best guess. Anyway, Edgunsuk wants to know: his mead started at 1090 and is now at 1005, which he thinks is his final gravity, but he wants to make sure he doesn't get any more bottle bombs. So, will Camden tablets work at this point? Camden tablets kill the yeast that are in solution, but you have to remember that if you kill the yeast and you put it into something that is not cleaned and sanitized, it will be reintroducing yeast and bacteria. So, the only way to make sure that the Camden tablets work is to make sure that wherever you're putting it in next is very, very clean.

I have finally added it to the root of all evil recipe down in the discussion below: what if you want to use raw ginger instead of ginger powder? And the answer is: use about twice as much raw ginger as you'd use ginger powder and then go up from there as your taste dictates. 

Our last question this week comes from Darian. Darian says, "My mead is 11 days into fermentation and it smells like sour milk. Is that normal?" No. 

Well, that was our last question this week. Keep sending them and I'll get to them as soon as possible. Cheers.

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