The Second Version


The Revenge of the Mead

A second batch of mead is now fermenting in a quiet corner of my home.

For this batch I used yeast recovered from an obscure but fine beer known as Tripel Karmeliet. A starter for the fermentation was simply made with 100 g of honey and 300 ml of water boiled together, to which I added 100 ml of the sugary yeast suspension.

Apparently, the wort was too hot the first time, so the yeast died. But after adding another 50 ml, the telltale tiny bubbles of fermentation appeared in a few hours. Baker's yeast appears more resilient than this variety, and it produces a more vigorous fementation: it is not surprising, considering that that baker's yeast is selected for rapid raising of doughs.

The main batch was made of 400 g of honey dissolved in 1,5 l of water and brought to the start of boil with a sprinkle of dry wild fennel - for aroma. I added another liter of cold water (all Brita-filtered) and allowed the wort to cool nearly to room temperature before mixing in the starter (for a total of 3 liters of water) and transferring the wort to a sanitized fermentation bottle through a filtering funnel.

Finally, I capped the bottle with a piece of aluminium foil and placed it in a corner of the living room, at about 20 °C and away from direct sunlight.

My first batch was made using 1 kg of honey and 4 liters of water for a final sugar concentration around 18 °Bx (assuming 90 °Bx for honey). In this case, the sugar concentration in the wort is only 13 °Bx more or less, for which a final alcohol content by volume 0f 6.5 - 7% can be expected: a lighter and possibly drier mead than the first.

We'll have the first impressions in about one month.

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