Mead Fermented Out At 19.5% Using Lalvin 71b-1122?

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sponge86

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Hey guys, so my primary has been well and truly done for about 2 weeks now. I just took my fg before racking from my fermenting bucket into two demijohns, and I was surprised to see it's fermented everything out. It's now sat at 1.000, when I started at 1.145. According the calculator on Meadmakr, that makes it 19.5% abv... Is that possible or have I gone wrong somewhere that I'm not thinking of? If so, what are the likely things that could mess with it? Lalvin-71b says it stops at about 14%. I wasn't expecting it to be bang on 14% but thought it'd be a bit closer (and therefore a bit sweeter!). Any advice much appreciated, thanks in advance!
 

sponge86

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Other useful info: I used 5kg of honey for a total 12litre ish must and did a staggered nutrient cycle
 

phettebs

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I don't remember which yeast I used without consulting my notes but the last mead I made finished up at 16% and was the best one I've made so far.
 

MrRook

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Hey guys, so my primary has been well and truly done for about 2 weeks now. I just took my fg before racking from my fermenting bucket into two demijohns, and I was surprised to see it's fermented everything out. It's now sat at 1.000, when I started at 1.145. According the calculator on Meadmakr, that makes it 19.5% abv... Is that possible or have I gone wrong somewhere that I'm not thinking of? If so, what are the likely things that could mess with it? Lalvin-71b says it stops at about 14%.
The numbers given by yeast companies are just approximate and your results may vary.
 

sponge86

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Thanks all, so I guess I just had some hard working yeast! Still, tastes alright I think and will be fine after a good few months in the demis - if not a little potent. My first time making mead, seems like getting the desired sweetness without back sweetening is a bit of a s**t-shoot... Guess I'll just have to keep making more 🙂
 

phettebs

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Thanks all, so I guess I just had some hard working yeast! Still, tastes alright I think and will be fine after a good few months in the demis - if not a little potent. My first time making mead, seems like getting the desired sweetness without back sweetening is a bit of a s**t-shoot... Guess I'll just have to keep making more 🙂
That's why I always stuck with dry meads. I had a buddy who made one so sweet it was like drinking honey water. He ended up having to blend it with a dry mead just to make it drinkable.
 

Tavi-brewer

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Great effort on having a go at Mead making. Mother Natures curve ball!
Everything you did seems spot on.
If you calculate the actual sugar content in the honey then the maths will confirm that the yeast did their job.
Typically, honey has around 75-80g of fermentable sugar per 100g so lets say 750g per kg for ease.
You had 5kg so that's 3.75kg of actual sugar available for the yeast. This 3.75kg was in 12 litres making it about 1400g per 4.5lt/1gal.
This equates to an expected starting SG of 1.115 and an ABV of 15%
To get 19% you would have needed 1700g of available sugar and thus a starting weight of honey of 6kg.
Not impossible as 71B can be pushed but perhaps your initial measures were a little out. Easy done.
I love these maths quandaries!
Regardless, I'm sure you'll have a fabulous Mead and keep doing it!
T
 

sponge86

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Cheers! Yeah maybe something was off with my measuring at the start, who knows... Oh well, it's in the carboys now so it's in the hands of the gods, sure it'll be drinkable and it'll certainly get me drunk 😉
 

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