Do you have any tips about doing your first batch of Mead? I know it can be pretty different from beer and I have been told it can be as easy as just combining the ingredients and letting sit, or you have to nurse it for the first few days making sure everything starts off right.
Your right on both accounts. Mead is exactly as simple as you described. There is even some debate on whether or not you should boil the honey. I’ll walk you through what I did when I made mine.
I used 15 pounds of honey for a 5 gallon batch of mead. I prefer not to boil my must, the vinification term for unfermented wine, because you risk losing the wonderfully floral aromatics associated with honey. All I did was heat up my water to 165°F, add the honey, and hold at 165°F for 20 minutes in order to pasteurize the must. Cool to normal pitching temperatures and it’s as simple as that.
The problem with honey is that it lacks nitrogen. Nitrogen is what promotes healthy yeast growth, so unless you want your mead to take an eternity to ferment you’ll need to add some nutrients. I used both yeast nutrients and yeast energizer in my mead. Yeast nutrients will give nourishment to your yeast and make sure it stays healthy throughout fermentation. Energizer on the other hand stimulates fermentation and helps prevent stuck fermentations.
My additions were as follows:
1 tsp Yeast Nutrient at the beginning of the 20 minute “boil”
1 tsp Nutrient and 1/2 tsp Energizer 24 hours after pitching
1 tsp Nutrient and 1/2 tsp Energizer 48 hours after pitching
1 tsp Nutrient and 1/2 tsp Energizer 72 hours after pitching
A healthy fermenting mead is as simple as that. Just stir the must with every addition without too much agitation. Remember to keep everything sterile when adding your supplements.