Yeast and fermentation for Mead

Polish mead

Mead utilizes a range of yeast for its fermentation.
In modern times many mead makers use the same types of yeast as one commonly sees in winemaking, much due to the commonality between the two beverages.

Specific Gravity

Using Specific Gravity to measure sugar content, both before and during the fermentation process, meadists can calculate alcohol ABV%. This is often done by use of a refractometer or hydrometer.
By measuring gravity, a meadist can also quickly notice stuck or sluggish fermentation, and by that make the appropriate corrections.
Mead will generally ferment the best when one follows the instructions from the yeast manufacturer.

Primary fermentation is said to have reached its end when “bubbling” ( through airlock) has slowed down significantly, or when gravity is approaching target gravity. It should then be racked into a new vessel. This is referred to as racking to secondary.

For more advanced meadists there is a workaround; by using conical fermenters. These fermenting vessels are designed with a cone in the bottom, which collects lees and yeasts. In the tip of this cone is usually a ball-valve or similar. This valve allows for tapping out yeast and lees at end of fermentation, and allow the mead to have both primary and secondary stages completed in the same vessel.
Lately hobbyist meadists has also gotten access to such conical fermenters through the development of fermenting vessels such as The Catalyst, FastFerment, and the Fermentasaurus.

Høvdingen - Norwegian for Chieftain, is the nickname of the main author on This is a guy who despite having a full job at a normal company, dedicate all his free time to the pursuit of Viking knowledge, especially the use of natural ingredients in food and drinks. This is not to say that this guy is an expert on the subject - just very very interested ... Mead is one of the main interests, but the poor guy, this Chieftain - he has for some odd reason more an interest in the flavors, and less in the effect the alcohol has. Therefore- most of the mead he makes throughout the year - and that could be quite a lot - ends up with his VERY happy friends... ( and no .. there's no waiting list to be new mead-tasters ....)

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