Mead Brewing?

Sam and Debbie Milligan miligan at
Tue Dec 3 23:19:04 PST 1996

Damaris of Greenhill wrote:
> Larkin O'Kane wrote:
> > Can anyone tell me how to stop the fermentation process when the mead
> > reaches the desired alcohol/sweetness point? I relise that keeping it
> > in the refrigerator will do the trick but it only holds so much.
> > Someone suggested heating the bottles of mead but I don't know what
> > temperature is sufficient and how long to keep the bottles at that
> > temperature.
> >
> > Help anyone?
> >
> One thing you can do, is to keep adding sugar syrup.  Eventually the
> alcohol content will get high enough to kill any yeast.  That's not too
> good if you have achieved the level of alcohol/sweetness that you want.
> Brewing supply stores sell "yeast stabilizer" which kills the yeast
> supposedly.  I haven't had much luck with it unless I use it in
> conjunction with camden tablets.  If sulfites don't bother you then you
> can use camden alone about 1-2 tablets per gallon.

Trying to stop the fermentation process is iffy at best, but I think 
Damaris' solution of yeast stabilizer in conjunction with campden is 
probably the most likely to work.  

I use a generic champagne yeast for my mead that seems to work well.  To 
activate it, I boil a cup of honey in a pint of water, pour it into a 
sterilized jar and cover it, and let cool to about 85 degrees F.  I add 
the yeast and re-cover, and let it work for a minimum of six hours before 
pitching.  This works well for up to 5 gallons of must, and gives me a 
clear, mellow mead that is usually quite palatable within 3 to 4 months 
(but it does improve with age - if it's allowed to sit around that long).
Expect each batch to ferment slightly differently, as almost anything 
(seasonal changes, passing comets, imbecilic politicians) seems to affect 
these delicate brews that we lovingly watch over.  Good luck with the 

Padraig Ruad O'Maolagain
of House Mac an Ghabhann
'When I make a word do a lot of work like that,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'I
always pay it extra.'

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