How Long to Leave Mead in Primary Fermentation

How Long to Leave Mead in Primary Fermentation – Facts You Might Ignore

Are you having trouble deciding the time to leave mead in primary fermentation? It is usually because most of us don’t have good ideas about it. 

So, how long to leave mead in primary fermentation?

It’ll take up to 4 weeks for most mead during the primary fermentation process. However, sometimes it can take six weeks. Because different factors can affect the whole process as well as the length. When fermentation slows down, deep sediment on the bottom usually forms, measuring 2 inches or more.

Interested in learning more? Alright, let’s just hop right in!

The Period of the Fermentation Process 

The primary fermentation process for most regular meads can take up to four weeks. Unless you have added fruit, you do not need to rack the mead during this period. However, some people suggest leaving for six weeks.

Nonetheless, make sure you get a good quality fermentation carboy with an airlock. 

I’ve been suggested to get the following carboys by one of my friends. And I followed her advice. Let me tell you I’m very much satisfied with the quality. I’d say don’t miss out and get yourself one today-

However, make sure the fermentation bucket or jar is properly sterilized. Otherwise, harmful germs can mess up the whole process. Also, you can use a carboy handle for an easy lift. 

Now you see, 2-inch or more thick sediment forms on the bottom when fermentation slows. But, that’s alright. It’s time to rack the mead into another sterilized carboy. 

It’s crucial to check the specific gravity to see how much fermentation remains. If the gravity is excessive, double-check the pH. 

And you can easily check the pH of your mead using a pH meter. Such as-

Now the question is how long to leave mead in secondary fermentation?

Secondary fermentation might take 2 to 4 weeks longer than primary fermentation. (But ensure it is between 5.0 and 7.5) It’s better just to let it go at a leisurely pace. 

And the mead secondary fermentation temperature should be above 80-90°F. So, after that, can you drink mead after primary fermentation? Yes, you can, but you won’t get the actual taste.

Facts that affect the Length of Primary Fermentation

Primary fermentation is very dependent on a variety of factors. The factor can also be the length of the process.

So it all comes down to these several considerations in the end-

  • The proportion of honey to water in Mead.
  • The alcohol tolerance of yeast.
  • Levels of yeast attenuation.
  • The fermentation rate of the yeast.
  • Yeast’s health.

Maintaining the health of your yeast is probably the easiest approach to accelerate your primary fermentation. 

However, you don’t need to rack it or do anything more after completing primary fermentation. You may let it sit for three months and then consume it.

Some Additional Facts Related to the Process

See, it’s crucial to grasp the fundamentals of fermentation as well as the ingredients used to make mead. Because both of these can shape the period of your mead fermentation.

So, in the following segments, you’ll be learning something extra. And who doesn’t love some extra treat right? Well then let’s move on-

All About Honey

Understanding where the source is the most effective approach to brewing great meads. Honey is a one-of-a-kind natural substance with many characteristics. 

Every meadmaker should be aware of certain things. It includes the mentioned source, characteristics, capacity of a frame, bee types, and others.

Make sure your honey is coming from a frame full of healthy bees. And you can ensure that by providing your bees with some supplements. 

Let me tell you I’ve also used them and these supplements are very beneficial for bee health. So here are the names for you. Take a look and get one for your bees today-

Now, let’s find out what kind of yeast will help to quicken the fermentation.

About Mead Yeast

The type of yeast used for fermentation is determined by the sort of mead you are making. 

These are all successful yeasts creating sweet meads. 

Champagne, Premier Cuvee, Blanc, and other dry Mead yeasts have all shown to be successful. These yeasts usually produce a dry to medium-dry Mead, depending on the initial gravity. Here’s a little more you can read upon Mead and what yeast does in the process.

Therefore, it doesn’t take much time in the primary fermentation.

The Art of Mead-Making

Any Meadmaker’s ultimate objective is to make the best Mead possible. First and foremost, you must define what that palette is. 

Most meads are made using roughly 1 to 2 gallons of honey in a glass carboy that holds a total of 5 gallons. However, sometimes people try fermenting mead in plastic instead of the glass pot.

Here’s a video you can watch to learn the proper ways of making mead. And how long does it need to be fermented-

Preparing the Honey

Honey, as previously said, does not wish to ferment by nature. It is not essential to boil it to sterilize it. 

Because boiling honey removes much of its delightful fragrances. Also, microbes may be present in spore or dormant form. However, in the natural condition of honey, they aren’t active enough to induce the organism.

Before adding 1 to 2 gallons of honey to the carboy, dilute it with equal water. This solution can then be placed in a big saucepan. And can be cooked to roughly 150 degrees Fahrenheit on the burner. 

You can use cooking thermometers like Yacumama Digital Water Thermometer. It’ll help you to keep the track of your food’s temperature while cooking or boiling.

Now, a white foam layer will emerge on the top surface. It will emerge after heating the honey to this temperature for around 30 minutes. 

Continue to scoop up this layer with a screen skimmer or a spoon as it develops. If you find it over-moisturized, removing moisture from the honey is a better choice.

Healthy Mead Yeast  

The crucial period to maintain your yeast healthily is during primary fermentation. It’s vital since you can’t get the most significant amounts of abv without healthy yeast. 

You can do a few things to keep your yeast in good shape.

  • Add yeast nutrient: honey is poor in nutrition for yeast, so it will require some assistance from yeast food to be active throughout fermentation.
  • Degassing: Yeast may become trapped in honey’s thick layers; thus, degassing is necessary to release CO2. It is toxic to yeast because it is a waste product.
  • Oxygen: While oxygen is detrimental to your final mead, it is critical for the yeast. During fermentation, the yeast will consume oxygen. Adding oxygen to your honey water combination will ensure healthy yeast.

You have already learned a lot of things. Now we’ll be heading on to the FAQ section.


How to stop mead from fermenting in primary fermentation?

To answer how to stop fermentation in mead in primary fermentation, follow some steps. You can place Campden tablets on top of the racks. And To kill the yeast, heat your mead to 150F.

How to identify when your primary is done?

When primary fermentation is complete, there are several methods to know. Perhaps, your mead isn’t bubbling through the airlock anymore. Or, your gravity doesn’t alter from one day to the next.

How do you keep your mead in good shape?

You can keep your mead in good shape by storing it somewhere dry and cold. Also, it’s better to keep it out of direct sunshine. It would be ideal to have a wine cellar.

Final Words

I hope by now you’re clear about how long to leave mead in primary fermentation. 

One last tip from us, if you’re just going to age your mead for a year, three times should be plenty. More times would be great if you are aging for an extended period. 

That’s all from us. Take pleasure in your mead.

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