The Meadery Part 2
So our first mead was tasty, and the rest were way too soft. What’s the point of a 7% mead? And why did our other meads fail when the first one was so successful?
J Roy put on our thinking caps and deduced that the only difference between batch one and batches two through five was the water. The Zellers water that contributed to the first batch smelled kind of manky coming out of the bottle, so we switched to Safeway water for the rest of the batches. Big mistake: we think that the pH of the Safeway water was much lower than that of the Zellers water. Our yeast was growing briefly in the beginning, but as yeast grow and metabolise they lower pH on their own. The Safeway water had a low enough pH originally that the yeast eventually acidified their environment beyond their tolerance, and so died before converting all the sugar into alcohol.
Now we’ve bought potassium bicarbonate to increase the pH, and pH paper to test it. This weekend, we’ll start a new batch. Here’s hoping we correctly deduced our issues. Perhaps by my birthday in June we can have some lovely mead to celebrate with.