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September 2023

The latest updates on your mead creation

Aloha from Tyler at Mānoa Honey & Mead!

Since National Mead Day on August 5th, I've been watching over your mead that we brewed together.


Below is a quick recap and update on how your mead is coming along after 30 days...


Together, we hand-crushed honeycomb and vigorously shook and aerated the "must" and pitched yeast.

Here are the key factors and readings for your mead creation:

  • Mixed-Blossom Honeycomb used: 100 kg

  • H2O: Carbon-filtered water filled up to 50 gal marker

  • Original Gravity: 25 Bx (what is brix?)

  • Nutrients : Bee Pollen & Banana Peel

  • Aeration (for healthy yeast growth): Shaking the buckets vigorously before filtering through the coconut fibers

  • Vessel: Open top American oak barrel

  • Temperature: 75-85°F

Photos courtesy of ME Creative Hawaii

DAYS 2-20

A vigorous and healthy fermentation started in the open top vat.

The foam on top of a mead fermentation is commonly referred to as krausen. Krausen is a layer of foam that forms during the active fermentation stage of mead production. It consists of yeast cells, proteins, and other compounds that are produced as a byproduct of the fermentation process. The krausen is a visual indicator that the yeast is actively converting sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide.

As fermentation progressed, the krausen eventually subsided and settled back into the liquid. This created a yin/yang pattern.

The initial fermentation is complete and we have dropped our brix from our start point of 25 Brix to a -1.5 Brix. This negative Brix reading is made possible because the Brix scale is based on the weight of water and with alcohol being lighter, contributes to this result (H2O brix reads 0 at 20°C). 


This brings our current ABV to 14.5%. 

Did you know?

When it comes to making mead, the choice of fermentation vessel can greatly impact the final product. Open-top wood vessels have a long-standing tradition in mead-making. The wood allows for gentle oxygenation during fermentation, which can enhance the development of complex flavors.

DAYS 20-30

To further refine our creation, your mead was transferred into a Poly tank, where it was cooled. This cooling process encourages the yeast to flocculate, settling at the bottom and entering a dormant stage. This step allowed us to rack the mead off the top of the yeast cake, transferring the liquid to an American Oak 53-gallon barrel for a secondary fermentation. 


The porous nature of the wood also allows for a slight micro-oxygenation, which can aid in the maturation process. Additionally, wood vessels can contribute subtle flavors and tannins to the mead, adding depth and complexity

Over the next two months, this secondary fermentation will infuse the mead with even more depth and character, thanks to the marriage between the oak and the liquid.


Stay tuned for a final update on your mead around November, along with an invitation to join us in bottling your mead for you to take home over the holidays!

Don't forget to vote on the name of your mead! Vote Here >

At Home Trial Recipe


If you’re interested in taking on mead-making in your own kitchen, here’s a basic recipe that will get you started. Many of these supplies and ingredients can be sourced locally from Homebrew in Paradise in Honolulu.


The Minimalist:

  • Gallon jug

  • Airlock

  • Polyseal lid & drilled stopper

Additional supplies for the Novice:



  • Honey - 1 part

  • Water - 7 parts

  • Potassium - 1 g/gal

    • I suggest to use ​Fermaid-K or sous vide banana peels in a mason jar using a double boiler method. Strain the peels, then sous vide the solution again. The second heating pasteurizes the solution.

  • Nitrogen - ½ g/gal​

    • ​DAP (Diammonium Phosphate) is a good nitrogen source and can be purchased in granular form. Or you can use Fermaid-O.

  • Yeast - 1 packet brewers yeast​


Following the above recommended ingredient ratios should result in these measurements:

  • Starting Bx: 13

    • You can confirm measurement with a hydrometer, graduated cylinder and a thermometer. The hydrometer is calibrated to 68°F. Once you have your reading and temperature, use a conversion chart or calculator to find the true reading.  

  • Final Bx: -1.5

  • ABV: 8% 


  1. Sanitize every instrument that will be needed for your batch before you start. You can keep everything in a bucket of Starsan until needed.

  2. In the fermentation vessel, incorporate honey and pre-heated water in-between 104-122°F. 

  3. Add Nutrients (Potassium and Nitrogen sources).

  4. Cool to 80°F (below 90°F at a minimum).

  5. Close the top and aerate by shaking the vessel for approximately 2 minutes to add oxygen. If you can’t close the top, whisking will help but it will take a little longer.

  6. Pitch yeast after aeration.

  7. Add Airlock or slightly vent the top. The CO2 needs to be able to vent off. Please don’t forget this step! If forgotten, the top will pop off and the pressure will push a lot of the fermentation out of the container and make a big mess.

  8. Fermentation should complete within 1 to 2 weeks. Keep fermentation in a cool dark area.   Be sure to ventilate as CO2 is released during fermentation.

  9. Once complete, transfer the liquid above the yeast cake to a second vessel trying to avoid disturbing the sediment at the bottom. The transfer can go into a vessel of your choosing. Anything with a lid will do. Note: the yeast cake can be discarded or you may harvest to use in your next experiment!

  10. Once the liquid is transferred, you will need to cool it. Place the vessel in the refrigerator or a cooler with ice. This will halt the yeast and help any remaining yeast fall dormant.

  11. You may consume the mead at this point, OR add fruits or spices depending on what your end goal may be. Fruit can be added without restarting fermentation if the mead is kept cold. If the mead is warmed back to 50-90°F, the yeast will reawaken and a second fermentation will begin!

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