I'm brewing a solera mead experiment at home. It's on a six month rotation, so every six months I make a new batch, let that sit for a month, and them go down the line bottling the oldest and refilling all the carboys. There are four carboys in this chain so a full two years of aging for each batch. I just finished the very first of these that I started back in Aug of 2021. I was pleased with the aroma and color but when I went to take a gravity measure and calculate out my final ABV, I ended with 6.9%. Much lower than I was hoping for. My aim was 12%-18%.

Recipe measurements:

  • .5 gal Spring Water
  • 2.5 lbs clover honey
  • .7 grams Lalvin-71B yeast
  • 1.25oz various dried herbs
  • OG: 1.144
  • FG: 1.093

If anyone has any ideas what I may have done wrong, or what I could do to get the results I'm looking for, I would love to know.

  • Do you use a hydrometer or a refraction meter to measure your gravity?
    – chthon
    Jun 27, 2023 at 5:28

2 Answers 2


there could be a few things that caused this. One could be that the yeast wasn't firing at 100%. It could have lacked nutrients so it wasn't able to ferment fully. There could have also been a difference in temperature from pervious brews which can make the yeast under-ferment. Lastly, there could have also been some sort of contamination which could have impacted the yeast.

It'll all be a bit of guesswork and you may never find out the actual reason. Sometimes it's just like that with homebrew!

Best of luck with future batches :)


You can always try to pitch some fresh yeast or increase the temperature if your temps are on the low side now.

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