I got it in my head last weekend that I needed to homebrew again (it's been more than 10 years!), and so I boiled 4lbs of honey, 2lbs of ginger, 1lb of dark brown sugar and 1.5lbs of raisins (since none of that other stuff has much in the way of yeast nutrients beyond sugars) with some cinnamon and other spices and put it in my 6-gallon beer carboy with 1pckg of Red Star champagne yeast. By the next morning, I had one bubble in the airlock every 4 seconds. Less than a week later, I'm down to 1 bubble every 5 seconds. So I'm using champagne yeast for primary fermentation. I have no idea how this is going to turn out, how long it's going to take to finish primary fermentation or whether I just wasted $30 worth of ingredients.

Is 1 bubble every 5 seconds too slow? I've got it in a dark closet in my laundry room. We're having a warm winter here in North Carolina, but there's no heat register in the room and it stays at around 66-67F all the time.

I guess it is what it is at this point--maybe I should have asked questions first and shot later--but I was curous. Any thoughts?

  • I've removed the spaces before each paragraph - that's not needed here as it makes the text a 'code block' - easier to read without.
    – mdma
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 16:21
  • But that aside, welcome back to homebrewing! 10 years is some hiatus!
    – mdma
    Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 12:44

1 Answer 1


Assuming you followed sanitary practices, then I don't think you've wasted any money at all. sounds like a tasty mead...maybe a bit heavy on the ginger, but that's really down to personal preference.

When making mead, it's a good idea to add yeast nutrient with the honey so the yeast have something to propagate from, and remember to airate well, especially if you boil the honey. Also, if you don't rehydrate dried yeast in water first, you can lose a lot of the viable cells when pitching, especially when pitching into a high-gravity wort\must.

Don't worry - give the mead time and it will come out fine. Take a gravity reading in 3 weeks and you should see that it's about 1\4 of your OG. For the best chances of success next time, rehydrate dried yeast first, use yeast nutrient and airate well.

  • +1 for early aeration and adding nutrient. I doubt the raisins are sufficient sources for yeast nutrition. Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 19:18

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