Good day;

So, I made some very simple mead, about a month ago.

There's about 2 liters; in a simple bottle and a home-made airlock.

It's about 35% honey, the rest is bottled water, about half a lemon sliced, and about 1 big teaspoon of Bread yeast.

It did it's thing for about 1 month now; it looks fairly clear, and smells good.

However, it's my first ever attempt at making any kind of alcohol, and without any modern tools.

Are there any tests I could do, to know if the mead is safe and ready to drink? Is there a way to "guess" the alcohol content without modern tools?

  • 1
    Pretty sure you’ll get a better answer if you migrate this to the Homebrewing SE site
    – Eric S
    Sep 5, 2019 at 14:10
  • 1
    @EricShain I was thinking that as well. Though I was thinking if there's a test that can be done to see if "an alcohol beverage" is safe to drink, it must be working all beverages.
    – Musuyajin
    Sep 5, 2019 at 14:21
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    "Safe" and "ready" are somewhat orthogonal. Readiness is about (the end of) fermentation, aging, etc, while safety considerations can enter at any stage. (And, most likely, if it's not safe to drink it's probably because of something you did in the first few hours.) Sep 5, 2019 at 21:43
  • 1
    why did you use bakers yeast, that typically is not suited for the fermenting alcohols as the baker's yeast has a lower tolerance for alcohol which makes it so your brew can flop
    – Neil Meyer
    Oct 1, 2019 at 8:18
  • bakers yeast is no good. I use rice wine yeast that I get off ebay Feb 19, 2020 at 10:43

1 Answer 1


Unless you used unsafe water or honey, it is safe to drink at any time. The alcohol in the mead effectively keeps it safe for consumption. The fact that it smells good is a good sign and even with some off-flavours everything should be on the safe side.

Pungent smells, mould and no alcohol at all, however, are signs that something is wrong.

Generally, fermented drinks are safer than untreated (and possibly contaminated) water because of their alcohol and acid content. That doesn't necessarily mean they are healthier though.

Depending on the yeast strains involved, the length of the fermentation and what is fermented, fermented drinks may contain substances that make you feel unpleasant (hangover).

Most fermented drinks are ready to drink once the yeast has settled (and the drink loses its yeasty taste). They continue fermenting albeit at a much slower pace. This means their flavour changes over time, usually getting more acidic while losing some or all of their sweetness. In other words, it is ready to drink when it tastes right.

To prevent further fermentation, you can store your mead in a fridge or a very cool cellar which slows down the yeast significantly.

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