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Old 07-02-2012, 01:14 AM   #11
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S05 is my favorite yeast, I have made the same recipe using Wyeast 1056 and its not even close to as good IMO.

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Old 07-02-2012, 01:23 AM   #12
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Wyeast 1335 and 1882-PC are my top two yeasts I use. I do use a couple of others (1728, 1318), but the majority of the time it's one of the first two. I have a couple of packs of 1882-PC in the fridge and plan to harvest after the next time I use some if Wyeast doesn't release it next quarter.

I did use 1056 for my very first two batches (they were kits) and wasn't impressed with the yeast. I've not used it since then. Mostly because it's an American strain and I'm using all UK yeasts (hops and malts too) for my brews.

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Old 07-02-2012, 01:39 AM   #13
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Personally I'm a big fan of S04 and Danstar's Munich. Just about every WYeast strain I've used has been a hit.
I'd advocate scrapping the fermenter, or culturing from a bottle (recently did it with BBC's Steel Rail Pale Ale).
Again, I think it all depends on the beer your brewing.

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Old 07-02-2012, 03:09 AM   #14
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Coopers and Muntons yeast packs are great when tossed into the wort boil. The good yeast will eat their remains and give you great beer.

I only use liquid yeast for my beers (Wyeast so far but might use wome White Labs soonish). I use Lalvin strains for my meads. I select the yeast strain but what I want and what it will give me. Easily figured out with Wyeast strains.

I do make starters for my beers but not my meads. It really helps to have at least close to the yeast cell count needed for the batch OG and size.
hey golddiggie. thinking of making some mead once i make the move. why dont you make starters for your mead?
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:14 AM   #15
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hey golddiggie. thinking of making some mead once i make the move. why dont you make starters for your mead?
He's using dry yeast for the mead, already has a pretty high cell count, versus the liquid yeast he normally uses for beer.
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:25 AM   #16
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hey golddiggie. thinking of making some mead once i make the move. why dont you make starters for your mead?
1. Dry yeast, as mendtioned by Shooter...
2. You can start a mead with less honey than it will end up using, thus having the OG lower and not needing the starter.
3. You use nutrient and energizer in the batch to give the yeast more to eat (they need nutrient since honey doesn't have nearly enough by itself).
4. I do oxygenate just as I would a wort, so they have the O2 needed to replicate early on.

You can also add nutrient as a mead progresses, to help the yeast along. I often degas the must during the initial fermentation stage (before the 1/3 break).

I'll be making at least a couple of batches of mead once I've moved (which I'm planning on being sometime before the end of August now). I hope to have access to a basement, but if not, I'll get either a chest freezer, or make a fermentation chamber for the warmer months. The yeast strains I use all have 'happy zones' in the same range, or have enough overlap to work together.

BTW, from what I've read, most starters for mead are more of a PITA than for beer. I might make on eventually, but it's not planned right now. Besides, with most of my meads being in the 14-18% range, there's less need for them. Plus, I'm making 4 gallon batches these days.
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:32 AM   #17
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1. Dry yeast, as mendtioned by Shooter...
2. You can start a mead with less honey than it will end up using, thus having the OG lower and not needing the starter.
3. You use nutrient and energizer in the batch to give the yeast more to eat (they need nutrient since honey doesn't have nearly enough by itself).
4. I do oxygenate just as I would a wort, so they have the O2 needed to replicate early on.

You can also add nutrient as a mead progresses, to help the yeast along. I often degas the must during the initial fermentation stage (before the 1/3 break).

I'll be making at least a couple of batches of mead once I've moved (which I'm planning on being sometime before the end of August now). I hope to have access to a basement, but if not, I'll get either a chest freezer, or make a fermentation chamber for the warmer months. The yeast strains I use all have 'happy zones' in the same range, or have enough overlap to work together.

BTW, from what I've read, most starters for mead are more of a PITA than for beer. I might make on eventually, but it's not planned right now. Besides, with most of my meads being in the 14-18% range, there's less need for them. Plus, I'm making 4 gallon batches these days.
great answer dude. do you have a favorite recipe you could give me? its going to be my first one (something for the lady). she wants it dry and sparkling.... any ideas?
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:33 AM   #18
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I talked to Neva (from white labs) at gabf (she went to high school with my wife) and she explained that growing up a culture of dry yeast isn't the smartest thing to do (we were talking about brew pubs) because of mutation of the yeast. I don't think dry yeast matters as much for home brewers. I still use liquid yeast though. Only the best for my liver.

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Old 07-02-2012, 03:38 AM   #19
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I talked to Neva (from white labs) at gabf (she went to high school with my wife) and she explained that growing up a culture of dry yeast isn't the smartest thing to do (we were talking about brew pubs) because of mutation of the yeast. I don't think dry yeast matters as much for home brewers. I still use liquid yeast though. Only the best for my liver.
if it's properly handled (e.g. rehydrated) i don't see how it would be more prone to mutation than liquid yeast.

what was her logic?
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:47 AM   #20
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great answer dude. do you have a favorite recipe you could give me? its going to be my first one (something for the lady). she wants it dry and sparkling.... any ideas?
I like to use the KISS principle for most of my mead recipes. So simply find some honey that you LOVE the flavor of and use that as your base. Use the Got Mead calculator to get an idea of how much to mix up. Be sure to take an OG of it though. If you're looking to go more on the dry side, then mix it light. Such as a gallon (12#) of honey along with 3 gallons of water, then 4 TSP of Fermax and 2TSP of yeast energizer. Hit with pure O2 (if you have the ability) or shake the ever loving F out of the must to oxygenate at the start. IMO/IME, pure O2 will get you there far faster, easier, and without tossing your back out. Rehydrate the yeast (try Lalvin D47 for your first batch, since this should go to about 14%) and pitch it in as per instructions for the yeast. Check on it the following day to see if there's anything going on. Don't just go by airlock movement, shine a light onto the surface of the must. If you see tiny bubbles on the surface, then the yeast is starting to do things. You could have a few days lag phase, but you should start to get excess CO2 build-up within 24-48 hours. Depending on what you use to ferment in, and how well it seals up, will determine if the airlock rocks or not.

Let it go until it's completely done fermenting (that could be 1-2 months later) and has started to clear. Give it another few weeks from when you think it's ready and rack to a clean, sanitized vessel. Leave the cake in the bottom behind. Check every month, or two, and rack as needed. Don't rack more often then once a month (two being better). After about 9 months, you can THINK about bottling. I suggest letting it go longer though.

Take a taste sample BEFORE you even think about back-sweetening it. Many times, you'll back-sweeten a batch of mead early, only to have it become too sweet later.

I have a batch that I let age a solid year in carboy. The last ~5 weeks of that with oak cubes in it. I bottled it without adding ANY chemicals to stabilize it and then set it aside. I've been having some of it from time to time and it's getting better and better with age. It did finish sweet (around 1.020-1.026) but it's so damned smooth, and good, it's unreal. Plus, it's 18% ABV. I used Lalvin EC-1118 on the batch (I know there's a hater out there, but if you give it TIME, it produces a great mead).

I also have three batches in bulk right now. One is a 14% maple mead (grade B maple syrup) that smells divine. Another is a 14% traditional with local wildflower honey. The honey was from a mid-season harvest and is very light in flavor, and color (not what I had hoped for). The third is the base for my mocha madness mkII mead. It's at 21% and has yet to get any flavor elements added to it. That's my first batch fermented with liquid yeast (Wyeast Eau de Vie) and it took about three months to finish fermenting. I'll be starting the flavor additions sometime in September. I won't bottle it for at least 18-24 months from the start. The others could be bottled around Thanksgiving time (maybe).

BTW, if you want to try some of my oaked 2010 vintage mead, let me know.
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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
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