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Old 09-18-2007, 10:38 PM   #1
gyrfalcon
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Default 15 Gallon Mead Batch

Here is the 15 gallons of mead I made today and what I did. Hopefully it's informative and as always any input is appreciated... Many thanks those who have given me suggestions already!




Jonathan & Heidi Mead (OG 1.110 maybe a bit more)


6 Containers of Sams Club Pure Honey (Total 30lbs)
1 Container of Sage Honey (Total 12lbs)
Total Honey ~4 Gallons
4 Containers of Water (2.5 Gallonsx4 = 10 Gallons)
4 Packets of Lalvin ICV D47 Yeast (20 grams)
35 Cloves
1 Full Stick of Cinnamon
7 Tea Spoons of Yeast Energizer (DAP, Biotin, Magnesium Sulphate, Vitamin B Complex)


Other pictures of the production and cleanup : http://picasaweb.google.com/gyrfalcon16/15GallonsOfMead

Quote:
I wanted to start a 15 gallon batch of mead and wanted to ask a few questions before I started.
  • What's the general ratio of water to honey in most recipes? 4lbs to 1 gallon water?
  • What's the general time or conditions between primary and secondary fermentation? 3months, and 3 months with 3 in bottle?
  • What do you think of WLP720 Sweet Mead/Wine Yeast?
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On Deck:
Primary A: Fuggles I.P.A. Primary B: Jonathan & Heidi Mead
Primary C: Pina Melomel Primary D: EdWort's Apfelwein Mod.
Primary E: Effel 07 (Blue Wine) Bottling: BrewFrick Panty Dropper Mod. (Clover Hoof)
Drinking: Schells Beer
Planning: Octane I.P.A.

Last edited by gyrfalcon; 09-30-2007 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 09-19-2007, 05:39 AM   #2
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IMHO, 15 gallons is a big first batch! Start small, then when you've got it down, do the full 15 gals....
Don't take this the wrong way, just trying to keep you from wasting $$$...


Last edited by ScubaSteve; 09-19-2007 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 09-19-2007, 11:52 AM   #3
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3 to 4 lbs per gallon, I like 15 lbs for 5 gallons so for a 15 gallon batch I would go with 45 lbs. The minium I would go with is 3 gallons of honey. A gallon is around 12.5 lbs.

This is really based more on your hydrometer reading than a time. On the average I rack from the primary carboy to the secondary in 10 to 14 days and attach the airlock then.

No I would not use that yeast, flavor tends to be a bit bland and it has tendancies to create issues. The aging time seems to be longer also. A personal preference but I would go with Lalvin D-47 yeast. You will need some nutrients but you will have less issues and it is great for meads. It allows for a good young mead but ages to a great mead.

Making a large batch like this I would start with 40lbs of honey then add 5lbs when racking to secondary. Absolutely make a starter for your yeast, minumium of 3 packets but I would use 5 packets and put them in 5 cups of 84 degree water for 15 minutes then stir and leave for 15 more minutes, then add to must. Also with the nutrients, you will need about 15 tsp, add 5 tsp to the must. Wait 5 days and add 5 tsp. Then when you rack to the secondary add 5 tsp more. This will allow the best environment for the yeast. This is how I started all my meads lately. They all ferment well and don't have the issues.

I would hope this is a traditional mead as it sounds like this is your first try at it. I would suggest you start with traditional and then work up to melomels. best of luck and let us know how it progresses.

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Old 09-19-2007, 08:36 PM   #4
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I too suggest starting small. mead takes a while to age and really show its beauty, 15 gallons will tie up a lot of bottle storage for quite a while, since its not as quaffable as a lighter bodied wine, or beer.

I have only used the Wyeast sweet mead yeast once. it was fine, but it didn't come out any better than the dry Edme ale yeast I used for most of my batches 7-9 years ago.
Edme ale yeast strain is now sold by Fermentis as Saf-ale S-33, and will achieve 12% alcohol by volume.
I've found that about 3lbs per gallon of final volume (so 15lbs for a 5gallon batch) would yield that 12% ABV, and still leave a fair amount of sweetness, but not cloyingly sweet.

just to give you another option.

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Old 09-21-2007, 04:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgayer
I would hope this is a traditional mead as it sounds like this is your first try at it. I would suggest you start with traditional and then work up to melomels. best of luck and let us know how it progresses.
Thanks a ton for the detailed reply. Would it be wise to do anything with Irish Moss, Heather Tips, or Star Anise?

My brothers wedding will be in around a year so that's why I was going to attempt a 15 gallon batch.
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On Deck:
Primary A: Fuggles I.P.A. Primary B: Jonathan & Heidi Mead
Primary C: Pina Melomel Primary D: EdWort's Apfelwein Mod.
Primary E: Effel 07 (Blue Wine) Bottling: BrewFrick Panty Dropper Mod. (Clover Hoof)
Drinking: Schells Beer
Planning: Octane I.P.A.
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Old 09-21-2007, 07:42 PM   #6
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I would say no at this point! Irish Moss is mainly used for clearing assistance. I don't think it would be required with a traditional receipe.

When you start adding spices or herbs you change that taste to more of a personal preference. Heather tips give and almost astrigent quality and I would avoid its use for such a crowd or party drink. Personally I would never use any type of Anise in Mead. If you want to know why get some black licorish and smell with some honey. If you can get through that smell then taste them together. Not the best quality and some would be very put off by the taste.

My suggestion would be to make 3 5 gallon batches. A traditional, A fruit and a cyser (apple Mead). This would give you about 24 bottles of each and it would give a great mix of flavors for most all palates! I you need any receipes give me a yell and I can get you some simple ones. Congrats to your brother and best of luck with the plans!

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Apple Wine (15% abv)
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Old 09-29-2007, 03:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgayer
I would say no at this point! Irish Moss is mainly used for clearing assistance. I don't think it would be required with a traditional receipe...when you start adding spices or herbs you change that taste to more of a personal preference...
My suggestion would be to make 3 5 gallon batches. A traditional, A fruit and a cyser (apple Mead). This would give you about 24 bottles of each and it would give a great mix of flavors for most all palates! I you need any receipes give me a yell and I can get you some simple ones. Congrats to your brother and best of luck with the plans!

Thanks for steering me away from the spices... I have 45lbs of normal honey, and 12lbs of Sage Honey.

Do you or anyone else have any good ideas on how to use this in a 15 gallon carboy? I was thinking maybe ferment it as a whole, and then try fruit in the two of the 5 gallon secondaries?


I also have Lalvin D47 and 71b and was wondering if anyone has an input on the differences between them when fermenting mead.
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On Deck:
Primary A: Fuggles I.P.A. Primary B: Jonathan & Heidi Mead
Primary C: Pina Melomel Primary D: EdWort's Apfelwein Mod.
Primary E: Effel 07 (Blue Wine) Bottling: BrewFrick Panty Dropper Mod. (Clover Hoof)
Drinking: Schells Beer
Planning: Octane I.P.A.
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Old 09-29-2007, 03:51 AM   #8
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I would say do traditional in the 15 gallon. Make one of your 5 gallon batches a blackberry or blueberry and the other do a Apple mead(cyser). The cyser can be done with Apple juice, honey, nutrients and the D47. Just check your gravity before adding too much as the apple juice will have natural sugars. The Cysers are usually a big hit! My reciepe for the Blueberry Mead is in the mead receipes sections but I would add more fruit. You can substitute any local fruit for the blueberries but as I said I would go up to 8 or 10 lbs of fruit.

The 71B is great for reducing Malic acid so fruits high in acid content, including grapes work well with this. It also tend to give a tropical fruit ester or flavor and nose to the mead or wine.

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In the Carboy:
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Roman Raisin Wine
Bottle aging/drinking:
Mead
Apple Wine (15% abv)
Strawberry Wine
Elder Flower Wine
Blue moon Clone
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Old 09-29-2007, 09:44 PM   #9
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Default How much fermenting!?!

Can you tell me how much foam head mead has? I've probably left around 5" in the neck of the Demi-John with D-47 yeast...

I can go grab a blow off tube today or tomorrow morning if need be, but at the moment I've drank a bit too much Schells.

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On Deck:
Primary A: Fuggles I.P.A. Primary B: Jonathan & Heidi Mead
Primary C: Pina Melomel Primary D: EdWort's Apfelwein Mod.
Primary E: Effel 07 (Blue Wine) Bottling: BrewFrick Panty Dropper Mod. (Clover Hoof)
Drinking: Schells Beer
Planning: Octane I.P.A.
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Old 10-02-2007, 12:22 PM   #10
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Hardly any! D47 is a low foaming yeast.

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In the Carboy:
Red wine
Roman Raisin Wine
Bottle aging/drinking:
Mead
Apple Wine (15% abv)
Strawberry Wine
Elder Flower Wine
Blue moon Clone
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