New Giveaway - Wort Monster Conical Fermenter!

Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > ABV help for 2 Imperial Gallons




Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-26-2010, 07:25 PM   #1
Riastradh
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bushmills (Ireland)
Posts: 29
Default ABV help for 2 Imperial Gallons

Haigh folks

I'm about to make my 1st mead but need some simple help. I'm hoping to produce 2 imperial gallons worth at 20% ABV remaining balanced in taste without the harsh alcohol over taking the pallete.

What are recommended ABVs for mead and why? Most recipes I see are for 1 gallon, how strong are those percentage wise? Then maybe I can work out what I need for 2 galls at 20%

Oh one last thing, do you have Elderberries in America? What does it taste like in your Mead if you've used them. I'm considering using them with my dandelions.

Sorry for the irksome nature of this thread. Advice is so appreciate.



__________________
Riastradh is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-26-2010, 07:42 PM   #2
meading_of_minds
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: IL, Bureau Cty, IL
Posts: 90
Default

I don't remember seeing any meads come out that high (maybe someone else does). I can't imagine what it would taste like. The favorites that I've made were closer to 14 percent. Still good enough to tickle your insides.
I can't wait for elderberries, mulberries and red raspberries to come into season. I've got plans for christmas meads and welches wines.



__________________
Laura
meading_of_minds is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-26-2010, 08:06 PM   #3
LightningInABottle
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Ann Arbor
Posts: 262
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

I've done a few 5 gallon batches that came out at 18% and they were a bit harsh at first. I'm letting them age a year before I touch them. I did start one cyser that would have come out at 20% but I racked it off the lees because I had 5 cinnamon sticks in the primary and thought it would over power the taste. After I racked the ferment stalled. I checked Ph, added nutrients and energizer. The ferment did not restart, so I created a gallon starter that was lower ABV and racked the stalled batch onto that. It is fermenting again very slowly and I haven't checked the gravity in a while because I had other fast moving batched going through the works. I suggest reading up on staggered nutrient additions and starting with a 18% ABV then when it is done taste it. If you want higher then add more honey. Also try using K1V1116 yeast. Actually 20% is a bit high for ABV and the yeast get stressed and may give your mead an off taste. So shoot for 18%, taste it and if you like it rack it off and call it quits. If you get off tastes you may end up having to age it longer before it is drinkable.

__________________
Quote:
"The first rule around here is not to dump a batch unless it tastes like Satan's anus."-Nurmey
LightningInABottle is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-26-2010, 10:12 PM   #4
MedsenFey
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,034
Liked 14 Times on 14 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riastradh View Post
I'm about to make my 1st mead but need some simple help. I'm hoping to produce 2 imperial gallons worth at 20% ABV remaining balanced in taste without the harsh alcohol over taking the pallete.
If you make any mead or wine with 20% ABV the alcohol is going to dominate the palate, even with years of aging. Almost certainly, you won't want it dry. Getting a yeast to ferment to 20% ABV can be challenging as most of them will peter out at about 18%. Usually you need to manage the fermentation well with good temperature, good aeration, plenty of nutrient (far more than normal), and proper pH control. While I love K1V, it would not be my choice for that kind of project - I rather use EC-1118, DV10, L2226 (challenging to use) or better still, Uvaferm 43. Using apple juice as part of the recipe can sometime help the yeast get to the maximum.

The process mentioned of fermenting to near 18% and then step-feeding to produce higher levels of alcohol will be stressful to the yeast and they will produce harsh, fusel alcohol and off odors/tastes that may take years to mellow (like 2-3 at least).

Personally, I wouldn't recommend shooting for a rocket fuel batch as your first mead.

If you do, for 2 imperial gallons you will need about 4.25 Kg of honey with a starting gravity of around 1.140 to reach 18% ABV. You do not want to start with the gravity higher, and in fact, might be better off to start with it around 1.130 or slightly below. You'll need about another 600 g honey to be added to get to 20% potential alcohol, and if all that ferments out, you'll need more for sweetening to try to mask the alcohol.

And yes we do have elderberries and they go really well in mead, but they can add a tremendous load of bitter tannins if you aren't careful.
__________________
"Our results are merely the result of carefully managing the transformation of bee spit into yeast excrement."
--- Wayneb
MedsenFey is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-26-2010, 11:09 PM   #5
Blackgaurd_Brewing
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: lakewood, Co
Posts: 123
Default

If you really want higher ABV you could try making 3 gallons at about 14% and then freeze distilling a gallon of it off. There is plenty on the web about this. But i find the higher the alchohol content the longer it takes to age out the alchohol foreword flavors. Better to have a couple glasses of tasty lower percentage mead than one glass of nasty alchohol laden brew

__________________
Blackgaurd_Brewing is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-27-2010, 10:06 PM   #6
Riastradh
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bushmills (Ireland)
Posts: 29
Default

Wow, wassail everybody for such a great response. From what you guys tell me, I've decided to pull the reigns in and lower the ABV to 15% or less depending. I've checked the auld poitín jars and they hold 1 Imperial gallon each. I ambled intae my wee village and our food shop hasn't had honey comb (thats how they had sold it) for 3 years we're having trouble with bees. Gonna have to find spend a wean o' more strerling on English stuff now haha.

Thanks everyone about the yeast, that was a big help. Laura, what is a welche? I was also hoping to make my mead christmassy too, not sure how to do that..maybe raisins, apple, cinnamon etc? I think I'll stick with my dandelions seeming I spent all day annoying the sheep for them. Thinking of vanilla or burdock to use with them.

Ok, right... so I have 1 Imperial gallon and I want to aim for 15% sweet/medium sweet. Would that call for 5 lbs of honey, one gram of yeast?

If I'm adding fruit or vanilla sticks, when would you add them and for how long? I've found great youtube tutorials for all the other information on yeats nutrients, campden tabelts etc and the process.

Thanks

__________________
Riastradh is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-29-2010, 02:05 PM   #7
MedsenFey
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,034
Liked 14 Times on 14 Posts

Default

To get to 15% ABV, you need a gravity of at least 1.115 which will require close to 1.75 Kg of honey in an imperial gallon. Honey varies quite a bit in moisture content so you really need to use your hydrometer to dial in the correct gravity.

A big question however, is which yeast strain do you plan to use? That will have some bearing on the amount of honey you'll need.

__________________
"Our results are merely the result of carefully managing the transformation of bee spit into yeast excrement."
--- Wayneb
MedsenFey is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-04-2010, 06:49 PM   #8
Riastradh
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bushmills (Ireland)
Posts: 29
Default

I found Wyeast Dry Mead Yeast #4632 it goes upto 18% apparently and is low foaming to keep my beginner hands out of any mess. I'd like to understand how to measure fermentables instead of ignorantly making this drink. Is there a website you could link me to to save you the trouble of explaining? I don't mind if you explain it either way. Why does the yeast determine how much honey to use. I thought you put in 1 gram per gallon leaving only the amount of sugar used to reach the potential yield.


Thanks very much!

__________________
Riastradh is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-05-2010, 10:39 PM   #9
MedsenFey
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,034
Liked 14 Times on 14 Posts

Default

If you look at the Sticky at the top of the forum, Hightest has a spreadsheet you can use for calculations. I'm very fond of the GotMead Calculator on their site - once you practice with it a bit, it is very easy to use.

The yeast that you use will determine alcohol level and residual sweetness in conjunction with the amount of sugar added. With a honey must, virtually all of the sugar is fermentable, so the limiting factor is the yeast's alcohol tolerance. If you start a mead with a gravity of 1.115 and use a yeast that has 14% alcohol tolerance, you'll get a mead with 14% ABV and a residual gravity around 1.010 so it will remain semi-sweet. With that same 1.115 must, if you use the dry mead yeast you are planning on, the mead will end up with around 15% ABV and will be bone dry with a gravity somewhat less than 1.000. So choice of yeast has an impact on what you will get.

If you know the amount of ABV you want to hit, and know if you want it sweet or dry, you can choose a yeast and starting gravity to try to hit your goal. It doesn't work perfectly, but you can get close.

__________________
"Our results are merely the result of carefully managing the transformation of bee spit into yeast excrement."
--- Wayneb
MedsenFey is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-06-2010, 12:18 PM   #10
Riastradh
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bushmills (Ireland)
Posts: 29
Default

Thanks MedsenFey. So, residual gravity is because the yeast has eaten most of the sugars making the density lighter, and say my must was 1.115 and I used a 14% tolerant yeast that residual gravity of 1.010 is from the left over sugars? Ok, I think I udnerstand you.

I have never tasted mead before so I don't know the degree as to how sweet or dry they'll be. I think medium sweet sounds safe and complacent.

I looked at the Mead Calculator from Got Mead but I'm not making much sense of it. I type in my target gravity of 1.115 and on the top right I set my target volume to 1 imperial gallon.

Now, I go to 'additional sugars #1' where the figure 6.8039 hasn't changed yet so I tick the boxes for volume, target Gravity and additional sugars 1 then press calculate...nothing changes except that In additional sugars 2 it says -5.0616. Do I have to subtract 5.0616 from 6.8039 which equals 1.7419 to get the KG of honey I need for 1.115?

Thank you so much for all this help.



__________________
Riastradh is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
5 gallons imperial or US in a recipe? drumma Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 09-30-2012 08:29 PM
accidently made 4 gallons versus 5 gallons trackumd Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 12-09-2009 08:51 PM
Gallons: UK(imperial) or US ph0ngwh0ng Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 05-19-2008 04:21 PM
All grain 1.11+ Imperial Stout..15 gallons pre boil discgolfin General Techniques 4 12-27-2007 03:23 PM
Boiling all 5 gallons vs. using just 1.5 gallons of water rockout Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 05-10-2007 08:04 PM