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Old 10-10-2008, 08:10 PM   #1
greggdogg
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Default Basic mead question

Hi all, I'm making a mead this weekend. I've only done this once before, so I'll make sure I'm doing this right:

12lbs orange blossom honey
Enough water to top off to 5 gallons

Shake (in carboy) to completely dissolve.

Dissolve five (5) crushed campden tablets. Let sit for 48 hours.

Pitch Wyeast Dry Mead Yeast, along with some Wyeast Yeast Nutrient.

Drink beer while waiting.

Look good?

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Old 10-10-2008, 08:26 PM   #2
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Basically you have the right idea.

Couple notes.
You probably don't need the Campden. Honey is nearly sterile and a healthy yeast pitch will overwhelm any remaining organism.
Especially if you have soft water it may be a good idea to add a tsp of potassium carbonate to the must to buffer the must against sharp drops in ph. Honey provides very little buffering and fermentation will cause the ph to drop this can lead to stuck fermentation if the ph drops too low.

Leave in the fermenter a few weeks until it begins to clear, then transfer to a carboy and stick it in a dark corner for 6months to a year.

Craig

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Old 10-10-2008, 08:30 PM   #3
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Can you define a healthy yeast pitch? I've got a smack pack of Wyeast Dry Mead. It's one of the "Activator" size ones. For beer, I'd normally make a starter. Can I just pitch this as-is?

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Old 10-11-2008, 01:32 AM   #4
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If you haven't already, I'd suggest you read the "Making a Basic Mead" FAQ. It will help answer your questions. While you're there, you might also read the Rehydration and Staggered Nutrient Addition FAQs.

Some believe these steps are not necessary, but I (and other mead makers like Ken Schramm, Oskaar, wayneb, etc.) maintain that following these practices offer preventitive measures resulting in a succesful mead experience. In my case, many years worth...

After reading them, if you have follow-up questions, just ask...

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Old 10-11-2008, 04:11 PM   #5
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I'd add some yeast nutrient/energizer to the must, very few nutrients in honey or water. I'd also make a starter. Regards, GF.

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Old 10-11-2008, 06:54 PM   #6
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Just recognize that when, and how much, you add can be important. Also, it is possible to add too much nutrient, or too late in the fermentation process, which can contribute to off-flavors:

Quote:
Too large an influx of nitrogen can also be harmful to the yeasts. It throws the cell's metabolism off-balance leading to flavor problems, nitrogen wasting, and can even promote "yeast suicide", and fermenting too fast can generate enough heat to kill the yeast.
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Old 10-11-2008, 07:14 PM   #7
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hightest: Good point, I've always assumed that anyone adding nutrient/energizer would follow the directions on the packet/container. It's good to point out that more is not always better. I've never stepped any nutrients, though if I make more high gravity musts, I think I will as it seems like both a logical idea & a good thing to do. Regards, GF.

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Old 10-11-2008, 07:21 PM   #8
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One of the side benefits to using staggered nutrients is that typically it pushes the yeast to ~1% above its normal yeast tolerance. Both Ken Schramm and I have noted this and briefly discussed it via email.

Even though Ken's SNA protocol is slightly different than mine, they both have produced this effect.

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Old 10-11-2008, 07:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hightest View Post
One of the side benefits to using staggered nutrients is that typically it pushes the yeast to ~1% above its normal yeast tolerance. Both Ken Schramm and I have noted this and briefly discussed it via email.

Even though Ken's SNA protocol is slightly different than mine, they both have produced this effect.
Now that's a handy bit of info to have, thanks! Regards, GF.
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Old 10-11-2008, 08:23 PM   #10
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Well, not to ignore everyone, but...

I mixed up the must earlier, dropped in 5 (crushed) tabs of Campden that advertise 30ppm of SO2 in 1 gallon must (each). I'll pitch yeast on Monday night, along with a dose of nutrient.

Sound OK?

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