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Old 11-03-2013, 05:02 PM   #1
beala
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Default Basic Sweet Mead - First Time

I'm planning on making a sweet mead in time for Xmas 2014. I'm a first time mead maker, so I want to keep it basic, and I'm a fan of dessert wines like port, so I'd like it to be strong, sweet, and still.

Would starting with the basic mead recipe in the FAQ [PDF], and then back sweetening be a good choice? Here's the ingredient list, copied from the pdf:

Honey - 14 Lbs (+ 1/3 cup)
Water - 4 gal
10g ICV-D47 dry yeast
Yeast Nutrient - Red Star's SuperFood (SF), or Lallemand's Fermaid-K
Yeast Energizer - Diammonium phosphate (DAP)
Rehydration nutrient: Go-Ferm (only needed if using dry yeast)
Acid blend (post fermentation, if needed [to taste])
OG - 1.100 [nominal]; FG - 1.000 [or below]
I'd like to boost the ABV to around 14%, so I think I'd need 16 lbs of honey, assuming an FG of 1. If I go that big, what sort of yeast would you recommend? Should I stick with the ICV-D47?
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:42 PM   #2
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See I don't like D47 as it needs to be fermented below 70F/21C to prevent fusel production.

I prefer either K1v1116 or D21. Both are more robust and IMO a better flavour......

Just make it to be fermented dry, a start of 1.110 to 1.120 and you should get you 14% or so level.

Once its fermented dry, stabilise and back sweeten etc, then age it till crimbo next year......

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Old 11-03-2013, 08:35 PM   #3
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Great! Can't wait to get started.

For K1v1116 and D21 should I still make a starter with GOFerm like the PDF says?

Also, I have 6 pounds of clover honey sitting in my pantry from ~2010. Would it be ok to mix this with ~10 pounds of orange blossom? Or would it be better to make it all with orange blossom? Thanks!

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Old 11-03-2013, 10:02 PM   #4
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One more question: I've found a local honey source for unheated unfiltered honey. Does this need to be processed in any way? If I leave debris, such as wax, etc in there, will it simply come out when racking to secondary?

Probably a common question, but spent quite a bit of time searching without any luck.

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Old 11-03-2013, 10:48 PM   #5
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Rehydration with GoFerm is different from making a starter in a few ways. Though you could easily get good results just rehydrating the yeast with water.

You're just trying to do a better job for producing a healthy colony by using the goferm.....

The older honey would be fine. You could try small tests mixing the different honey in approximately the same ratio and see if there's any discernible flavour change. That'd be the only reason to use it separately. Generally no reason not to use it.

As for the raw honey ? Yes, its usually fine to use it as any hive debris would normally sink or float and come out during the ferment/racking....

There's the school of thought about it being best because nothing has been removed or modified and tberefore has better flavour, aromatic elements and so on, which are retained when the ferment uses the appropriate yeast....

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Old 11-04-2013, 01:44 AM   #6
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Thanks for all your help! I just ordered a pail of raw honey, and I'll report back with my results

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