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Old 12-30-2009, 05:29 PM   #1
thorson138
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Default This batch is moving WAY faster than the last.

So, I started a new 6 gallon batch mead on 12-24-09.
I used 20lbs grocery clover honey, 4 gallons water, 2 pcks D47 wine yeast.

Right after I mixed the honey and water completely, I added 3tsp of energizer in and aerated vigorously for 10+ minutes.
I then pitched 2 pcks D47 (dry- no starter).
Put it under air lock.

Before I pitched the yeast the OG was 1.122
On the 26th I aerated the batch again, I didn't take gravity reading.

On the 28th I aerated the batch again and added 1.5tsp of energizer and mixed it in very well. I did take a gravity reading today and it was at 1.072, at this point the gravity had dropped 50 pts!!

Today, 12-30-09, I aerated the batch again for a few minutes and added another 1.5tsp of energizer. Another gravity reading at this time shows a reading of 1.058, another 14 pts! This batch has dropped 64 pts in 6 days! Actually less than 6 days when you take into account I started the batch late in the evening on the 24th and checked it early this morning. I'm somewhat amazed by this.

I'm wandering at this point if this batch will finish dry? If it falls in gravity by a total of .1000 then my FG will be 1.022 which is at the dessert mead range. The D47 has a tolerance of 14% so it may be able to take it beyond the 1.022? I'd like to get it around 1.014-1.016, middle range for a sweet mead.

Would you folks give me some insight on where you think this is going? I have never had a mead move anywhere near this fast. Thanks in advance.

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Old 12-30-2009, 05:35 PM   #2
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Sounds like you're doing everything right!!!

Sounds like the 14% tolerance of the D46 should put it right around that 1.014-1.016 range, although I'd bet it will finish a bit dryer and you may want to backsweeten it just a touch, but you'll only know once it's completely finished.

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Old 12-30-2009, 05:48 PM   #3
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Thanks jezter, I can't help feeling like I wasted a ton of time on previous batches waiting several months for them to ferment out. All that fermentation time could have been AGING time. hmhmhm. I don't have any problem with back sweetening if needed. I'm just jazzed it's moving along so quickly. I'm thinking at the rate it's going it may be done with primary ferment in another week or so?

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Old 12-30-2009, 05:52 PM   #4
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It'll probably slow down a bit now that you're in the bottom 1/3 of the sugar. My guess is probably a few weeks, this was a hell of a batch and the yeast are going to get close to their max range soon.

Aerating and energizing really does produce results!

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Old 12-30-2009, 06:28 PM   #5
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Yea, I think aerating and the adding of energizer at different stages of ferment has made a huge improvement. I'd much rather have the primary ferment last 3 weeks or so rather than 3 or so months!

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Old 12-30-2009, 06:45 PM   #6
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Aeration and feeding will not only speed up the fermentation process, but reduce stress (off-flavors) and increase alcohol tolerance. D-47 will certainly go higher than 14%.

If it goes to 15% you're looking at a FG of about 1.010.
If it goes to 15.5% the FG will be around 1.005.

PS. I wouldn't add any more nutrient if I were you (off-flavors at this point).

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Old 12-30-2009, 06:54 PM   #7
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+1,000 for staggered nutrient additions!

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Old 12-30-2009, 06:55 PM   #8
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15% or so would be fine with me! I was looking to get down to a gravity of 1.014-1.016 to still have a sweet mead and be around the 14% abv. If it goes to a lower gravity thus more abv, SUPER! I can always sweeten it back if I need to or even add some fruit to help sweeten it up some. How high have you seen D47 go as far as alcohol tolerance?

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Old 12-30-2009, 07:25 PM   #9
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With fermentation in a cool setting (65 - 70 F), I'd expect a careful feeding/aeration to bring it close to 16%. If fermentation temperatures are also modulated (a relatively unexplored area of performance maximization) or just remain statically warmer it might reach 18% or even 19%, perhaps at the cost of some off-flavors.

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Old 12-30-2009, 08:07 PM   #10
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Yea, I would think at 20% abv there would be some off flavors. That would border on a liquor, like a whiskey or similar.

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