Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway - Enter Now!

Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Blue Heaven question

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-01-2010, 11:41 PM   #1
Atek
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 413
Liked 18 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 83

Default Blue Heaven question

Ok, So I made a batch of the following recipe taken from Gotmead.com

Recipe:
lue Heaven - OMFG thats good...
Created by webmaster, Tuesday, 30 November 1999 Average user rating / 5
Ingredients
At a glance
Mead
Melomel
Makes
5 gal
12 lbs High Mountain Wildflower Honey
6 lbs wild, very ripe Blueberries (freeze these)
1/2 a small lemon, smushed
1/2 cup of good chamomile tea
4 gallons of Pure Spring Water
yeast critters spun in a centrifuge (any nutrient will probably do, as per directions)
A good high alc tolerant (18%) Champaygnya critter packet
Methods/steps
Ok ramble time. Of course before anything, I clean everything in a bathtub full of bleach and scalding water. (detachable shower heads are great) 12 hours before I started messing up my wifes kitchen, I make my yeast starter. I do mine a bit different than everyone else.
Dan's Temporary critter home2 cups of white grape juice, a pinch of nutrient, and a dash of fresh lemon juice. I heat this temporary home up @ 150F for about 20 minutes, toss into a mason jar, set in ice, let cool to 90F, pull from ice, shake it up real good, toss my swimmers in, then pop into the nice dark closet. Results vary, but I normally have a whole lotta feeding frenzy in the "house" about 5 hours later.
Anyhoo, I wait for this crap to start looking like a foaming mad dog, then I took those frozen blueberries and ran them through the salad shooter into my just cooked must that was 2 gallons of water and all 12 pounds of honey. I don't boil, I just get it hot enough to know that if I leave my finger in there for about 20 seconds, we'll have a distinct cuticle and jerked pork flavor in the pot. Stir constantly. Get the scum gone... (I always want to leave it, as it is a beautiful purple foam) but nonetheless, scum is BAD...
Pop in a good tea steeper filled with your chamomile (spelling?)
Remove heat, pop lid on pot, and let sit for 6 hours.
Now the tricky part, as I love my yeast, and the poor buggers are just about starving now. I get the temp of my mush exactly the same as my starter (either through heat or a sink full of cold water)
Strain the purple love mixture through a cheesecloth and "pep boys" screened oil funnel directly into your primary fermenter.
Toss in the lemon.
Pitch the starving critters.
Top off to 5 gallons on the nose with room temp spring water.
Install airlock.
Place in any suitable dark, room temp critter area.

OG: 1.053 FG: 0.996

notes: This is my third revelation of this particular mead. Yeast thrive in this stuff... I mean, WOW! must be big as bullfrog tadpoles. I can't seem to see any sediment until about 5 weeks. I pull the Lemon out with a long sterilized shiskabob skew after 2 weeks. Any foreign yeast jumps into this one, they WILL lose. The carboy is hot to the touch, and the airlock never-ever lets up with its popping until about 5-6 months later. I'm on my last bottle as I write this, 2 years after stirring the pot. I CANNOT hang onto this stuff. My wife sneaks it out of the house for parties. My parents come over and always want a bottle. I'm sure when we are not home, people that I don't know, as well as little men from space come into my home, steal only this particular mead and run like hell. Must brew more.

The real notes: Strong as #$%& but you can't tell. Tinge of blueberry flavor and nose. Ever so slightly sweet. Its color is that of the clearest purple sunset. Its like, ummm... hmm... Champagne? Nope. It is fizzy, but it tastes nothing like the body of champagne. It only gets better with age. Takes forever before you can bottle it. Dry yet wet.... hmmm... Short Explaination.... Pure Heaven. Its like a Caddy - once you drive one, whats the point of driving anything else. PS. The last glass is gone, as I write this.

-- submitted by Dan Richardson




Here's my question, my OG was 1.070 which is the lowest OG of any batch I've ever done. All my batches so far have fermented out to 1.00 or less so I'm very used to hot meads. I started this batch on 11/26/10 and I have been degassing and SNA (skipped two days on accident). I took another SG reading today before I degassed and its down to 1.030. My concern is when tasting the left overs from the SG reading. The flavor itself is alright, very carbonated (today was the day I remembered after letting it sit for two), however its not nearly as sweet as I expected and almost tastes a bit watery... I'm afraid I may have added too much water, even though my OG was higher than the authors. Anyone have any comments or suggestions, am I being too picky?

__________________
Atek is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-01-2010, 11:43 PM   #2
Atek
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 413
Liked 18 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 83

Default

For clarification on my watery concern, this is the first batch I have fermented in a bucket, I got the bucket from a brew shop and it appears taller than a standard 5gal bucket. When I filled it I filled it almost to the brim...

__________________
Atek is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-02-2010, 02:55 AM   #3
GTG
Farm Out!
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Peoria, AZ - Originally from Rocket City USA
Posts: 386
Liked 8 Times on 7 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atek View Post
For clarification on my watery concern, this is the first batch I have fermented in a bucket, I got the bucket from a brew shop and it appears taller than a standard 5gal bucket. When I filled it I filled it almost to the brim...
Your standard brew bucket holds about 6.5 - 7 US gallons if I remember correctly. Another more experienced member will know better. You probably have more water than required for this recipe.

GTG
__________________
GTG is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-02-2010, 03:03 PM   #4
LightningInABottle
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Ann Arbor
Posts: 262
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

You are good. The recepie comes out to 1.085 using the honey spread sheet (sometimes the honey doesn't mix evenly and your OG reading may be off) and should come out to %11.2 ABV. Probably no reason to have used champagne yeast. The lemon probably would have been better to put in the secondary because of acidity can cause a mead to get stuck. This mead should go completely dry. You could have used a yeast like D47 or k1v1116 and 18lbs of honey and it still would have gone dry or close to it and more flavor would have been left in the end product. With a mead that goes completely dry you have to wait a good year before the honey taste starts coming back into the mead. Also if you chill a dry mead before serving it will greatly reduce its taste. Hope this helps some.

__________________
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 12-02-2010, 07:38 PM   #5
Atek
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 413
Liked 18 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 83

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LightningInABottle View Post
You are good. The recepie comes out to 1.085 using the honey spread sheet (sometimes the honey doesn't mix evenly and your OG reading may be off) and should come out to %11.2 ABV. Probably no reason to have used champagne yeast. The lemon probably would have been better to put in the secondary because of acidity can cause a mead to get stuck. This mead should go completely dry. You could have used a yeast like D47 or k1v1116 and 18lbs of honey and it still would have gone dry or close to it and more flavor would have been left in the end product. With a mead that goes completely dry you have to wait a good year before the honey taste starts coming back into the mead. Also if you chill a dry mead before serving it will greatly reduce its taste. Hope this helps some.
Hmm... ok, I may stabilize and then back sweeten in that case... Guess we'll just wait and taste test it :-) Thanks!
__________________
Atek is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-02-2010, 08:19 PM   #6
LightningInABottle
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Ann Arbor
Posts: 262
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Let if ferment out all the way. It should go to .096. Then stabalize and backsweeten if you want.

__________________
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 12-06-2010, 05:04 PM   #7
Atek
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 413
Liked 18 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 83

Default

On second thought I'm not really a fan of back sweetening (feels like cheating), if I ferment it out all the way to .096 or so, could I then rack it onto more honey? I presume the fermentation would restart so how would I determine what my gravity should be when I rack onto more honey to leave some residual sweetness?

I used a lalvin 71B yeast which has a 14% tolerance, there should be a formula to calculate this out... :-S

__________________
Atek is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-06-2010, 05:40 PM   #8
KCWortHog
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Kansas City MO
Posts: 110
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

Backsweetening isn't cheating. It's an optional part of the process of meadmaking. If you don't want to do it because you're not a fan of it, that's fine, but really you shouldn't feel like backsweetening is wrong.

That's like saying dry-hopping beer is cheating, or that exposure & white-balance manipulation in a darkroom is cheating.

In any case, fermentation will re-start. You're looking at around 9% ABV with your current OG & batch size. With 71B, it's likely to get close to 1.000 again, depending on how much honey you use. I've used 71B in 5gal recipes with over 20 pounds of honey and it still fermented out relatively dry.

__________________
KCWortHog is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-06-2010, 05:46 PM   #9
MedsenFey
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,034
Liked 15 Times on 15 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atek View Post
On second thought I'm not really a fan of back sweetening (feels like cheating), ....I used a lalvin 71B yeast which has a 14% tolerance, there should be a formula to calculate this out... :-S
I'm not sure why you feel backsweetening is cheating. This isn't a competition. It is about getting the right flavor and balance that you want using the tools available. Backsweetening is a great way to increase sweetness without increasing the alcohol, and personally I think it works really well as I often find meads are often better balanced at lower ABV levels.

Still, if you want to add honey until the yeast poops out you can. With 71B that usually happens at about 14% ABV or somewhere around 108 gravity points. If you started with a gravity of around 1.070, you should be able to raise the gravity up by around 35-40 points before the yeast quit. So if your gravity is 0.996, you could add honey up to about 1.031 with a reasonable expectation that you'll be very near the end.

Unfortunately yeast are never quite that predictable. If you don't aerate and provide proper nutrients, they may stall short of their expected tolerance leaving you sweeter than you planned. On the other hand, if you keep adding honey in little bits until they stop fermenting it (a process called step-feeding) you can push them past their usual ABV tolerance and end up with a higher-alcohol, hotter-tasting mead that really isn't very pleasant to drink. So if you start adding and find that it takes more than 40 points worth of honey to exceed the yeast's appetite, don't be shocked.

On other thing to keep in mind is that this may work OK with 71B, but using a Champagne strain is another matter. Yeast that produce high alcohol have been documented to restart fermentation as much as two years later when residual sugar is around. So if you are using one of those strains in the future, you may want to use the stabilizing chemical even if you start with a gravity that leaves residual sugar after the yeast stop.

Medsen
__________________
MedsenFey is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-06-2010, 06:19 PM   #10
Atek
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 413
Liked 18 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 83

Default

Hmm.... you both have given me things to ponder. Thanks for the help. It sounds like I'd be gambling a bit more if I forgo back sweetening to get the desired sweetness balance I'm looking for.

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


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Looking for Hightest's Deep Blue Braggot recipe BeerRunner Mead Forum 8 02-18-2009 06:04 PM
Blue and Blackberry mead amounts?? Fire_travels Mead Forum 11 03-06-2007 10:33 PM