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-   -   Buckwheat Mead (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/buckwheat-mead-211205/)

dummkauf 12-11-2010 10:09 PM

Buckwheat Mead
 
Just thought I'd share this one, I had 4Lbs of buckwheat that I picked up a few months ago and decided to make a 1 gallon mead batch since I'm snowed in today. Just going for a simple batch to see what happens(I've found varying opinions on using all buckwheat for mead online and figured I'd give it a shot myself):

4Lbs local BuckWheat Honey
1Tsp Yeast Energizer
Tap water up to the 1 gallon mark.
1 Package of Red Star Pasteur Red.

I didn't pasteurize or boil, I added the yeast nutrient, then the honey(soaked containers in hot water for a bit first), then flipped the tap water on high, used the hot water to rinse out the honey containers and dumped it into the jug. Shook it up for about 20 min to aerate and thoroughly mix the honey & water. It's cooling in a sink full of water and snow now, will pitch the yeast when it's cooled down.

I have some camden tablets but haven't used those before, should I crush some up and add them to this, or do I do that after fermentation? My other meads have been coming along great without camden so I'm just curious what you experts opinion is on this?

dummkauf 12-11-2010 10:42 PM

Got an OG of 1.155, so if that yeast ferments out to the full 16% it should finish around 1.030.

Was putting this in the closet, and just realized I have 4Lbs of Basswood(got it from the same place as the buckwheat) that I forgot about. Looks like I'm making this one more time tonight only with Basswood :D

shanes66charger 12-12-2010 12:53 AM

I had a mead that started with a similar s.g. and fermented all the way down to .990!!

I used EC-118 and have for my last several meads as well......just made one last night, 3 gallon batch, s.g. was 1.090 so im expecting this one to ferment out dry as well!

dummkauf 12-12-2010 01:17 AM

hmm...if this ferments down that low I'd be very surprised. 16% is supposed to be the upper limit of what that yeast will tolerate(before the alcohol kills it), for it to ferment down to below 1 would require it to get well above 16%

shanes66charger 12-12-2010 01:35 AM

Yeah i know.....i was surprised as well!! I checked it several times! I had a another one gallon batch that went down to 1 also with EC118.

I'll let you know what this current one gets down to...so far EC118 is the only yeast i've used.

dummkauf 12-12-2010 04:33 AM

interesting...I'll keep you posted on what these finish at. I was aiming for the sweet/semi-sweet mead since I'm not a fan of really dry wines/meads, but I guess worst case I could always backsweeten it too.

fatbloke 12-12-2010 08:11 AM

Well I don't like using champagne yeasts, as I find that they will blow a lot of the aroma and finer flavours straight out the airlock.

Rather than something like EC-1118, I'd got for K1V-1116, as it's alleged to have a tolerance of 16% but lots of people say it goes to 18% quite easily. Plus I just really like the way it ages so well.

Somewhat conveniently, it has a bit of a pedigree, because when the late Brother Adam (of Buckfast Abbey bee breeding/mead making fame) found he couldn't get "Maury" yeast any more (actually available as Lalvin D21), he changed to using the Montpellier strain from Gervin (Varietal E), which happens to be the same as K1V-1116 from Lalvin.

Oh and of course, while it's up to you, I certainly wouldn't start a ferment that high. There's a strong possibility that you'll get a stuckie, as the yeast may suffer osmotic shock from the high sugar content. I'd suggest that you make a starter.....

I also suspect it will finish higher than 1030 as well. 1.155 to 1.030 is a 125 point drop with represents about 17% alcohol. Of course, you could easily just remove some of the must, water the rest down and then use the removed but to feed it (if made in a bucket.....). 16% alcohol is represented by a drop of about 118 points from start to where it finishes. You could, depending on yeast, go for broke and see if you could get it down from 1.155 to 1.000 - but it'd have to be a turbo or something with real teeth as a 115 point drop is about 21% alcohol......

Your ferment, your choice. Mine? well I'd make it 1 imperial gallon rather than 1 US gallon (4.55 litres, instead of 3.78litres) then if you're making it in a carboy, you've got some must to back sweeten/top up etc etc.....

regards

fatbloke

MartyB 12-14-2010 06:38 PM

Forget what yeast. I'm still stuck on "4lbs local buckwheat honey"
That's going to have some kick to it.
I've done a 1:3 ration buckwheat to wildflower and it still had a strong buckwheat flavor.

dummkauf 12-15-2010 08:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fatbloke (Post 2470908)
Oh and of course, while it's up to you, I certainly wouldn't start a ferment that high. There's a strong possibility that you'll get a stuckie, as the yeast may suffer osmotic shock from the high sugar content. I'd suggest that you make a starter.....

I'm not sure I'm following you on not starting it that high(it's too late now but I'm curious anyway). Would you normally start with a lower gravity must, start the fermentation and then add more honey/water as needed to get to where you wanted to be in terms of alcohol and sweetness? If so, how do you normally calculate the additions?

dummkauf 12-15-2010 09:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MartyB (Post 2476414)
Forget what yeast. I'm still stuck on "4lbs local buckwheat honey"
That's going to have some kick to it.
I've done a 1:3 ration buckwheat to wildflower and it still had a strong buckwheat flavor.

Like I said, I've seen both sides of this debate about all buckwheat meads and figured I'd give it a shot myself. I like buckwheat honey to begin with, and I guess worst case scenario I could try making my first blended mead too.

I'm new to the mead making world, and the geek in me likes to experiment :D


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