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Diesel70 09-30-2012 07:10 PM

A Couple Of Questions...
Hello everyone!

I'm new to the brewing scene and have a couple questions...

1) Looking around, I heard of a yeast that is a "Fruity Bouquet" called Epernay Yeast. Any suggestions? I was thinking of making a Melomel and wasn't sure of what yeast I should use.

2) With aforementioned yeast, how much honey would you recommend using for a mildly sweet mead? I haven't found much information on this strain of yeast with the limited research I have conducted and would like to start my Melomel asap since i have limited time for it's completion.

Thanks in advance for the help!

sonofgrok 09-30-2012 07:14 PM

No experience with that yeast as I have only used EC1118 so far in my meads but I can tell you from my experience so far as a new mead maker that "limited time for completion" and mead (or melomel) are not two things that go together very well.

Diesel70 09-30-2012 07:23 PM

Quick clarification; I would like to have this Melomel completed for next August;the ingredients I would like to use will be going out of season and coming into season rapidly at this time of year. What I would like to create would be a peach pomegranate Melomel, and I'm planning on aging it in a medium toast oak barrel. Looking around, it seems like I will need some time for this to age (roughly 7-8 months). I have 10 months but would like to have some cushion time, in case the batch doesn't turn out, to create a straight mead so I can have something for the event.


sonofgrok 09-30-2012 07:31 PM

Oh, then you should be fine. That epernay yeast is a chardonnay yeast so it should be perfect. If you are doing a 5 gallon batch and you want it mildly sweet, try between 12#s and 15#s of honey. I like dry and have been using 12#s and its going dry pretty fast (although i read that epernay is a little slower on the ferment side than what I use) so probably more on the 15# side. You can always back sweeten too if you need to.

I bet it will be drinkable way prior to your target date but it will only get better with age!

fatbloke 09-30-2012 08:18 PM

Without checking up, I can't confirm, but I understood that Epernay falls within the champagne region. Most champagne yeasts aren't known for good bouquet etc.

I'm thinking that a better bet would be Lalvin 71B, which is the narbonne strain. A good yeast for melomels, just get the finished mead off the sediment with about 2 months of the ferment finishing. As for barrel aging, that is normally calculated from the contact ratio of liquid to wood, from industry standard barrel sizes. Smaller barrels have a higher ratio, so you have to be careful not to over-oak.

galexior 09-30-2012 08:39 PM

hmmm... diesel70... you seem familiar... haha!

Diesel70 09-30-2012 09:03 PM

You seem familiar as well Galexior....haha!

Anyway, as far as aging goes; My original batch that I want to make first would be a 1 gallon batch just to get a recipe going. Recommended age time? I was thinking around a month. Then moving up to the five gallon batch (if this turns out as I hope) I was estimating around 7-8 months in the barrel. Sound ideas? or no?

Also, as far as the Melomel goes, I was thinking of a 3:1 ratio (3# of peaches to 1# of pomegranate) for the fruit. Is it safe to assume that a ratio should hold true for a larger batch? I would like to step up to a five gallon batch afterwards if this Melomel turns out.


galexior 09-30-2012 09:08 PM

well, ive been reading around and it looks like aging should last a few months, ive seen as low as 3 months, but more is recommended. i dont think there is a max time, unless it turns to vinegar or something...

vespa2t 10-01-2012 02:13 AM

It only turns to vinegar if there is an acetobacter infection. I'm drinking a nice JAOM that I made 2 years ago this evening. It was nice at 4-6 months but over the time it has mellowed and smoothed. I have some 3 year old that's even better :)

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