Happy HolidaySs Giveaway - Last Sponsor Giveaway of the Year!

Come Enter the BrewDeals/FastFerment Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Didn't use camden tablets or boil
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-04-2011, 09:38 PM   #11
Golddiggie
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Golddiggie's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Between here and there, and everywhere
Posts: 12,058
Liked 480 Times on 421 Posts
Likes Given: 266

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtrux View Post
Why add sugars step wise instead of just adding up front? What is the benefit of adding in steps? I just made a mead with OG of 1.130 which should get to 20%. It was my first attempt so I hope I did not mess up. Used red star champaign yeast bc that's what I had.
With an OG of 1.130, you're looking at (a max of) 17.6%, assuming it goes to dry at .998 FG. Don't assume it will go beyond that, but be prepared in case it does. Actually, I just looked that yeast up... NOT a good choice for your batch. Since it's tolerance is 13-15% ABV, your batch is also going to finish sweet, and not near 20%. Well, not unless you hit it with another yeast strain, which is not nearly as easy as you might think. You're probably looking at a FG of 1.017-1.033...

As for why to step feed the sugars, it's to give the yeast less stress. Putting yeast into a must with a high OG means it will be stressed from the start. I did that on my initial batches and it took it much longer than it would have if I had step fed it.

I hope you gave your must nutrient, energizer, and plenty of oxygen at the start (jtrux)... Otherwise, you could have an uphill battle on your hands to get it to finish, or finish without taking a couple of extra months. My initial batches were still creeping to 18% after over four months in fermenter. At six to seven months, they were at 18% and done. They did finish sweet, which helps to balance the 18% ABV.

For a 21% (or anything close to that) batch, you're best off NOT making the must with that high of an OG. You need to formulate the recipe by the final ABV level (and OG that it would take to get there), use the same level of water, and less honey/sugars. That way, when you add the additional honey later, the volume actually hits the target to get the ABV level.

BTW, ALWAYS research your yeast before selecting it for a batch. This is a prime example of NOT using the correct yeast for a batch. To get to 20% you need to use something like Wyeast Eau de Vie (goes to 21%), or a strain that you have a chance of 'pushing' beyond it's normal range. There are stories of people pushing yeast like Lalvin EC-1118 or K1-V1116 beyond 18%, closer to 20%, but those are experienced mazers that did everything correctly to get there.
__________________
Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
Golddiggie is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-04-2011, 11:31 PM   #12
jtrux
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 116
Default

Thanks for the reply. I didn't think about stressing the yeast. I did however add grated ginger, energizer, nutrient and Irish moss. Was following a recipe I found in the The Joy of Brewing by Papazian. Recipe just said dried champaign yeast so I didn't think about researching the yeast better. Guess I will know better next time. Thanks again for the reply. Batch been going for 6 days and getting bubble in airlock every 1-3 seconds.

__________________
jtrux is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-05-2011, 12:30 AM   #13
Golddiggie
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Golddiggie's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Between here and there, and everywhere
Posts: 12,058
Liked 480 Times on 421 Posts
Likes Given: 266

Default

Irish moss has zero place, or effect, in mead.

The batch I pitched the yeast into, around 12:30 today, is already post-lag.

I would advise going over to the Got Mead? site before you make another batch. Go into the forums there, and look at the mead-log postings.

IMO, that Papzaian book is a horrible reference for making mead. I read the recipes too, but I asked on Got Mead? before I even thought about making any. Glad I did too.

__________________
Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
Golddiggie is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-05-2011, 01:28 PM   #14
huesmann
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Kensington, MD
Posts: 756
Liked 22 Times on 22 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Golddiggie, can you explain what you do when you step-feed your meads to push the ABV? How many feedings do you do beyond the initial must mix? Do you add nutrients at the same time as the feedings? How do you calculate your ABV--just base it on the amount of honey you add? Do you mix the additional honey with water, or just add it directly to the fermenter? Do you rack between feedings? Do you do anything to stir the new honey in? Lotsa questions, I know!

__________________
huesmann is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-04-2012, 02:25 PM   #15
jtrux
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 116
Default

Golddiggie, when you step feed, do you add pure honey to the fermenter after fermentation slows or do you thin it out with water or apple juice first?

__________________
jtrux is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-04-2012, 03:09 PM   #16
Golddiggie
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Golddiggie's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Between here and there, and everywhere
Posts: 12,058
Liked 480 Times on 421 Posts
Likes Given: 266

Default

I typically just warm the honey in a bucket of warm tap water and pour it in. No thinning of it with anything, unless I have compensated for that in the batch volume size. I usually have the total amount of water mixed with the original honey (or what I'm using) volume. As long as you don't wait too long the yeast will find the new sugar and tear through it pretty fast.

__________________
Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
Golddiggie is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-05-2012, 09:39 PM   #17
BitterRat
Registered User
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Earth
Posts: 107
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Lots of good info from Goldiggie. Researching your yeast choice IMO is huge, from knowing what it's best temps for fermentation are to how high abv it will ferment.
One thing raised a red flag for me was adding grapefruit. I say that because honey has a low pH already and then you add gf to the must lowering the pH even more. For a good ferment you should try to get the pH to 4 or above or you will end up with those really long ferments that everyone talks about and then more time to come into its own.

__________________
BitterRat is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-06-2012, 01:08 AM   #18
jtrux
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 116
Default

Apples are slightly acidic, can adding apple juice negatively affect the pH of a mead/cyser.

__________________
jtrux is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-06-2012, 01:11 AM   #19
Golddiggie
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Golddiggie's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Between here and there, and everywhere
Posts: 12,058
Liked 480 Times on 421 Posts
Likes Given: 266

Default

For fermentations using Lalvin yeast, I make sure the PH is above 3.2... In my first attempt at hard lemonade, the original PH was below 3. I got it up to about 3.2-3.4 and it started fermenting in a reasonable amount of time.

IMO, if you're going to add fruit, or acid, while the yeast needs to work, check the PH before pitching the yeast. Then fix the PH as needed.

I've never adjusted the PH on straight mead and it's always started fermenting as I would expect (normally within 12-24 hours, depending on the OG of the must).

Most LHBS (and the online ones too) have PH test strips/kits for both wine and beer. Since the ranges needed are different between them. You might want to get at least some of the strips to test from time to time (when needed). I've yet to use my beer PH test strips, but I've used the wine ones (as noted above)...

__________________
Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
Golddiggie is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-06-2012, 08:12 PM   #20
BitterRat
Registered User
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Earth
Posts: 107
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
For fermentations using Lalvin yeast, I make sure the PH is above 3.2... In my first attempt at hard lemonade, the original PH was below 3. I got it up to about 3.2-3.4 and it started fermenting in a reasonable amount of time.

IMO, if you're going to add fruit, or acid, while the yeast needs to work, check the PH before pitching the yeast. Then fix the PH as needed.

I've never adjusted the PH on straight mead and it's always started fermenting as I would expect (normally within 12-24 hours, depending on the OG of the must).

Most LHBS (and the online ones too) have PH test strips/kits for both wine and beer. Since the ranges needed are different between them. You might want to get at least some of the strips to test from time to time (when needed). I've yet to use my beer PH test strips, but I've used the wine ones (as noted above)...
As with brewing you ask 4 people their opinion and you will get 4 different ways to get it done.
(Disclaimer: I am not argueing, I am simply explaining where I am coming from!)
I find it interesting you shoot for only 3 pH, that is pretty acidic. In the "Complete Meadmaker" Scramm suggests a pH of 3.8 at the beginning for a good ferment and the Mead Panel from the NHBC in Minnesota suggested 4.0 as a beginning pH. The reason is during lag time the yeast absorbs nutrient and amino acids from the must an the pH drops below 3 and sometimes below 2.5 pH.Studies from Morse and Steinkraus show that optimal pH for mead is 3.7 -4.6, with 3.7 being high enough for yeast metabolism and low enough to retard undesirable bacteria. ( quoted from Complete Meadmaker)
Anyway, that's what I try to follow when I make mead and have not been disappointed since using these methods.
__________________
BitterRat 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
Campden Tablets to Prevent Oxidation Yet41 Mead Forum 13 02-06-2012 03:25 PM
campden tablets question meadsupporter Mead Forum 1 10-31-2011 03:21 AM
Campden tablets when bottling giacomo Mead Forum 3 08-22-2011 01:52 PM
Should I use campden tablets? Brandon O Mead Forum 26 01-13-2011 03:54 AM
Campden Tablets FungusBrew Mead Forum 1 04-23-2010 02:29 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS