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Old 07-15-2010, 10:18 PM   #1
catspajamas
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Default first mead

i've been looking through this subforum for a few days now and think i can do this. my plan is to do a 3 gallon batch of sack honey/maple syrup mead with a bit of cinnamon.

ingredient:
8 lbs of honey
2 lbs of maple syrup

heat up 1.5 gallons of water and add the honey and maple syrup. stir tell fermentables are diffused in the water. cool and pour into carboy. pitch 2 pkg lalvin 71b in and follow this yeast nutrition schedule. rack to secondary @ 1 month and add 4 oz of cinnamon. rack to second secondary @ 4 months to clarify and age. bottle @ 10 months. drink in 12 months.

from beer calculus expected gravities:
og: 1.113
fg: 1.028
abv: 11.3

good? any suggestions? i'm kinda looking for something port tasting and figured this might be close.

should i use wlp720 instead of lalvin 71b? will that bring down the fg a bit? i dont want a super sweet mead, but i also dont want a dry mead.

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Old 07-16-2010, 03:10 AM   #2
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Don't necessarily expect that the FG from a software program will apply to mead...you're dealing with essentially all highly fermentable simple sugars, not malted barley that will give you a range of carbohydrates, and most any yeast will attenuate a honey/maple sugar mix 100% to it's alcohol tolerance.

Further, I wouldn't worry about it going dry...as long as you don't want to prime and bottle condition for carbonation, you can attenuate the yeast w/ sorbate and metabisulfate and then backsweeten to your taste...

FWIW, 1.028 would actually be considered a sweet mead, but I think either of the yeasts you mention would completely dry out that OG...

edit: Oh, and BTW, I think your recipe sounds really good...I'd love to try it when it's done (I don't really have ready access to maple syrup here in the south, but I'd love to make a maple mead at some point!)

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Old 07-16-2010, 02:52 PM   #3
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You'll probably need a bit more than 1.5 gallons of water - the honey and maple syrup probably will be slightly under 1 gallon. Personally, I don't heat things; saving time, saving aromatic compound, saving energy and reducing the risk of scalding without creating problems with spoilage organisms.

If you start with a gravity of 1.113, 71B will probably take it to between 1.005-1.010 as long as you provide aeration for the must. If it stops short of that you have a stuck fermentation.

It sounds quite tasty.

Medsen

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Old 07-16-2010, 04:17 PM   #4
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ok so ill throw in some potassium sorbate when fg = 1.014? would that be more of a semi sweet gravity? i don't anything super sweet or dry. also is there any big difference to how wlp 720 works to 71b?

as for heating, the only reason i figured i'd heat it is to bring the fermentables into solution faster. i figured it would be easier stirring hot honey and syrup as opposed to cold. never really thought about losing aroma from a boil.

from what i've been reading, it seems that the main cause for concern in mead making is stuck fermentation. is that nutrition schedule good or is there something else i should follow?

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Old 07-16-2010, 05:09 PM   #5
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Your nutrition schedule should work fine. Using wlp 720 it might go all the way dry as it can get to 15% ABV. The 71B has an expected tolerance of about 14%.

Whatever yeast you use, trying to stop it with by adding sorbate/sulfite during the active fermentation is quite unreliable. You'll probably be better off to let it finish, and if it isn't sweet enough, then backsweeten with more syrup or honey - whichever you want to pick up more character from in the brew.

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Old 07-16-2010, 08:37 PM   #6
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i'll go with the 71b then.

if i do have to backsweeten, since i'm gonna have it in the carboy for a while, do i put it in there and give it a good mix?

thanks for the help too guys.

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