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Old 01-04-2013, 07:00 PM   #1
Chaserz28
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Default First Mead; Prickly pear

I made my first mead made out of Prickly Pear. I am doing a 5 gallons batch and used 20 pounds of honey, 6 pounds of prickly pears. I mixed the honey in about 2 gallons of hot water and simmered it to make sure it was all dissolved and mixed and than added that to my strained prickly pear juice.

I added in White Labs Sweet Mead yeast, and it is a bit slow to start, took 48 hours to have the yeast start and I did use a yeast nutrient. Is there to much honey vs water in the mix? Also when I took a reading from my hydrometer, the reading was off the scale, way past 70, did I do something wrong? I would suggest I used to much honey and not enough water? Your thoughts?

Thanks

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Old 01-04-2013, 07:06 PM   #2
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I made my first mead made out of Prickly Pear. I am doing a 5 gallons batch and used 20 pounds of honey, 6 pounds of prickly pears. I mixed the honey in about 2 gallons of hot water and simmered it to make sure it was all dissolved and mixed and than added that to my strained prickly pear juice.

I added in White Labs Sweet Mead yeast, and it is a bit slow to start, took 48 hours to have the yeast start and I did use a yeast nutrient. Is there to much honey vs water in the mix? Also when I took a reading from my hydrometer, the reading was off the scale, way past 70, did I do something wrong? I would suggest I used to much honey and not enough water? Your thoughts?

Thanks
20 lbs is quite a bit of honey for 5 gallons of mead... Can you get more prickly pear juice? You'll probably need to split this up into two batches.

With sweet mead yeast, this will turn out unbearably sweet i would think.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:10 PM   #3
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That is what I thought. I was just following Papazian recipe. This is my first time around. I have some dry Champagne yeast, should I dump that in to make it more dry?

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Old 01-04-2013, 07:15 PM   #4
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To put this into perspective, I am making a VERY strong sweet mead using EC 1118 ye ast (this one goes to about 18-20% ABV) I am using up to 25 pounds of honey for a 6 gallon batch. I expect to only use about 22 lbs of that honey.

Sweet mead yeast will have a tolerance between 10-15% ABV according to the website (and probably on the low side of that).

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Old 01-04-2013, 07:16 PM   #5
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That is what I thought. I was just following Papazian recipe. This is my first time around. I have some dry Champagne yeast, should I dump that in to make it more dry?
What recipe is that?
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:21 PM   #6
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What recipe is that?
http://www.examiner.com/article/pric...light-revealed
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:21 PM   #7
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The recipe is from his book of "Joys of HomeBrewing" The recipe is as follows:
Ingredients for 5 gallons (19 l)

20 lbs. (9.1 kg) light honey (mesquite is preferred, but clover, alfalfa or other light honeys will produce superb results)
5-6 lbs. (2.3-2.7 kg) red, ripe prickly pear cactus fruit
1/4 tsp (0.6 gm) powdered yeast extract (nutrient)
1 T (8.1 gm) pectin enzyme (optional)
1 oz. (28.4 gm) dried and rehydrated wine or Champagne yeast. Sherry yeast can also be used as an addition. Champagne yeast works very well in combination with sherry yeast.
Target Original Gravity (Original Plato/Balling): 1.130-1.150 (30-35 degrees Plato)

Final Gravity (Plato/Balling).: 1.025-1.050 (6-12.5 degrees Plato

I used the sweet mead yeast in my homebrew store telling me I should use that yeast instead of the Champagne yeast. Can I add Champagne yeast over the sweet mead yeast I already pitched?

Thank you again for your knowledge

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Old 01-04-2013, 07:23 PM   #8
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I seriously doubt even a dry champaign yeast would survive this amount of sugar. My sweet ginger mead will have to be step fed. That means I'll have to add some of the honey part way through the fermentation. Yeast can't handle that much sugar at once.

If at all possible, you should split this batch into two 5 gallon batches. It'll still be quite sweet, but it will stand a chance at least!

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Old 01-04-2013, 07:26 PM   #9
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ok thank you for your advice!

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Old 01-04-2013, 07:32 PM   #10
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I seriously doubt even a dry champaign yeast would survive this amount of sugar. My sweet ginger mead will have to be step fed. That means I'll have to add some of the honey part way through the fermentation. Yeast can't handle that much sugar at once.

If at all possible, you should split this batch into two 5 gallon batches. It'll still be quite sweet, but it will stand a chance at least!
It's doable if you use staggered nutrient additions and plenty of aeration/degassing early on.

I've a ~1.146 OG mead I'm working on right now and it has already dropped 40 points in less than a week. I'm using 71B-1122 with staggered nutrients, daily aeration/degassing and if I can get it down to 1.030 (~15%) I'll be happy.
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