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Old 08-24-2012, 01:32 PM   #11
taishojojo
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Thank-you for the responses.

I partook of a mead event held locally by a homebrew club at a homebrew retailer. Newcomers to homebrewing could buy the bucket, airlock, honey and yeast... the club provided the little stuff.
I didnt write everything down from that first day. But from memory, I used:
Yeast Nutrient (no idea how much)
"Driller's Mud" (somebody explained what that really was but I am unable to remember)
Something else.
Honey
Yeast
Water

I had done some reading prior to this as this is something I had wanted to do for a while but had been reluctant to attempt.

I took another reading last night (1.060) so its still going.
I'm guessing that this yeast has that kinda of... character. Go fast for a bit... slow down... go fast again.

Imma pick up some nutrient. I need to hit the homebrew store anyway. I encountered another problem last night... my hydrometer bottoms out at 1.058-ish (this is a 3-gal batch in a 5gal bucket).
Thank-you for the help...

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Old 08-24-2012, 10:33 PM   #12
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I bought a "thief" for those situations.
Prior to that I used a "baster".
Make sure they are clean though.

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Old 08-27-2012, 02:07 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by luda007 View Post
I bought a "thief" for those situations.
Prior to that I used a "baster".
Make sure they are clean though.
I got one of those. Definitely easier to read. I picked up some sanitizer as well as other things. Hit home depot for some buckets (cleaning) and spray bottles.

After I rack it to the carboy, Ill hit the store again to start a second batch; getting the little stuff this time: acid blend, nutrients,etc..
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:44 AM   #14
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Hey, do y'all mind if I piggyback my version of that same question onto this thread?

I have a Caramel Apple Mead that I feel is "stuck." But it's my first mead, so it may just be my paranoia.

6lb honey
1.2lb DME
19.2lb (2.4gal) apple juice
2lb crystal 75

Yeast: Lalvin 71b-1122

OG: 1.138

Added nutrient at beginning (SG 1.138), and also on day 13 (SG 1.032)

In the third week, SG stabilized at 1.030 (14.18% ABV). We're now on Day 60 of SG being 1.030.

I know that's fairly high ABV for a mead, and fermentation is probably done, but I was wondering if I should try to push it down any further? It tastes cloyingly sweet right now, and at 1.030 I feel like I should have done something to get it lower. That's 86% attenuation, which is high for beer I know, but I was under the impression wine yeast os supposed to go to near 100% attenuation.

So, from that rambling, my questions are:

1) Does a cloying sweetness mellow with age, or am I pretty much stuck with a sweetie-sweet candy wine*?
2) Should I make a starter & pitch, add nutrients, or do anything else to nudge that 60-day-old 1.030 down a bit farther?

Thank you for your expertise! I'll tell you what, it sure smells good. If I can get this thing figured out, I will definitely be making it again.


*Yes, I know it's called "Caramel Apple Mead" so what did I expect it to taste like -- but believe me when I say it tastes like liquid sugar.

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Old 08-29-2012, 08:46 AM   #15
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The alcohol tolerance of that particular yeast strand is 14%. Given that you've reached that, plus the fact that it's been sitting there for 60 days means you're not going to reactivate that yeast. Sweetness does not mellow with age, as sugar content will not change (it doesn't evaporate or anything like that). Given these facts, you need to pitch a yeast that has a higher tolerance than 14% if you want to dry it out a bit more. Champagne yeast is generally used in these situations; no starter needed.

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Old 08-29-2012, 03:29 PM   #16
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Doh - I missed the alcohol tolerance info in the datasheet. I guess that one's not getting any drier. Hm, I wonder why the LHBS recommended that one, given the expected OG.

So, if I take no further action, I know the mead will not get any less sweet because this particular yeast is done working on the sugars. But in terms of flavor, should I expect the sweet taste to blend better with the other flavors over time? "Mellowing" kind of thing. I don't know, the winemaking timelines and conditioning phases are so different from beer, and my expectations are stuck in beer-world.

Wait a minute, I do believe I have some EC-1118 in the fridge (apfelwein experiment?). Tolerance up to 18%. I'll pitch directly into the mead and see what transpires. Thanks for the help!

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Old 08-29-2012, 07:01 PM   #17
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Yes, the flavors will combine and blend, mellowing with age. This mellowing, however, is most usually associated with alcohol hotness (that is, some of the harshness of alcohol will mellow out into the sweetness). I'm not very sure about the sweetness mellowing out, but yes, you should get a more blended and smooth mead after aging. I will say that it'll be pretty hard for some flavor to conquer that sugar...I'm just not seeing how some flavor could get strong enough to compete/balance out the sweetness.

If you do pitch that other yeast, be sure you take daily readings and immediately Camden tab/sorbate it right when it's at the goal FG. If you do not, it will probably take it all the way down to .990 - this may or may not be a problem for you, but that's pretty damn dry.

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Old 08-29-2012, 11:36 PM   #18
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Pitched the EC-1118 this morning. Will monitor & sorbate that sucker when it gets down below non-cloying levels of sweetness. I really hope this works. I want my caramel apple mead!

The larger question is, why was EC-1118 in my fridge in the first place? I don't remember buying it. Elves?

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Old 09-03-2012, 01:56 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proboscidea View Post
Pitched the EC-1118 this morning. Will monitor & sorbate that sucker when it gets down below non-cloying levels of sweetness. I really hope this works. I want my caramel apple mead!

The larger question is, why was EC-1118 in my fridge in the first place? I don't remember buying it. Elves?
How did this work out for you? stopping a yeast dead in its tracks is more than difficult, especially when it's a monster like 1118. You will more than likely have to go with sorbate, sulfites, cold crash, rack and hope....OR......let it finish and do it's thing when the sg stabilizes, rack it, stabilize with the sorbate and k-meta (campden/sulfites) and then backsweeten with a syrup made of honey and water, small amounts at a time until you reach the desired level of sweetness. When all is said and done it'll have to age a while to mellow out the higher alcohol content.

As far as why your LHBS recommended the 71-B, which is a great yeast in the right circumstances. They generally have a strong knowledge base in beer and working knowledge of wine...mead is still a bit of a mystery there so they give the best advice from what the know.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:54 PM   #20
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It looks like the yeast I pitched didn't "take." No change in SG yet. In a few days, if nothing has changed, I may just do the sorbate/sulfite kill-sweep, and bottle as-is. Next time, if the OG is that high, I'll know to add water to bring it down to a saner starting level.

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