Happy HolidaySs Giveaway - Winners Re-Re-Re-Re-Drawn - 24 hours to Claim!

Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > First Mead, time for secondary?
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-27-2012, 05:12 AM   #1
K9Handler
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 28
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default First Mead, time for secondary?

I have started my first mead and I am wondering if it is time to rack it to secondary? My recipe follows:
20 pounds honey
Water to make it 5 gallons
3 tsp yeast nutrient
1.5 tsp yeast energizer
White Labs WLP720 Sweet Mead Yeast one vial
Nov 30 SG 1.142
Dec 26 Gravity 1.044

I plan on racking it into 5 1 gallon jugs where I will add a different fruit puree in 4 of them and keep one original.

Let me know your thoughts, criticisms, etc....

__________________
K9Handler is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-27-2012, 05:36 AM   #2
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

Why did you use a low ABV tolerance yeast with a high OG must??? Did you not read any threads about that yeast, at all, before using it in that high an OG must? Plus, 1.044 is so far beyond sweet it's insane. To top it off you plan on adding MORE sugars to it? WHY??? I hope the honey wasn't expensive since this is already headed towards being a dumper.

Before you make another mead, read the forums over at Got Mead? at the very least. Plus, mix the must to match what a yeast can handle. Don't just pick blindly. The White Labs sweet mead yeast has a tolerance of 15% ABV (listed right on the page for that yeast, so no excuses). IF you had selected a yeast that could go to 18%, then it would have finished around 1.010, which is a much better FG. Since you're not yet at the yeast's tolerance level, it could still be going. Besides, less than a month is NOTHING on a mead fermentation time frame. I've had meads take 3 months to ferment all the way.

I would also plan on giving the batch at least another month, once it reaches FG, so that it can flocculate out to a decent level. Since it's rated as 'low' in that category, it could take some time to start to clear.

Why is it that people go so sideways on their first meads? Seriously, I want to know why they think they can just toss some honey in water, pick a yeast at random and expect to have it finish in the same time frame as a beer.

__________________
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 12-27-2012, 06:10 AM   #3
K9Handler
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 28
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

Ok, really friendly place here. So should I pitch in a different yeast? If only everyone was as knowledgable as an expert when starting out.

__________________
K9Handler is offline
revjester Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-27-2012, 01:21 PM   #4
fatbloke
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: UK - South Coast.
Posts: 2,682
Liked 174 Times on 161 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default

Ok, so what Golddiggie is alluding to, is that there is the wyeast sweet mead yeast which is only tolerant to about the 11% ABV mark and its also finicky as hell to use - to be honest its a complete PITA.

There's also the white labs one, which I presume youre referring to that is tolerant to about 15% and has a much better reputation.

Now without access to my usual table to check, if it is at 15% or thereabouts, you'd be hard pressed to pitch another yeast, even doing an acclimatised restart and get it refermenting to drop the gravity down more.

Ok, just did a quick check on the pc and your 98 point drop equates too 13.3% ABV. So you try a restart but I'm not sure whether you'd get it to restart with a yeast that has "sharper teeth".

Your main issue is likely to be that if its stopped fermenting, the current quoted gravity is very much at the top end of "dessert mead" and likely to be cloyingly sweet. If you find it drinkable then that's great but I find batches that sweet a bit too much.

So, if some stirring and maybe either FermaidO (as different from the "K" nutrient) if you can get some or just try boiled bread yeast, to see if you could knock the gravity down a bit further, or if you have access to a dry mead of similar type you coild blend them or you could even just fortify it with vodka or everclear.

I suspect that the main thrush of Golddiggies post was that these so called "mead yeasts" seem to have issues. To start with how the hell do the yeast makers know what strains were originally used for meads as all the historic recipes make no mention and that yeasts/ferments weren't understood properly then. And with written records being little to non-existent it would seem that to call them "mead" yeasts is little more than marketing bollocks. It doesnt help that the majority of HBS know little or nothing of mead making and often make rubbish recommendations for materials and ingredients.

Its why most recommendations come from wine making technique and the experience of regular mead makers.....

Liquid yeasts seem to have a harder time with meads anyway, can't say exactly why but I suspect its connected with the much higher levels of sugars generally found in honey musts, plus the lower cell count and mead makers not generally making starters (just either straight rehydration or rehydration using GoFerm).

__________________

"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away". Tom Waits.

Oh, and here's some blog stuff!

fatbloke is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-27-2012, 03:57 PM   #5
K9Handler
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 28
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

Thanks for the info Fatbloke. I guess I'll have to figure out if its drinkable or blend it.

__________________
K9Handler is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-27-2012, 04:42 PM   #6
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 K9Handler View Post
Ok, really friendly place here. So should I pitch in a different yeast? If only everyone was as knowledgable as an expert when starting out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by K9Handler View Post
Thanks for the info Fatbloke. I guess I'll have to figure out if its drinkable or blend it.
Did you bother to actually do any research on making a mead before making the first one?? IF you had, you would have seen the pitfalls you were walking towards/over. Do yourself a favor and go over to the Got Mead forums and start reading up BEFORE you make another batch.

Also, keep in mind, mead is NOT even close to beer in how it ferments, how you treat it while it ferments, and how long it will age before going to bottle or glass. Even when using the right processes and ingredients, you can have one go 2+ years (up to about 18% ABV) before it's really getting great. It will be ok, to good, in the 12-20 month range, but it really changes as it approaches even the 2 year mark. Trying to rush it through the process will only go to make something you'll not like, and you'll probably end up thinking that all mead is like that (which it's NOT)...

BTW, I found the Got Mead site via a google search over two years ago when I wanted to see what was needed to make a really good/great mead (the joy book is crap IMO). It's not difficult to locate, or read, and there are tons of people there with decades of mead making experience.
__________________
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 12-28-2012, 12:26 AM   #7
saramc
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: suburb of Louisville, KY
Posts: 1,743
Liked 147 Times on 133 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Odds are your batch will be on the super sweet side, especially since you still need to add the fruit components. Even if you reach alcohol toxicity on that yeast, you could easily reach 16-17%. It is quite common for the ferment to exceed the high end of the range, has happened to me many times. To be prepared for fixing it why don't you start a three-five gallon batch of x-% mead? That way you would have a volume on hand to blend and have a basic mead available that is perfect for topping up, etc.

We all learn from each batch that we make and usually that first one is the biggest hurdle to jump. For a while anyway, until you expand your mead/winemaking skills. But do not worry, all will be fine. Welcome to the forum!!

__________________

Motto: quel che sara sara

saramc is offline
K9Handler Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-28-2012, 04:54 PM   #8
K9Handler
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 28
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
Did you bother to actually do any research on making a mead before making the first one?? IF you had, you would have seen the pitfalls you were walking towards/over.
I did do research and I had looked at the Got Mead site. The only thing I didn't understand was how yeast worked. I talked with the purveyors of the local home brew shop and I'm going to pitch in SN9 yeast after I make a starter. Once it starts I'm going to rack it into secondary with some fruit. I didn't expect it to be similar to beer, I expected it to take a while, 7-8 months before I bottle it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saramc View Post
Odds are your batch will be on the super sweet side, especially since you still need to add the fruit components. Even if you reach alcohol toxicity on that yeast, you could easily reach 16-17%. It is quite common for the ferment to exceed the high end of the range, has happened to me many times. To be prepared for fixing it why don't you start a three-five gallon batch of x-% mead? That way you would have a volume on hand to blend and have a basic mead available that is perfect for topping up, etc.
I have been thinking of starting a another batch, although the local home brew shop has some chocolate infused honey that I was thinking of trying out. But from what I read it takes at least two years before you even think of drinking it. We'll see how it goes. I'm not really into brewing beer. I did a cider for my first brew which turned out pretty good, a little commercial tasting. I think the complexities of mead brewing will keep me challenged for a while. Thanks for the advice.
__________________
K9Handler is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-28-2012, 08:07 PM   #9
fatbloke
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: UK - South Coast.
Posts: 2,682
Liked 174 Times on 161 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default

Some brews can indeed take a couple of years to come good, yet the use of acid addition or back sweetening can mask the flavour of a young mead, as can the addition of fruit to secondary.

It's basically the stronger/higher % the brew, normally the longer the aging it requires, equally the drier the batch the longer the aging.

Plus there's no real way of predicting how a batch will age, some just mellow some become smooth, some even recover a perception of sweetness, etc etc. Hence you can just make a batch that will likely finish in a certain way and then see how it progresses through the aging process......

__________________

"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away". Tom Waits.

Oh, and here's some blog stuff!

fatbloke is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-30-2012, 02:56 AM   #10
K9Handler
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 28
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

While in primary how often, if at all do you guys recommend stirring the must to reincorporate the lees?

__________________
K9Handler 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
mead in the secondary jpr210 Mead Forum 4 08-31-2011 04:24 PM
First time Mead batch questions - time to rack acyl Mead Forum 2 02-09-2010 01:24 PM
Secondary for Mead wscott823 Mead Forum 11 12-08-2009 11:16 AM
mead in secondary John Long Mead Forum 2 08-13-2008 10:10 AM
time in secondary/ time in bottles? elkdog Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 10-02-2007 02:48 AM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS