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Old 05-27-2013, 04:42 PM   #1
jonmohno
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Default First mead and used 05 ale yeast.

Had a few questions. I made a methomel yesterday using 9# of honey and 3 gallons of water,giving me about 3.5 gal and my og reading was 1.09. Didnt boil but did steep the vanilla and ginger for about 30-40 min to pasturize the must. I aerated well and hydrated 1pack 05 ale yeast. I did add nutrient and energizer while heating also and some gypsum and a tiny pinch of cacl2/calcium carbonate.Used spring water also. Thats about it as far as the recipe.

Today its chewing away right now activley,I just added some more energizer and was wondering if I should aerate it some more,or is it bad to do while it is active? Because with beer and beer yeast ,I believe your not suppose to add oxygen to it if its already going,unless your making a starter? Not shure if doing that would impact a mead negativley.

Also I didnt add any acid,so could I still add some(like lime juice?)- I dont have any acid blend, or would that be unnessasary with beer yeast or is the ph not acidic enough-I thought some brewing salts would lower the ph some intially but played it safe using a small amount when I steeped it origionally. Or is it too late to think about adding any kind of acid? Thanks for any imput or suggestion.

By the way I was inspired to do ginger,vannilla because I really like my honey ale I made and I also like oaky/vannilla qualities in some of my beers Ive made.I really liked my ginger beer also which I made with a smaller amount of honey,so I thought it would be fitting to incorporate some for my first batch.If it turns out subtle thats ok, I really should be doing straight honey probably for my first,but I couldnt resist. Think it was my favorate kombucha combination also so that has something to do with it too.

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Old 05-27-2013, 05:14 PM   #2
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Not to not pick and hope this does not come across badly but the term you are looking for to name your creation is metheglin.

O2 is your friend! All up until about 1/3 of the fermentation is complete. Then you can stop aerating. Some meads I aerate twice a day for the first 3-5 days.

Now honey is naturally acidic. By itself it is about 3.5ish on the PH scale. I do not worry about adding acid blend or citrous to meads. Others toss in the juice from a squeezed lemon. It is up to you but I would not add any acid. With mead you can add acid right before bottling if you think it needs it.

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Old 05-27-2013, 05:28 PM   #3
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Woops your right,metheglin. Wonder if Ill ever get that straight.
Ok thanks. Aerating it is.

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Old 05-27-2013, 09:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmohno View Post
Had a few questions. I made a methomel yesterday using 9# of honey and 3 gallons of water,giving me about 3.5 gal and my og reading was 1.09. Didnt boil but did steep the vanilla and ginger for about 30-40 min to pasturize the must. I aerated well and hydrated 1pack 05 ale yeast. I did add nutrient and energizer while heating also and some gypsum and a tiny pinch of cacl2/calcium carbonate.Used spring water also. Thats about it as far as the recipe.

Today its chewing away right now activley,I just added some more energizer and was wondering if I should aerate it some more,or is it bad to do while it is active? Because with beer and beer yeast ,I believe your not suppose to add oxygen to it if its already going,unless your making a starter? Not shure if doing that would impact a mead negativley.

Also I didnt add any acid,so could I still add some(like lime juice?)- I dont have any acid blend, or would that be unnessasary with beer yeast or is the ph not acidic enough-I thought some brewing salts would lower the ph some intially but played it safe using a small amount when I steeped it origionally. Or is it too late to think about adding any kind of acid? Thanks for any imput or suggestion.
heating musts tends to be a "beer making thing". honey doesn't need pasteurisation, it's already natures most anti-bacterial and anti-fungal substance. Old recipes that mention heating/boiling are from when they didn't know any better but also were likely more about sanitising the water than the honey.

Putting the spices etc in primary will give a reduced spice flavour, I would have most likely added them to secondary.

Acids are unnecessary to the ferment, it's already acidic enough for the yeast (take a pH test and you'll see what I mean). Acid is sometimes added too taste after the brew is actually finished.

As for the strength, it'll depend where it stops. 1.000 will give you about 12.2 % ABV, 0.990 about 13.5% ABV. Both would be strong enough to extract flavour from the vanilla. I don't remember whether ginger extracts better in water or alcohol, but the main part of the flavour is, apparently, in the outer part of the root. I usually just scrub it clean with a brush and grate it.

Making beers has to be a lot more sanitary than meads, as they tend to be lower alcohol and therefore have less "preservative" qualities than meads. Once you're over about 10% ABV, the alcohol acts as a preservative. Meads also don't oxidise like grape wines or beer do.

Arpolis has already alluded to the aeration thing, which does have the side effect of degassing the brew as well, but at this stage this is done to get some air/O2 into the batch for yeast health/development.

I don't know what flavour profile the yeast will give, as I haven't made any with beer yeasts, but understand that many beer yeasts will also go the the 12 to 14% level if they have enough fermentables to chew on.

If the batch is fermenting ok, that's brilliant. Let it do it's thing and post how it gets on...
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:57 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info. I hope it doesnt get too low-thats ok if it does though, my guess is it will end up in the 1.015+ area maybe which hopfully will be the lowest it gets thats still over 80%yeast attenuation though. I was debating to heat/boil it or not but thought about the infusing vanilla bean and ginger part mostly so I steeped it at 150 for a little longer than planned.

Ive been reading about 05 as one of the better ale yeasts to use as far as beer yeast. Its also has a pretty good high tolerance. Im not too worried about my 1.09 OG for 05 yeast, its lower than I wanted, but I probably still underpitched a little bit also. Not by much.

05 yeast is a clean ale yeast.Probably a little fruiter in higher temps-which Ive never tried higher temps with that yeast in beer. Its also suppose to do well with lower nutrients,comparably to other ale yeasts. Ive been reading more people like it than not that have made meads with it-so Im giving it a shot.Im really just using the yeast because I want to use it up and dont have to make a extra trip to my lhbs,but sounds like it works well other wise I wouldnt have used it. If it doenst work well then Ill learn the hard way and will get some more appropriate mead yeast next time,I do know I will get different yeast next time anyway .

There havent been too many posts about ale yeast and mead in the last few years it seems by searching them ,so Ill try to keep it posted.

My plan is to rack this after a month then again in a few more till it clears, possibly adding more of the ginger,but I do have another vannilla bean I plan on adding to secondary to age more. I kinda think I should have just done a plain mead for a first time so if the ginger/vannilla is unnoticable well then thats ok-given that it is good. I was even thinking about oaking it,maybe just the small growler fermenter which Ill rack to secondary-Ill do that with. Ill probably have to have help bottleing that one so the mini siphon doesnt fall to the bottem while bottleing it from the growler.

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Old 06-22-2013, 10:56 PM   #6
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Well, I racked this today to secondary.My reading was .999 on the 2.5 gal carboy and .998 on the smaller 1.3 gal-that one was a little clearer also. But both pretty hazy yet. It tasted pretty good had some initial honey sweetness then it basically had an orange character with a tart finish,not too dry or hot or anything,it was pretty smooth.

So I racked it back into my 3 gallon carboy to max it out adding a vannilla bean and had only about 20 oz left over which I put in a 24 oz bottle with half an orange- I didnt want to waste it even though I kinda mixed up the yeast trying to rack the leftover to the small bottle.

The ginger really was unnotacable and I even used 1/2 #, and the vanilla was maybe slightly detectable. Im not going to bother with more ginger, I like this orange character it already has. This must have been orange blossom honey? It was local stuff but didnt say what kind of honey it was I was guessing wildflower or something. This is turning out really nicely. Its @ 11.7 % abv right now. Im guessing this is just a dry mead? It is good to me and not hot or dry as far as the sample and I like the flavor, I just know it needs to clear and I have high hopes this will get really freakin good! It seems really balanced for the finish it has! Im officially a fan of meads now. I can only think this will only just get better with secondary and bottleing age.

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Old 09-02-2013, 04:24 AM   #7
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Another update: Bottled this today@3months. Finished is .993 which surprised me,didnt think it would drop since I racked @ 1 month. Its smooth,has some tartness in finish maybe from the ginger or sitting on whole vannila bean(tannins possibly?) dont know. Wow 12.5% wasnt thinking Id get that much from 1.090 gravity. Taste is good,nothing fantastic will see how it ages.

Im kinda neutral about it at this point, Ive since discovered the honey I used is not nearly as good as some others Ive found recently. Its almost generic honey kinda like any other honey maybe as far as comparing it to other store honey. Its weird how low it finishes yet you get that short lived honey sweetnes in body which then disappers with a tartness at the end. Maybe it got a little astringency-tartness from the ginger-not shure where that came from . It went from an mellow orange character to a now mildly lemon tartish. Not hot or really that dry. Definatly didnt need any acid blend. Not bad though. It does seem like it needs to age or something-Im hoping.

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Old 09-02-2013, 05:10 PM   #8
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If its ok at this early stage, brilliant.

Not surprised its finished this low, your mention of attenuation and so on, suggested to me that you were comparing to beer.

All that sort of stuff doesn't apply to meads. Honey is pretty close to 100% fermentable (a small amount doesn't but its such a tiny amount as to be negligable). None of the non-fermentable stuff you get with beers.....

Depends on how you've bottled it, but I'd have suggested in 330ml beer bottles with oxygen absorbing caps, because its less to drink in one go, especially if its not ready yet. Plus you then can try like 1 a month or every other month etc...... it helps with the learning curve of how meads will change in taste with age.

You may be lucky and it recovers some more of the spice characteristics, which would be good. You just have to wait and see....

Good effort......

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Old 09-03-2013, 01:41 AM   #9
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Yes,I did use beer bottles and oxygen caps.Also use some wax and bottled a few corked wine bottles with sleves on them wich was fun to do,and looks nice. Im actually going to give 2 to a coworker for his wedding gift. Never did it with beer but shure makes a nice impression for a mead,yet Im hestant to offer them yet and when I do Im going to say age them at least 3 months preferrably a year. Or else Ill hand them out when I feel they are great not ok.

I admit Im in beer mode and am a noob with mead and wine but Im gaining on it and learning,thanks for the input. Got a few local-honey variety batches-awesome and never had anything like it in my life--(wildflower/basswood and a blueberry!/wildflower) with D47 yeast going on 1.5 gal batches plus my first JAOM.Cant wait for 2014.

Ill also be getting some seasonal local wildflower in a few weeks which Im thinking of making something that consists of grapes/blueberry/honey/vannilla bean. I want to make a wine so this sounds more appealing for conjuring up next to stick in my now empty 3 gallon carboy. Got montoratchet yeast,that ok?

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Old 09-11-2013, 02:50 AM   #10
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I cheated today. I tried this mead straight from a 70 degree basement @ 1 week. It was weird,smelled like couch or carpet,was warm like when you sit on someones seat but that warmth went softly but not hotly in your face maybe it was just co2. It was a weird warmth that blew into my face from the glass,almost ghostly weird I will give it that.

Taste wasnt bad,light bodied and drier than i would like with lemony tartness and mild slight kind of breadyness. Im almost thinking Im tasting a byproduct of yeast energizer/nutrient at times for some reason. Other than that I realize I did not use a great honey possibly, at least comparable to some others Ive picked up since making this. I will try this in another (likely 3) month and evalutate whether I should give this as a gift and be embarressed to say age it for a year or if I should just hold off age it for a year and then hand some out.

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