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-   -   First melomel.. campden / pasteurization? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/first-melomel-campden-pasteurization-366042/)

Tiroux 11-07-2012 02:56 AM

First melomel.. campden / pasteurization?
 
Hey!
I hve made 3 meads in the past (Maple, braggot and blackberries (with a home-made syrup))

Now i'm planning a melomel with fresh fruits (green and yellow lemon, orange, grapefruit, raisin, banana). I will probably use campden tablets and an melomel pack (yeast nutrient, acid blend, tannin, pectic enzyme). All that to help a clean fermentation, and killing the ''wild yeast'' with the campden.

My question is... do I still need to pasteurize the honey if I use campden?

fatbloke 11-07-2012 03:53 AM

You don't need to pasteurise the honey at all. If its been found in the Egyptian desert tombs and found to still be viable after 3 millennia, then its natural anti-fungal, anti-bacterial properties have done their job......

Additionally, I'd suggest that you leave out the grapefruit and green lemon. Grapefruit has a natural bitterness, which is.focused by fermentation, and green lemon is higher in acidity.

The very nature of a citrus flavoured brew, would suggest to me that it'd be better to make a base traditional then add the fruit for flavouring. So as not to have the acid cause problems during the ferment. Even then, only use the flesh of the fruit and make sure its back sweetened first.

So much citrus fruit can cause a very acid, sharp taste.....

Tiroux 11-07-2012 01:44 PM

Ok, thanks. I'll reduce the citrus part. That said, I would not dislike a bit of bitterness, since I'll also add some dry hopped Cascade 1 week before bottling.

I won't back sweet it, but I'll overtake the yeast limit.

fatbloke 11-08-2012 04:35 AM

That sounds like a plan........

I would suggest, that if you want residual sugars but don't want to back sweeten, don't pile all the honey in up front. Start with a medium gravity then when its half way, step feed honey. Just take a reading before and after each step.feed. Total up the gravity drops to get the strength (%ABV).133 point drop equates to 18%.

That way its less stress on the yeast and more manageable.

Tiroux 11-11-2012 04:39 PM

Ok thanks for the reply. I will probably do that.

What is exactly the way to stop fermentation if I want to back sweeten?
It turns out that my blackberry is not a bit sparkling because of a refermentation in the bottle. It is very good like this in fact, but that wasn't planned, so I would like to control more my things.

Also, you said to honey is anti-fungal... I believe that. But, does it create an anti-fungal environment so we can use fresh fruits directly whitout any other additions to kill the possibles bad things in the fruits, like wild yeast and bacteria.

What's the way to do, exactly? Wash the fruits, cut them with a sanitised knife on a sanitised surface?

I'm gonna use this...
http://www.homebrew-supplies.ca/viar...0&item_id=1430

When I add it exactly, what is the dosage. Nothing is said on the package.

fatbloke 11-11-2012 06:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tiroux (Post 4579018)
Ok thanks for the reply. I will probably do that.

What is exactly the way to stop fermentation if I want to back sweeten?
It turns out that my blackberry is not a bit sparkling because of a refermentation in the bottle. It is very good like this in fact, but that wasn't planned, so I would like to control more my things.

If you're going to back sweeten anyway, it's usually best to ferment dry, then stabilise with sulphites and sorbate.

If you're going to carbonate deliberately, ferment the batch dry, so that you have one or two % ABV still available i.e. use an 18% yeast, but ferment it to 16% - then you can bottle prime it and get carbonation that way, the only issue is that with bottle priming, you will invariably end up with a bit of sediment in the bottle.

If you want sweet and bubbly, that's the hardest one to achieve. You either have to use the above method, but also use a non-fermentable sweetener of some sort to add the sweetness, or you have to make the batch still, but tasting as you like it, then force carbonate i.e. usually suggested to use a keg method.

Or if you're really into making sparkling brews, you could always research "methode champenoise" - for the authentic approach.
Quote:

Also, you said to honey is anti-fungal... I believe that. But, does it create an anti-fungal environment so we can use fresh fruits directly whitout any other additions to kill the possibles bad things in the fruits, like wild yeast and bacteria.
Honey won't ferment as it is. To get it to do that and make booze, you have to water it down don't you. Not necessarily with water, as cyser uses apple juice instead of water, or pyment uses grape juice instead, etc etc.

If you're really worried about wild yeast, you can prepare the fruit and then add some sulphites/campden tablets first, leave it for a day or two, then add the fruit to the batch. That's how I usually do it, if I can. Or of course, you can use a yeast like Lalvin K1-V1116 - the "k" designator shows that it has the "killer factor" where it will become the dominant yeast, over coming any wild yeast that might be present - it makes a very good traditional mead as well (plus if you happen to live somewhere, where it can get a bit on the warm side in the summer, it's got one of the widest temperature ranges of any yeast used for brewing/fermenting).
Quote:

What's the way to do, exactly? Wash the fruits, cut them with a sanitised knife on a sanitised surface?
If they need cutting, yes. The only fruit I cut, is "stone" fruit, like plums or similar. Otherwise, I just wash/rinse the fruit, bag it up and chuck it in the freezer for about a week. Then a day or two before I want to use it, I take it out the freezer to defrost. The "freeze/thaw" method breaks down the fruit cells which allows the yeast to get into the juice/fruit sugars reasonably quickly.
Quote:

I'm gonna use this...
http://www.homebrew-supplies.ca/viar...0&item_id=1430

When I add it exactly, what is the dosage. Nothing is said on the package.
Just looked it up, and while it contains most of the "usual suspects" I usually add them separately. I use the nutrient during fermentation, but if I can, I like to use the pectic enzyme on the fruit before it goes into the brew and with acid and tannin, I like to add those "to taste" after the ferment.

As for dosage ? don't know really, because it would depend on how much of each individual element is in the mix. For the Fermax, it would normally be something like 1 teaspoon per gallon (that's what it says on most of the packs I've tried, though with FermaidK and DAP, ideally, it needs to be calculated out and then weighed). Pectic enzyme is normally something like half to one tsp per gallon of fruit juice (I think some packs have juice and whole fruit weight recommendations), but if the fruit has already been fermented, you'd add double the amount. Tannin is taste i.e. I'd start with mixing 1 tsp per gallon in, give it a couple of days and taste the brew, if it needed a bit more "bite", then I'd repeat that. Acid is a bit different, as you can actually test for some types (tartaric, usually). Though you can test for total acid with a titration test kit - depends where you are, how the result is actually expressed and whether it needs converting (test kits in the US usually express the result as tartaric, whereas test kits sold here, usually express the result as sulphuric and then need converting).

As to which acid to use ? if I'm using fruit, then I try to use the type of acid that is the major constituent of the fruit i.e. citrus fruit, then citric acid, apples and it's got to be malic acid. For traditional meads, I've found that I prefer the mix suggested in Ashton & Duncan's book "Making Mead". The mix is 2 parts malic and 1 part tartaric - I just mix it up in a little jar and then add 1 tsp to start with.

I'd have thought that while I can't even guess about how much of that pack to use (have you thought of ringing the supplier to ask ?) but it probably needs to be added at the start of the fermentation.

Tiroux 11-11-2012 07:25 PM

OK thanks for everything!
I'm not really going to sparkling thing.. it was just an error that turned great.

When you say prepare the fruits before with campden, you need I add the fruits in the fermentor with water and campden, and 24h later I add the honey and yeast?

What are the risks if I just put fresh fruits, honey and yeast all together whitout anything else. I'm planning to use Wyeast Sweet Mead. It's not a ''K'' type, if I understood right.

As for the sweetness... The yeast is suppose to go 11%... I'll play around 12 or 13% potential, let the yeast finish his job. I'll probably get a half dry/half sweet thing, that's what I'm looking for.

fatbloke 11-12-2012 05:01 AM

Use that yeast if you want to. Personally, I'm in the camp, that has found it to be a finicky PITA. So called "mead yeast" is, IMO, yeast marketing persons wet dream. How do they know what yeast would have originally been used ? When you read the historic recipes that are floating around, they say stuff like "add a piece of mouldy bread" or "use the lees from beer brewing" etc. I've not heard of any very old actual meads that have been tested, so we end up at the same place i.e. how do they know those strains were actually used and not just some odd isolate that they can't find a proper use for ? And just stick mead labels on ?

If you already bought the yeast, make a starter with it, a pack of.dry yeast has many times more.yeast cells, than to liquid packs, so increasing the amount/cell count can only help.....

Tiroux 11-12-2012 05:38 AM

That's good to know. I already bought it, so I'll make a starter, as it was already planned, but may try something else next time.

But since I already bought it.. what should I do for the fruits?

fatbloke 11-12-2012 09:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tiroux (Post 4581067)
That's good to know. I already bought it, so I'll make a starter, as it was already planned, but may try something else next time.

But since I already bought it.. what should I do for the fruits?

Freeze for a week or so, then defrost. You should get enough "free run" juice to pop it in a bucket and mix in sulphite/campden and pectic enzyme and then just keep it in a covered bucket for a couple of days......


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