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-   -   First Time Mead Questions (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/first-time-mead-questions-387235/)

Justintoxicated 02-04-2013 04:39 PM

First Time Mead Questions
 
I just got 12lbs of local wildflower honey not sure if it is raw or not, but it looked like regular honey to me. Not sure whether to do a 5 gallon or 4 gallon batch with this amount. If I do a 4 gallon batch, can I just use a 5 gallon carboy?

I don't think I want to do anything fancy since this will be my first time. I'm looking now for those yeast nutrients in the sticky.

What should I use for yeast? I have some red star yeast, Premier Cuvee, Pasteur Champagne, Cote Des Blancs and Pasteur Red. Any of these good candidates?

I have read that some people pasteurize the mix, but I was thinking to just heat some sanitary RO water and mix it up?

Thanks in advance.

saramc 02-04-2013 06:37 PM

If you can scrounge up three pounds of honey you can do a five gallon batch at 3#/gallon. As a traditional mead you could knock it out in 5-gallon carboy. Of course you can do a five gallon batch with 12#, just depends on what ACV you are seeking.
If you do a four gallon batch you will need about 12# of glass, lead free marbles (or stainless) to account for that headspace.
If you want to start in a wide mouth foid grade bucket, even better...but that is just me.
I like Cotes de blanc, cuvee or 71B in mead, but the others have been used by countless others. I warm some of the water to help incorporate the honey.

Justintoxicated 02-05-2013 03:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by saramc (Post 4863472)
If you can scrounge up three pounds of honey you can do a five gallon batch at 3#/gallon. As a traditional mead you could knock it out in 5-gallon carboy. Of course you can do a five gallon batch with 12#, just depends on what ACV you are seeking.
If you do a four gallon batch you will need about 12# of glass, lead free marbles (or stainless) to account for that headspace.
If you want to start in a wide mouth foid grade bucket, even better...but that is just me.
I like Cotes de blanc, cuvee or 71B in mead, but the others have been used by countless others. I warm some of the water to help incorporate the honey.

Should I pasteurize the honey / water mix? not sure if the honey would be sanitary otherwise. It was just poured into a 5g gallon bucket. I'll see if I can get anymore honey but it may be difficult. I don't have that much marbles so maybe 12 lbs into 5 gallons it will be.

Arpolis 02-05-2013 04:14 AM

Honey is natures anti fungle/bacterial agent. It is pointless to pasteurize honey. If this were a hydromel at 1 lb per gallon then I might drop a crushed Camden tablet per gallon in the must 24 hours before pitching yeast but with any decent amount of honey in there and it should be fine as long as you use normal cleaning practices on the carboy and your water is good.

12 lb in a 5 gallon batch is not bad at all. I have a Ginger mead with that ratio and it is awsome so far.

Justintoxicated 02-05-2013 04:40 PM

would you guys recommend adding anything to it or just using straight honey? Ginger sounds interesting :)

Matrix4b 02-05-2013 09:10 PM

I do my primary of 5 gal with 12 pounds of honey. Let it ferment dry and add 3-6 pounds of honey after stablizing.

Nutrients: Doesn't need to be anything special. Some people boil bread yeast for it. Now that's important, if you are using yeast as nutrients and not the active yeast you should kill the yeast first by boiling it. That way it isn't yeast but yeast nutrients.

For Stablizing: Use potasium sorbate or potasium metasulfate.

For a good basic mead, you should be fine. I would at the end of it as it's clearing put in 1 oz of lightly toasted oak to help smooth it out. I put it in for 3-4 weeks if it's chips, a month if it's oak cubes you get.

And most importantly, let it age at least 6 months, best if a year, after it's settled and clear enough to read through.

For yeast: I like Lavin D47, 1-2 packets is good. Keep in mind not to let the temp go above 70 or you could get some off flavors with this yeast.

Matrix

SagamoreAle 02-05-2013 09:39 PM

1# of honey adds about 35-40 points/gallon. If you're doing 4 gal, your OG will be ~100 (@35) and 5 gal will be ~83@(@35).

Either is a respectable starting point.

FWIW I like to start with an OG around 50 and then add honey throughout the fermentation period. It's like giving your high-gravity mead a massive yeast starter. It seems to ferment out more cleanly.

SagamoreAle 02-05-2013 09:50 PM

<snip - answer was meant for a different thread>

Justintoxicated 02-08-2013 06:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matrix4b (Post 4868459)
I do my primary of 5 gal with 12 pounds of honey. Let it ferment dry and add 3-6 pounds of honey after stablizing.

Nutrients: Doesn't need to be anything special. Some people boil bread yeast for it. Now that's important, if you are using yeast as nutrients and not the active yeast you should kill the yeast first by boiling it. That way it isn't yeast but yeast nutrients.

For Stablizing: Use potasium sorbate or potasium metasulfate.

For a good basic mead, you should be fine. I would at the end of it as it's clearing put in 1 oz of lightly toasted oak to help smooth it out. I put it in for 3-4 weeks if it's chips, a month if it's oak cubes you get.

And most importantly, let it age at least 6 months, best if a year, after it's settled and clear enough to read through.

For yeast: I like Lavin D47, 1-2 packets is good. Keep in mind not to let the temp go above 70 or you could get some off flavors with this yeast.

Matrix

Whats this about stablizing, I didn't know I needed to do that? Won't I want the yeast to be able to carbonate my mead? Can I keg carbonate then bottle from the keg? Seems like it might introduce too much oxygen into the bottles if I do it that way?

Quote:

Originally Posted by SagamoreAle (Post 4868570)
1# of honey adds about 35-40 points/gallon. If you're doing 4 gal, your OG will be ~100 (@35) and 5 gal will be ~83@(@35).

Either is a respectable starting point.

FWIW I like to start with an OG around 50 and then add honey throughout the fermentation period. It's like giving your high-gravity mead a massive yeast starter. It seems to ferment out more cleanly.

Only a starting point?

SagamoreAle 02-09-2013 01:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Justintoxicated (Post 4878875)
Only a starting point?

Meaning that either OG will make a decent mead.


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