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Old 07-13-2012, 03:04 AM   #11
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Two things:

a) Although I've heard people say 'mutation' a lot, I've never heard any hard evidence of negative consequences from mutation. I'm sure it happens, but I'm not concerned if it doesn't result in real, detectable consequences.

b) Even if mutation happens, I'm OK with it. If the yeast want to adapt to my particular fermentation technique or local environment, go for it. It will make my brews unique and personalized. I can always discard the yeast and start over if I dislike how the yeast starts behaving.

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Old 07-13-2012, 03:18 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by bk0 View Post
Two things:

a) Although I've heard people say 'mutation' a lot, I've never heard any hard evidence of negative consequences from mutation. I'm sure it happens, but I'm not concerned if it doesn't result in real, detectable consequences.

b) Even if mutation happens, I'm OK with it. If the yeast want to adapt to my particular fermentation technique or local environment, go for it. It will make my brews unique and personalized. I can always discard the yeast and start over if I dislike how the yeast starts behaving.
It's not mutation so much as selective pressure that's at stake here. The yeast aren't adapting, but rather we're selectively propagating them into figure generations. The way this shapes the genetic profile of the colony isn't always desirably.

If you've never seen it, you simply haven't been looking for it. Flocculation characteristics will change within two or three generations if your harvesting techniques aren't sound. That's a well documented phenomenon.
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Old 07-13-2012, 03:25 AM   #13
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First things... You make mead and brew beer.

Now then, I think the honey and water mix has been addressed already. So not going to go over that again. The sediments you get on the bottom of a fermenter, from the yeast, is not really all that good for using in another batch. MAYBE, if your first batch was a log OG, it fermented to dry, and the yeast has plenty of vitality left (you hit 7% on yeast rated to 14%) you could use it again. But I don't know of anyone making mead that wimpy. Most of us select a yeast, or formulate the must, to maximize the yeast used. So, formulate it to hit 14%, finish a little north of 1.000, and used D47 yeast (for example).

Do yourself a big favor, get yeast nutrients made for making wines. Such as Fermax, Fermaid-k, DAP and also yeast energizer. Fermax and yeast energizer have a per gallon dosage on the containers. I would advise using that for your first batch. Give it all while mixing up the must and then add the yeast (properly rehydrated).

It's important to remember mead takes TIME to become something great. Where you can go grain to glass, with beer, in a matter of weeks mead will take significantly longer. Several months if not over a year (depends on how strong you're making it). You'll also rack the mead at least a few times during the process, but don't do this too often. Wait until it's completely finished fermenting before you rack the first time. Then give it 1-3 months, and allow it to clear, before racking again. I've racked a couple of more times on top of that, depending on the batch and how it looked.

If your mead ferments to dry, read up about back sweetening. Just keep in mind that you want to aim for less than what you're sweetness target is in this case. Where it might taste perfect once you're back sweetened and then bottle (either stabilize, or give it enough time to ensure fermentation doesn't pick up again) it very well could come out tasting too sweet a year (or several) later. To the point where you don't want to drink what you have left.

For your first mead batch, I would go with a traditional formula. Basically honey with a strong flavor to it (that you love), water, nutrients, and yeast. I (and many other mazers) use Lalvin yeast strains for our meads. I would select one of those that appeals to you, or you can keep it in the temperature range listed while fermenting. At your initial formulation, you should be able to get to 14%, so D47 would be a solid choice. I wouldn't suggest using 71B for a first batch since it is a more needy yeast, and needs some different treatments.

I would also suggest going over to the Got Mead forums and checking out the information there...

Above all else, do NOT heat the honey/must above 100-110F while you're making it. If you do, you'll start to lose the more delicate flavors and aromas that are present in the honey. Since you're going to spend decent money on the honey, don't do that.

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Old 07-13-2012, 03:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bk0 View Post
Two things:

a) Although I've heard people say 'mutation' a lot, I've never heard any hard evidence of negative consequences from mutation. I'm sure it happens, but I'm not concerned if it doesn't result in real, detectable consequences.

b) Even if mutation happens, I'm OK with it. If the yeast want to adapt to my particular fermentation technique or local environment, go for it. It will make my brews unique and personalized. I can always discard the yeast and start over if I dislike how the yeast starts behaving.
At $.75 per packet for the yeast, reusing is (IMO) rather foolish. With possible genetic drifting, in a non-good direction due to the stresses the yeast are put under, it seems unwise to me. Especially with how cheap yeast is, but how expensive honey is. Not to mention how much TIME you'll have invested in a batch of mead before it goes to bottle or glass...
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K2: Epic mead
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Old 07-13-2012, 04:35 AM   #15
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First things... You make mead and brew beer.
I hate to get in the way of pedantry, but "brewing mead" is a common turn of phrase:
http://www.amazon.com/Brewing-Mead-S.../dp/0937381004
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Old 07-13-2012, 04:42 AM   #16
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I hate to get in the way of pedantry, but "brewing mead" is a common turn of phrase:
http://www.amazon.com/Brewing-Mead-Step-Step-Instructions/dp/0937381004
One single reference from 1998... Yeah, that's gospel...
Next you'll say you brew wine too...

I also like one of the more recent reviews (2006) on that book...

The first 90% of this book is written by Lt. Colonel Robert Gayre. This part of the book is dedicated to the history of mead and related alcoholic drinks. Naked racism, extreme conservatism, snobbism, awkward language style, low readability and long, boring historic reviews are characteristic for this part of the book. The Lt. Colonel speaks of great English civilization, wonderful Aryan race and superior Anglo-Saxon race, trying to bring enlightenment to the primitive and degenerate other human races. In this part there is not even a trace of any knowledge about mead making necessary for those who would like to do it.

The last 10% of the book - Brewing Mead - is written by Charlie Papazian. This part is too short and too general to make a useful contribution to a beginner. The recipes are not precise and not detailed enough for a real success.

If you are a historian interested in racist theories centered on the English and the Aryan myths, this may be the book for you.


How about something with a bit more weight behind it... Such as The Compleat Meadmaker
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Old 07-13-2012, 04:45 AM   #17
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One single reference from 1998... Yeah, that's gospel...
Next you'll say you brew wine too...
Google "make mead" in quotes and you get 56,400 hits.
Google "brew mead" in quotes and you get 45,600 hits.
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Old 07-13-2012, 04:47 AM   #18
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Google "make mead" in quotes and you get 56,400 hits.
Google "brew mead" in quotes and you get 45,600 hits.
Which just shows that enough people are typing the wrong thing...

Stick a fork in it, it's done, and I'm out of this thread... Call it what you like, but you still MAKE mead, you brew beer.
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Old 07-13-2012, 04:48 AM   #19
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Stick a fork in it, it's done, and I'm out of this thread... Call it what you like, but you still MAKE mead, you brew beer.
You'll be missed.
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:45 AM   #20
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Awesome threadjacking guys seriously. Back on topic, reusing lees from a batch of mead. This usually isn't common practice because the high levels of alcohol that are generally produced in a mead are very hard and stressful on the yeast that you use. Reusing yeast is much more common in beer brewing because the relatively low levels of alcohol that are produced.

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