Electric Brewing Supply 30A BCS Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Going to try a mead again - need a few pointers…
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-04-2008, 07:46 PM   #1
Turkeyfoot Jr.
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Turkeyfoot Jr.'s Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Toledo, Ohio
Posts: 364
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default Going to try a mead again - need a few pointers…

First a little background. I’ve been homebrewing for almost two years now. I’ve done extract, PM and just recently completed my 6th AG batch. When I first started out I made one batch of mead that I ended up pitching and I’ll admit that it probably could have been salvaged had I known more about meads. I’m ready to give mead another try and I want to make sure I do it right.

I have 3 1-gallon glass jugs and my intention is to make 2 1-gallon batches, saving the third jug for racking. For these first two batches I’m planning to do very simple meads, just honey, yeast and water, and the only difference will be either the amount of honey or the type of yeast. My LHBS has the following yeasts available:

Lalvin – KIV-1116 12-14% tolerance
Lalvin – EC-1118 18% tolerance
Red Star Montrechet 8-10% tolerance
Red Star Pasteur Champagne 12% tolerance
Red Star Premier Cuvee tolerance not listed

They may have more varieties but this is what’s on their web site.

Some of the questions I have are:

1. Of the yeasts listed which would be the best for a mead? Are there any that I should absolutely not use?

2. For the two batches which variable should I adjust, the amount of honey or the yeast? I’ve read that the amount of honey in a mead should be between 2-3lb. per gallon of water so I’m thinking of doing one batch with 2lb. and the other with 3lb. to see what the difference is. I’ve also read that the yeast can make a big difference so if some of the yeasts listed above could impart different aspects to the mead I’m tempted to use 2.5lb. of honey per gallon for both batches and just switch the yeast.

3. What exactly does yeast nutrient and energizer do for you? Nutrient is kind of self explanatory, but how critical is it? I would like to stick as close as possible to a simple and authentic recipe, meaning nothing but honey, yeast and water, but if the nutrient and/or energizer are truly critical I will use them.

4. How do I go about “making” the mead? I’ve read to mix up the honey, nutrient and energizer with hot tap water until it dissolves, cool slightly and pitch. I’ve ready to heat your water to 180F, mix the honey nutrient and energizer until it dissolves, cool and pitch. I’ve read to boil the honey, nutrient and energizer for 10 minutes, cool and pitch. Are all of these valid? Do they each offer something different to the end product?

Thanks in advance for all the help.

__________________
Primary: EMPTY!
Primary: EMPTY!
Primary: EMPTY!
Primary: EMPTY!
Bottled:
Kegged: Turkeyfoot English Mild
Turkeyfoot Jr. is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-04-2008, 08:12 PM   #2
k1v1116
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 971
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Ive used all the yeasts listed the only ones I haven't liked are the montrechet and pasteur champagne both gave horrible sulfur smells but maybe thats just my experience I have heard great things about them from other people. for meads the absolute best nutrient Ive ever used is "yeast extract" which is exactly what is sounds like so it doesnt add anything but yeast to you mead. you might also want "yeast hulls" to add later on to any high gravity meads / stuck ferments. in any case adding some sort of yeast nutrient is essential for meads, aeration is a good idea too.

for the amount of honey to add I would use a hydrometer and go by gravity as different honeys can have different concentrations of sugars.

rather than using heat to pasteurize you can use campden tablets or just pitch a lot of yeast and hope for the best. In any case honey is hard to ferment so you should make a starter with liquid yeast or properly rehydrate the dry yeast.

oh and saving the third jug for racking is smart I've made the mistake of not having any secondaries several times.

A lot of meads especially ones with nothing more than honey in them are hard to clear so you might want to get some sort of fining / filtering stuff. Ive had meads that wouldnt clear so I racked them numerous times and lost a little bit each time, in the end I had about one and a half bottles of mead out of a one gallon batch which really sucks. sparkolloid is the best thing Ive found to clear meads.

__________________
k1v1116 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-04-2008, 08:56 PM   #3
summersolstice
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Central Nebraska, USA
Posts: 1,515
Liked 22 Times on 16 Posts

Default

+1 on the Montrechet and Pasteur Champagne yeasts. I don't like them either. K1v1116 and EC1118 will both provide rapid fermentation and both have relatively low nitrogen needs which would make them both suitable for making show meads, which are nothing but honey, water, and yeast. K1v1116 is tolerant of higher temps which may be a factor this time of year.

One thing you want to do is to get plenty of oxygen into the mead prior to pitching the yeast. A starter wouldn't hurt either.

__________________
summersolstice is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-04-2008, 11:09 PM   #4
malkore
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
malkore's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 6,922
Liked 32 Times on 30 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

I'd go with the EC-1118, as its easy going and won't leave the mead bone-dry like champagne yeast.

I'd definitely oxygenate well, and add yeast nutrient AND energizer (nitrogen source). since these are 1 gal batches, and dry yeast, I wouldn't worry about a starter at all, though I would re-hydrate the yeast first, as the high high gravity of mead can make it harder for the yeast cells to hydrate.

__________________
Malkore
Primary: English Mild
On tap: Pale Ale, Lancelot's Wheat, English Brown Ale, Steam Beer, HoovNuts IPA
Bottled: MOAM, Braggot, Raspberry Melomel, Merlot, Apfelwein, Pyment, Sweet mead, Cabernet
Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10
malkore is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-05-2008, 04:49 PM   #5
Aleforge
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Wentzville, Missouri
Posts: 1,356
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turkeyfoot Jr. View Post
I’ve read to heat your water to 180F, mix the honey nutrient and energizer until it dissolves, cool and pitch.
This weekend I am using this method, this is my first shot at MEAD though!
__________________
Aleforge is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-05-2008, 07:39 PM   #6
LC homebrew gnome
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 3
Default

This may not be the direction you want to go in at all, but especially if you're wanting something to be different about one of the batches, maybe consideer a melomel or a cyser that might be ready to drick sooner and give you a signifigant difference. The straight meads I've done have all been in need of a lot of aging, and I don't plan on drinking them anytime soon as a result. On the contrast, I had a glass a few nights ago of a black cherry cyser that was less than three months old.

I mainly brew beers, so waiting for these to age is a difficult thing for me, though my first batch is starting to calm down a little now that it's got eight months of age on it.

which ever way you go, enjoy!

oh, almost forgot. If your tap water is brew worthy, great, but if you don't normally brew with it, don't start now. Just my .02

__________________
LC homebrew gnome is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-05-2008, 09:10 PM   #7
Loweface
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Limerick, Ireland
Posts: 1,042
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

Default

I'm can't really advise you on the recipes but I do have a comment on holding the third bottle for racking...

Yes you are very smart for realising that you will need the equipment for secondry later on... Though ever so slightly riskier (you like to live life on the edge don't you, lol) you can start a third if you want to... Just clean and sanitise a pot or plastic jug big enough and rack to that... Clean your primary and rack back...

You only have one extra racking if you use the pot to hold A, as you rack B into A, then A (from pot) back into B... No matter how many things you need to rack, only one need go into the pot, minimising chances of infection to near that of keeping equipment idle...

Besides the mead/wine bug will bite you and you'll be buying more jugs soon anyway...

__________________
Loweface is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-06-2008, 02:33 AM   #8
Big "A"
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Marietta, Georgia
Posts: 138
Default

I would have to agree with rmck1 the Mead bug will bite I started with MAOM then Blue heaven then a Cyser Whoa!!!!!! I had to stop .....LMAO. EC-1118 is a good yeast, I used it for the second two and WL sweet mead for the MAOM.

Definitely aerate really well and give it the nutrient and energizer.

__________________

"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer."
-Frank Zappa

Big "A" is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-06-2008, 04:26 PM   #9
Turkeyfoot Jr.
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Turkeyfoot Jr.'s Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Toledo, Ohio
Posts: 364
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

I’ve decided to go with two 2.5lb./gallon batches, one with 1116 and one with 1118. My assumption would be that since 1118 has a higher tolerance that batch should finish a bit dryer giving me a dry and a sweet to compare and see which I prefer. I guess I should add that this is also assuming that there’s enough fermentables in 2.5lb. of honey to get a gallon batch past 14% ABV. I will definitely use the nutrient since it sounds like its rather necessary and the energizer if I can find it. I know my LHBS has the nutrient but I haven’t seen the energizer. For preparation I’m going to go with heating the water to 180F, mixing in the honey, nutrient and energizer, cooling and pitching. I’m hoping to put this together this weekend so I’ll let you all know how it goes. Thanks for all the help!

__________________
Primary: EMPTY!
Primary: EMPTY!
Primary: EMPTY!
Primary: EMPTY!
Bottled:
Kegged: Turkeyfoot English Mild
Turkeyfoot Jr. is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-06-2008, 10:40 PM   #10
malkore
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
malkore's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 6,922
Liked 32 Times on 30 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big "A" View Post
I would have to agree with rmck1 the Mead bug will bite I started with MAOM then Blue heaven then a Cyser Whoa!!!!!! I had to stop .....LMAO. EC-1118 is a good yeast, I used it for the second two and WL sweet mead for the MAOM.

Definitely aerate really well and give it the nutrient and energizer.
careful, I went on a mead making binge once, and then had to age about a hundred bottles for a couple of years...in an apartment.
__________________
Malkore
Primary: English Mild
On tap: Pale Ale, Lancelot's Wheat, English Brown Ale, Steam Beer, HoovNuts IPA
Bottled: MOAM, Braggot, Raspberry Melomel, Merlot, Apfelwein, Pyment, Sweet mead, Cabernet
Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10
malkore 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
Need some pointers on a very pale ale Poindexter Recipes/Ingredients 3 07-13-2009 06:11 AM
First mead tips and pointers mkorpal Mead Forum 7 06-23-2009 01:23 AM
First Recipe Pointers mkorpal Recipes/Ingredients 1 02-09-2009 01:01 PM
Tasting pointers? FatDuc General Beer Discussion 71 05-12-2008 11:29 PM
Any pointers on my wheat? Reverend JC Recipes/Ingredients 13 08-13-2006 02:02 PM