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Old 01-28-2013, 12:41 AM   #1
ooglassoo
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Default Help with Mead please

I have never made a mead before so I figured I would give it a shot. I was brewing some beer the other day and had a starter going with San Diego Super Yeast. I pitched the yeast and after 6 hours no fermentation yet, so I started another starter the same way San S/Y and about a cup of light malt extract. The beer took off about 2 hours after starting the starter so I figured I would use it for mead. My question is with the cup of light dry extract give it an off flavor? I'm making a two gallon batch with 7lbs of orange blossom honey. Also how long can I leave the starter on the magnetic starter plate? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

My recipe is per 2 gallons

7 Lbs Honey
14 pts water
6 tsp of Malice Acid
3 tsp Tartaric Acid
1/2 Tannin
1 1/2 tsp Energizer
2 Crushed Campden

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Old 01-28-2013, 01:20 AM   #2
Arpolis
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Now I don't add any acid or acid blends to my mead so I may be wrong but that looks like an awful large amount of acid blend for 2 gallons of must. Honey by itself has a PH of about 3.5ish. So if you dropped the overall must below 3.3 then any yeast may have a hard time getting started in that.

For the Malt extract I do not think it will give "off flavors" but it will change the taste a bit. I have a braggot right now that has light DME and it is turning out great.

I have seen starters run up to 24 hours so don't think you have much issue with waiting a bit on yours. As long as the yeast in the starter does not consume all the sugar and nutrients and start to go dormant. If worried your starter is doing that then you can add a little water and honey to it to keep it running while you prepare to pitch.

I would pick up some PH strips from the LHBS and check the PH. You may need to add small amounts of potassium bicarbonate to raise the PH a bit to get in that butter zone of 3.5 - 3.8. If PH is fine then add in another tsp of yeast energizer, whip the must up to add a lot of oxygen and pitch your yeast again. Within 48 hours it should be taking of strong.

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Old 01-28-2013, 01:37 AM   #3
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I just doubled the one gallon recipe that is in Winemakers Recipe Handbook. Its a thin paper back book of over 100 wine making recipes.

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Old 01-28-2013, 01:44 AM   #4
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:13 AM   #5
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If it is a known recipe then the PH may not be bad. Still add a little nutrient, aerate well and pitch some healthy yeast and it should take off. Just remember that mead is much more tame then beer and will not foam up and look terribly active like beer.

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Old 03-09-2013, 11:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arpolis View Post
If it is a known recipe then the PH may not be bad. Still add a little nutrient, aerate well and pitch some healthy yeast and it should take off. Just remember that mead is much more tame then beer and will not foam up and look terribly active like beer.
So we followed your directions and used this wyeast http://www.wyeastlab.com/he_m_productinformation.cfm. It would bubble occasionally but not big fermentation like beer. The OG was 1,122 the final gravity was 1,118... WTH? She fermented for almost three weeks, racked and then two more weeks. When she racked off the primary there was sediment at the bottom, I just dont understand? We have it bottled and in the fridge, she used two one gallon jugs for bottles. I think we should put back into fermentor, and I think we are going to hit it with some champagne yeast? I dont think I will ever use wyeast again...
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:18 AM   #7
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Wyeast sweet mead is a pita to use most of the time. It is known to have stuck ferments. I wish they would change the name so people don't use it on meads.

1.118 final gravity!! Must be as thick as syrup. Yea at this point I would hit that with a nice high alcohol and low nutrient tolerant yeast like Lalvin K1v-1116. Make a starter with that and pitch it in with this mead. If you want to go for broke and make sure you have no fermentation problems then use the more aggressive Lalvin ec-1118 yeast to finish this out. Good luck on the ferment.

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