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Old 01-11-2010, 04:47 AM   #1
BaronIV
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Default "hot" mead

I know its a bit early to judge my mead i just bottled, but when i bottled it, it tasted like everclear going down, and once the burning went away i could only taste a faint hint of the honey flavor that should be in the mead, at least more than i had expected.

as per my recipe (was my first batch i made on a whim and thought it would be cool to home brew, now i have 2 other meads and 3 batches of cider brewing) (addicting hobby) anyways, i used 3.5 lbs honey and 1 gallon water, rehydrated bread yeast and pitched. About 2.5 weeks later i racked into a glass carboy, airated and added nutrient to it... blah blah blah, botted approx 1.5 months later.

question is, will that severe alcohol burn age out of do i have a batch of mead that i will only be able to drink once im drunk because its so F'ing strong? the og was around 1.095 and fg was .998

thanks for the replies

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Old 01-11-2010, 11:16 AM   #2
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It's not only a bit early to judge your mead, it's waaay too early to judge it. Put it away and don't even take a sip for at least six months and a year would be even better.

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Old 01-11-2010, 01:15 PM   #3
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You racked early, didn't age, and bottled early. Not only that, you used a lot of honey which allowed the yeast to really put some serious alcohol out into your brew.

Did you take a FG on this? With the amount of residual co2 in solution from fermentation, and the potential that there's more sugar to eat, this has bottle bomb (if you capped this in regular bottles) or cork push-out written all over it.

With mead you need to have a lot more patience than 2 months brew to bottling. I wouldn't have even thought to move it out of secondary (except maybe another racking into another clearing vessel) and thought about bottling for 6 mos minimum.

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Old 01-11-2010, 02:41 PM   #4
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Sounds normal. Freshly fermented mead is harsh and using bread yeast wasn't a good move. Give it a year.

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Old 01-11-2010, 07:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jezter6 View Post
You racked early, didn't age, and bottled early. Not only that, you used a lot of honey which allowed the yeast to really put some serious alcohol out into your brew.

Did you take a FG on this? With the amount of residual co2 in solution from fermentation, and the potential that there's more sugar to eat, this has bottle bomb (if you capped this in regular bottles) or cork push-out written all over it.

With mead you need to have a lot more patience than 2 months brew to bottling. I wouldn't have even thought to move it out of secondary (except maybe another racking into another clearing vessel) and thought about bottling for 6 mos minimum.
was my first brew... was excited... now that i have more carboys to use im a bit more patient with things. And i would have loved a bit of a sweeter mead so i used 3.5 lbs.
Og was 1.095
Fg was .998
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:22 PM   #6
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Sorry if I came across as a bit harsh. Didn't really mean it to come off that way...but hey, it is what it is.

The best way (IMHO) to make sweet mead is to build a recipe just over 11% and use Wyeast Sweet Mead, which tends to crap out right at that point. That, or backsweeten.

I get lucky, and most of my meads made with Cotes de Blanc seem to die out at just the right sweetness, but that's pure luck, as it could push more than it seems to do for me.

If you want to get something done slightly sooner, the same rules apply as to beer. The lower the alcohol, the (generally) less hot it's gonna get, and should be done slightly sooner. Sweetness also tends to mask that heat in early tastings as well, so keeping it good and sweet will help.

3.5# in a 1g total must will (if attenuated all the way to 0.998) gives you a nearly 17% ABV drink - which is pretty much going to be guaranteed to be hot as hell for a while.

I highly recommend reading hightests sticky FAQ and his honey calculator. It's hard to guess attenuation on lots of yeasts, but for many - they have a good published "max" abv % that they're going to hit before being killed by toxicity, so it's somewhat easy to backtrack and figure out what FG you're going to hit when it finishes. Bread yeast doesn't have that kind of # to it, so it's sort of hit or miss what's gonna end up when using it.

Next time, use less honey - let it ferment dry, then backsweeten to your desired sweetness. It allows you to perfectly control sweetness and alcohol content without trying to "hope" that the yeast dies out early enough to keep it sweet to your liking. That or use a yeast KNOWN to crap out at a certain % and build a recipe around that.

That said, you probably have good mead...but will take a year or so to age out right. Thank god it ended up dry or you might have got bottle bombs!

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Old 01-11-2010, 09:30 PM   #7
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Newbie question: I thought bread yeast had an extremely low alcohol tolerance? Like 8%? How was this even possible??

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Old 01-11-2010, 09:38 PM   #8
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One would think, although it's apparent that it's possible it can get out of control.

That or possible infection (although I'm surmising that's probably not the case here).

That's why using known yeast with well established chemistry behind them is probably better.

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Old 01-11-2010, 10:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverie View Post
Newbie question: I thought bread yeast had an extremely low alcohol tolerance? Like 8%? How was this even possible??
naw, bread yeast can definitely hit the low teens for ABV, especially if you pitch a bunch into a 1 gallon batch.

this one should sit a full year before you try drinking more.
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