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-   -   How much honey? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/how-much-honey-363601/)

CowboyBrewer 10-26-2012 12:57 AM

How much honey?
 
I am getting ready to make my first batch of Mead. I am trying to find out the best amount of honey to buy for a 5 gal batch. I have the White Labs Sweet Mead yeast- WLP720 and yeast nutrient. I am trying to buy local honey from bee keepers but need to know how much I should buy. I have been told that 3 gal (25lbs) of honey with 1 1/2 gal of water would be good. Any advice for a 1st timer would be much appreciated.

RobertRGeorge 10-26-2012 01:08 AM

I think maybe you've got your proportions backwards. Anywhere from 1 to 4 pounds of honey per gallon of water is what I use. I'd say I average about 2 pounds per gallon for an off-dry mead. If I want a very sweet mead I go for the 4 pounds per gallon. That is a very strong mead by the way. I try to use spring water also, but I've also used things like orange juice, heather blossom tea, and the like.

vespa2t 10-26-2012 01:43 AM

I have to say that 25lb honey with 1. 5 gal water would not work. Not sure where you saw that.

Good place to start is 3lb per gal

porcupine73 10-26-2012 01:43 AM

Hello and welcome. I'm guessing you want a sweet mead, since you bought sweet mead yeast?

ACbrewer 10-26-2012 01:58 AM

With 2.4 lb of honey/gallon (1 gallon/12 lb) and with the Wyeast labs sweet mead yeast, it still finished dry. Those yeasts seem to go into the 11% range, I'd recommend 3lb/gallon or about 15 lb in plus water to 5 gallons.

CowboyBrewer 10-27-2012 12:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by porcupine73 (Post 4533112)
Hello and welcome. I'm guessing you want a sweet mead, since you bought sweet mead yeast?

yes I would like a sweet mead. I appreciate all the advice guys.

fatbloke 10-27-2012 01:57 PM

I would suggest something like 3lb per gallon i.e. 15lb made up to 5 gallons with water.

Now all the suggestions thus far have forgotten a few things, that to achieve a sweet mead with the White Labs yeast (and whoever it was that mentioned the Wyeast version is wrong, thats a different yeast with a much lower tolerance), you'd need to either mix the batch for a higher gravity or start lower and then when it gets to something like how you'd want it to be, to cold crash it, then hit it with stabilising chems (sulphite and sorbate).

The White labs sweet mead yeast, has, from memory, a tolerance of 15% ABV. To get that, you'd need a drop of 110/111 gravity points (110 equates to about 14.94% ABV, and 111 to about 15.08% ABV). So if you mixed it to something like 1.118 (presuming 1.000 is taken as dry/finished) you'd be left with about 1% worth of residual sweetness.

It's fair to point out that it's far easier to ferment dry, then to back sweeten to your desired level, than it is to start higher on the gravity front, so that it should finish with some residual sugars.....

The choice is yours but I'd suspect that if you got 15lb of the honey, you wouldn't be far wrong.....

CowboyBrewer 10-27-2012 09:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fatbloke (Post 4536941)
I would suggest something like 3lb per gallon i.e. 15lb made up to 5 gallons with water.

Now all the suggestions thus far have forgotten a few things, that to achieve a sweet mead with the White Labs yeast (and whoever it was that mentioned the Wyeast version is wrong, thats a different yeast with a much lower tolerance), you'd need to either mix the batch for a higher gravity or start lower and then when it gets to something like how you'd want it to be, to cold crash it, then hit it with stabilising chems (sulphite and sorbate).

The White labs sweet mead yeast, has, from memory, a tolerance of 15% ABV. To get that, you'd need a drop of 110/111 gravity points (110 equates to about 14.94% ABV, and 111 to about 15.08% ABV). So if you mixed it to something like 1.118 (presuming 1.000 is taken as dry/finished) you'd be left with about 1% worth of residual sweetness.

It's fair to point out that it's far easier to ferment dry, then to back sweeten to your desired level, than it is to start higher on the gravity front, so that it should finish with some residual sugars.....

The choice is yours but I'd suspect that if you got 15lb of the honey, you wouldn't be far wrong.....

shoot, I read that a few times and I'm sorry, most of that read like greek to me. You seem to really know what to do..... so I'll get 15lbs of honey and get it going. I don't know how to back sweeten. I'm pretty noob to all this still, I've mostly been brewing beer through extracts. If you could possibly dumb that down for me I'll follow your lead. Thanks

RobertRGeorge 10-27-2012 09:59 PM

1. Boil 5 gallons of water then turn off the heat
2. Stir in the 15 lbs honey
3. Stir in 2 tsp yeast nutrient
4. Cool it to 65-70F
5. Pour it into your fermenter
6. Stir it up real good to get some air into it
7. Pour the yeast in, cover the fermenter with the lid or plastic sheet
8. After 2 weeks siphon it into a 5 gallon carboy
9. Put an air lock on keep it cool and dark
10. After six months bottle it with 250 ml wine conditioner
12. Let the bottles age 1 or 2 years
13. Success!

(Have I left anything out guys?)

CowboyBrewer 10-27-2012 10:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobertRGeorge (Post 4537886)
1. Boil 5 gallons of water
2. Stir in the 15 lbs honey
3. Stir in 2 tsp yeast nutrient
4. Cool it to 65-70F
5. Pour it into your fermenter
6. Stir it up real good to get some air into it
7. Pour the yeast in
8. After 2 weeks siphon it into a 5 gallon carboy
9. Put an air lock on keep it cool and dark
10. After six months bottle it with 250 ml wine conditioner
12. Let the bottles age 1 or 2 years
13. Success!

(Have I left anything out guys?)

so for the first 2 weeks I don't put an airlock on it?


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