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Old 03-10-2011, 02:40 PM   #11
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I appreciate the advice I'm hearing. Thank you!

Do I need to heat the water in the beginning to 160 then flame out to then add the honey? I have a counterflow chiller that will allow me to cool the water down with no problem.
"Need to"? Nope, not at all... Many mazers don't heat their honey at all. I have only seen ONE person who's claiming that heating/boiling honey is 'good' to do. I would lean more towards the majority here. Look at it this way, do you think they heated their honey 1000+ years ago? I seriously doubt it.

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We have a local apiary & roadside stand that sells 'local' honey. This time of year, the orange groves are blooming and most of it will be a mix of orange blossom and clover. I'm going to pick some up later today. From what I have read, I'll ask for some of the "dirtier honey" to pick up more flavors from the pollen.
No need to get 'dirty' honey. If they do a reasonable filtering, it's just getting the bee parts out of the honey, as well as any pieces of honeycomb. As long as their not heating it up over 100-110F, it's fine. NOT heating your honey up will let all those subtle flavors come through. I would plan on letting it ferment out dry, then adding more to bring in some more flavor at the end. Just be very careful with how much honey you add at the end. Use small amounts, giving plenty of time to dissolve/disperse, and then taste it as well as take a hydrometer reading. I would leave it more on the dry side early on, so that when it ages, it gets better (most often it mellows and tastes sweeter with age).

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It is probably too soon to talk about bottling since it seems this batch will go for a while. But, when do you bottle it off? I have grolsch .5L bottles. Is this ok, or are they better in a champagne bottle with cork & wire hood?
If you're not going to carbonate it, as long as you're 100% sure the mead is above the tolerance of the yeast, and any added sugars don't ferment (you may need to give it a few months there) then you can bottle in wine bottles if you want. Only if you carbonate would you need to use either bottles made for beer, or champagne. I plan on putting mine in frosted wine bottles, and corking them. That way, I'll be able to tell, at a glance, what batch is inside what bottle. Of course, I plan to label them too.


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Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine


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Old 03-11-2011, 11:15 PM   #12
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so I picked up 10# of honey and intend to make a 4 gallon batch. Do I start with 4 gallons or a little more to account for loss during siphons, etc.

Also, do I sterilize the carboy before starting? Do I need to boil the water then cool? Do I spinkle dry yeast on top or mix it in?

I'm getting excited about trying this. Call me guinea pig



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Banker John

"Beer is like sex. It is all good, just some better than others." - anonymous

Primary:
Air

Secondary:
1Gal (x3): Mead
Air

Bottled:
Belgian Tripel 9.2%
Irish Red Ale 8.1%
White Wheat Ale 5.5%
Session Peach Beer with fresh peaches from my tree

A full fermenter takes up just as much space as an empty fermenter. Why do so many of us have air in our fermenters?

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Old 03-11-2011, 11:23 PM   #13
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so I picked up 10# of honey and intend to make a 4 gallon batch. Do I start with 4 gallons or a little more to account for loss during siphons, etc.
With only 10#, you'll max out at just under 12% ABV. I wouldn't make any additional must for this batch. So mix in your honey and go for the 4 gallon total volume.

Quote:
Also, do I sterilize the carboy before starting?
Yes, just like when you brew beer. Sanitize anything touching the must once you have it mixed. If possible, I would sanitize what you mix it with... If you're going for the no-heat method, then using the sanitized carboy, makes it far easier.

Quote:
Do I need to boil the water then cool?
If you have good filtered water, no. But, if you don't like how your water tastes cold, then boil the volume and cool it to at least under 100F before mixing in the honey. There is some contention on this, but I'm going to refer to the method most mazers on the got mead site stick to. If you want to get bottled water, then you can simply open the bottle up and pour it right into the sanitized carboy. Mix in the honey and you're good...

Quote:
Do I spinkle dry yeast on top or mix it in?
With a must that low in OG, you don't need to do much with the yeast. But, I would at least rehydrate it as per the packages instructions.

Quote:
I'm getting excited about trying this. Call me guinea pig
Just wait until you get to TASTE the mead when it's done and aged for a decent amount of time.

I would add nutrient to the must before you pitch the yeast in. DAP is one of the more common nutrients used.
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Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine


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Old 03-11-2011, 11:55 PM   #14
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the yeast I will supposedly die off at about 17-18% abv. How much water should I use to get about a 16-20% (MAX) abv that the yeast will handle? If I add fruit, will it increase the abv? Any recommendations on fruit? If I remember, you recommend adding fruit after the first week of ferment, right?

What is DAP and what if I don't have any?

Heating is not an issue since I have the burner, boil pot & chiller to cool stuff down.

__________________

Banker John

"Beer is like sex. It is all good, just some better than others." - anonymous

Primary:
Air

Secondary:
1Gal (x3): Mead
Air

Bottled:
Belgian Tripel 9.2%
Irish Red Ale 8.1%
White Wheat Ale 5.5%
Session Peach Beer with fresh peaches from my tree

A full fermenter takes up just as much space as an empty fermenter. Why do so many of us have air in our fermenters?

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Old 03-12-2011, 12:10 AM   #15
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If you go with 3 gallons of must (so just over 2 gallons of water, since 12# of honey is 1 gallon, typically), you should get an OG of ~1.120. If you treat the yeast right, and it ferments down to .998, you're looking at 16.3% ABV

I would trust the stated tolerance of 18% for Lalvin yeast.

Depending on what fruit, and how much you add, you'll get more sugars for the yeast to munch on, increasing the alcohol in the mead.

For when to add the fruit, it depends on what you're looking for. For what fruit to add, what do you like? You can add almost anything you can get your hands on. I would just make sure you're getting good quality fruit before adding it. I would advise either waiting until fermentation has been going for a while, and then add the fruit, or do it right off the bat. But, only add some fruit. Get more for post fermentation additions. Like once it's pretty much hit a low SG... If it's close to 1.010, or lower, then you can add some more fruit. Let it go through that, then add more... I would only leave the fruit in the must for 5-7 days before racking off of it. Any longer and you could get flavors you don't want, and need to age out.

DAP can usually be found at LHBS, or pretty much all the online vendors. You might need to look in their wine making section, or wherever they put nutrients. Or search their site for DAP.

I wouldn't heat the honey above 100F... If you do the water, you can either chill it with the chiller, or let it cool on it's own. We're not talking about a lot to start with here.

A 3 gallon batch is a good first run for a melomel (mead with fruit)... You won't spend a lot on either the honey or the fruit...

Depending on how MUCH fruit flavor you want to add, plan 1-3# per gallon of must. So if you want light fruit flavor, go with 2-3# total. If you want medium flavors, 3-5# would probably be good. If you want a stronger flavor, then 6-9# would be in the right range. Before you add any more fruit, though, taste the must. I would even give it a week or two to mellow before adding more. Then taste and decide if you want more. If you add just a hair more than you think, it will age back to probably just under what your goal was... It's a balancing act.

Keep in mind, you can add more fruit, easily, as long as it's still in bulk form. It's pretty much impossible once you bottle it up. Unless you decide to serve it with a little bit of the same kind of fruit in the mead (not a bad idea either)...

With the ABV range you're looking at, I would plan on serving/drinking this in the 9-12 month time frame. On the shorter scale if you bulk age it longer.

With a 3 gallon batch, and using fruit too, you'll probably end up with about 2-1/2 gallons, maybe a little more, by the time it's done... If you're looking to get closer to 3 gallons, then you'll need to get more honey and make more must... Personally, the first time, I would just let it ride and adjust after this batch for future ones. Just means you'll probably want to start another batch sooner.

__________________
Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine


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Old 03-12-2011, 12:27 AM   #16
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so the nearest LHBS is well over an hour drive. How important is DAP?

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Banker John

"Beer is like sex. It is all good, just some better than others." - anonymous

Primary:
Air

Secondary:
1Gal (x3): Mead
Air

Bottled:
Belgian Tripel 9.2%
Irish Red Ale 8.1%
White Wheat Ale 5.5%
Session Peach Beer with fresh peaches from my tree

A full fermenter takes up just as much space as an empty fermenter. Why do so many of us have air in our fermenters?

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Old 03-12-2011, 12:37 AM   #17
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Order it online then... You can boil some bakers yeast to get some nutrients, but you'll want what DAP has to offer too... Or fermaidK or Fermax...

DAP is Diammonium Phosphate

You can also use yeast energizer, if you want... DAP, fermaidK and Fermax are all pretty bloody cheap... Get the 2oz bottles to start and just make sure you have enough before you start another batch. The folks on got mead have threads posted about how much nutrient you'll want to use for a specific batch size... I don't remember, off hand, exactly how much you'll want to use, but they have it posted...

__________________
Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine


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Old 03-12-2011, 01:31 AM   #18
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I DID IT !!! I couldn't wait.

Sterilized bucket, yeast pitching jar, honey stir spoon and yeast stir spoon in Starsan. Used 2 gallons water and just under a gallon of honey. stirred all the honey in very well - enough to make a froth. Tried to measure on my refractometer but it pegged well in excess of 1.15; the whole screen was clear so I'm guessing over 1.2, After mixin up the honey, I pitched the 1116 yeast in water at 106 degrees for 15 minutes, stirred and mixed it into the must. sealed the bucket and plugged it with an air lock. The whole thing is sitting in my bathtub waiting to go a week before adding fruit.

I'll decide on the fruit during the week and find something fresh next weekend

Wish me luck. Golddiggie, I think that there will be a 2011 Christmas present bottle with your name on it for all your help.

__________________

Banker John

"Beer is like sex. It is all good, just some better than others." - anonymous

Primary:
Air

Secondary:
1Gal (x3): Mead
Air

Bottled:
Belgian Tripel 9.2%
Irish Red Ale 8.1%
White Wheat Ale 5.5%
Session Peach Beer with fresh peaches from my tree

A full fermenter takes up just as much space as an empty fermenter. Why do so many of us have air in our fermenters?

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Old 03-12-2011, 01:38 AM   #19
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According to the calculator tool, you should have had an OG of about 1.120-130 depending on how much volume you ended up with... It could take a while to go into full solution...

I know of some people that do basically what you did, add a small amount of nutrient, and then just let it ride. If you have any bakers yeast handy, boil that in a small amount of water, to kill it dead, cool and pitch it in. Keep an eye on it. If you don't see much movement, give it a few days.

If you are able, I would plan to aerate at least until you hit the 1/3 break. You can either just shake it to do that, or make a tool. I uses a 3' length of silver solder rod, bent it in half and locked it into my drill chuck... 1-3 minutes a day is good there. You might need a blow-off tube there. Although with a bucket, you could just use a sanitized whip/whisk to aerate.

Let me know what you decide for fruit...

__________________
Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine


...the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:53 AM   #20
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"aerate until the 1/3 break" What is a 1/3 break?

"Blow off" tube? UH-OH... I'm in a 7.5 gallon bucket. Let's hope my wife allows me to do this again

I'm just gonna try this with just the water, honey and yeast and no nutrient addition. Living in Florida means that our aquifer is heavy on phosphate (they mine the stuff for fertilizer and road bed materials). We'll see how this goes.

Is it done yet? (I feel like a little kid again)



__________________

Banker John

"Beer is like sex. It is all good, just some better than others." - anonymous

Primary:
Air

Secondary:
1Gal (x3): Mead
Air

Bottled:
Belgian Tripel 9.2%
Irish Red Ale 8.1%
White Wheat Ale 5.5%
Session Peach Beer with fresh peaches from my tree

A full fermenter takes up just as much space as an empty fermenter. Why do so many of us have air in our fermenters?

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