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Old 02-21-2013, 04:28 PM   #1
Tiroux
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Default Maple Mead

So, I did a first maple mead who turned out great, minus some fermentation errors, but that was one of my first ever fermentation. Times have changed, foortunatly

I'm now going for the big 10 gallons batch, so I don't want to screw it up. I have some questions, especially about yeast, nutrients and acids.

First of all, here's the recipe.

7 gallons water
9kg (20lb) Buckwheat amber honey
8 x 540ml cans Maple Syrup
(7200g sugar from honey, 3500g sugar from the maple syrup)
And this should gives me 10gallons wort at 1.120 or around. Looking for 15-16% abv.

The goal is to get, after final racking, a 5 or 6gal and a 3gal carboys. The 3 gallons will be aged even more on oak chips.

So, here come the questions:

1-About the yeast? I was thinking to Lalvin K1, because that's what I have on hand, but I'm wondering if it's the better choice.

2-Yeast nutrients. I have both Wyeast Nutriments and Fermaid K. Which one should I use, how much, and when (more than one addition?)

3-Acid. Should I add acid, acid blend or not? I have malic acid on hand...

4-Would it be a great idea to do a starter even if it's dry yeast?

5-Pasteurizing. I was thinking to put the syrup cans in 170F water for 15-20m before opening them and pitch it in the fermentor. For the honey, bring some water to 170F, then stir honey to dissolve and pitch. Am I right?

Thanks to you! And i'm open to any other information and suggestions!

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Old 03-18-2013, 05:47 PM   #2
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I'm looking to do a 1 gallon test batch of Acerglyn (maple syrup mead) as well, so I'd like some answers to this as well.

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Old 03-18-2013, 06:08 PM   #3
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I'm not sure I can answer questions well but here goes I mean

1. I don't recall enough about the yeasts off hand to reply to this. gotmead.com has a yeast chart. I'd look for one that could handle the expected ABV, and will finish clean or flavors you want, and matches your expected temps for the next 2 months - yes I expect it to take 2 months to get to FG, although most of the work should occur in the 2 weeks after pitch.

#2 I don't beleive one is better than the other, and there is a listed 'this much per gallon' which you should follow, but I would step feed the nuetrients - that is 1/4 at mix/pitch, 1/4 at 12 hours and 1/4 at 24 hours. The last 1/4 at 1/2 to 1/3 sugar break (so OG 1.120 1/2 is 1.060 and 1/3 is 1.040). I want to say your total addition will be aorund 6 tablespoons, but I don't have the nuetrents infront of me to check... so 1.5 tablespoons every 1/4 add. Also I'd degas by stiring before adding the neutrients.

3. I don't think I used acid blends on the last mead. Usually something is added to prevent an insipid(boring) flavor. Tea or such. But in this case, I'd hope your maple syrup would do that.

4. I would not do a starter, I would pitch 2 or 3 packets of yeast if you have it. If you don't, then I would do a starter. Some work has been done, and suggests that wines are being under pitched when going with 1 packet(5 or 6 gr) up to 5 or 6 gallons of must at 1.080 gravity. But I've no hard papers to refer to, so I like to up the yeast a little. With 10 gallons, I'd definately do 2 packets.
PaddyMurphy using just 1 packet on a 1 gallon batch of wine is not over pitching and I'd use a whole packet if I were pitching even as little as 1 gallon at 1.080 or better.

5 - paseurization, is this for killing bugs in the honey? and syrup? I wouldn't bother. Heating honey will drive of the light mass(weight) flavors (aka volatles). Maple syrup as I'm sure you know is already boiled forever and should be pretty darn clean. Plus both honey and maple syrup are stable in terms of bacteria growth - that is they contain to little water and to much sugar to grow bacteria until they are diluted, by which time you will have over powered them with the yeast. However it is helpful to have some hotter water to aid in disolving/mixing the syrups in.

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Old 03-18-2013, 06:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACbrewer View Post
I'm not sure I can answer questions well but here goes I mean

1. I don't recall enough about the yeasts off hand to reply to this. gotmead.com has a yeast chart. I'd look for one that could handle the expected ABV, and will finish clean or flavors you want, and matches your expected temps for the next 2 months - yes I expect it to take 2 months to get to FG, although most of the work should occur in the 2 weeks after pitch.

#2 I don't beleive one is better than the other, and there is a listed 'this much per gallon' which you should follow, but I would step feed the nuetrients - that is 1/4 at mix/pitch, 1/4 at 12 hours and 1/4 at 24 hours. The last 1/4 at 1/2 to 1/3 sugar break (so OG 1.120 1/2 is 1.060 and 1/3 is 1.040). I want to say your total addition will be aorund 6 tablespoons, but I don't have the nuetrents infront of me to check... so 1.5 tablespoons every 1/4 add. Also I'd degas by stiring before adding the neutrients.

3. I don't think I used acid blends on the last mead. Usually something is added to prevent an insipid(boring) flavor. Tea or such. But in this case, I'd hope your maple syrup would do that.

4. I would not do a starter, I would pitch 2 or 3 packets of yeast if you have it. If you don't, then I would do a starter. Some work has been done, and suggests that wines are being under pitched when going with 1 packet(5 or 6 gr) up to 5 or 6 gallons of must at 1.080 gravity. But I've no hard papers to refer to, so I like to up the yeast a little. With 10 gallons, I'd definately do 2 packets.
PaddyMurphy using just 1 packet on a 1 gallon batch of wine is not over pitching and I'd use a whole packet if I were pitching even as little as 1 gallon at 1.080 or better.

5 - paseurization, is this for killing bugs in the honey? and syrup? I wouldn't bother. Heating honey will drive of the light mass(weight) flavors (aka volatles). Maple syrup as I'm sure you know is already boiled forever and should be pretty darn clean. Plus both honey and maple syrup are stable in terms of bacteria growth - that is they contain to little water and to much sugar to grow bacteria until they are diluted, by which time you will have over powered them with the yeast. However it is helpful to have some hotter water to aid in disolving/mixing the syrups in.
Thank you for the reply!

After I posted this, I listened interviews with Curt Stock and the guy from Honeymoon meadery, and i'm set on the yeast and nutrients (if I can find some pure diammonium phosphate (DAP)).

I think I'll go with straight honey and syrup, no heat no boil, and clean bottle water.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:30 PM   #5
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I do some heating - maybe a quart or 2 in the 120 range - so hot out of the faucet - to rinse the container, but really it isn't much.

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