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Old 06-15-2011, 08:57 PM   #1
voicelex
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Default Maple Mead / Acerglyn

Hello!

This will be my first mead and I would love some expert advice!

Important Info:
- I have searched for maple mead recipes but have not found too much consistent information.
- I love maple flavor (whether it be the maple/oak flavor in bourbon, rum or syrup!)
- I've been brewing beer for a about 9 months now.
- I found what seemed to be a successful recipe here(2nd post is what I'm using). Below is the important part;
- I have 3/4 of a gallon of organic grade B maple syrup and 10#s of honey.

6 Gallon Batch
"4 Liters of Canadian Medium Maple Syrup (Bought it in Canada so it's Liters )
12 Pounds Clover Honey
2 Teaspoons Fermaid
Water to 6 gallons
Lalvin D254 - 24 Grams

Here is the procedure I used following the recommendation of Wrathwilde, one of the GotMead.Com regulars:

"The best way to get the maple flavor is to add 1/2 the maple syrup up front and 1/2 towards the end of fermentation with D47. This will ensure that most of the unfermented sugars come from the maple syrup. I've done batches both ways; all up front and staggered... the difference in taste is extreme. Staggered is the way to go. K1V will likely take the batch to dry; D47 will leave you residual sugars. I've had very good results with Lalvin's D254, available here, and it would be perfect for the recipe as stated. Same as method as stated for D47. D254 is also good for lees aging.

Here's what I'd do.

Mix 1/2 tsp Goferm in 120 ml of distilled water @ 110(f).
Rehydrate 2 packs of D254 when temp drops to 104(f).
Mix honey and 1/2 of the maple syrup with 4 gallons water.
Add 2 tsp Fermaid K and 1 tsp DAP at the end of the Yeast lag phase.
Stir violently to aerate twice a day (1st three days only) if you don't have an Oxygen or air pump system.
A primary bucket is preferred during the first three days, for stirring and blow off concerns.
At the end of the third day pour the must (using a sanitized funnel) into a 6 or 6.5 gallon glass carboy.
Add 1 1/2 tsp Fermaid K at the 1/3rd sugar break
Keep in a cool place during fermentation, D254 can run hot.

When your airlock drops to 1 blip every 15 seconds give
your batch a good stir to degas before adding the rest of the maple syrup. Then stir well again after adding maple syrup, being careful not to stir violently or you risk aerating your batch. Your airlock activity should pick up considerably within 6 hours.
When your airlock drops again to 1 blip every 15 seconds rack off into your secondary carboy. Stir weekly. When your fermentation stops completely (stable hydrometer readings) rack again and bulk age as long as you can stand. I consider 6 months a minimum"."
I was thinking of turning it down to a 5 gallon batch, since I can only borrow a 6 gallon carboy for the initial fermentation, but can age in a 5 of my own.

Questions
1) Should I scale it down to a 5 gallon batch? If no; after racking a few times would it end up being about 5g? If yes; is there anything I should be wary of, besides my math skills?

2) I live in New England and have a basement that is around 65-75F. Is this ok for aging? I know the initial stage is ok to be a bit warmer, but I'm not sure about ageing. Also, does light affect mead after it is done fermenting? (curious about blue bottles)

3) Why do I find so few recipes for this?! It sounds awesome

4) What other advice can you wonderful gurus provide me? ^_^


Cheers and thank you so much!
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:24 PM   #2
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I say NO, don't scale it down. It will be easier to fill a 5 gal secondary with 6 gal in your primary, that way you will have no headspace and you won't have to dilute it with water or something. If you have a spare 1 gal fermenter you can fill that up with the left overs and then use it top up if you plan on racking again.

That temperature should be fine. If you plan on using that yeast try to keep it as close to 60 - 65 as you can.

Try searching Acerglyn on here to see if anyone has done it before and what they have done to get the best tasting mead you can! After that, I suggest gotmead.com

My only other 'advice' is be prepared for a long ferment! My maple cider was still going after about 5 weeks.

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Old 06-16-2011, 03:41 PM   #3
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Thanks

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Old 06-27-2011, 08:25 PM   #4
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So.... I brewed.

Things went a little wrong, but it was already bubbling only 5 hours later. Here's what I did:

Final Ingredients:
10# of Dutch Gold Clover Honey
96oz Grade B Organic Vermont Maple Syrup
1 tsp Fermax
~3.5 Gallons Water
VH SN9 Yeast

Procedure:
1) Sanitized
2) Heated all ingredients to 140F for 20 minutes. Cooled to 110F
3) Splash the must into fermenter with more water. Vigorously aerated.
4) Yeast starter; water & fermax. Visible start.
5) Immediately pitched yeast when the wort was at or below 80F

Yeast Soaked and Pitched at 80F
Original Gravity Measured at 60F: 1.114

---

First thing I did wrong; wasted half the maple syrup I got a great deal on and forgot to save it for a second addition of sugar later on. Second thing: isn't the OG a bit low?! I did the math and ended up adding a gallon less water than the original recipe called for.... wtf? Third: I couldn't find Lalvin 254 and I was told S9 would be better than D47.


Help!

Should I be shaking this bad boy? Should I be prepared to add more maple later on? With the different yeast, what should I expect for a FG? I have been so worried about making this for months... and I screwed it up. :'(

(the must sure did taste good though! mmmmmm)

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Old 06-28-2011, 06:57 AM   #5
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I don't think you screwed it up, Just get a small amount of maple syrup down the line to add in to backsweeten, if that's what you plan on doing. It won't be for a good 3 or 4 months yet! I'm unsure of what type of yeast that is, but most wine/champagne yeasts would ferment that down to around 1.000 but be prepared for a little higher due to solids in the maple syrup.

Another thing is, you didn't need to heat up the ingredients, other than perhaps the water if you had trouble mixing the honey in. Once you heat honey you will find that sometimes loses the delicate smells that it would usually have in it. Unsure about the OG, but you seemed to have enough fermentables (around 3 pounds of honey a gallon is fairly standard) in there so don't worry about it

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Old 06-28-2011, 06:00 PM   #6
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Thanks! That makes me feel a lot better, I'll just hide it away in the basement for the summer and check on it in the fall

Cheers!

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Old 07-20-2011, 12:21 AM   #7
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I will be taking a SG reading on this one soon... I meant to delete this post but I'm not sure how.

Update to follow

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Old 08-02-2011, 01:34 AM   #8
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Read the SG today and got 1.018 which sets me at about 13.9% ABV. The fermentation has definitely stopped. Due to my frustration and inability to move it somewhere cooler it has been sitting in a pretty warm (70-90F) room for the entirety of the fermentation.

I bottled a 12oz of it to cool in the fridge and am drinking it right now. It is surprisingly smokey and maple tasting! I'm actually very pleased.

I added another quart of maple syrup today and 1tsp of Fermax and shook it like crazy. The room is still super-warm but I'm hoping it will start up again with the new sugars and ferment off to a lower SG. I like the sweetness... but it is too heavy, however I do have pretty solid confidence that this will age REALLY well

Should I transfer this to secondary?.. Should I expect it to actually ferment?.. .will this dry out a little more?... Is anyone here psychic?

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Old 08-02-2011, 04:02 PM   #9
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Seeing that you just added more maple syrup, I'd wait a couple more weeks and then rack it to secondary. If the yeast maxed out I'm not sure if it'll ferment any more. If they didn't then it'll probably ferment a little more and therefore dry out a little more. As for being psychic... I think it'll be really good with some aging and will turn out to be a very nice, sweet (not cloying) dessert mead with a smooth finish. Give it 6+ months to age in the secondary and it should be very drinkable.

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Old 08-02-2011, 04:30 PM   #10
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Yeah, I was hoping to dry it out a bit more with the kickstart, but we'll see. I guess I have 2 more questions then;

1) How do I measure the ABV after adding more sugar? I didn't measure the SG after the addition of more syrup...

2) Would I be able to dry it out more by throwing in some (started) yeast of the same strain or would they die in the high alcohol?

Thank you!

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