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Old 04-16-2013, 12:40 AM   #1
ShaedesBrew
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Default Mead Plunge

Hey everyone. After a few successful batches of hard cider my wife and I decided that we wanted to make a batch of mead. I have a few questions about the recipe we are going to be following and would like to ask you fine people for some advice and suggestions.

The recipe is as follows:

Three gallons of Raspberry mead.

-Yeast: Suggested is EC:1118 (three packets) Any other suggestions?

-Three gallons purified Water

-13.5 pounds pure clover honey. (question about substituting half of this as Brown sugar to follow.)

- 4.5lb Rasberry(pasteurized)

- 3 limes juiced

- 3 lemons Juiced

- 9 tbl spn Black tea

-3 tsp yeast nutrient.

How does this look? It should produce a fairly sweet mead. Too sweet for me personally but that is how my wife prefers hers.

Also to cut cost we thought we could substitute some brown sugar for honey. Does anyone have any experience on how this effects the final taste and how much we should use?

And for the final question what yeast would you suggest if not the one originally listed.

Thanks everyone in advance for the help. This community is awesome.

~Shaede



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Old 04-16-2013, 01:23 AM   #2
Arpolis
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First of all if this is a Total volume of 5 gallons then EC-1118 will take that bone dry. If what you meant to say is Purified water topping up to 3 gallons then this would be a sweet mead at around 18% ABV and a final gravity close to 1.02.

I think the Black tea is a bit much if you plan on "Dry hopping" the black tea right into primary. Depending on the level of bitter flavor I want to add I range my black tea amounts from 1tsp/gallon to 1tbs/gallon.

Dont use ec-1118 yeast for mead. Just use that as an emergancy yeast for restarting stuck fermentations and the like. If you want an 15% - 18% ABV mead then stick with Lalvin K1-v1116. Anything 14% ABV or lower I like Lalvin 71b-1112.

Also don't go with the brown sugar. If this was a Cyser (Apple Mead) I would consider it but not nearly half the fermentables being brown surgar, more like a quarter.

The fruit addition is a little low but not bad at all. If you find that the flavor is not where you want just add additional fruit to the secondary.

Sorry if it looks like I tore this apart but I think you have a good start. Take my advice with a grain of salt and make sure to lt us all know what you end up with and how it goes!



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Old 04-16-2013, 02:30 AM   #3
ShaedesBrew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arpolis View Post
First of all if this is a Total volume of 5 gallons then EC-1118 will take that bone dry. If what you meant to say is Purified water topping up to 3 gallons then this would be a sweet mead at around 18% ABV and a final gravity close to 1.02.

I think the Black tea is a bit much if you plan on "Dry hopping" the black tea right into primary. Depending on the level of bitter flavor I want to add I range my black tea amounts from 1tsp/gallon to 1tbs/gallon.

Dont use ec-1118 yeast for mead. Just use that as an emergancy yeast for restarting stuck fermentations and the like. If you want an 15% - 18% ABV mead then stick with Lalvin K1-v1116. Anything 14% ABV or lower I like Lalvin 71b-1112.

Also don't go with the brown sugar. If this was a Cyser (Apple Mead) I would consider it but not nearly half the fermentables being brown surgar, more like a quarter.

The fruit addition is a little low but not bad at all. If you find that the flavor is not where you want just add additional fruit to the secondary.

Sorry if it looks like I tore this apart but I think you have a good start. Take my advice with a grain of salt and make sure to lt us all know what you end up with and how it goes!
This is the exact kind of post I was looking for. I greatly appreciate the advise and suggestions.
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:11 PM   #4
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I have made raspberry mead using 24oz raspberries/gallon in primary...turned out quite nice. I would not use EC-1118 for raspberry mead but would use 71B, D47 or even Côte des Blancs especially if goal is a 12-14% ACV mead. I also like K1V-1116 for a raspberry mead 15% or higher. Oh, no need to use three packets of yeast, worst case scenario would be two for a six gallon batch, but you should be able to use just one packet with no issues. I think the tea quantity is on the high side unless you plan on making nine cups of 'drinking tea' from your contributing water volume, three cups of drinking tea per gallon tends to work out well; but if you are adding dry tea to must I would drop it down to 1 tsp/gallon. I would not add brown sugar to this, simply not the right fruit profile but there is no reason you could not augment with some granulated sugar. Another option would be one container per gallon of Apple Raspberry concentrate (commonly found in freezer section at grocery). I would backsweeten with a simple syrup made from granulated sugar or the thawed concentrate.

Since you ideally want this finished two ways: dry and semisweet, I would construct this so that it finishes dry and then backsweeten a portion of it. That way you have the best of both worlds.

What ACV are you considering?

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Old 04-16-2013, 06:28 PM   #5
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Why do you guys say not to use EC1118? I just started a gallon of mead with that yeast and I have 2 more packs of it I was planning to use for 2 other gallons. I planned to backsweeten them all.

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Old 04-16-2013, 06:43 PM   #6
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Ec-1118 yeast is an aggressive yeast that ferments very quickly. Honey has many volatile compounds and aeromatics that are blown out of the airlock when you use that yeast.

Use that yeast for heavy white wines and champagne style wines but for mead it is best to use a less aggressive yeast like k1-v1116 if you want a high ABV.

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Old 04-17-2013, 12:47 AM   #7
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Well, I will ride this gallon out obviously, and backsweeten. Also adding vanilla bean so hopefully it will be pretty good anyway. I'll get something else for my other 2 gallons. Thankfully Lalvin yeasts are only $1 or so!

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Old 04-29-2013, 12:39 AM   #8
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Just an update finally getting around to putting the recipe to the bucket. Wish me luck. I'll update the thread every three days and then less often over time.

Prost!



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