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Old 05-29-2013, 06:30 AM   #1
Vikings
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Default New to Mead/Black Locust Mead

Hi, all. I've been lurking for a few days, and have already learned more than I could imagine, but still have a couple of questions.

1. Is it better to have the yeast attenuate or starve? Or does that even matter? If it does that will make OG and yeast selection even more important than I thought when I started.

2. Right now I have a ginger & blood orange mead on its 7th day in primary. OG was 1.135 and its currently at 1.058 and the yeast are working furiously. I'm using the KV1-1116. The pH is hovering around 3.2-3.4 ( hard to tell with the strips.) Should I try to bump the pH at this point or let well enough alone?

3. Lees question. I've seen a lot of different info here. Some take the mead off the lees asAp siting "off flavores", some let it sit for character. It seems to depend on the yeast strain. I couldn't find any info regarding that with my specific yeast.

Last: I'm about to come in to a significant amount of Black Locust honey. This is top notch stuff and I'm accepting it in leu of payment for some work I did. It is rare, almost clear, and supposed to make great mead. I'd like some advise on a recipe and how to proceed with it. I don't want to bugger it up because he only gets a crop like this once every 5 years or so.


Thank you all so much for what I've already learned here, and thank you in advance for any advise you can provide.



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Old 05-29-2013, 07:42 AM   #2
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What do you mean having the yeast attenuate or starve? Locus honey is very nice, its not rare this year in our part of the country as the bees were really working it this year. As far as not screwing up its better for the yeast in my opinion not to start as such a high OG, its tough on the yeast, if you want a higher alcohol level feed them a little honey every time it reaches 1.01, raise it to 1.02, when it can no longer eat it down from 1.02 you have reached alcohol tolerance limit (as long as you have added some nutrients). If you just wanted residual sweetness ferment it dry and then backsweeten at the end, make sure to set aside some of the same honey you started with to keep it a pure flavor from one honey. Sounds like you are getting off to a good start and asking the right questions. WVMJ



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Old 05-29-2013, 03:57 PM   #3
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As I understand it, attenuation is when your alcohol content finally exceeds your yeast tolerance and they kick the bucket. Starvation is when there are no fermentable sugars left.

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Old 05-29-2013, 04:32 PM   #4
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With expensive / rare Varietals, I try to keep it close to a traditional as possible to really bring out its character and not mask it.

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Old 05-29-2013, 05:46 PM   #5
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I attenuate a lot when I chaptalize with honey, it always seemed a shame to me to let them starve WVMJ

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Old 05-30-2013, 06:39 PM   #6
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What is a "significant amount" of black locust honey? You may have a lot of option to try different things. I'm sure many here would like to hear how different things come out.

My only concern with starving the yeast is that they would only go dormant until you put more food in. Then wake up and start eating again at probably an inopportune time. Gotta use sulfites or something then. (unless you like really dry mead and don't plan to sweeten any)

I know people that do not like any added sulfites so they would go the attenuation route.



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