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Old 12-30-2012, 08:58 PM   #1
DaveVanO
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Default New to Meadmaking. Suggestions/Help?

I am a new mead maker, and before I get rolling. Just some background.
I want to make this mead in the very near future (possibly my first batch)

http://www.instructables.com/id/Butt...ch-Mead/#intro

I realize this isnt a great reliable site (unless it is). I was wondering what yeasts to use. I plan on following the steps involved. Making a 5 gallon batch, primary fermenter will be a 6 gallon fermenting bucket. Followed by a 5gallon secondary carboy for long term aging.

Here are my questions:
Which yeast should I use and will inhibit a sweet taste? (the recipe calls for english ale yeast, I might use Wyeast Sweet mead: http://store.homebrewheaven.com/wyea...4184-p858.aspx)

Any suggestions on which nutrients to use? (If using Wyeast, I was going to use their nutrient pack for it. http://store.homebrewheaven.com/wyea...5-oz-p832.aspx)

What (by estimate obviously) will be the abv% of this recipe? Or has anyone tried something along these lines before? (how can I make it higher by still having a great tasting mead)

As stated above, I am new to mead making, this seems like a great recipe to use and would taste pretty good. Any ideas and what do you guys think? Any help would be much appreciated Thanks a lot

I am open to any suggestions for a different beginner mead or help with this one.

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Old 12-31-2012, 12:28 AM   #2
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3 lbs of honey will give you a potential of about 14% ABV. There are quite a few different yeasts you could use, check out winemaking.jackkeller.net/strains.asp . I would use Montrachet, D47 or maybe 71B-1122, but you can try others if you want.

Most folks here (including me) prefer to use a form of staggered nutrient addition. This just means that you don't add all the nutrient at once but spread it out over the first several days. I usually use nutrient and energizer and add a third of the recommended dosage every other day until it's all gone.

Remember to gently degas the mead before adding nutrients or energizer. Just lightly agitate the bottle or stir it up slowly so the dissolved CO2 can escape. If you add energizer to a CO2 saturated must you'll get a foamy mess all over the counter top, floor and possibly the ceiling.

I would caution against the last step in the recipe. Let it go for several weeks, rack (siphon) it off the sediment into a new vessel and let it sit for a couple months. I would rack it again and let it sit till it's at least 6 months old. Once you get this going you'll have plenty of time to peruse the forum, learn what you can and adjust it slightly as you go.

Good luck and be patient, mead takes a long time to get really good.

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Old 12-31-2012, 03:45 AM   #3
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thanks a lot. As in nutrients and energizers. The nutrient is what you mean? or should i be getting another thing(energizer) to add?

Nutrient and yeast wise. If i buy a different yeast (as in montrachet) is there a better nutrient that I should be buying other than the one listed above or would that be fine.
And Montrachet red will work and handle the 3lbs of honey?

Thanks for the helpful tip on agitating the bucket before adding nutrients etc. How soon should I add nutrients to the mix?

When would be a good time to test the gravity levels with a hydrometer? Or would it really matter if i didnt care what the abv is? Most people use a hydrometer but isnt it just used to calculate the abv of your batch?

I plan on using a primary 6g fermenting bucket for a month or two. Then racking it into a secondary 5gallon carboy for the old aging. Most likely stopping it at 6 months, and might let some go even a year. Just dont know how soon I will want to taste some.

Thanks a lot. And i plan on learning as much as i can get my hands on to make sure my first batch is a winner.

Added: After my long aging, should i bottle the mead (and get a spigot for my 5g secondary)? or just keep it in the secondary for as long as possible? move to a third rack? Thanks again anyone

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Old 12-31-2012, 04:05 AM   #4
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watch this, it may give you some good info

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...55534169,d.dmQ

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Old 12-31-2012, 03:09 PM   #5
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You'll probably get the best results if you get both yeast nutrient and energizer.

Yeast energizer is cheap and should be easy to find, I'm sure you could get a good mead without it but I've always used it. I would guess that it's sold right next to the yeast nutrient at your local homebrew store.

I think that all yeast nutrient and energizers are about the same, you shouldn't need different nutrients for different yeasts. Though there are some yeasts that require more nutrients than others, the one that comes to mind is RC212. I've never used it but I understand that it produces a lot of hydrogen sulfide if it gets stressed by low levels of nutrients. Most yeasts including the 3 I quoted above should be fine if you add the recommended dosage on the bottle of nutrient/energizer.

The hydrometer is still useful even if you don't care about your alcohol levels. If you take and record readings then you can get a good idea of the health of your yeast. It's good to be able to watch the Specific Gravity drop over time. If you get a slow or stuck fermentation you may not even realize it unless you're checking the SG regularly.

I usually check the SG each time I add nutrients, that is, every other day for the first week. And then I'll check it at longer intervals after that, maybe once every few weeks or months

Some folks leave mead in a carboy to bulk age for years. If you don't want to wait that long you can bottle it, but it's best to leave it in the carboy as long as you can. It will probably be drinkable at 6 months but It'll likely be hot, fermentation produces fusel alcohols which are spicy or solvent like but will dissipate as the mead ages.

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Old 12-31-2012, 06:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illuveatar View Post
You'll probably get the best results if you get both yeast nutrient and energizer.

Yeast energizer is cheap and should be easy to find, I'm sure you could get a good mead without it but I've always used it. I would guess that it's sold right next to the yeast nutrient at your local homebrew store.

I think that all yeast nutrient and energizers are about the same, you shouldn't need different nutrients for different yeasts. Though there are some yeasts that require more nutrients than others, the one that comes to mind is RC212. I've never used it but I understand that it produces a lot of hydrogen sulfide if it gets stressed by low levels of nutrients. Most yeasts including the 3 I quoted above should be fine if you add the recommended dosage on the bottle of nutrient/energizer.

The hydrometer is still useful even if you don't care about your alcohol levels. If you take and record readings then you can get a good idea of the health of your yeast. It's good to be able to watch the Specific Gravity drop over time. If you get a slow or stuck fermentation you may not even realize it unless you're checking the SG regularly.

I usually check the SG each time I add nutrients, that is, every other day for the first week. And then I'll check it at longer intervals after that, maybe once every few weeks or months

Some folks leave mead in a carboy to bulk age for years. If you don't want to wait that long you can bottle it, but it's best to leave it in the carboy as long as you can. It will probably be drinkable at 6 months but It'll likely be hot, fermentation produces fusel alcohols which are spicy or solvent like but will dissipate as the mead ages.
Thanks a lot, pretty much what I needed to know and what i wanted to learn from this post. You've been a great help.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:50 AM   #7
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Energiser a.k.a. combined nutrient often looks like a tan/beige powder, that will contain all sorts of stuff, like yeast hulls, DAP/di-ammonium phosphate, magnesium of some sort, thiamin/vitamin B1, etc

Nutrient usually looks like white crystals (like sugar or salt) and will often be almost entirely pure di-ammonium phosphate (sometimes 1 or 2 other ingredients but they're, more often than not, anti-caking agents).

If you only use 1, then the Energiser/Combined one is best as it provides a full range of all the yeast need - brands like FermaidK, Fermax, etc

We often use both, because that way, we're giving the yeast all the nourishment it needs plus a boost of the nitrogen part in DAP. I use the 2 parts Energiser to 1 part Nutrient mix (remember, that the two terms nutrient and energiser can be interchangable, depending on what's actually being discussed - or how stuff is marketed in your region/locality).

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Old 01-01-2013, 12:18 PM   #8
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Everybody else covered the OP's questions, all I can add for tips is read The Compleat Meadmaker by Ken Schramm.
http://www.amazon.com/Compleat-Meadm.../dp/0937381802
It really is a good source of meadmaking info; I have a copy on my shelf.
Regards, GF.

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Old 01-01-2013, 02:24 PM   #9
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And finally, having just checked out the OP "instructables" link, that's a very poor recipe, method and technique IMO.

If its the butterscotch flavour he after, he'd be better placed making butterscotch vodka. With 2 bags of the werthers originals and a couple of bottles of cheap vodka. All mixed into the DJ/carboy and shaken daily for a week or two. Once its all dissolved it can be bottled.

Apparently the sugars can sometimes drop out if its kept any length of time but you just shake the bottle to re-incorporate it and serve......

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Old 01-01-2013, 06:35 PM   #10
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really im looking for a nice mead to make and get started. I found this just gazing over the internet and figured i could give it a try. Might look into making some JAOM in a 1 gallon batch. But dont know whether or not to follow the whole bread yeast and whole rinds from the orange. or follow the MAOM where Malkore only zests the orange and uses a different yeast. Once my beer is done in my Mr Beer kit, then I am gonna make some apfelwein in the keg thing from the kit.
Any suggestions/links to use to make a few 1 gallon batches of mead that are pretty easy. Just trying to get a few good batches going. Thanks

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