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Old 02-11-2011, 07:01 AM   #1
1Brotherbill
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Default Nottingham Yeast and Mead

Way back when I got into this hobby. (About a year ago). I wanted to make nothing but Meads. But since then I have gotten hooked on beers. So back to the start. I want to make a perfect Mead or at least one that doesn't taste like jet fuel and battery acid mixed together. So here goes. Can Nottingham Yeast work with making a good mead. Or should I go out and get a wine yeast? I used Montrachet yeast before and it was on the dry side/hot side for me.

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Old 02-11-2011, 08:54 PM   #2
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I have not used that type of yeast, but we have had great results from Lalvin EC 1118. It has a high alc tolerance, I think 18%, and it's a well balanced flavor. We have been trying to make fairly dry melomels and it's been a good all around yeast. I hope that helps!

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Old 02-11-2011, 09:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Brotherbill View Post
Way back when I got into this hobby. (About a year ago). I wanted to make nothing but Meads. But since then I have gotten hooked on beers. So back to the start. I want to make a perfect Mead or at least one that doesn't taste like jet fuel and battery acid mixed together. So here goes. Can Nottingham Yeast work with making a good mead. Or should I go out and get a wine yeast? I used Montrachet yeast before and it was on the dry side/hot side for me.
If you want something drinkable instantly, then it's gonna have to be low alcohol and sweet......

If you're prepared to be patient, then you will be able to work wonders. The higher the alcohol, the more likely it is to taste medicinal/mouth wash and consequently the longer it is likely to take to age.

An alcohol hot taste will mellow, but you're looking at, at least 6 months, probably a year plus.

I don't know if there's actually been any research done, but I've read that it will carry on improving for 6 to 7 years and afterwards it won't improve any further.

So it's up to you what it is that you want, and actually expect......
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:52 PM   #4
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1 - use Narbonne 71-B yeast strain
2 - use staggered nutrient additions
3 - degas with a drill mounted whip 3 times a day for the first week of primary

Do this, and you can have a stellar mead that's drinkable 2 months after the pitch date, not 2 years. Items 2 and 3 above prevent yeast stress, which prevents the off-flavors that need to mellow for 12+ months.

I kid you not, the three above items are game changers, from someone who made his first mead at 17 with bread yeast, and is finally not an idiot after 16 years of mead making

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Old 02-13-2011, 04:22 PM   #5
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1. Ale yeasts can be used to make meade. I have used Safale US-05 for a Cyser. If you are using a beer yeast find one with a neutral flavour profile. It should give you a sweeter meade with less honey.

2. What malkore said

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Old 02-14-2011, 05:18 AM   #6
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I just bottled my first mead, it's my own hybrid of joe's ancient mead. I used Nottingham and left it for 2 1/2 months in primary on the fruit and it tastes great. I built a cold room just for my brews and I am sure that helped as well.

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Old 02-14-2011, 09:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore View Post
1 - use Narbonne 71-B yeast strain
2 - use staggered nutrient additions
3 - degas with a drill mounted whip 3 times a day for the first week of primary

Do this, and you can have a stellar mead that's drinkable 2 months after the pitch date, not 2 years. Items 2 and 3 above prevent yeast stress, which prevents the off-flavors that need to mellow for 12+ months.

I kid you not, the three above items are game changers, from someone who made his first mead at 17 with bread yeast, and is finally not an idiot after 16 years of mead making
I agree with you on 2 and 3, but why do you like 71B so much? I have used it and it is a good yeast, but there are lot of good yeasts out there. What yeasts have you used to compare with 71B?
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Old 02-15-2011, 01:41 AM   #8
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I agree w/ Malkore about 71B...it really does seem to make a mead that matures and loses off flavors *very* quickly compared to other yeasts.

In fairness to Jayich though, I agree there are other good yeasts, and my question to Malkore is this: is 71B your "house yeast?" IE, do you use it for ALL your meads? I've only used it for melomels (at the recommendation of Ken Schramm's book), and I've been extremely pleased with the melomel results (I like my recent iteration of cyser using 71B much better than my previous ones done with Wyeast Dry Mead strain), but I'd be tempted to use other yeasts for a show mead, or a metheglin...

While I really like 71B, I'd wonder whether or not your #2 and #3 are the more important points.....

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Old 02-15-2011, 03:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierSnob View Post
1. Ale yeasts can be used to make meade. I have used Safale US-05 for a Cyser. If you are using a beer yeast find one with a neutral flavour profile. It should give you a sweeter meade with less honey.

2. What malkore said
I have a huge supply of us-05...I double pitch when i make a beer thats 10% and it has turned out good. Will this work just as well when making a lower %?

Wife wants a sweet mead, and i am going to do the JOAM mead first....

Also noob question, Whats a Cyser?
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:26 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by winstonofbeer View Post
I have a huge supply of us-05...I double pitch when i make a beer thats 10% and it has turned out good. Will this work just as well when making a lower %?

Wife wants a sweet mead, and i am going to do the JOAM mead first....

Also noob question, Whats a Cyser?
A cyser is the name for an apple mead(melomel) which is made with apple juice and honey. It is similar to a hard cider but with higher alcohol due to honey. It is even closer to apple wine which uses only sugar to boost the alcohol. I also double pitch US-05 when I make imperial IPA's. It won't hurt double pitching for lower ABV's, but below about 6% you probably are'nt going to get much added benefit- but I have double -pitched in beers this low because I like to use a lot of yeast in beers and meads.
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