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Old 11-28-2012, 04:20 AM   #1
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Default opinions please...

Hi all, I wanted to make Mead, or more specifically melomel... I've never tried to make any kind of brew or wine before, and didn't really want to get all scientific, so here's what I got going on... 4- 1 gallon jugs... each following a similar recipe, but with a different fruit/juice... so, my recipe is-

3 lbs clover honey, 1 packet of fleischmanns super yeast, 1 cup fruit juice, 1 sliced up piece of fruit, 1 box of raisins, spring water to fill.

I gave each of the jugs a thorough 5 minute shake, and put locks in them... right now they are 1 week in, and bubbling away steadily and dropping sediment. In 2 weeks, I will be moving them to secondary ferment containers, and am planning to hold off on consuming for at least 6 months after that.

My question is, if all goes well, how do the more experienced Mead makers here believe my efforts will turn out?

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Old 11-28-2012, 04:24 AM   #2
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Bread yeast??? *RETCH!!*

Go over to the Got Mead? forums and look at the advise/info readily available there.

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Old 11-28-2012, 04:39 AM   #3
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OK, thanks!

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Old 11-28-2012, 04:44 AM   #4
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I wouldn't even consider using bread yeast for mead. With how much honey can cost, don't cheap out on the yeast. A packet of Lalvin Labs yeast is typically in the $1-$3 range (depending on where you get it). Those strains are designed to do a proper job of fermenting wine/mead and have a great track record of doing so. IMO, it's like making a great dinner with high grade beef, then pouring ketchup all over it.

So, unless you actually wanted to taste bread yeast in the batch... Well, you know where that would come from.

BTW, all but one my batches of mead have been made with Lalvin yeast. The exception was made with Wyeast Eau de Vie yeast (goes to 21%) due to wanting an even stronger ABV level (no Lalvin strain goes that high). I'm looking at using White Labs WLP099 in another batch, and seeing how far I can push it. I'm hoping I can get it to at least 25%, if not higher.

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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie
I wouldn't even consider using bread yeast for mead. With how much honey can cost, don't cheap out on the yeast. A packet of Lalvin Labs yeast is typically in the $1-$3 range (depending on where you get it). Those strains are designed to do a proper job of fermenting wine/mead and have a great track record of doing so.
Thats a pile of whatever... Bread yeast can make fantastic mead at the hand of someone who knows how. I have some that I make thats an award winner... in fact it was made with all Aldi's ingredients from the honey, to the yeast, and raspberries. That one was $10/gallon to make.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vespa2t View Post
Thats a pile of whatever... Bread yeast can make fantastic mead at the hand of someone who knows how. I have some that I make thats an award winner... in fact it was made with all Aldi's ingredients from the honey, to the yeast, and raspberries. That one was $10/gallon to make.
Not looking to get into an argument, or call you a liar, but I don't buy it for a nanosecond.

I made my 4 gallons of 16% mead for about $10/gallon too. I didn't cut corners and use bread yeast, I just bought the good yeast from a store that charges a fair price (the LHBS close to me). I bought my honey in bulk, which breaks out to 2.75/#.

BTW, I've seen far more posts about people having mead taste 'bready' after using bread yeasts than having any off flavors using the good (Lalvin) yeast. I am talking about people who know what they're doing too. Of course, information on temperature ranges, nutrient requirements for BREAD yeasts in mead is not all that common (at least not where I've looked, when I looked).

You can use that if you like, but I still don't buy it. I use bread yeast in making BREAD. For making mead, I'll use yeast that's been developed to give me what I want/need.

Before you ask, I've not entered into any competitions, so far. I make mead, and beer, to be enjoyed by those I share it with. NOT to try and win competitions. My first batches of traditional mead continue to please people. I used EC-1118, had it finish sweet (at a full 18% ABV) and it's just getting better with age (made them just over two years ago now).

BTW, the OP asked for opinions. I've given mine, you've given yours. Obviously we don't agree on yeast choice. Leave it at that.
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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie



BTW, the OP asked for opinions. I've given mine, you've given yours. Obviously we don't agree on yeast choice. Leave it at that.
Huh, so you give your opinion, and I give mine, then you can take a dump on my opinion, but Im not supposed to say anything further? interesting...
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:43 AM   #8
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I've not made it, but don't I recall that JOAM is made with bread yeast??

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Old 11-29-2012, 05:09 AM   #9
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I've only made a couple batches but have listened to a lot of podcasts and talked to a few mead makers and they all say that yeast nutrient is pretty important when making mead because honey doesn't have all the nutrient yeasts need like grains do. I noticed you didn't mention you used any nutrients. As for the yeast selection, it may not be the best choice, but some dudes like ketchup on their steak, I'm willing to bet it will taste fine and the yeast might add some interesting characteristics. I recommend next time split the batches up again and use different yeasts instead of fruit, that way you can see for yourself what the differences are and which ones you prefer.

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Old 11-29-2012, 01:59 PM   #10
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Eh.. eh, calm down, calm down (for best effect should be said in a scouse accent, but most of you lot would need a translator for that ).

Anyway, bread yeast will do fine, you can often get it to the 12% mark, but I've also read posts with people moaning about bready sort of flavour, and as thats not my experience with it, I can only conclude that comes from it being a bugger to rack. It produces a fluffy sediment that will come back into suspension if you sneeze too close to the fermenter. Plus given that JAOM is often recommended to new mead makers I'd guess that is where the criticism comes from.

I make my JAO batches infrequently but when I do I move the fermenter to where I'm gonna conduct the racking the day before then I'm mega careful about only racking the cleared liquid, but then I rack the rest of the liquid into a 2 litre pop/soda bottle thats had the top cut off it, then cover the top with cling wrap and bung it in the fridge overnight. Any sediment picked up falls into the molded feet of the bottle so I can rerack the last of the liquid only losing the liquid and sediment that is in the "feet" of the bottle.

Golddiggie is equally right with the suggestion to stick with wine yeasts as so much variation in flavour can come from the yeast.

Personally I usually use fermaidk dna DAP for nutrients but if I make a JAO I just stick to the recipe and it just works.

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