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Old 08-06-2012, 11:53 PM   #1
ErinRae
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Default Will my sweet mead conitnue to dry out a bit??

For my very first mead I made a blueberry melomel. I followed this recipe that I found to a T except with blueberries instead:

Sweet Raspberry Mead (Makes 1 Gallon)

Yeast: EC-1118 (1 packet)
1 Gallon Spring Water
4.5 pounds wildflower honey
1.5 pounds red raspberries
The juice from 1 lemon
The juice from 1 lime
3 Tablespoons of strong english tea
1 teaspoon of yeast nutrient

I started this mead on July 16...and the OG was off the charts...so I'm assuming that it started around 1.145-1.15. Now that I've been reading up on meadmaking I can see that this is very very high and is gonna be crazy sweet. Today, 22 days later, the SG is around 1.072. I've sampled it and it tastes amazing like blueberry syrup. But I'd def like to try and dry it up a bit more. Should I add some more nutrient to help the yeast? Does an addition of water help with drying it up a bit? Also when should I move it to secondary and rack it
off the blueberries?

I love this forum! Thanks



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Old 08-07-2012, 05:34 AM   #2
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It wouldn't hurt to add some nutrient again and rouse the yeast. It'll likely foam over, so be prepared for that.



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Old 08-07-2012, 06:16 AM   #3
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The SG is really high because I think you use to much honey for a 1 gallon Recipe. When you rack it to a secondary top it off with some water. This might help.

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Old 08-07-2012, 06:26 AM   #4
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Next time for a dry mead I would use 2lbs of honey for a 1 gallon recipe.

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Old 08-07-2012, 12:22 PM   #5
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I've noticed that the longer my blueberry melomel ages, the more mellow the sweetness is becoming... it takes a long while though as I understand it (still a newbie myself).

I would add some nutrients to see if your yeast has any more mojo. As far as racking goes, I would wait until any yeast activity dies down.

If you want the blueberry flavor to be the star of the show, rack it onto some more fruit into a secondary. This is based on many posts by seasoned members of this forum.

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Old 08-07-2012, 02:27 PM   #6
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Did you add 4.5 lbs of honey into a full 1 gal of water, or did you have a total final volume of 1 gal? If you used a full gallon of water, plus the honey, you will have a very different OG than if you had a total final volume of 1 gal. With 4.5 lbs of honey being about 1/3 of a gal volume by itself, even if you assume a very conservative value for the honey (say, 1.036 pppg), you're going to have at *least* 1.130 (1 gal of water plus the honey giving a final total volume of ~ 1.3 gal), and potentially well over 1.160 (if the total final volume was 1 gal).

There are also other factors that lead to a very high risk of a stuck fermentation, including the additions of acid (lemon/lime/raspberry), and perhaps not enough nutrients as it seems (up to this point) you only added them at the very beginning rather than in a staggered fashion over the first few days of fermentation.

Aggressive aeration (or ideally even oxygenation) and degassing would be important for a mead of this octane...

Additionally, you may not have had enough yeast from the start. If the OG really was on the high side of my estimations, optimal pitching would require more than one packet of dry yeast. Further, did you rehydrate the yeast? If you added the yeast dry to a must like that, you certainly killed off a significant portion of the yeast from the packet, even further reducing your pitch rate.

I would definitely start with gently stirring to try and fully degas the mead...just getting the CO2 out can significantly affect the pH...and then adding additional nutrients, aerate the crap out of it, and perhaps even adding some fresh, rehydrated yeast. Consider even getting some pH test strips, and adjusting the pH if it's really low... As mentioned before, racking off the fruit and topping off to dilute it out a bit could also help. Give it some more time, and hope for the best! Keep us posted...

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Old 08-07-2012, 02:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocrush View Post
The SG is really high because I think you use to much honey for a 1 gallon Recipe. When you rack it to a secondary top it off with some water. This might help.
I don't think the honey is to much... I thought when I made this I went for 17 pounds for 5 gallons....

I found that 12 pounds (a gallon) produce a very very dry mead. (but I could be wrong...review some recipies to confirm)

Also: I think you need time... Mead takes a while to ferment... try putting it in a warmer place and see if after a day or so you see any activity.

I don't like screwing with stuff once aI start it so what I do is brew another batch and "BLEND" this might be appropreate if you have syrup... NOT TO SAY I HAVE NOT:

Removed a gallon, brought near or to a boil, added yeast nutrient, returned it to the fermenter (a little warm to restart the yeast) OR cast additional yeast (a Dry White Wine one...)

Good luck...
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biochemedic View Post
Did you add 4.5 lbs of honey into a full 1 gal of water, or did you have a total final volume of 1 gal? If you used a full gallon of water, plus the honey, you will have a very different OG than if you had a total final volume of 1 gal. With 4.5 lbs of honey being about 1/3 of a gal volume by itself, even if you assume a very conservative value for the honey (say, 1.036 pppg), you're going to have at *least* 1.130 (1 gal of water plus the honey giving a final total volume of ~ 1.3 gal), and potentially well over 1.160 (if the total final volume was 1 gal).

There are also other factors that lead to a very high risk of a stuck fermentation, including the additions of acid (lemon/lime/raspberry), and perhaps not enough nutrients as it seems (up to this point) you only added them at the very beginning rather than in a staggered fashion over the first few days of fermentation.

Aggressive aeration (or ideally even oxygenation) and degassing would be important for a mead of this octane...

Additionally, you may not have had enough yeast from the start. If the OG really was on the high side of my estimations, optimal pitching would require more than one packet of dry yeast. Further, did you rehydrate the yeast? If you added the yeast dry to a must like that, you certainly killed off a significant portion of the yeast from the packet, even further reducing your pitch rate.

I would definitely start with gently stirring to try and fully degas the mead...just getting the CO2 out can significantly affect the pH...and then adding additional nutrients, aerate the crap out of it, and perhaps even adding some fresh, rehydrated yeast. Consider even getting some pH test strips, and adjusting the pH if it's really low... As mentioned before, racking off the fruit and topping off to dilute it out a bit could also help. Give it some more time, and hope for the best! Keep us posted...
OH and another good suggestion... less of a SWAG than my method.

AND OPPS Did I miss the total amount???? I assumed 5 gallons sorry...
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:57 PM   #9
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I heated the honey in some water and then added it to the carboy...mixed it to death. Then added my yeast nutrient topped off with water and squeezed a lemon in it. While I was making the must I was rehydrating the yeast which i added in last. The must originally foamed over and went nuts in the first couple days of fermenting. I had to remove a little liquid because it kept pushing the air lock out. Everyday for the first week I took the airlock out and shook the carboy. About 7 days ago I added in some nutrient and gave it a shake. Every day I shake the carboy a little to make sure the berries stay wet. There is minimal bubbles around the berries moving now and I dont think the airlock is bubbling anymore.

I think I'll aerate the crap out of it and add some more nutrients and see if I can ge the yeast going a bit more. I'm worried about adding more yeast as it's already possibly at 10% alcohol and I don't want this one to get crazy high in % and taste bad.

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Old 08-07-2012, 03:38 PM   #10
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So this is a 1 gal container? Sounds like you are indeed on the high end of my estimation scenarios, and your OG was easily 1.160, if not higher. I don't think adding extra yeast will cause it to be overly dry/high ABV. What you are trying to prevent is having syrup, as you said, and I would do everything you can to keep this from getting stuck. Unless you can get this down to at least 1.040, I don't think it will be really drinkable, and even then, way to sweet for my tastes personally. You might buy yourself a little leeway with your residual acidity tempering some of the sweetness, but I think this would be better if you can get it down to 1.030 or even a little lower...Even if you max out the yeast to it's theoretical tolerance of 18%, I should put you somewhere around 1.025, and that's still plenty sweet enough for a mead this big.

Oh, and don't worry so much about the airlock, rely on your gravity readings to determine if you're still fermenting or not...



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