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Old 03-25-2013, 03:56 PM   #1
ox45
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Default Wrong yeast - S-04 instead of Cote des Blancs

Did you ever have one of those days? I just did on Saturday. I finally picked up some nice raw unfiltered local wildflower honey and decided to make up a nice 5 gallon batch of mead since I had an empty bucket. Here is the recipe:

16lbs wildflower honey
1lb buckwheat honey
20 raisins
3 tea bags boiled in 1C of water w/raisins
3 tsp nutrient
OG 1.115

And here is where it goes awry! I have been brewing a lot of cider lately and have been using S-04 for it. Apparently my sub conscience kicked in and grabbed that bright blue packet instead of my normal Cote des Blancs that I use for mead. I did rehydrate and pitch.

It's chugging away happily right now, but I worry about S-04's tolerance level. I hear that people have gotten it up to almost 12% in barley wines, but 12% would leave me at 1.024 which is way too sweet for me. I was hoping to hit around 1.010 which is around 13.75%.

Has anyone ever used S-04 or a similar ale yeast in mead? Also, if worse comes to worse, I do have a packet of 1118. Would this be able to restart if the S-04 does poop out at 12%?

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Old 03-27-2013, 02:47 AM   #2
tuner240
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From what I have heard the EC 1118 is used to restart a stuck fermentation and will potentially take a mead or wine to 18%. So to answer your question I would say yes, but be prepared for the yeast to finish your mead dry and back-sweetening to your desired sweetness level. For general yeast information here is a site I use for quick reference:

http://winemakermag.com/guide/yeast

Good luck!

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Old 03-27-2013, 05:53 PM   #3
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To be honest the whole reason I even have a pack of 1118 in my fridge is in case of a stuck ferment. I personally don't like what it does to mead, but it's a good back up plan.

The S-04 is still chugging away happily for now. I'm babysitting the hell out of it to make sure it stays happy for as long as possible. I figure if I can at least get it to 11% it will leave me with a SG of 1.035 which is almost identical to Chauncer's. My brother loves that stuff, so I will have his X-Mas shopping done if I don't like it!

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