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Old 01-17-2013, 12:16 PM   #121
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Thanks for all the info. I was able to get the campden from a LHBS. Do you not need to use the campden on the fruit that goes into the secondary because of the alcohol and CO2 which is present after fermentation? Sorry for all the questions, but besides making good beer and attempting to make a fruit mead, I like to understand the reasoning and principles behind why certain things are done/not done.

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Old 02-18-2013, 12:07 AM   #122
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Today I started the mash for this melomel. Based on comments in this thread, I went with 14 pounds of honey and 10 pounds of blueberries. I'll take the specific gravity tomorrow, when I pitch the yeast. This will be my first brew. I'm excited!

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Old 02-18-2013, 12:42 AM   #123
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I'm in the middle of the second batch and may start a third in the next month or two. Update the thread with your progress.

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Old 02-18-2013, 10:33 PM   #124
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I pitched the Lalvin D47 yeast today following the original directions, covered with muslin, and tied down the muslin to the fermentation bucket.

I don't have a testing tube for my hydrometer (though I now understand why I would want one of those and a wine thief), so I just let the thing bob right in the must. The floating blueberries were in the way, and I was worried that they would affect the buoyancy, so I jostled them around a bit and forced the hydrometer to bob up and down several times while taking measurements to hopefully minimize the impact of the blueberries. The measurement was 1.120 at a temperature of 64F.

I did an estimation of the SG using just the volume of honey and water (as per the directions in the mead FAQ), and came to a value of 1.135, so that's certainly in the ballpark, which is reassuring. I have no idea what is the SG of blueberries, so I don't know how to improve that estimation.


So, I have a question about this recipe. What is the purpose of step-adding honey over the first four rackings?

I understand that this could be a dry mead without adding more honey (depending on your original gravity readings and at what percentage of alcohol per volume the yeast will effectively stop and based on the amount of starting sugar), but why add the honey on each racking? Why not add it to the 4th racking, when you have seen no more sediment in the previous one? Is the concern that the yeast would stop fermenting due to lack of sugar but survive and reactivate during the last racking? I'm curious about this strategy, and want to avoid making this mead too sweet.

Cheers!

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Old 02-19-2013, 01:25 AM   #125
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For me, the rackings and step feeding allowed me to push the D47 to its alcohol tolerance limit and then go one more to sweeten it out of the dry range. The rackings also helped with clearing the mead.

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Old 02-19-2013, 08:17 PM   #126
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So I guess the key to avoid making it too sweet when step adding is to check the gravity readings at the beginning and ending of each racking period to see if there is still fermentation going on. If the fermentation stops, then just sample how sweet it is to know if I want to add any more.

I guess I'm just concerned that adding as little as a pound of honey could make it too sweet, based on comments from mgayer at the start of the thread.

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Old 02-20-2013, 03:30 AM   #127
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Use your Hydrometer and Tongue.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/dry-semi-sweet-sweet-33724/#post331174

FWIW, According to Ken Schramm in Compleat Meadmaker:

Dry:0.990-1.006
Medium:1.006-1.015
Sweet:1.012-1.020
Dessert:1.020+

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Old 02-20-2013, 04:13 AM   #128
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Oh wow! Great reference! Thanks for the info.

I have a friend who has opposite tastes in wine from me (I like dry reds and sweet whites, and she's opposite, though our tastes meet in the middle that is Argentine Malbec). It didn't occur to me that I could actually measure the SG of wines that people like to have a good target to aim for. :-)

Anyway, thanks for the information.

Cheers!

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Old 02-24-2013, 01:02 PM   #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowlerMonkey View Post
So I guess the key to avoid making it too sweet when step adding is to check the gravity readings at the beginning and ending of each racking period to see if there is still fermentation going on. If the fermentation stops, then just sample how sweet it is to know if I want to add any more.

I guess I'm just concerned that adding as little as a pound of honey could make it too sweet, based on comments from mgayer at the start of the thread.
This comment really raised my eyebrows as i just racked for the third time and added the last pound of honey. It is crazy good right now as my wife and i shared a glass of it as we racked it last friday. Its just as good as our local meadery sells right now! (Bnecter) I'm seeing very little airlock activity...maybe a bubble every few minutes. Also after adding the honey and topping up it clouded up again. It was pretty clear before we racked. I'm starting to be concerned that i could take the shine off of this gem. Should i check the gravity and possibly rack a few weeks earlier and bulk age?
:fr o:
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:59 PM   #130
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I have 14 lbs of blueberries and 12 lbs of honey and plan on doing a 3 gallon batch of this next. Based off my friend who brews crazy amounts of mead, he said 4 lbs of blueberries a gallon for big blueberry taste.

I am thinking I might do 10 lbs of each to total 3.5 gallons in my bucket then rack to a 3 gallon carboy. Then see if it needs any more flavor afterwards. Plan is EC1118-71b and staggered nutrients and aeration.

Would that be too much blueberry, or is there such a thing as too much?

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