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Old 10-29-2009, 03:22 PM   #1
jamesnsw
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Default Critique my simple Sweet Mead recipe

Snow day 2 here in Denver, and I think I've planned out my brew schedule well enough that I can sacrifice a carboy for however long it takes to make this mead.

Here's the recipe-
  • Honey - 12 lbs (estimated, it's 1 gallon)
  • Yeast Nutrient - 4 tablespoons
  • 4 gallons of water (boiled, then cooled)
  • White Labs 720 Sweet Mead yeast

So this will leave me with 5 gallons of must.

OG- 1.076
FG- 1.019

7.5% ABV

I figure this will be a quicker mead, since it's not as big.

How active will fermentation be? Will 5 gallons in a 5 gallon carboy be safe, or asking for blow-off?

What suggestions do you have?


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Old 10-29-2009, 03:48 PM   #2
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I think your calculations might be off.

In hightest's calculator spreadsheet (FAQ sticky)

12# honey + 4g water = 1.085 OG
FG will likely end much lower than 1.019, I'm probably thinking closer to 1.000.

That will end up around 11% and probably fairly dry and need to backsweeten.

Now, I think Wyeast sweet mead craps out around 11%, so if you up just a little more honey it will probably die out with some residual sweetness.

I just can't remember if sweet mead dies at 11% or 14% -- but I know it's been a PITA for most people....


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Old 10-29-2009, 04:34 PM   #3
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Good to know. Beer Tools doesn't do mead well, apparently :-).

White Labs lists the attenuation as "<75%", so I assumed it would peter out sweeter. The alcohol tolerance is 15%.

What if I used 3 gallons of water for a smaller batch? The spreadsheet calculates that as a OG of 1.106. If it only attentuates 75%, that's a FG of about 1.024.

Although I'm not opposed to having a drier mead, I guess.
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:56 PM   #4
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Wyeast is full of crap. Look at other threads here in the mead section about the yeast crapping out early. I think it's around 11%. It will likely attenuate higher than 75% up until it peters out due to...it petering out.

If I'm correct and it is ~11% that it tends to die on people, then a pound or two more honey should allow some residual sweetness.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jezter6 View Post
Wyeast is full of crap. Look at other threads here in the mead section about the yeast crapping out early. I think it's around 11%. It will likely attenuate higher than 75% up until it peters out due to...it petering out.

If I'm correct and it is ~11% that it tends to die on people, then a pound or two more honey should allow some residual sweetness.
But this is White Labs Sweet Mead Yeast, not Wyeast. Does the White Labs yeast crap out early as well?
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:42 PM   #6
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Ahh, did NOT catch that. I hear enough about people's problems with the Wyeast smack packs.

Don't know what to tell you about WL. Sorry man
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:45 PM   #7
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I also took advantage of the Denver snow day and just finished my attempt at a sweeter mead. I am using Lalvin 71B-1122 and am hoping I added enough honey that it will overwhelm the yeast and leave me with a bit of sweetness. I used almost 18 pounds of honey, so we'll see what happens

I am also curious if a 5 gallon carboy/5gallon bucket gives enough headspace for a mead. Do they typically ferment violently?
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:54 PM   #8
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JamesNW: I forgot to ask...Where are you getting your honey?
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monghetti View Post
JamesNW: I forgot to ask...Where are you getting your honey?
A woman at church knows a place- I got it through her. I'll have to find out more info.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jezter6 View Post
Ahh, did NOT catch that. I hear enough about people's problems with the Wyeast smack packs.

Don't know what to tell you about WL. Sorry man
No worries.


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