Newbie here so please redirect me if I am posting this in the wrong way.
I decided to try a mead this month. I ended up modge-podging the JAOM and MOAM recipes with some of the advice form hightest. Yes, probably should have stuck to a single recipe. But, when I saw the cost of honey I thought I would go for exactly what I wanted, even at the risk of failing.
9 kg honey
5 cinn. sticks
4 cloves whole
1/2 tsp nutmeg
6 oranges-worth of zest
6 oranges-worth of juice
80 raisins pulverized and diced
1 packet of ec 1118
1/2 packet of 71b-1122 (left overs from something or other i wanted to use up)
2/3 tsp of tannin
Water filled to 24L in primary with brewbelt.
3 staggered additions of (1 tsp Nutrient 1/4 tsp of energizer)
simmer cloves, cinn., nutmeg, zest. Add to primary with juice
boil water, add honey, add to primary once warm to touch.
Add first addition of nutrient/energizer
top up with cool water to achieve 27 degrees Celsius. (oops, then waited until cooler to pitch hydrated yeast)
Fermented at 20-22 degrees C for 2 weeks. Degassed everyday for first week and staggered the nutrient/energizer addition by adding on Day 1 and Day 3. Added tannin on Day 2 (forgot to add it initially)
Today, I racked to secondary. SG reads 1.022. This means roughly 12% alcohol and tasted sweet to the lips. Not sickeningly sweet, but not what I want. (I worked it out and its is something like 1.5 tsp per glass of mead remains) I am wanting to ferment this mead dry so I can back sweeten if necessary. If my math is write, I am shooting for something like SG of 998 or lower and will yield about a 15% mead.
So, because the kitchen was in a state of disarray and the fiancee needed it for baking, I made some executive decisions that maybe would have been best to consult HBT first.
I rehydrated a 1/4 tsp of bakers yeast (all I have) and also made a must mixture with 1/8 tsp energizer and 1/2 tsp nutrient. I added the yeast cake form the primary back into the carboy and dumped both of these mixtures in too. Used drill stirrer to mix it all up.
The hope is that fermentation starts back up and I end up with a nice dry mead in two weeks or so. From there I will degass/clear and bulk age for about a year.
Questions I have:
1. Will this work?
2. Did I jump the gun... would it have fermented dry anyway?
3. When I go into bulk aging, what kind of racking/addition schedule should I use. I was thinking every 4 months rack and add 1/8 tsp kmeta.
Ideas I have:
Next time: stagger the last 1/3 of the honey addition until a week into fermentation?
If this doesn't work: check the Acidity level to make sure I don't have some crazy hostile environment for my yeasties
I appreciate all constructive feedback on any of my process!! I am new. help me