Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Brewing mead or "honey beer"
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:51 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by fsinger
Sorry, I checked the White Labs yeast bottle, it was Sweet Mead/Champagne yeast, so I guess it is champagne yeast after all.

It's been brewing for 3-4 days now, no active head on top, and modest bubble activity in the airlock. Odd, all my ales have a huge head by the 2nd day. This stuff is interesting.

Try this out - I stop it at the sweetness I like and KILL the yeast remaining - then mini-keg it with co2 for carbonation. Actually I may split the batch and try both methods, mini-keg 2 gallons and prime/bottle 3 gallons.

And I may end up dumping the whole batch. . .
What? Mead does not get a head as beer does. There's nothing wrong with your mead.

Don't try to stop the sweetness. You used a vial of Sweet Mead/Champagne yeast. Your mead will be like sweet champagne, not dry. I have used this one too.

To make a "dry" champagne you have to use another yeast that makes it dry (tasting). A "dry (liquid) champagne" ferments out most of the sugar, and does not mean "dry" as in a dry yeast.

On the other hand, if you're going to do some crazy experimenting them I would fill 1 keg and let the rest of it ferment out. Be sure you check the gravity beforehand...IMHO I think it will explode.

If you're planning on dumping the batch I am certain you'll get takers...maybe me...where are you? AAAARGH! Seattle...too far.


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Old 11-29-2005, 07:42 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Caplan
Eh? I assume you mean DRY Mead/Champagne yeast
I'm confused too. The yeast is WLP720, called "Sweet Mead/Wine" yeast, but the bottle says Sweet Mead/Champagne yeast.

We'll see what happens, right now not much!


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Old 11-29-2005, 07:48 PM   #23
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If you're planning on dumping the batch I am certain you'll get takers...maybe me...where are you? AAAARGH! Seattle...too far.
No sweat, I'll drain the carboy into a priorty mail envelope and send it anywhere you like.

On second thought, I think I'll follow your advice and see this one to the bitter (or sweet, I hope) end!
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Old 11-29-2005, 09:46 PM   #24
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It'll be sweet...trust me!
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Old 11-29-2005, 10:18 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by fsinger
I'm confused too. The yeast is WLP720, called "Sweet Mead/Wine" yeast, but the bottle says Sweet Mead/Champagne yeast.

We'll see what happens, right now not much!
From the White Labs web site -

Sweet Mead/Wine(WLP720)

A wine yeast strain that is less attenuative than WLP715, leaving some residual sweetness. Slightly fruity and will tolerate alcohol concentrations up to 15%. A good choice for sweet mead and cider, as well as Blush wines, Gewürztraminer, Sauternes, Riesl
Attenuation: 75; Flocculation: Low; Optimum Ferm. Temp: 70-75

Edit - I've bolded the bits that make sense to this thread

Sounds an ideal yeast to have used for what you want! Let it do it's thing and enjoy!

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Old 11-29-2005, 10:45 PM   #26
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Default Meade

You will want to verify that the yeast culture you are using can handle high sugar. You might consider some spices to add like nutmeg and cinnimon.
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Old 11-30-2005, 07:50 PM   #27
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You might consider some spices to add like nutmeg and cinnimon.
I'm planning on adding 4 oz of raspberry flavoring at the end with the priming sugar. I agree with the spices, and if this works out I will change from raspberry to some good spices as you suggest on the next batch. I can't think of a good spice with raspberry, which is the flavor I want.

To Dave (Caplan): Thanks for the input again. I'll report how this comes out. I am afraid of exploding bottles, so I am going to mini-draft part of it. That stays in the fridge so it should be safe. Darn, this stuff might be good!
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Old 12-05-2005, 12:06 AM   #28
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Default Meade

Three or 4 days is pretty early on for a meade. You need to give plenty more time for the yeast to convert the sugars from honey.
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Old 12-20-2005, 08:29 PM   #29
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Default update on "honey brew"

I started this thread with my concerns about the making of a sweet "beer" type drink with honey. I got some good advice and struck out to see what would happen.

Here is an update at 12/20/05: The brew was made of 12 lbs honey, water and Sweet Mead/Champaign yeast. It worked very slowly for 2 weeks, at which time I racked to another carboy. The yeast picked up its activity once more a couple of days after racking, and then slowed to a stop a few days ago. About 3+ weeks total frementation.

So I added raspberry flavoring (sorry, I have tons of frozen raspberry jam, but it's too good to risk on an experiment). I primed with a little over 1/2 cup of corn sugar (4-1/2 gallons of brew). I bottled 12 quarts for primed/secondary fermentation and put 5 liters into my mini-draft system.

The brew was pretty clear at bottle time, but VERY sweet. I'm worried about that, and have covered the bottles in case they explode. The mini-draft will be done this week-end, so I'll be able to try it with proper carbonation.

I'll update on the results after a week or so. I'll either have something great, or basic soda pop that I can't give to my grandkids.

I'm brewing a batch of my good stuff today - enough of the "honey brew" experiment.


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