Meads with very high initial gravity - a question - Page 2 - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Meads with very high initial gravity - a question

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-11-2008, 04:26 AM   #11
Rhinofly
Recipes 
 
Sep 2008
Posts: 15

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChshreCat View Post
Construction and taste are linked. I'm thinking that fermenting out that high won't give you the same taste as fermenting out to a lower ABV and then bumping it up by other means.
You are undoubtedly correct. But then its not meant to taste like port. I am thinking the high abv and high sugar content will make a similar styled but very different drink. And something that might give the long aging curve like vintage ports.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2008, 04:34 AM   #12
ChshreCat
 
ChshreCat's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Aug 2008
Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 11,538
Liked 539 Times on 431 Posts


Ok. I must have misunderstood. I thought you were wanting something that would be more like a port when it comes out. Definitely going to be a flamethrower when you put it in the bottle but could be great after a good, long aging. I was thinking about doing something similar after I have a few less ambitious batches under my belt.
__________________
"Science + beer = good!"
-Adam Savage

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2008, 05:00 AM   #13
GinKings
Recipes 
 
Apr 2008
Bridgewater, NJ
Posts: 582
Liked 15 Times on 15 Posts


This idea sounds like a Polish mead. I have had Apis Kurpiowski and Jadwiga. Both were excellant. I believe they are about five years old when they are bottled. We checked the gravity of the Jadwiga before we drank it. I don't remember exactly, but it was around 1.120! That's not a typo. The FINAL gravity was around 1.120!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2008, 12:28 PM   #14
hightest
Recipes 
 
Oct 2008
Bridgeton, NJ
Posts: 434
Liked 19 Times on 7 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhinofly View Post
I was wondering if anyone has any experience fermenting a mead at very high initial gravity...like around 1.2? .... Fermented down to 1.08 ...any recommendations on a good yeast to try?
Back to the original question...

I have some experience (at least 4) with high gravity mead (above 1.150) musts, which leads me to these thoughts:
  • The higher the OG, the more difficult it will be to manage the fermentation, and it will require more of your attention (at least daily)
  • The must pH should be monitored daily, and promptly adjusted if needed
  • Daily infused pure oxygen is essential - during the first 3-4 days
  • Staggered nutrient additions are essential
  • Fermenting at elevated temperatures helps (73-75F)
  • The up-front addition of potassium bi/carbonate is helpful
  • The use of yeast hulls is helpful
  • A larger amount of properly rehydrated dry yeast will be required (15-20 g)
  • Use one of the following yeasts: Uvaferm 43, EC-1118, Pasteur Champagne, K1V-1116
The highest SG must I fermented was 1.174. I pitched 20g of Superstart (distiller's yeast), and it took 52 days to get to 1.044 (17.9% ABV)... After 352 days this mead remains aging in a carboy at 1.044. I expect to bottle it later this year.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2008, 03:56 PM   #15
Rhinofly
Recipes 
 
Sep 2008
Posts: 15

Quote:
Originally Posted by hightest View Post
Back to the original question...

I have some experience (at least 4) with high gravity mead (above 1.150) musts, which leads me to these thoughts:
  • The higher the OG, the more difficult it will be to manage the fermentation, and it will require more of your attention (at least daily)
  • The must pH should be monitored daily, and promptly adjusted if needed
  • Daily infused pure oxygen is essential - during the first 3-4 days
  • Staggered nutrient additions are essential
  • Fermenting at elevated temperatures helps (73-75F)
  • The up-front addition of potassium bi/carbonate is helpful
  • The use of yeast hulls is helpful
  • A larger amount of properly rehydrated dry yeast will be required (15-20 g)
  • Use one of the following yeasts: Uvaferm 43, EC-1118, Pasteur Champagne, K1V-1116
The highest SG must I fermented was 1.174. I pitched 20g of Superstart (distiller's yeast), and it took 52 days to get to 1.044 (17.9% ABV)... After 352 days this mead remains aging in a carboy at 1.044. I expect to bottle it later this year.
Yes very good. This is exactly the sort of think I am considering. But a few questions:

Why did you use superstart and not a wine yeast? Does superstart have any weird flavors that might be bad if not distilling?

What does the Potassium BiCarb do?

Did yeast hulls go into the original must?

How much nutrient did you use? Was it DAP?

How long did you run the O2 each day?

And how does it taste


I was thinking of rehydrating the yeast and the slowing adding must to bring the sg of the yeast starter batch up to high levels so as not to shock the yeast. Did you do this or did you just rehydrate and pitch?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2008, 04:35 PM   #16
gratus fermentatio
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
 
gratus fermentatio's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jun 2008
Montana
Posts: 11,879
Liked 2436 Times on 1347 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhinofly View Post
I was wondering if anyone has any experience fermenting a mead at very high initial gravity...like around 1.2? A 50/50 mix of honey and water should give a specific gravity of about 1.22. Fermented down to 1.08 it would yield a port-like substance with an abv of about 19% and 200grams/litre residual sugar. Has anyone tried this? I am wondering if yeast would even take hold in a mix this sweet. If it will...any recommendations on a good yeast to try?
The highest OG I've had (so far) is 1.156 and that was for a cyser. At last racking the SG was 1.018 for an ABV of 18.75% It tastes a bit hot, but the residual sugar really does a good job of lessening the burn/bite of the alcohol. I think this will need to age at least a few years to be truly good, but it gives every indication that it will be quite tasty with plenty of apple & honey flavour. I did not step any honey or nutrients, though I think if I try this again, I will. I hope you find some of this info useful. Regards, GF.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2008, 06:21 PM   #17
Rhinofly
Recipes 
 
Sep 2008
Posts: 15

Quote:
Originally Posted by gratus fermentatio View Post
The highest OG I've had (so far) is 1.156 and that was for a cyser. At last racking the SG was 1.018 for an ABV of 18.75% It tastes a bit hot, but the residual sugar really does a good job of lessening the burn/bite of the alcohol. I think this will need to age at least a few years to be truly good, but it gives every indication that it will be quite tasty with plenty of apple & honey flavour. I did not step any honey or nutrients, though I think if I try this again, I will. I hope you find some of this info useful. Regards, GF.
What yeast did you use? Did you have to babysit it or did it pitch-and-go?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2008, 06:58 PM   #18
gratus fermentatio
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
 
gratus fermentatio's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jun 2008
Montana
Posts: 11,879
Liked 2436 Times on 1347 Posts


On that batch, I used Lalvin K1-V116 & made a starter using a 50/50 must/water solution. There was a bit of a lag between pitching & when the fermentation took off, but when it took off, it literally blew the top off the airlock & foamed out the top. If you use the K1-V116, you might want to use a bucket style primary vessel. Bear in mind that I areated heavily (Iused a blender) I've also used Lalvin EC-1118 (prise de mousse) in a similar cyser, though it had a lower OG (1.126), at last rack, that batch had an SG of 1.004 for a current ABV of 16.58% I based my choice of yeast strains for these 2 batches of cyser on the info I got here: Winemaking: Strains of Wine Yeast I hope this info helps. Regards, GF.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2008, 07:14 PM   #19
hightest
Recipes 
 
Oct 2008
Bridgeton, NJ
Posts: 434
Liked 19 Times on 7 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhinofly View Post
...Why did you use superstart and not a wine yeast? Does superstart have any weird flavors that might be bad if not distilling?
Because this recipe was attempting to reach ~20%ABV, and a distiller's yeast was recommended by the author. However, I found that Superstart can only achieve that level when the must was in the 90-95F range. I elected not to ferment at that temperature as it would have surely resulted in creating fusel alcohols that typically produce a "solvent-like" taste.
Quote:
What does the Potassium BiCarb do?
A pH buffer - Read the related Mead FAQ on this additive
Quote:
Did yeast hulls go into the original must?
Yes, and they can be added during fermentation as well.
Quote:
How much nutrient did you use? Was it DAP?
The amounts are noted in the Staggered Nutrient Addition FAQ, and consists of both a nutrient mix (Fermaid-K), and DAP
Quote:
How long did you run the O2 each day?
3-4 min. of pure oxygen
Quote:
And how does it taste...
A nice balance of smoothnes, spice, sweetness, and highly alcoholic.
Quote:
I was thinking of rehydrating the yeast and the slowing adding must to bring the sg of the yeast starter batch up to high levels so as not to shock the yeast. Did you do this or did you just rehydrate and pitch?
That is similar to the process I describe in the Restarting a Stuck Fermentation FAQ. ALso note that when I say proper rehydration, I also mean the rehydration takes place in water to which a special rehydration nutrient (Go-Ferm) has been added - a word of caution: DO NOT substitute any commercial nutrient (or DAP) for Go-Ferm...

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2008, 05:46 PM   #20
Rhinofly
Recipes 
 
Sep 2008
Posts: 15

Great stuff. Thanks for the feeback everyone.

 
Reply With Quote


Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Initial gravity reading SpeedfReako5 Extract Brewing 2 04-29-2009 08:01 AM
Initial Gravity too low worty Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 01-30-2008 02:08 AM
High ABV Meads - European Style huzelj Mead Forum 2 12-02-2007 02:25 PM
Low initial gravity vasie Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 03-12-2006 08:59 PM
Low initial Specific Gravity? Steinfiller Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 19 11-29-2005 07:43 PM


Forum Jump