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Bray's One Month Mead

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rgraville

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It's done. Congrats! You can cold crash or wait for it to clear. Once clear, you can bottle it. I've been known to drink it cloudy...just sayin'.
Quoting An older post in this thread, but if I don't have the capability to cold crash, how long should I expect it to take to clear on its own? An extra month after fermentation is complete? 5gal batch fyi.
 

andrewmaixner

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Quoting An older post in this thread, but if I don't have the capability to cold crash, how long should I expect it to take to clear on its own? An extra month after fermentation is complete? 5gal batch fyi.
If you can get Super-Kleer (chitosan/Kieselsol), it's only a couple dollars, and will clear it in a couple days. Otherwise you might wait months, or years.
 

Seamonkey84

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If you used 1388 and it’s a traditional mead, it should be clear in a couple weeks. But some honey don’t ever clear due to proteins. Cloudy is fine, as long as it’s not still dropping lees.
 

z-bob

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Quoting An older post in this thread, but if I don't have the capability to cold crash, how long should I expect it to take to clear on its own? An extra month after fermentation is complete? 5gal batch fyi.
Fermentation will be almost done in a week and it will start to clear and continue to do so, slowly. Maybe a month after that for it to be crystal clear? Gravity will take care of it eventually; I didn't know there were recommendations to cold crash BOMM (I haven't read the instructions for a while)

A 5 gallon batch will probably take longer than a 1 gallon just because it's taller, so a longer distance for the yeast to fall.
 
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Clearing depends on so many things. Mineral content or water, how often you stir CO2 out of solution, temperature, honey choice, etc. I’ve had some clear immediately and some take a year.

Cold crashing and stirring CO2 out of solution are the best ways to clear mead. With time, most meads clear on their own. If you are really impatient, Bentonite or superkleer are additive to speed clearing.
 

rgraville

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So I was able to get it into a fridge to cold crash. I ended up with about a half inch of compacted white something (yeast?) on the very bottom, then about a two inch layer of cloudy fluff, then the rest above was clear yellow mead in the 5 gallon batch. After two weeks in the fridge the thick layer on the bottom was not compacting any more, so I pulled it out to bottle. As it was sitting on the counter in the kitchen, and I was getting equipment ready and sanitizing bottles I noticed that the fluff on the bottom was crawling up the sides of the fermentor. About a half inch thick and started working its way up the sides for several inches. I am assuming this is because the sides were starting to increase in temperature. Is this normal? How does one keep this from happening? just be super quick between pulling the carboy out of the fridge and beginning the transfer (to secondary or to bottles)? This caused the last dozen or so bottles to end up being really cloudy while the first 30 or so were nice and clear.

Suggestions for next time?
 

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Hi rgraville. Cold crashing doesn't kill yeast it just makes them very sluggish and when sluggish they tend to drop out of suspension. That might give you the opportunity to rack your mead or wine off the yeast so that there are many fewer active yeast cells in your mead and so enabling you to more effectively stabilize your mead to prevent refermentation, but if you allow the vessel to slowly (or quickly) come back to room temperature those sluggish yeast become re-animated and begin to float in suspension again. I'd be much more concerned about reactivating the yeast in your bottles if the final gravity indicated that there was residual sugar with the yeast than having cloudy mead. But you may have racked the mead after retrieving it from the fridge and simply forgot to mention that.
 

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Hi everyone. This my first post here, but I've been lurking for the past few months. I wanted to thank Bray and the rest of the contributors here for all the great information.

I made my first traditional BOMM last month and it was a huge hit. My wife had never had mead before, but this might be her favorite drink now. I had to hide the last bottle in the basement and buy an extra fermenter so I can have a constant supply of mead for her.

I am planning to make a blackberry/raspberry melomel and I could use a little bit of input as I've never used fruit in fermentation before. Are there any guidelines about how much fruit to add per gallon and how many gravity points each gallon of fruit will add? My plan is to add 2.5 lbs OB honey and 1 lbs each of blackberry and raspberries to the must. I have a small mesh bag that I was going to put the berries in, crush them, and then add both the juice and the berry bag to the fermenter. After a month, I was going to stabilize and backsweeten with fruit concentrate to taste. Does this seem like a reasonable protocol?

Thanks.
 

Seamonkey84

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All depends if you want you honey or the fruit to stand out more, basically 2-6lbs in a gallon is the recommended range. I used this as a guide for most my fruit, but have found that with sweetening, you can go more lol. My First Batch of Fruit Wine
If you want to talk about really upping the flavor, here is my favorite, but I’ve modified my batches to have twice the black currant.
 
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Hi everyone. This my first post here, but I've been lurking for the past few months. I wanted to thank Bray and the rest of the contributors here for all the great information.

I made my first traditional BOMM last month and it was a huge hit. My wife had never had mead before, but this might be her favorite drink now. I had to hide the last bottle in the basement and buy an extra fermenter so I can have a constant supply of mead for her.

I am planning to make a blackberry/raspberry melomel and I could use a little bit of input as I've never used fruit in fermentation before. Are there any guidelines about how much fruit to add per gallon and how many gravity points each gallon of fruit will add? My plan is to add 2.5 lbs OB honey and 1 lbs each of blackberry and raspberries to the must. I have a small mesh bag that I was going to put the berries in, crush them, and then add both the juice and the berry bag to the fermenter. After a month, I was going to stabilize and backsweeten with fruit concentrate to taste. Does this seem like a reasonable protocol?

Thanks.
HOPE this help
 

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rgraville

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Hi rgraville. Cold crashing doesn't kill yeast it just makes them very sluggish and when sluggish they tend to drop out of suspension. That might give you the opportunity to rack your mead or wine off the yeast so that there are many fewer active yeast cells in your mead and so enabling you to more effectively stabilize your mead to prevent refermentation, but if you allow the vessel to slowly (or quickly) come back to room temperature those sluggish yeast become re-animated and begin to float in suspension again. I'd be much more concerned about reactivating the yeast in your bottles if the final gravity indicated that there was residual sugar with the yeast than having cloudy mead. But you may have racked the mead after retrieving it from the fridge and simply forgot to mention that.
The final gravity was stable for two weeks at 1.003 (from a starting gravity of about 1.136-1.134 with an estimated ABV of 17.2 to 17.4% before I began cold crashing. I don't think with that high of an ABV it will kick off fermentation in the bottles. It should remain still.

I bottled straight out of the carboy with a siphon. Did not rack. The first 20 or so bottles are crystal clear, and then they got more and more cloudy as I neared the end. 38 bottles total (some 750ml, most 12floz).

Left about a half gallon of dregs and yeast cake in the fermenter and added more water, honey, and nutrients to start a new batch right on top of the previous yeast cake.
 

rgraville

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Yes, nutrients are required again for a second batch.
Bray, I finished my first batch and as i mention above left the yeast cake and some cloudy mead in the carboy and added water, honey, and nutrients as if I was starting a new batch. Stirred it real good to oxygenate and get the cake all worked up. Still targeting the 1.130 SG ratios of honey to water to nutrients.
The first batch has been delicious and I have stored a munch to let them age even more. Second batch is using meadowfoam honey and I can't wait to try it asap.

That all said, it has been over two days and all I am getting on this second batch is some minor off-gassing, no significant off-gassing when I degass, and no significant change in SG.
I am worried that extra nutrients I added to the previous batch helped it get to an ~17.4% ABV which put too much stress on the yeast and the yeast is not picking back up after being in that high of an ABV.

Should I just have patience and leave it alone other than continuing to degass a couple times a day, or should I get another pack of Wyeast 1388? If I get another pack, should I just pitch it or should I use it to make another starter (and leave the batch sitting for the couple of days the starter will take)?
 

Capella

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All depends if you want you honey or the fruit to stand out more, basically 2-6lbs in a gallon is the recommended range. I used this as a guide for most my fruit, but have found that with sweetening, you can go more lol. My First Batch of Fruit Wine
If you want to talk about really upping the flavor, here is my favorite, but I’ve modified my batches to have twice the black currant.
HOPE this help

Thanks for your responses. I'll come back after it's done to let y'all know how it turns out!
 

rgraville

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Bray, I finished my first batch and as i mention above left the yeast cake and some cloudy mead in the carboy and added water, honey, and nutrients as if I was starting a new batch. Stirred it real good to oxygenate and get the cake all worked up. Still targeting the 1.130 SG ratios of honey to water to nutrients.
The first batch has been delicious and I have stored a munch to let them age even more. Second batch is using meadowfoam honey and I can't wait to try it asap.

That all said, it has been over two days and all I am getting on this second batch is some minor off-gassing, no significant off-gassing when I degass, and no significant change in SG.
I am worried that extra nutrients I added to the previous batch helped it get to an ~17.4% ABV which put too much stress on the yeast and the yeast is not picking back up after being in that high of an ABV.

Should I just have patience and leave it alone other than continuing to degass a couple times a day, or should I get another pack of Wyeast 1388? If I get another pack, should I just pitch it or should I use it to make another starter (and leave the batch sitting for the couple of days the starter will take)?
So, this morning, after no additional actions nor yeast added, after 4.5 days, it finally had good activity/foam when degassing rather than just a handful of bubbles. And by this evening (5 days) the SG has started to drop (down 0.005). Just in case it was needed, I went ahead yesterday and got a starter going, but now it looks like I may not need it.

I don't have capacity for a second mead batch right now, but I'd hate the starter and yeast pack to go to waste. Once the starter is "done" can I just loosely cap it in the growler I used and put it in the fridge for my next batch (in 5-6 weeks)? Or does anyone have any good suggestions on an extract beer that would do good with a Wyeast 1388 mead starter? Or should I just pitch it into the current batch anyway due to the slow start?
 

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When the starter is done, you can leave it in the fridge for a while, or you can rack the cleared mead off the starter and then add more solution. I kept my starter going for a while. Saved the bit of mead from the starters, and then added more honey once I got enough for a full carboy.
 

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Seriously looking to change over 75% of my mead making to this method now. Impatient SOB I am. Only hitch is the yeast. LHBS don't carry it, and shipping live yeasts into Houston is betting on on 12's and 2's half the year or more. Obviously I will need to set up a system for making a Starter and keeping it viable longterm. So rather than rolling the dice myself, I figured I would just ask, "Does anybody out there have a reliable, relatively simple method/schedule for keeping a 1388 starter culture alive and rolling for many months at a time?" What are the optimum and maximum times that a starter can be stored before it needs to be taken out, shaken up, fed and allowed to (double?) (reproduce?), or whatever, and at what point should a person just give it up, sterilize the gear and order up a new smack pack to start again?
 

Seamonkey84

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I’ve done exactly that, and kept it going for 8 months or so until all my carboys were filled up and I stopped feeding the culture. What I did was use a scaled down BOMM recipe for nutrients and mixed honey water to 1.040-1.070 (making a hydromel), but The base starter recipe from the BOMM can be found at Denard Brewing and I also found this very useful Denard Brewing for nutrient adjustments. When I pitch a new batch, I pour most of the starter into the batch, then refill with more honey water and nutrients. It became a pet yeast colony. You can also just let the starter ferment dry, rack most of the mead out when clear, then store the yeast slurry in the fridge for a several months in small jars, don’t bother “washing” the yeast. Then use a little each time to make another starter. I wish I did that before the holidays and corona hit.
Oh the hydromel I rack out of the starters, I save it up until I get a gallon, add more honey and nutrients and finish it as a full strength traditional.
 
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Outstanding! I pretty much devoured denardbrewing.com last week, and am happily mentally digesting the results. One small question has bubbled to the surface so far, so let's see if the answer is floating around out there somewhere.

For both of the 3 day meads in the recipe index he specifically calls out Wyeth beer nutrient, instead of the usual regimen of fermaid k + K2CO3, and fermaid O. Now I assume that there is a good reason, other than just wanting to buy another $10 vial of nutrient ever so often. Anybody know what it is?

Also while I'm at it, is a newly smacked pack of 1388 functionally identical to a pint of 3 day old starter culture? Or are there nutrients in the fresh pack that a starter does not have after several generations? Or does the sheer volume of active cells in the starter eliminate the need for any nutrients beyond the initial dose of fermaid k + K2CO3, and fermaid O?
 

Seamonkey84

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Three day old starter, just pitch it! That snack pack seems more of a way to “proof” the yeast to make sure it’s alive and active before pitching. No idea about the beer nutrients vs the fermaid.
 

Seamonkey84

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I was just looking over the mead recipes and experiments, what ever came of your bacon experiment? Also, any thoughts about a chocolate mead?
 
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Seriously looking to change over 75% of my mead making to this method now. Impatient SOB I am. Only hitch is the yeast. LHBS don't carry it, and shipping live yeasts into Houston is betting on on 12's and 2's half the year or more. Obviously I will need to set up a system for making a Starter and keeping it viable longterm. So rather than rolling the dice myself, I figured I would just ask, "Does anybody out there have a reliable, relatively simple method/schedule for keeping a 1388 starter culture alive and rolling for many months at a time?" What are the optimum and maximum times that a starter can be stored before it needs to be taken out, shaken up, fed and allowed to (double?) (reproduce?), or whatever, and at what point should a person just give it up, sterilize the gear and order up a new smack pack to start again?
I’ve been seeing a lot of questions like this. I’ve assembled a new article using my streamlined yeast cultivation methods. Enjoy: Denard Brewing
 

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I’ve been seeing a lot of questions like this. I’ve assembled a new article using my streamlined yeast cultivation methods. Enjoy: Denard Brewing
I love it! The science geek in me wants to do it, but It’s a lot more involved and more equipment that I don’t have funds/space for. Plus the chance of any sterile plates and stored cultures remaining safe in my household is almost zero. Going forward, I’m going to make a starter with my next fresh pack, then divide it up into sterile mason jars for future starters. The jars at least can stay sealed even when handled by kids rummaging through the fridge.
 

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The new method is definately less intimidating than the old version with glycerol and storage in a blast freezer. For now, given that I'm mostly just interested in having a working quantity of 1388 on hand, I will probably just stick with the half gallon growler and stir plate version, with a couple of sterilized mason jars half filled with starter in the fridge as backups to cycle through. But if I get adventurous it's nice to have a simpler process on tap.
 

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According to rph_guy, if you bottle with a cork and your mead unexpectedly restarts fermentation, resulting in explosive internal gas pressure, it will blow the cork rather than explode your bottle.
So glad I found this, it's exactly what I came to this forum to ask. I've been saving (and sanitizing!) my old liquor bottles, only the ones with corks, intending to use them instead of the flip-top bottles that always have me afraid one is going to explode. (And filling five or six 750ml liquor bottles, to hold a gallon of mead, just seems a lot easier than filling a dozen 12-oz bottles!)

Are there any gotchas I need to look out for?

I do intend to store them upright, possibly refrigerated, and probably not for longer than a few months.

Thanks!
 

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I use the flip top bottles in varying sized but mostly 750 ml. They are quite forgiving. I like most of my stuff carbonated. I've only ever had one blow on me and that was when I was first starting out. I didn't measure SG before adding priming sugar and well, the yeast was EC1118 so yeah.....that was a n00b mistake. Otherwise I have been quite happy. Let the bottles reach the carb level I want (Always takes too long) and then chill them for consumption.
 

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So I'm curious if anybody has actually recorded daily SG #'s for this process and generated a curve for sg vs day, and how repeatable it turns out to be? Mostly just curious what the curve looks like over all from IG to FG, and how that relates to yeast growth.
thanks
 

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I have read a lot of the thread, but still haven't seen anything on Keviek yeast. Has this been tried? How did it workout? Anything different? Thanks :mug:
 

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I have read a lot of the thread, but still haven't seen anything on Keviek yeast. Has this been tried? How did it workout? Anything different? Thanks :mug:
I live in TX, have the hottest room in the house for fermentation and aside from a swamp cooler for temp control, I eccentially have no temp control. I have used 3 kveik yeasts and found Hothead from Omega to be the best and closest to the WyEAST 1388 used in the BOMM protocol. The yeasts are nothing alike, but do tolerate the same final ABV around 15% give or take. I find the kviek is much more forgiving in terms of temp upper limit, as well as swings. It requires more nutrient than a normal brew, and seems to stall if the temp drops below 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

I know Denard says 1388 is the lynchpin of his recipe and it is true, if you can keep temps down, but his methods as far as nutrients and PH buffering, combined with kveik, in my humble opinion can make any mead drinkable in a month or so, even without 1388.
 

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He’s mentioned that using modern techniques like daily degassing, the ph buffering, and nutrient schedules like BOMM and TOSNA all makes a fast turn around mead, as it’s all about keeping the yeast happy.
 

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Hi, I've started a batch of BOMM mead 1 month ago following every single step suggested by the recipe.
The mead has got a 14 days first fermentation then when the yeast stopped working (and it was about at 0.990 FG) I moved the mead to another carboy getting rid of the yeast left on the bottom of the first carboy.
Now the mead is becoming clearer letting the residual yeast to go on the bottom but it hasn't finished the clarify process yet.
I just want to know if it's good after a month to still have yeast on the bottom during this process.

Thank you!
 

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I live in TX, have the hottest room in the house for fermentation and aside from a swamp cooler for temp control, I eccentially have no temp control. I have used 3 kveik yeasts and found Hothead from Omega to be the best and closest to the WyEAST 1388 used in the BOMM protocol. The yeasts are nothing alike, but do tolerate the same final ABV around 15% give or take. I find the kviek is much more forgiving in terms of temp upper limit, as well as swings. It requires more nutrient than a normal brew, and seems to stall if the temp drops below 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

I know Denard says 1388 is the lynchpin of his recipe and it is true, if you can keep temps down, but his methods as far as nutrients and PH buffering, combined with kveik, in my humble opinion can make any mead drinkable in a month or so, even without 1388.
Redeemer, I read on his page Denard Brewing that Lallamand Abbyale dry is also pretty close and can also be used for the BOMM. :bigmug:
 

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^ and thanks for the info on the Keviek. When I get some I'll give it a try with a heat belt set to 95* I wonder if the 3 and 5 day schedule will still hold for the nutrients. I'm guessing day 2 and 4 may be better since it ussually goes fast. Or, I guess I can use the hydrometer at 1/3 and 2/3. I like the idea of just sanitizing the hydro and dropping it in the fermenter for the gravity checks.
 

resif

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Yes it’s fine, once it’s dry you can cold crash it to clear faster if you want to.
I cold crashed for 4 days but it hasn't completed the clarify process yet but I'm planning to take it out from the fridge let it stay for a night and then rack it again to get rid of the lees it has gather for now.
Is that good for the mead or could it bring me some off flavours?

Thanks :)
 

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You’re fine, but I’d rack when it’s still cold. If it’s not degassed yet it might take longer to clear. some stuff might start floating a bit when it warms up as gases start to come out more readily.
 

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Redeemer, I read on his page Denard Brewing that Lallamand Abbyale dry is also pretty close and can also be used for the BOMM. :bigmug:
I tested all of the yeasts he used in his dry yeast experiments myself. I assume you are referring to this: Denard Brewing

And they are all really fun yeasts. I wish he would do some more experiments like that cause they gave me so many crazy ideas. I didn't use temp control in any of mine, not even a swamp cooler; this was last summer I believe. I did 3 batches with the Abbaye following a loose BOMM methodology. If I recall correctly, 1 was a peach melomel that gave me crazy phenols that aged out in about 4 months and the other 2 were cysers that became everything I hoped for an more.

I also really liked using the CBC 1 and plan on bringing it up in a subsequent post regarding kveik and bottle conditioning.
 

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What's your experience about the BOMM mead aging?
Today's been passed a month since I start my batch and the taste tells me that's not ready and the mead needs to age again.
What about yours?
 

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What's your experience about the BOMM mead aging?
Today's been passed a month since I start my batch and the taste tells me that's not ready and the mead needs to age again.
What about yours?
Well to paraphrase @loveofrose The goal of the BOMM was to create a mead that was "drinkable" in one month. 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year all show exceptional improvements.

My personal experience is, due to lack of temperature controls, I got some flavors that needed to age out. 3 to 6 months usually did the trick for me.
 

Seamonkey84

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Degas it! If it wasn’t fermented at too high of a temp, what your smelling is the yeast farts. At one or two months, unless you manually degassed it, it will still have lots of dissolved gases and compounds that give off aromas and flavors.
 
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