Bray's One Month Mead

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Alexcc1

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Just did my morning check and it's now 1065. Highly aggressive little buggers. I even missed my feeding schedule @1.076!
I was checking the Gravity every 12 hours for the first few days. I also feed just a few points early just to be sure that I didn't miss the feeding. Probably just being paranoid since I'm new to this mead thing.
 

Brewer dad

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I have a 5 gallon BOMM that has been going for a week now. I made the feedings based upon estimation of how gravity would drop based upon comments here and on website(mistake I know), and fed on day two and four without gravity reading. Took a reading today(day 7) and I'm at 1.060. The ferment has been pretty active visually, so this surprised me especially with the comments regarding going dry in a week.

I'm almost certain the lag is due to cool temps, we got into the 20's two nights in a row this week(and it was 80 on Monday). Normally the room in question keeps my ferments in the upper/mid 60's. Have been taking temps when doing my daily de gas, started 64/65, but after coldest night got to 63 even high 62's. I use a laser thermometer so I figure it's a degree or two higher below the surface. Did put it on a heat mat set to 71, hoping to bring up temp a bit when frost came, which it did.

For time being I have moved to a room which is a little less susceptible to cold. I will keep on with daily de gas. Should I feed again since I haven't hit second target gravity yet(I have already done the two feedings, but my thought would be yes since ferment is extended and we're not using any DAP)? Second question, I have used all my ferm O, don't have a hbs in the area. Would ferm K work as sub? I can order more ferm O, but if gravity drops quickly I may hit second target before it arrives.

Thanks to Mr. Dernard for all his contributions to the world of mead, and the other helpful Mazers who tolerate us new folks.
 

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So I have been off experimenting with kveik for the better part of a year and have been quite impressed with their performance and speed, but find they are lacking in the esters and body for traditional meads, and I found myself back here. I got my hands on some good mesquite honey and had a smack pack of 1388 in the fridge that was taking up space and getting old so I decided it was time to do something in the spirit of a BOMM. The funny thing is, I had been used to kveik speeds and honestly stressed at how subjectively slow the gravity was dropping during the first week, wondering if my SG was too high, having forgotten all about the goodness of the 1388 strain. My stress was unfounded however and I am posting my results below:

In a plastic bucket with lid placed loosely on top:

11/15/20

12 Pounds Mesquite honey

4 Gallons HEB spring water

1t Potassium carbonate

1 liter starter made with Wyeast 1388 smack pack and mix of Huajillo and wildflower honeys ratios per BOMM standards at denardbrewing.com, on stir plate for 26 hours

Yield is just above 5 gallons. SG 1.110

In reserve, 1 gallon spring water and 4 pounds mesquite honey

11/16/20

After lag phase, add Fermaid K and DAP per protocol Travis Blount-Elliott's.


Added remaining 1 gallon spring water

SG 1.085

Add 5 grams Fermaid O

11/17/20

Add 6 Grams Fermaid O

SG 1.070

11/18/20

Add 6 grams Fermaid-K and 4 grams DAP

SG 1.065

11/19/20

SG 1.060

11/20/20

SG 1.055

Add 5 grams DAP and 5 grams Fermaid-K

11/22/20
Added zest of 6 oranges

11/25/20

SG 1.001

Racked onto 3.5 pounds of Mesquite honey in 6.5 gallon glass carboy with airlock, and sampled. Aroma is excellent, and has the esters one would expect from a standard BOMM.

Color is cloudy as expected but pale and nice. This should have no trouble clearing.

Flavor is dry and clean, with the slightest bit of acidity, but overall thin. Needs more body and a touch of sweetness.

Ambient temps have been 72 to 76 degrees F throughout the entire ferment.

My plan at this point is to let the yeast eat what sugars they can, and then rack once more for clearing, then bottle.

What fascinated me most is how my methods have improved. Timing and weight based measurement of nutrients have been a huge factor in quality and time to drinkability. Degassing is vital as well. I feel these things can somewhat offset limited temperature control.

This is sort of an experiment in step feeding combined with seeing what I have learned, and how good I can produce a drinkable, fast, relatively robust mead. So far I am happy with the results. As always opinions are welcome.

One final note, I should have simply added the honey to the bucket and let it keep going as opposed to racking but the reason it went this way is, I hadn't planned on adding more honey until I was tasting it, as the batch was being transferred. I should have sampled, before deciding on a course of action but I have been prepping for Thanksgiving and was pretty much on autopilot. If I end up with flaws in the finished product, this is the step I will point towards as a mistake. Lets see how it goes.
 

Redeemer

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I just wanted to add an update to this for anyone interested. Within a day or two, airlock activity began to pickup, and now 17 days later is still ongoing. About 2 bubbles per second. Ambient temps around 70 degrees. I haven't done much with step feeding honey in the past, and I honestly wasn't sure this yeast could handle the addition.

Also, I have not added any nutrients beyond the final addition and I don't think I need to. I haven't detected the slightest off aroma, and things seem to be proceeding. I did draw off a sample a few days ago for tasting. It tastes like high alcohol but isn't hot. No off flavors present but surprisingly, not much honey or other flavor either. Mostly tasted like a vodka / soda. Not bad at all just, really tasteless, which surprised me because I expected at least some esters.

Will see what happens after it finishes and I rack it. Maybe age will bring out some honey flavors.
 

Alexcc1

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When step feeding to boost ABV, do I need to add any additional Fermaid O or Fermaid K feedings, or just honey?
What is the SG that I should start step feeding?

My understanding is 1oz of honey per gallon of mead when step feeding. So with my 6.5 gallon batch I should add 6.5 oz of honey per step feeding.

It is an original BOMM adapted for my 7 gallon fermenting pail.

Starting Gravity was 1.104 (28 Dec 21)
Feed schedule: 1) 1.076 planned, 1.082 actual (1 Jan 21)
2) 1.043 planned , 1.052 actual (3 Jan 21)
I would have been at work for the planned feeding SG so I fed early rather than late.
Currently (13 Jan 21) the SG is 1.010 and dropping slowly at about 2 points per day for the last 6 days.

Let me know if any other info is needed. Thanks in advance for the help.

Alex
 

Dan O

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When step feeding to boost ABV, do I need to add any additional Fermaid O or Fermaid K feedings, or just honey?
What is the SG that I should start step feeding?

My understanding is 1oz of honey per gallon of mead when step feeding. So with my 6.5 gallon batch I should add 6.5 oz of honey per step feeding.

It is an original BOMM adapted for my 7 gallon fermenting pail.

Starting Gravity was 1.104 (28 Dec 21)
Feed schedule: 1) 1.076 planned, 1.082 actual (1 Jan 21)
2) 1.043 planned , 1.052 actual (3 Jan 21)
I would have been at work for the planned feeding SG so I fed early rather than late.
Currently (13 Jan 21) the SG is 1.010 and dropping slowly at about 2 points per day for the last 6 days.

Let me know if any other info is needed. Thanks in advance for the help.

Alex
Just honey, no additional Fermaid K or Fermaid O needed.
This mead will finish @ around 15-16% ABV. Are you really looking for a higher ABV than that? If not, wait till it's stable, as in, you get 3 consecutive gravity readings over a 2 week period, before adding anything. I personally am fine with the ABV of this mead so I don't step feed, but, I do backsweeten, because the 1388 is a kick ass yeast & ALWAYS ferments dry, (when going by the recipe).
I hope this helps
Happy meading 😎
 

Alexcc1

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Just honey, no additional Fermaid K or Fermaid O needed.
This mead will finish @ around 15-16% ABV. Are you really looking for a higher ABV than that? If not, wait till it's stable, as in, you get 3 consecutive gravity readings over a 2 week period, before adding anything. I personally am fine with the ABV of this mead so I don't step feed, but, I do backsweeten, because the 1388 is a kick ass yeast & ALWAYS ferments dry, (when going by the recipe).
I hope this helps
Happy meading 😎
I am basically a new mazer and I want to play around with the mead and see what happens with different inputs.
But since it it s big batch (to me) I don't want to screw it up by doing something too dumb that can be easily avoided.

For example, I had a gallon BOMM that I added blueberries to in a secondary. It had a nice color and taste, but was too dry for my wife's liking. I added Potassium Sorbate, and a Campden tablet to stabilize before back sweetening. a few days I added honey till it was agreeable with my wife. I went to bottle it after cold crashing and it tasted horrible. I don't know what I did wrong. My best guess is that I oxidized it because I shook it to mix in the honey and there was a lot of air in the carboy. I bottled it anyway to let it sit and see if it gets any better since I really don't know what went wrong.

For the step fed BOMM I plan to secondary with a blend of American and French Medium toast Oak cubes. I did that with a smaller batch and I really liked it, kinda of bourbon like. So I figure Bourbon like flavor with a higher percent ABV will be a nice balance.

Alex
 

Dan O

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I am basically a new mazer and I want to play around with the mead and see what happens with different inputs.
But since it it s big batch (to me) I don't want to screw it up by doing something too dumb that can be easily avoided.

For example, I had a gallon BOMM that I added blueberries to in a secondary. It had a nice color and taste, but was too dry for my wife's liking. I added Potassium Sorbate, and a Campden tablet to stabilize before back sweetening. a few days I added honey till it was agreeable with my wife. I went to bottle it after cold crashing and it tasted horrible. I don't know what I did wrong. My best guess is that I oxidized it because I shook it to mix in the honey and there was a lot of air in the carboy. I bottled it anyway to let it sit and see if it gets any better since I really don't know what went wrong.

For the step fed BOMM I plan to secondary with a blend of American and French Medium toast Oak cubes. I did that with a smaller batch and I really liked it, kinda of bourbon like. So I figure Bourbon like flavor with a higher percent ABV will be a nice balance.

Alex
If you shook it to blend the honey, after fermentation was done, then, sadly, it sounds like it my be oxidized. What was your FG reading? How long did you leave the fruit in for?
 

Alexcc1

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So the BOMM was at a dry 1.000 before adding the blueberries. The berries were in the mead for 18 days. I racked to another 1/2 gallon jug using a bottling wand to reduce splashing. I didn't think/ know to take another gravity reading after removing the blueberries. And I didn't take a gravity reading after adding 1 cup on honey to sweetening to my wife's taste since I was more interested in making it so she will drink it.

How would you suggest mixing in the honey for back sweetening in the future? Would purging with CO2 the shaking be okay?
 
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Dan O

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So the BOMM was at a dry 1.000 before adding the blueberries. The berries were in the mead for 18 days. I racked to another 1/2 gallon jug using a bottling wand to reduce splashing. I didn't think/ know to take another gravity reading after removing the blueberries. And I didn't take a gravity reading after adding 1 cup on honey to sweetening to my wife's taste since I was more interested in making it so she will drink it.

How would you suggest mixing in the honey for back sweetening in the future? Would purging with CO2 the shaking be okay?
Get yourself one of these, they have all different lengths....& stir, & stir, & stir...not swish & swirl....stir...slowly. You'll be there a while, so get cozy. Honey takes a bit of persuading to mix in when back sweetening.
 

Dan O

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Last night I bottled my 3 gallons of BOMM... 70 bottles (5 ounces each) for samples to friends & family. I bottle dry, semisweet and sweet for those people that requested it. Through the BOMM process, I've learned a lot about mead making. Thank you, again @loveofrose & ALL others on here that have chimed in on questions that I or others have had about any subject regarding mead making. Out of 3 gallons, I had about 4 ounces left for my own consumption,. Mind you, that's not including the Angel's share along the way
:bigmug: :thumbsup: .
I LOVE this hobby!
Happy meading! 😎
 

cmac62

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So the BOMM was at a dry 1.000 before adding the blueberries. The berries were in the mead for 18 days. I racked to another 1/2 gallon jug using a bottling wand to reduce splashing. I didn't think/ know to take another gravity reading after removing the blueberries. And I didn't take a gravity reading after adding 1 cup on honey to sweetening to my wife's taste since I was more interested in making it so she will drink it.

How would you suggest mixing in the honey for back sweetening in the future? Would purging with CO2 the shaking be okay?
I have a 2.5 gal batch that I am planning on back sweeting. My plan is to mix the honey into a small amount of warm RO water and add it to my bottling bucket (ss brew bucket fermenter) with the appropriate amount of K-meta and K-sorbate. I also want to add some mouthfeel, and was wondering if wine tannin and or acid blend will do this?
 

Alexcc1

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I am new to mead making. Consequently, I cannot offer any educated advise in the subject of adding mouth feel. However, if you head over to the link below, there is a writeup on using Glycerin to add mouth feel written by Bray Denard, PhD, also known as Loveofrose on this forum. The site also has a BUNCH of mead recipes, experiments and articles that are very informative.

Denard Brewing



I also suggest checking reading the oak experiment. I am currently oaking 3 batches of the Classic BOMM, 1/2 gallon with American Oak, 1/2 gallon with French Oak, and 1/2 gallon with Hungarian oak. I still have little over a month to go on all three before reaching the 3.5 month point suggested in the experiment.

I also made a 1/2 gallon batch of the American and French oak blend. In Dr Denard's oak experiment I think this one was ready after 12 days of oaking, but I left the oak in for 28 days. In my opinion, this one is great at 28 days! I drank the 1/2 gallon batch quicker than I care to admit, and I liked it so much that I made a 6.5 Gallon BOMM specifically for the American and French Oak blend. This one should be ready on February 15, and I am really looking forward to trying it.

Denard Brewing

I hope this helps.

Alex
 

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I pitched 1 teaspoon of lutra slurry into 4.5 litres of soon to be mead for an abv of roughly 10,5% when fermented dry. As per bomm instructions for a lower abv mead, all the nutrients went in together with the yeast, 5.6g of fermaid o. After one hour, the first bubble appeared, after 12 hours it was at the peak of bubble production and this morning, after 1.5 days, it started already to slow down.

I'm really curious if it's already almost done or if it's going to stall. Anyway, won't open it before it completely cleared, so we got to wait it out. Lutra is a beast.
 

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I am new to mead making. Consequently, I cannot offer any educated advise in the subject of adding mouth feel. However, if you head over to the link below, there is a writeup on using Glycerin to add mouth feel written by Bray Denard, PhD, also known as Loveofrose on this forum. The site also has a BUNCH of mead recipes, experiments and articles that are very informative.

Denard Brewing



I also suggest checking reading the oak experiment. I am currently oaking 3 batches of the Classic BOMM, 1/2 gallon with American Oak, 1/2 gallon with French Oak, and 1/2 gallon with Hungarian oak. I still have little over a month to go on all three before reaching the 3.5 month point suggested in the experiment.

I also made a 1/2 gallon batch of the American and French oak blend. In Dr Denard's oak experiment I think this one was ready after 12 days of oaking, but I left the oak in for 28 days. In my opinion, this one is great at 28 days! I drank the 1/2 gallon batch quicker than I care to admit, and I liked it so much that I made a 6.5 Gallon BOMM specifically for the American and French Oak blend. This one should be ready on February 15, and I am really looking forward to trying it.

Denard Brewing

I hope this helps.

Alex
I have made several of @loveofrose's recipes and have loved them. The Christmas spice BOMM is my favorite so far, followed by the Perfect BOMM, The Perfect Tej' BOMM, Sweet Meadowfoam BOMM, original BOMM, JAO BOMM, & I also have the Acacia Rose BOMM that's almost done, which I'm stoked for, because it smells amazing!
I made 3 gallons of the Christmas spice BOMM to age for a year & give out as gifts for 2021 to friends & family. I make the Christmas spice BOMM as soon as I start getting low on it, because it's so yummy.
Next on the list (from Denard brewing) is Mead of Ra, Dragon's Blood Mead, Herbal Ginger BOMM & Mental BOMM 😁.
Some of his recipes have a lot of ingredients & some can seem a bit overwhelming for a beginner, but, in my own experience, worth the effort.
That said, I have pretty much switched to BOMM protocols for most of the meads I make, mainly because I like the idea of a drinkable product in a shorter amount of time. 😋
 

Miraculix

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I have made several of @loveofrose's recipes and have loved them. The Christmas spice BOMM is my favorite so far, followed by the Perfect BOMM, The Perfect Tej' BOMM, Sweet Meadowfoam BOMM, original BOMM, JAO BOMM, & I also have the Acacia Rose BOMM that's almost done, which I'm stoked for, because it smells amazing!
I made 3 gallons of the Christmas spice BOMM to age for a year & give out as gifts for 2021 to friends & family. I make the Christmas spice BOMM as soon as I start getting low on it, because it's so yummy.
Next on the list (from Denard brewing) is Mead of Ra, Dragon's Blood Mead, Herbal Ginger BOMM & Mental BOMM 😁.
Some of his recipes have a lot of ingredients & some can seem a bit overwhelming for a beginner, but, in my own experience, worth the effort.
That said, I have pretty much switched to BOMM protocols for most of the meads I make, mainly because I like the idea of a drinkable product in a shorter amount of time. 😋
Are you backsweetening? If so, how?
 

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Are you backsweetening? If so, how?
I have backsweetened a couple of them. I tend to like things on the semisweet side & I'm not really a fan of dry. The ones that do ferment dry, I step feed 1/2 ounce of honey @ a time, until the gravity doesn't change after sweetening, then finish back sweetening to where I like it, between 1.012-1.020. I don't like adding anything I don't need to, so step feeding has worked out well for me, although, some have gone beyond 18%ABV!
This sometimes has restarted fermentation, so, some of these have taken a little longer than @loveofrose's 30 days. I should also add that all of my mead making is done in my basement, where ambient temperatures are roughly 61°F, which is where my temperature control pretty much stops, which also consequently adds to fermentation time.
Anything I bottle, though, is in Grolsch (swing top) bottles & I burp them once in a while just to be sure of no bottle bombs.
 

Dan O

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It's also worth mentioning that, because I like things on the semisweet side, if the recipe calls for less than 3 pounds of honey, I generally prefer to bump it up to the 3 pound mark so they finish closer to semisweet on their own, but, again, some still go to dry, even with 3 pounds, which I then step feed.
 
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Miraculix

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It's also worth mentioning that, because I like things on the semisweet side, if the recipe calls for less than 3 pounds of honey, I generally prefer to bump it up to the 3 pound mark so they finish closer to semisweet on their own, but, again, some still go to dry, even with 3 pounds, which I then step feed.
Ok, I thought that you are not throwing that much honey in, as the BOMM uses not so much. I was asking, because I also like it almost dry to semi sweet, but a little bit of residual sweetness really aids the flavour and I am fermenting a mead right now, that will finish dry with about 10,5 abv... so now I am looking for possibilities to backsweeten without adding chemicals and without restarting fermentation.. I think I will bottle pasteurise this one.
 

Dan O

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so now I am looking for possibilities to backsweeten without adding chemicals and without restarting fermentation.. I think I will bottle pasteurise this one.
Other than step feeding, pasteurization is the only other non chemical additive way that I know of, besides the yeast reaching tolerance, that is, to stabilize safely. I have never pasteurized any of my meads, but if I were to skip the step feeding & want to stop fermentation, say @ a lower ABV, I think I would try that.
 

Miraculix

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Other than step feeding, pasteurization is the only other non chemical additive way that I know of, besides the yeast reaching tolerance, that is, to stabilize safely. I have never pasteurized any of my meads, but if I were to skip the step feeding & want to stop fermentation, say @ a lower ABV, I think I would try that.
I did the "throw it all in at once" approach once or twice... Mead came out ok, but really needed time to age.

I cannot recommend that over step feeding, although the abv came out a few percent lower then step feeding would have reached. But it was hot...
 
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