High OG

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jmfitzgerald

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so i just finished up putting together this Carmel Apple Mead from the recipe section: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f80/caramel-apple-mead-68519/

as you can see at the end of that thread, i did a 1G batch, but got a very high OG. 1.156 vs the 1.120 posted in the recipe. is this going to create a rocket fuel mead? ha ha.. but more importantly, should i dilute it with some water to bring it down a bit? i didn't know if it's critical to do NOW as fermentation still hasn't begun, (only 3hrs since yeast pitched). i'm new to mead, and thought i would ask here as more people are reading these threads! just looking for input before it gets too late, or if it's time sensitive, which i think it would be?

thanks to all! this place is a wealth of information!!!
 
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jmfitzgerald

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it's in post #150 and on... but here it is copied. it's essentially the same recipe divided by 5, so i'd assume i should get the same gravity readings.


1 Gallon Caramel Apple Mead

102.4 oz. Apple Juice
6.4 oz DME
9.6 oz Crystal Malt
28.8 oz clover honey
6.4 oz buckwheat honey
1 Vanilla bean
1 packet Lalvin Kv1116 yeast

Steep grains in 30 oz of apple juice at 155F for 45 minutes and remove from heat. Stir in the DME and clover honey plus 3.2 oz buckwheat honey. Rinse grain sack with rest of apple juice. Aerate by vigorous stirring for at least five minutes. Aerate some more. When must is at room temperature pitch yeast starter (hydrated with Go Ferm per container instructions) directly into the primary (plastic pail fitted with an air lock).

At about 1.075 add 1g Fermaid K
At about 1.035 add 1g Fermaid K
(Dissolve your nutrients in water before adding them to your must. This helps to minimize foam.)

Within about two weeks this should ferment out to 1.012 or so. Rack to secondary with pectic enzyme and add vanilla bean. Allow to remain in the secondary for about a month.

Rack again onto 3.2 oz of buckwheat honey and 1 campden tab and 1/4t potassium sorbate to stabilize. Bulk age for six months to a year before bottling.
 

fatbloke

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Well, yes that's quite a high starting gravity, but if you made a starter, then aerated at least once a day until it hits the 1/3rd sugar break, it should work.

It may be worth splitting any nutrient down to at least 2 parts, possibly 3.....

Oh and as a 133 point gravity drop is equivalent to about 18% ABV, you may need to age it for a good while......
 
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jmfitzgerald

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Excellent thanks... Well I went ahead, split the difference and diluted it down to an OG of 1.135 yesterday. Sill gonna be a big em! It's been a very slow start to the fermentation though. Still haven't seen any bubbles in the airlock but when I went to open the lid and aerate it for the second time tonight, activity was definitely going on and gravity is down to 1.120. So I went ahead spun it up with the paint stirrer heavily and we'll see where it sets in the morning!
Thanks for the help!
 

fatbloke

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Excellent thanks... Well I went ahead, split the difference and diluted it down to an OG of 1.135 yesterday. Sill gonna be a big em! It's been a very slow start to the fermentation though. Still haven't seen any bubbles in the airlock but when I went to open the lid and aerate it for the second time tonight, activity was definitely going on and gravity is down to 1.120. So I went ahead spun it up with the paint stirrer heavily and we'll see where it sets in the morning!
Thanks for the help!
Excellent, sounds like it's doing the business.

The first part can be a bit slow at times. Plus if you're using a bucket, some of the lid seals can leak a bit so you don't actually see any movement in the airlock, but the ferment is still discharging CO2. So you see activity on the surface of the liquid.

Some hereabouts worry, because basic meads often don't produce lots of foam (they like to call it "krausen" - IMO, we don't need extraneous phrases of unknown origin too describe what we see, but I suppose with anything, people like to use terms to denote expertise and other personal qualities ;) ).

You've got a good handle on it, because air lock activity is a very poor method of judging the progress of a ferment. Hydrometer readings are reliable guidance.

I don't have a paint stirrer to use, but I hit my batches with a stick blender, or if I'm doing a 1 gallon batch in a 1 gallon carboy/demi-john, then I sometimes remove a pint or so and then blitz it in a sanitised liquidiser before returning it to the main batch......
 
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jmfitzgerald

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well it's now been one week, and i'm still a bit baffled as i haven't seen the airlock pass one single bubble, although i know it's doing something in there because after a week, i'm down to 1.022 from an OG of 1.135. it's a 2 gallon bucket and the lid is on tight and sealed all the way down to where if i press the center of the lid i can produce air out the airlock. i just have never seen any from the fermentation process. just thinking this is weird coming from the beer brewing world, where the airlock goes crazy, and i would expect it to here with so much sugars being consumed by the yeasties... so where's all that C02 going?
just curious.
thanks!
matt
 

Zaffo

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A lot of things could affect whether or not your airlock bubbles. Local weather, temperature, headspace, container seal. It's physics. Pressure inside the vessel must be greater than outside.

No worries. Your hydrometer is recording active fermentation. The seal of your bucket is really only necessary to keep big bugs out. When you switch to secondary, your seal will be more important.
 
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