Making my first Mead Sat. Want to check some things

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

blackdragon82

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
115
Reaction score
0
Location
West Chester PA
Ok a brief over view. I've been brewing all grain for about a year now. My GF loves a good beer, mostly barleywines and belgiums. But she likes to help when we do wines and now Meads :D. My Pale Ale will be ready for the keg on saturday. I just want to make sure of some things before we do this. I have:

12lbs of Orange Blossom Honey (just wanted to use one type before we start mixing different types)

A ton of fermax

Yeast Energizer (just in case)

Wyeast Dry Mead

My Questions are:
1. We want to shoot for OG of 1.100 and finish around 1.000. What would the pro's recommend?

2. I've read multiple ways to make. Heat half the water with the honey. I was thinking 2 gallons. Then add 5 teaspoons of fermax. Then cool and add the other 2 gallons. Monitor the brew and add fermax or energizer as needed. Possibly when it hits 3/4 the projected FG, so that would be around 1.075? Am I correct in this?

3. Age and enjoy :D
 

MedsenFey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
1,034
Reaction score
25
Location
Florida
For a dry OB mead, a starting gravity of 1.100 is okay, but I usually prefer the ABV under 13% and will typically start around 1.090-1.095.

You don't need to heat the honey. It does not require boiling or pasteurization. If you need warm water to help it get dissolved, you can certainly use it, but heating OB honey may cause excessive loss of aromatic elements that you'd like to keep in your bottles.

After you pitch the yeast, aerate the must each day for the first couple of days. I know this sounds like heresy to brewers, but it is important for making mead as it will allow the yeast to have enough oxygen to grow to their maximum biomass. The exposure to oxygen will not harm the mead during fermentation.

I'd use a total of about 9 tsp of Fermax to get the YAN up to around 160 ppm. I'd add half at the first sign of fermentation activity (the end of lag phase) and I'd add the second half at about 1.070 (roughly 1/3 of the way).

Rack when the gravity stops dropping and let it clear.

Medsen
 
OP
blackdragon82

blackdragon82

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
115
Reaction score
0
Location
West Chester PA
ok thanks!! So the a couple hours after I pitch the yeast I add about 4-5 tsp. of fermax. Shake it up daily. When 1/3 way add rest of fermax. Also I was planning on fermenting around 66-68 is that good for mead?
 

MedsenFey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
1,034
Reaction score
25
Location
Florida
66-68 F is fine.

Careful about the "shake it up daily" or you'll be mopping the ceiling. A large primary is the best way to prevent a Mead Eruption Accident (MEA). If you are keeping this in a carboy (even a 6-gallon one), it might be better to open and stir it carefully.
 
OP
blackdragon82

blackdragon82

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
115
Reaction score
0
Location
West Chester PA
Oh ok. I have an long stirrer I use. Sorry still mentioning shaking from the olden days when broken carboys were around :confused:

Thanks.

How do I go about figuring the OG of mead? I really can't seem to find anything online to help me get an estimate

Thanks again!! This forum is so great!!:rockin:
 

MedsenFey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
1,034
Reaction score
25
Location
Florida
How do I go about figuring the OG of mead? I really can't seem to find anything online to help me get an estimate

You measure it with a hydrometer.

You can do estimations using hightest's spreadsheet (see the Sticky at the top) or a calculator like the one at GotMead.com, but there is no substitute for taking the readings as you mix the must to make sure you have it at the desired level.

Medsen
 
OP
blackdragon82

blackdragon82

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
115
Reaction score
0
Location
West Chester PA
Update:

everything went great!! We put warmed up the honey a little bit before we added it to the water. Landed exactly at 1.100 on the first try. Aerated daily at 68 degrees. Man it looks like all is calm in the bottle but the moment I start to aerate it really kicks up. Hoping it will be down to 1.070 by Wednesday so then I can add the rest of the fermax. Thanks again for all the help!!!
 

JoeGerminate

Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2010
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Location
Southern California
Hey, I am currently making my first mead, and my question was mostly answered by this thread but I am going to ask it anyway just to be neurotic.

My mead has been in the fermentor for about two days now and all the honey has settled to the bottom. I dont know much about mead yeas strains, but i am used to using top fermenting yeast in ales, and if the yeast is on top and the honey on bottom could this be a problem? I was wary about shaking it to mix it up but from what was said earlier it sounds like that would be the solution.

thanks
Joe
 

MedsenFey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
1,034
Reaction score
25
Location
Florida
You can mix it and it will be fine. Or you can leave it alone and the yeast will get to the sugar themselves and you'll see the layer of honey gradually disappear.

Medsen
 
OP
blackdragon82

blackdragon82

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
115
Reaction score
0
Location
West Chester PA
Week 1 Update:

This stuff is insane!! It has been one week to the hour and I have gone from 1.100 to 1.020! It smells so delicious and I can't believe it is still bubbling away every time I check on it. I have been giving it a good stir every day. At 1.075 I added about 2tsp of fermax then the next day at 1.065 I added another 2 tsp.
 

beerjunky828

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
466
Reaction score
2
Location
Raleigh, NC
I don't mean to high jack this but I am going to be making two 1-gallon batches of mead and I have some questions.

I am going to be making 1 gallon of mead with 2.5 lbs of Orange Blossom Honey and 1 gallon of mead with Sourwood Honey. Each gets a pack of Montrachet wine yeast. Do I need to add any yeast nutrients and if so, when? I thought that pitching a whole pack of montrachet would suffice for 1 gallon but I am far from a mead novice.
 

Kershner_Ale

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
237
Reaction score
8
Location
Montana
I don't mean to high jack this but I am going to be making two 1-gallon batches of mead and I have some questions.

I am going to be making 1 gallon of mead with 2.5 lbs of Orange Blossom Honey and 1 gallon of mead with Sourwood Honey. Each gets a pack of Montrachet wine yeast. Do I need to add any yeast nutrients and if so, when? I thought that pitching a whole pack of montrachet would suffice for 1 gallon but I am far from a mead novice.
Yes, you want to add nutrients. Fermaid K is a good nutrient if you can find it. I usually add a combination of Fermaid K and diammonium phosphate (DAP). For one gallon, I'd add 1 tsp nutrient in the must and stir to dissolve it. One packet of yeast / gallon jug would be fine.
 

truckjohn

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
391
Reaction score
14
Location
SC USA
You may want to check through the recipes for yeast.... I haven't seen too many Mead recipes using Montrachet.... Lots using D47.... Not many with Montrachet....

Reason being... Wine yeasts are known for their flavor profiles... and Montrachet was a typical Red Wine sort of yeast.... and I am not exactly sure that Bold Red is a typical flavor in Mead....

Montrachet is also famous for sticking in high SG, low nutrient musts.... like we use in Mead....

I could be wrong, though...

Thanks
 

beerjunky828

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
466
Reaction score
2
Location
Raleigh, NC
is D47 made by Lavlin? I saw some wyeast Sweet Mead & Dry mead at the HB shop. Anyone ever use this yeast before? Would pitching 2 packets Montrachet get the mead down to a FG of say 1.003-1.000??
 

MedsenFey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
1,034
Reaction score
25
Location
Florida
ICV-D47 is made by Lalvin (part of Lallemand).
The Wyeast sweet mead yeast makes good mead, but is very finicky and sticks a lot. (the dry works better)

Montrachet is used for reds and whites. It does not create "red-wine flavor", but does contribute complex aromatics and good mouthfeel. It can make really good meads, and is used with may Redstone commercial meads. It can also give a distinct "phenolic" flavor which can be identified especially if stressed. It requires good management to prevent it from getting stinky with sulfur or getting phenolic - this means proper nutrients, pH management, and temp control. If you are prepared for this, it can give great results.

If you aren't prepared to manage those elements, you may be better off choosing another strain - like K1V, or 71B, or D47.

Medsen
 

beerjunky828

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
466
Reaction score
2
Location
Raleigh, NC
Well I can manage temperature and feed it nutrients but what kind of pH management am I looking at? I have made apfelwein and it always stinks, I just thought that was a side effect of fermentation with Montrachet. I did not know it is caused by improper fermentation management.
 

MedsenFey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
1,034
Reaction score
25
Location
Florida
Apple batches often produce a whiff of sulfur even if everything is running smoothly and regardless of the yeast you use. There's something about apple batches that makes this a very common occurrence. Ideally it is cleared by the time the yeast are done fermenting. If not, prompt action to clear it is usually wise.

For pH, just try to keep it from dropping below 3.3 using potassium bicarbonate (or if you can't get that, calcium carbonate).
 
Top