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Mead finally done fermenting...

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kingmatt

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So after having to repitch my first mead attempt twice with champagne yeast and increasing my temp, I was able to "unstick" my fermentation and get my gravity down to 1.00 and racked it to my secondary.

I tried some of my hydro sample and I have to say it was absolutely terrible; tasted like pure alcohol.

I racked it over some sorbate and metabisulphite and plan to backsweeten with additional honey and am planning on letting it age for a few months but I am seriously doubting this will make it quaffable.

Anyone else made rocketfuel, and were you able to transform it into something worth drinking, or am I just wasting carboy space?
 

Bush_84

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A recipe would help. Procedure. Gravity readings. Etc. Most likely it was the stressed yeast that gave you rocket fuel. If your yeasties are happy your drink makes you happy.

I see in your sig that maybe this was the traditional sweet mead. Maybe your OG was to high and the yeast couldn't establish. Did you use dry yeast and was it pitched or was a starter used? Did you aerate the hell out of the must? Did you use staggered nutrient additions?

I guess these are all things that may give us a picture as to what is happening.
 

MedsenFey

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The answer is yes, I have had rocket-fuel turn into something tasty but it can easily take 18-24 months. It can happen sooner, but it depends on the recipe. If you will provide more details (gravity numbers, yeast strain, honey type, nutrients, etc.) folks may be able to give better estimates for what you can expect.
 
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kingmatt

kingmatt

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A recipe would help. Procedure. Gravity readings. Etc. Most likely it was the stressed yeast that gave you rocket fuel. If your yeasties are happy your drink makes you happy.

I see in your sig that maybe this was the traditional sweet mead. Maybe your OG was to high and the yeast couldn't establish. Did you use dry yeast and was it pitched or was a starter used? Did you aerate the hell out of the must? Did you use staggered nutrient additions?

I guess these are all things that may give us a picture as to what is happening.
It was a traditional sweet mead kit from NorthernBrewer so the ingredients were:

12lbs wildflower honey
4 gallons of spring water
Wyeast 4184 (no starter)

I did a staggered nutrient addition based on the info in the sticky on this forum but and kept my temps between 70-75. I aerated the must pretty thoroughly prior to pitching but I didn't degas at all. OG was 1.080

My fermentation stalled at 1.040 and through advice from my LHBS I repitched by sprinkiling a packet of Lalvin EC-1118 which did pretty much nothing.

After that I followed the procedure for restarting fermentation in the sticky with two more packets of EC-1118 and got it going again.

This was supposed to be a sweet mead but I knew it would end up dry because of the champagne yeast, so I planned on backsweetening, but I wasn't expecting rubbing alcohol!
 

commonsenseman

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What's the gravity reading right now?

I'm no expert, but if it's really low (dry) I bet it would taste pretty rough. Four packets could definitely make it pretty dry. Also, you went from using a sweet mead yeast, to a yeast that could ferment it quite dry.

Not sure what that amount of yeast would taste like, but I can't imagine it would be good. :cross:
 

MedsenFey

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Four packets could definitely make it pretty dry....
Not sure what that amount of yeast would taste like, but I can't imagine it would be good. :cross:
It would be yeasty? :)
Actually the number of packets of yeast is pretty much irrelevant. What is important is that the yeast was changed to EC-1118 which dried it out (and which may not be completely done unless the gravity is less than 1.000). This stressed fermentation with no residual sugar would be expected to be "hot" especially if you raised the temperature to help it get done (that increases higher alcohols which are "hotter").

Kingmatt, the good news is that your ABV isn't too high so this will mellow out with time. You can still have this batch nice and sweet, but you will need to add sorbate and sulfite together to prevent the yeast from fermenting more. Ideally, do this after it has cleared, then rack off the lees and add the stabilizers. Once stabilized, you can add more honey to get it to the level of sweetness you like and then let it age and clear some more and you'll have a tasty sweet mead.

This is going to take several months, but you'll be able to get something good.
 
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kingmatt

kingmatt

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It would be yeasty? :)
Actually the number of packets of yeast is pretty much irrelevant. What is important is that the yeast was changed to EC-1118 which dried it out (and which may not be completely done unless the gravity is less than 1.000). This stressed fermentation with no residual sugar would be expected to be "hot" especially if you raised the temperature to help it get done (that increases higher alcohols which are "hotter").

Kingmatt, the good news is that your ABV isn't too high so this will mellow out with time. You can still have this batch nice and sweet, but you will need to add sorbate and sulfite together to prevent the yeast from fermenting more. Ideally, do this after it has cleared, then rack off the lees and add the stabilizers. Once stabilized, you can add more honey to get it to the level of sweetness you like and then let it age and clear some more and you'll have a tasty sweet mead.

This is going to take several months, but you'll be able to get something good.

Thanks for the advice! :mug:
 

malkore

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champagne yeast does tend to dry things out so much that all you taste is the alcohol.

I think it'll make a comeback, but it won't surprise me if it has to age two years to get there.
 

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