Want to make my first mead

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Reno_eNVy

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I've been brewing for almost 4 years now and I would like very much to try making mead. I just want to keep it simple and cheap the first time and make one gallon. According to beersmith, 3# of honey in a gallon will get me 1.104 and I plan on making a sweet mead so Nottingham will be a good yeast to get a FG of 1.012-1.020. I just have a few questions that I couldn't get answered by searching the forums (HBT search hates me):

- The stuff at the LHBS that says "Yeast Nutrient" is DAP. Is that sufficient or am I going to need more than just free nitrogen? Is their "Yeast Energizer" going to be SuperFood or Fermaid-K?

- How much of said DAP and/or nutrient should I use and are staggered nutrient additions really the way to go?

- I'd like a full gallon so I'm going to fill the Carlo Rossi jug to the top. Is fermentation violent enough to warrant a blow-off?

- Should sweet mead be sparkling or still?

Thanks! :mug:
 
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- The stuff at the LHBS that says "Yeast Nutrient" is DAP. Is that sufficient or am I going to need more than just free nitrogen? Is their "Yeast Energizer" going to be SuperFood or Fermaid-K?
a combo of DAP is energizer will work.

- How much of said DAP and/or nutrient should I use and are staggered nutrient additions really the way to go?
hightest's SNA in the mead FAQ's really help ensure a quick thorough fermentation. I like to use it as scheduled.

- I'd like a full gallon so I'm going to fill the Carlo Rossi jug to the top. Is fermentation violent enough to warrant a blow-off?
give it a little bit of space - sometimes you'll get a fair amount of activity in the first week; and you can (and should) top off later.

- Should sweet mead be sparkling or still?
either way, but my guess is with 3 lbs of honey and notty, your yeast is gonna crap out and you'll be left with a default still mead.
 

MedsenFey

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You can look on the packet to see what is in their energizer, but usually they contain some mixture of DAP, autolyzed yeast, vitamins and minerals. Generally speaking it is a good idea to use both DAP and energizer, but if I had to choose only one, it would be the energizer (Fermaid K in particular).

For a 1 gallon batch, using DAP 2 grams, and Fermaid K 4 grams will provide a total of just over 200 ppm of nitrogen which should be enough to get it done. I'm not quite sure what the nutrient requirements are for this strain, but most ale yeast are used to fermenting in a very nutrient-rich mixture (beer wort), so aiming for 200 ppm may still be on the low side.

If you want to push the yeast to their maximal alcohol tolerance, staggering the nutrient is probably a good idea. Adding 1/2 the dose at the end of lag phase and the rest at the 1/3 fermentation point would be my approach.

Since you need to aerate the must during the first 1/3 of fermentation, I'd put this in a bucket or larger container, then you don't have to worry about blow-off, and you won't lose any must. Generally mead musts (other than braggots or melomels) don't produce nearly as much foam as what you see with beer, but since you need to aerate/stir it, you can have explosive Mead Eruption Accidents (MEAs). Having a large primary prevents this entirely.

I'd scale the recipe to be at least 1.25 gallons so when you rack to a 1 gallon glass jug after the fermentation is finished, it will be completely full.

Don't underestimate the Notty. If well nourished and aerated, it may exceed 12%-13% ABV.

Making a sweet sparkling mead is difficult because the alcohol tolerance of the yeast is never a sure thing. If there is too much sugar, they may generate more than enough pressure to explode bottles. On the other hand, if they are too close to their ABV tolerance, they may not carbonate. If you try in it PET plastic bottles or a keg, you can do it safely.

Medsen
 
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