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mike911
06-28-2006, 12:10 AM
What gravity (and about how many pounds of honey) would it take using Lalvin 71B-1122 to make 5 gallons of slightly sweet, off-dry mead? Or, what percentage does it usually finish at?

Dan McFeeley
06-28-2006, 03:04 AM
Umm . . . a very rough guestimate would be to shoot for a SG a tad above 1.100, but not too high else the fermentation should stall out. Take a look at the potential alcohol tables at the bottom of this page listed here: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/hydrom.asp

Lalvin 71B-1122 has an alcohol tolerance of 12 to 14% so you'd want to go a bit higher than the potential alcohol levels listed in the table, for that range of potential alcohol.

You can assume honey, in general, will contribute approx. 35 points per gallon, and that's for honey dissolved in water to make up a must of one gallon. So, for a starting gravity of 1.100, you're looking at about 2.8 lb.s of honey per gallon to get you there. Maybe about three lb.s of honey per gallon will get you the mead you're looking for, 12 to 14% alcohol but with sufficient residual honey to make it slightly sweet.

Of course, all this depends on what translates into "slightly sweet" according to your taste. Any idea of what that might be for a final gravity?

All this is some very rough guestimation on my part. Others may have more specific figures.

Oskaar
06-28-2006, 08:57 AM
I've had really good luck with an SG of about 1.120 and 71B. Make sure you aerate and nutrient dose.

Cheers,

Oskaar

mike911
06-28-2006, 12:03 PM
If you let a yeast ferment to its tolerance level, is it likely to give some off-flavors? Or is it better to stabilize it with sorbate at the desired gravity?

Oskaar
06-28-2006, 03:19 PM
Yeast are all different and react differently to extended fermentation. 71B is a case where you want to get it off the lees in a hurry. 71B won't give you problems if you keep the nutrient levels correct and manage your fermentation correctly. Make sure you have the proper level of nutrients, make sure to aerate, and measure your gravity daily or every other day and you shouldn't have any problems.

Cheers,

Oskaar

mike911
02-19-2007, 12:11 AM
Oskaar,
As for aeration, I bought an aquarium air pump. How long would you recommend to run this to adequately aerate the must? I'd like to have an O2 bottle, but finances and space dictate that I not increase my brewing equipment anymore for the time being...