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mattman
09-11-2006, 07:16 PM
My sister is giving me a quart of eldeberry wine that has been fermenting for 5 or six days now and was wondering if it would be possible to incorporate this into a gallon batch of mead. I currently have started one batch of JAO and one batch of cyser. I don't have any other brewing experience. Any Ideas on what to do with this will be appreciated. :toothy10:

Pewter_of_Deodar
09-12-2006, 10:14 AM
My sister is giving me a quart of eldeberry wine that has been fermenting for 5 or six days now and was wondering if it would be possible to incorporate this into a gallon batch of mead. I currently have started one batch of JAO and one batch of cyser. I don't have any other brewing experience. Any Ideas on what to do with this will be appreciated. :toothy10:

As long as the fermentation is still active in the stuff your sister gave you, then you can continue the fermentation in another batch with the same yeast. It may not be optimum depending on how spent the yeast are from fermenting the Elderberry but it will work.

I would recommend mixing it into a batch that does NOT have other yeast already active since you could get nastiness from the competition between the two different strains of yeast. Mix the new must and add the Elderberry like you would add a yeast starter...

Good luck,
Pewter

finburger
09-12-2006, 02:40 PM
I would certainly try it. It might a very nice melomel.
How much honey were you considering?

If the flavor isn't what you wanted, you can rack it over additional elderberries (secondary)when the fermentation is done.

mattman
09-12-2006, 04:19 PM
I'm not really sure how much honey I should use. What you start with? If I don't see any activity can i pitch more of the same yeast that was in the wine to kick start the mead? :wave:

Pewter_of_Deodar
09-12-2006, 04:26 PM
I'm not really sure how much honey I should use. What you start with? If I don't see any activity can i pitch more of the same yeast that was in the wine to kick start the mead? :wave:

Rough guidelines/rule of thumb for honey...

Dry result desired - 2 lbs. per gallon
Semi-sweet result desired - 2.5 lbs. per gallon
Sweet result desired - 3 lbs. per gallon

Yeast selection will also affect this...

I believe those amounts are based on using a yeast that is good to 12 to 14 percent ABV...

Also, using the same yeast as in the original batch should never be a problem.

Also, since the wine is only a week old, dump the entire thing, including any sediment (lees) into the new batch since the lees will contain a lot of yeast. It betters the chance of the new batch taking off on it's own...

Good luck,
Pewter

mattman
09-12-2006, 05:20 PM
I think I'll try 2.5 lbs. Semi sweet should be a good marriage with eldeberry. Maybe

Thanks for the advice
Mattman :laughing7:

finburger
09-13-2006, 07:55 PM
I think 2.5 lbs of honey is a good start. If its too dry, you can backsweeten with honey.

Oskaar
09-14-2006, 03:18 AM
Also consider your target final gravity when designing your must.

Three pounds of honey sounds like a lot of honey per gallon until you realize that in a 5 gallon batch of mead at three lbs a gallon there is 15 lbs of honey with an approximate SG of 1.11 and a PABV of 14.85%.

If you take just about any of the Active Dry yeast from Lallemand, Laffort, LeSaffre, Red Star, yadda yadda yadda. Most of them will ferment this to dryness. So the pounds per gallon does not really stand up to to practical meadmaking in my experience. That's why I preach using a target original gravity that considers the fermentation potential of your yeast.

If you set the desired starting gravity level to 1.120, and the target volume to 5 gallons you'll see that the amount of honey called for is about 16.5 lbs of honey. I've found that the actual pounds needed to get to that level can be up to 18 lbs of honey depending on the kind of honey you are using.

I mostly use the final gravity as my desired product destination, and then design the must so the yeast I use will ferment to ABV tolerance and end up in that range.

As an example here are some figures for final gravity levels of dry through sweet meads from Ken Schramm’s book on page 64:

Dry Meads: 0.990–1.006
Medium Meads: 1.006–1.015
Sweet Meads: 1.012–1.020
Dessert Meads: 1.020 +

I basically just pick a mead I want to make, pick the yeast, mix up the must to an appropriate starting gravity that will allow fermentation to dryness, or fermentation to ABV tolerance with some residual sugar left over for sweetness.

You can take a look at my yeast test to get an idea of which yeasts fermented to sweet, dry and semi-sweet levels as the starting and ending gravities are noted in the log.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar