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meadlady
01-02-2009, 09:22 PM
Distilled water or tap water? I am making a Melomel which uses dried lemon and orange peels and lemon and lime juice and cardamom. I read that you should add the "acid" (fruit juices) when you rack for secondary fermmentation. True or false. I plan to do the primary fermentation in wine buckets (food grade) in my living room (my husband is gonna freak) as it is the warmest part of the house right now. I bought Lavin D47 yeast and was told I should use 2 packets (5g each). True or false? If I am using lemon and lime juice, do I need to add yeast nutrient or fermex?
I make wine, so I'm not a compete dunderhead, but when reading about making mead, it sounds terribly complicated. Any help and advise would be greatly appreciated.
Will share successful mead with other makers in my Delaware County Pa area.

akueck
01-02-2009, 10:12 PM
Darn, I just left Philadelphia after an abbreviated holiday visit. No mead for me. :(

Distilled or tap water refers to what? The PBW? Or sanitizers in general? Tap water is usually fine unless you've got really really hard water, then you might want to cut it with bottled (though distilled is usually not 100% necessary).

Acid additions tend to lower the pH of your must (naturally). Too low a pH and the yeast go on strike. Adding them (acids) in secondary/later means you can ferment before mucking with the pH. You can go either route, as long as you keep an eye on things and are willing to adjust the pH as necessary. Acid additions late in the game do allow you to make them "to taste" rather than just following a recipe, which could give you better results.

The amount of yeast you use depends on the volume of the must and the starting gravity. How much and how high? I would not skimp on the nutrients even if you are supplementing with fruit juice. Using lots of juice or many pounds of fruit will adjust the nutrient needs, but I'm guessing any citrus juice you're adding is a small quantity and shouldn't affect the nutrient needs much.

Oskaar
01-03-2009, 12:25 AM
Distilled water or tap water? I am making a Melomel which uses dried lemon and orange peels and lemon and lime juice and cardamom. I read that you should add the "acid" (fruit juices) when you rack for secondary fermmentation. True or false. I plan to do the primary fermentation in wine buckets (food grade) in my living room (my husband is gonna freak) as it is the warmest part of the house right now. I bought Lavin D47 yeast and was told I should use 2 packets (5g each). True or false? If I am using lemon and lime juice, do I need to add yeast nutrient or fermex?
I make wine, so I'm not a compete dunderhead, but when reading about making mead, it sounds terribly complicated. Any help and advise would be greatly appreciated.
Will share successful mead with other makers in my Delaware County Pa area.

Well, meadmaking is really very similar to winemaking. I approach most of my meads as if I am making wine. Like grape must, honey must is nutrient deficient (even more so than grape must) and pH/Acid sensitive.

Rather than tap or distilled water I'd suggest that you buy bottled water (like the one gallon store generic brand) and use that instead. Distilled water is devoid of just about everything, and the oxygen levels are very low so you really have the WTC out of the must as you're mixing it to get the oxygen back in, or use an oxygenation/aeration setup (aquarium pump or O2 canister with an aeration stone). If your tap water tastes good, doesn't have high levels of chlorine or chloramine, then it's ok to use. I'd check your city or county water report. In the case of well water, have it analyzed first before using.

Adding citrus juice doesn't take the place of nutrient, in fact as Aaron mentioned it lowers your pH and could cause your ferment to stall or just not start. So Hold off on that citrus for a moment.

D47 is a great mead yeast, I use it all the time and have excellent results with it. As with wine it is strongly advised to follow Lallemand's protocol for yeast rehydration using Go-FERM (do a forum search on "yeast rehydration" without the double quotes and use me as the author). You'll also need to get some Fermaid-K. If your LHBS doesn't carry either of those products, then go here (http://www.morewinemaking.com) and go to the yeast and then yeast nutrient section to order it online. They ship fast and are very good about making up for any mistakes that are made in the order.

Finally, we need to see your exact recipe please in tabular format including all ingredients, amounts, meadmaking process and any treatments (sulfite, oak, acid additions, MLF, etc.) that you intend to make to your batch.

Hope this helps, Oskaar