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General Meade
01-31-2009, 05:51 PM
I have aged my carboy of Braggot for 6 months. Can I still carbonate in the bottles using dextrose at this point? If so, how much corn sugar should I use per bottle?

dogglebe
01-31-2009, 08:53 PM
You could always pitch a fresh batch of yeast a few days before bottling. I wouldn't bottle prime; prime the whole batch, instead. 3/4 cup of corn sugar, dissolved in 1 cup of boiling water, will give you moderate carbonation. Increase or decrease as you see fit.


Phil

General Meade
01-31-2009, 09:22 PM
You could always pitch a fresh batch of yeast a few days before bottling. I wouldn't bottle prime; prime the whole batch, instead. 3/4 cup of corn sugar, dissolved in 1 cup of boiling water, will give you moderate carbonation. Increase or decrease as you see fit.


Phil
Okay, so what do I do with the yeast starter? How much do I add? You're assuming that I know something about the process -- something has been omitted in your directions. Thanks.

Kee
01-31-2009, 09:44 PM
Before you do anything, please post your brewlog with all processes and procedures.

If you have enough residual sugars in the braggot and pitch yeast with a higher alcohol tolerance, you could could end up with bottle bombs.

General Meade
01-31-2009, 10:16 PM
Before you do anything, please post your brewlog with all processes and procedures.

If you have enough residual sugars in the braggot and pitch yeast with a higher alcohol tolerance, you could could end up with bottle bombs.
Exact. I've had success with dextrose bottle carbonation -- but that's when this braggot was young. Now at age six (months), it is possible that if I just add the dextrose, nothing might happen -- correct?

I'm sampling a glass now -- very clear -- the Vinometre reads 14.5% alcohol.

Kee
01-31-2009, 11:03 PM
If you'd had success before, I'll trust you know what you're doing. :)

General Meade
01-31-2009, 11:19 PM
Couldn't read private message.

Let me guess -- expatriate Canadian?

General Meade
01-31-2009, 11:34 PM
If you'd had success before, I'll trust you know what you're doing. :)
Kee,

I have been researching and making Mead for 10 - 12 years now...it's getting hard to remember when I started. Carbonation is relatively new to me.So of course I will not ignore you. In fact, I would like to know more about you.

General Meade

Kee
02-01-2009, 01:57 AM
General, the private message just explained that it's customary to post the brewlog so that the experts here can help give you opinions specific to your recipe rather than making assumption. I did not know if you were also new or if you've been brewing a while. There's been an influx of noobs in the boards recently, myself included. There was little more.

You will have to let everyone know how the braggot comes out.

Oskaar
02-01-2009, 04:29 AM
Hey there GenM,

Just to reinforce what Kee was alluding to.

Whenever someone asks for help with a problem on a mead that is already underway, it is forum protocol to post the exact recipe and the process used to make it, along with any treatments or subsequent additions, adjustments, etc. made on the mead to date.

All of the Mead Mentors here (you'll see the custom badging on their posts) will ask you to post your recipe up. Without a recipe, the process and additional tweaks and additions being detailed, the best we can do is guess based on whatever anecdotal information that is posted in the original message asking for assistance.

Hope that helps, Oskaar

General Meade
02-02-2009, 02:49 AM
Hey there GenM,

Just to reinforce what Kee was alluding to.

Whenever someone asks for help with a problem on a mead that is already underway, it is forum protocol to post the exact recipe and the process used to make it, along with any treatments or subsequent additions, adjustments, etc. made on the mead to date.

All of the Mead Mentors here (you'll see the custom badging on their posts) will ask you to post your recipe up. Without a recipe, the process and additional tweaks and additions being detailed, the best we can do is guess based on whatever anecdotal information that is posted in the original message asking for assistance.

Hope that helps, Oskaar
Okay...sorry...I'm a little defensive about sharing all of the details of my recipes. But I suppose I can post enough information that those who are trying to help will be able to.

Thanks. I will post an abridged version of the recipe and process soon: "King's Oaked Braggot".

akueck
02-02-2009, 12:24 PM
If it makes you feel any better about giving away trade secrets, it's essentially impossible to exactly duplicate someone else's mead. Even in a commercial setting, where things like temperature and volume are controlled to a much higher precision, consistency is the most difficult metric to achieve. (consistency is perhaps the crowning achievement of companies like Bud/Miller/Coors which otherwise get a bad rap for their lackluster, but thoroughly consistent, product.) The homebrewing method is full of little variables that are exceedingly hard (impossible, IMO) to duplicate from batch to batch; moving the whole operation to another mead maker makes duplication 1000 times more difficult.

So even if we have your recipe and process written down exactly, we'll never be able to make the same mead you did. We will, however, be more able to understand your process and offer tips to make things better the next time around.

Fun story, sort of related: My grandmother makes these awesome chocolate chip cookies. They are unlike any other cookie I have ever had in my life--very cakey and moist but firmly held together at the same time. Anyway, my aunts (her daughters) and my cousins (grandkids) have tried numerous times to make these cookies. We all have the recipe, but no one can do it quite the same. A few years back my oldest cousin asked my grandfather to get a video recording of Grandma making cookies, to try and figure out the secret. Even with a video, we still can't do it! She also makes really good poundcake. I came close once, the texture was right but it tasted too eggy.

Moral of the story: what you make (cookies, mead, or otherwise) is so individual it will always be yours no matter how many people get the recipe.

Medsen Fey
02-02-2009, 12:38 PM
So I guess this means there are some of us who have "the touch" and then the rest of us (me included) that are just a little "touched" (in the head). :D

General Meade
02-02-2009, 02:41 PM
If it makes you feel any better about giving away trade secrets, it's essentially impossible to exactly duplicate someone else's mead. Even in a commercial setting, where things like temperature and volume are controlled to a much higher precision, consistency is the most difficult metric to achieve. (consistency is perhaps the crowning achievement of companies like Bud/Miller/Coors which otherwise get a bad rap for their lackluster, but thoroughly consistent, product.) The homebrewing method is full of little variables that are exceedingly hard (impossible, IMO) to duplicate from batch to batch; moving the whole operation to another mead maker makes duplication 1000 times more difficult.

So even if we have your recipe and process written down exactly, we'll never be able to make the same mead you did. We will, however, be more able to understand your process and offer tips to make things better the next time around.

Fun story, sort of related: My grandmother makes these awesome chocolate chip cookies. They are unlike any other cookie I have ever had in my life--very cakey and moist but firmly held together at the same time. Anyway, my aunts (her daughters) and my cousins (grandkids) have tried numerous times to make these cookies. We all have the recipe, but no one can do it quite the same. A few years back my oldest cousin asked my grandfather to get a video recording of Grandma making cookies, to try and figure out the secret. Even with a video, we still can't do it! She also makes really good poundcake. I came close once, the texture was right but it tasted too eggy.

Moral of the story: what you make (cookies, mead, or otherwise) is so individual it will always be yours no matter how many people get the recipe.
I get the idea - one can't get something without giving something. I'm by and largely confident in my process after 10 -12 years of research and experimentation. Yet I am constantly tweaking the process and introducing new medicinal elements, changing the malt, etc. So I will post this recipe, as Carbonation processes are relatively new to me -- and always need Braggot to drink to inspire me to continue doing this. At 14.5%, this brew is potent and needs to be consumed very moderately. It also contained my first attempt at oaking. This came out a little too strong of Oak for my taste. So it needs the carbonation to give it some zip -- otherwise one feels as if one has been clubbed over the head!

How do I post my recipe/process?

Oskaar
02-02-2009, 05:00 PM
Hey GenM,


You may post your recipe in the format below please. this should give you an idea of what the recipes in the Patron's Section look like. This is a simpler variation on a sack mead that I like to make that is up in the Patron Recipe forum and it was the recipe that led me to develop the one in the Patron Section which as additional treatments and additives that are published in full in the Patron Area. I think I orignally came up with this recipe or something very similar in about the early or mid eighties when I was out and about and got my hands on some Black Button Sage honey.


Oskaarz Flower Sack – 6 Gallon Yield

6 lbs Western Buckwheat Blossom Honey
6 lbs Dark Wildflower Honey (if you can get Sumac it works very well with this)
6 lbs Black Button Sage Honey
H20 to 6 gallons
10 g QA23

Process:

Using a large food grade bucket, make your must starting with 4 gal H20 and add the honey stirring constantly until completely blended. Continue stirring and top up to 6 gallons.

You’re shooting for a gravity of about 1.140-1.150 or about 33 brix to start.

Check your pH, if it is below 3.4 buffer with your favorite buffering base until about 3.4 - 3.8 only buffer if necessary to keep the pH in the happy yeast zone.

Rehydrate your Yeast in Go-Ferm as per manufacturer’s instructions.

Rack your must into your fermentation vessel. When you have about ½ gallon in the fermenter, pitch your yeast.

Resume filling the fermenter and if possible fit your lees stirrer into the vessel and stir on med while filling.

When the vessel is full go ahead and stir some more. If you have an Oxygenation setup, you may eliminate the stirring in the fermenter until the end to make sure the yeast is blended in well, then oxygenate as you would normally. Cover with a sanitized cloth and secure with a rubber band or a tie wrap.

At the end of the lag phase add a mixture of 4 grams Fermaid K and 2 grams DAP dissolved in about 50-100 ml H20 and stir in well.

Aerate twice daily and check your gravity every day.

At the 1/3 sugar break add another 6 grams Fermaid K dissolved in about 50-100 ml H20 and stir in well.

Apply an airlock and continue to swirl the carboy daily with the airlock in place.

At the end of active fermentation rack to a secondary vessel and allow the mead to clear. This may take a while, so be patient.


Thoughts:

This (like most of my sack meads) is not a recipe for the faint of heart, or the not so motivated to manage their fermentation. If you don't stay on top of this mead during fermentation it can get out of hand very quickly and turn into a slow ferment that goes on for months. This is not good and a fermentation that lasts for a month is not a good thing in my book. Ferments that take that long are in danger of being fouled by off-flavors from yeast stress or can become subjet to infection. A rapidly rising ETOH level in a vigorous ferment is one of the best ways I know of to kill off most spoilage organisms and ensure that you have a nice tasting mead.

Also note that there is a lot of swirling and stirring. This is for a couple of reasons. The first as mentioned a lot in the main forums is that oxygen should be considered a nutrient for yeast during the first few days of fermentation. The second is that swirling keeps the yeast in suspension and gives them access to the sugars available in the must. Another very beneficial aspect of swirling is that in a good number of cases it acts as fining. That is, when swirled, the dead cells at the bottom will act to adsorb off flavor compounds and precipitate them out along with any other floaties out there in mustland.


Cheers, Oskaar

General Meade
02-02-2009, 05:55 PM
Hey GenM,


You may post your recipe in the format below please. this should give you an idea of what the recipes in the Patron's Section look like. This is a simpler variation on a sack mead that I like to make that is up in the Patron Recipe forum and it was the recipe that led me to develop the one in the Patron Section which as additional treatments and additives that are published in full in the Patron Area. I think I orignally came up with this recipe or something very similar in about the early or mid eighties when I was out and about and got my hands on some Black Button Sage honey.


Oskaarz Flower Sack – 6 Gallon Yield

6 lbs Western Buckwheat Blossom Honey
6 lbs Dark Wildflower Honey (if you can get Sumac it works very well with this)
6 lbs Black Button Sage Honey
H20 to 6 gallons
10 g QA23

Process:

Using a large food grade bucket, make your must starting with 4 gal H20 and add the honey stirring constantly until completely blended. Continue stirring and top up to 6 gallons.

You’re shooting for a gravity of about 1.140-1.150 or about 33 brix to start.

Check your pH, if it is below 3.4 buffer with your favorite buffering base until about 3.4 - 3.8 only buffer if necessary to keep the pH in the happy yeast zone.

Rehydrate your Yeast in Go-Ferm as per manufacturer’s instructions.

Rack your must into your fermentation vessel. When you have about ½ gallon in the fermenter, pitch your yeast.

Resume filling the fermenter and if possible fit your lees stirrer into the vessel and stir on med while filling.

When the vessel is full go ahead and stir some more. If you have an Oxygenation setup, you may eliminate the stirring in the fermenter until the end to make sure the yeast is blended in well, then oxygenate as you would normally. Cover with a sanitized cloth and secure with a rubber band or a tie wrap.

At the end of the lag phase add a mixture of 4 grams Fermaid K and 2 grams DAP dissolved in about 50-100 ml H20 and stir in well.

Aerate twice daily and check your gravity every day.

At the 1/3 sugar break add another 6 grams Fermaid K dissolved in about 50-100 ml H20 and stir in well.

Apply an airlock and continue to swirl the carboy daily with the airlock in place.

At the end of active fermentation rack to a secondary vessel and allow the mead to clear. This may take a while, so be patient.


Thoughts:

This (like most of my sack meads) is not a recipe for the faint of heart, or the not so motivated to manage their fermentation. If you don't stay on top of this mead during fermentation it can get out of hand very quickly and turn into a slow ferment that goes on for months. This is not good and a fermentation that lasts for a month is not a good thing in my book. Ferments that take that long are in danger of being fouled by off-flavors from yeast stress or can become subjet to infection. A rapidly rising ETOH level in a vigorous ferment is one of the best ways I know of to kill off most spoilage organisms and ensure that you have a nice tasting mead.

Also note that there is a lot of swirling and stirring. This is for a couple of reasons. The first as mentioned a lot in the main forums is that oxygen should be considered a nutrient for yeast during the first few days of fermentation. The second is that swirling keeps the yeast in suspension and gives them access to the sugars available in the must. Another very beneficial aspect of swirling is that in a good number of cases it acts as fining. That is, when swirled, the dead cells at the bottom will act to adsorb off flavor compounds and precipitate them out along with any other floaties out there in mustland.


Cheers, Oskaar
Okay, so where is the link to this format? Thanks.

wayneb
02-02-2009, 06:24 PM
Okay, so where is the link to this format? Thanks.

He doesn't mean that you can find a template -- just that you should try to organize the information that you present for your particular batch along the same lines.

General Meade
02-02-2009, 06:52 PM
He doesn't mean that you can find a template -- just that you should try to organize the information that you present for your particular batch along the same lines.
Okay, so I posted my recipe under the "Brewlog" link. Written verbatim from my own handwritten Brew Log Book. I trust this will be sufficient.

Thanks.

wildaho
02-02-2009, 11:51 PM
Okay, so I posted my recipe under the "Brewlog" link. Written verbatim from my own handwritten Brew Log Book. I trust this will be sufficient.

Thanks.

Hi GM,

I posted a few thoughts on your carbonation question back in the other thread. The info on your process is great but there are still a few questions that need answered.

:cheers:
Wade

General Meade
02-07-2009, 03:22 AM
Hi GM,

I posted a few thoughts on your carbonation question back in the other thread. The info on your process is great but there are still a few questions that need answered.

:cheers:
Wade
I believe you have provided all of the information that I need regarding Mead Carbonation for now and the foreseeable future. Thanks for your thorough response in the King's Oaked Braggot thread.