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jefferson83
02-23-2009, 02:03 AM
hello everyone, I am new to this process and have been reading about it for a good 4 hours now. I have a few questions about it that i know someone here has answers to.

just a note i searched for a lot of my answers and found them but these last few I either could not find answers to or the search function just gave back vague posts. Ex: 1 gallon batch, just sent back posts that had any three of these words in it and if I searched for , gallon, it sent back pretty much everypost on here. Help on this sites search would be appreciated from the seasoned posters, if someone can tell me keywords to use along with my search? thanks

I think ill just list them off so people can answer them by number.

1-final alcohol depends on how much honey is used, correct?

2-will a lower alcohol content yield a better quality mead or does this have no bearing?

3-where is the Mead Calculator everyone reffers to, I see its used all the time but cant find it?

4-I know people say that they add fruit to the secondary ferment in a bag but how do you get it in and out of the carboy without juicing the fruit all over the sides of the carboy? Big bag small hole any tips or am I mis-understanding this step?

5-Recipe reductions. is this like cooking? Just looking at some of the recipes I would like to try but maybe not 5 gallons would I make the reductions proportionate to the amount I'm making? Ex: 5 apples 5 gallons would go to 3apples for 3 gallons


thanks for any and all answers and I look forward to getting to know all of you in the future

Shanecb
02-23-2009, 03:20 AM
I think ill just list them off so people can answer them by number.

1-final alcohol depends on how much honey is used, correct?

2-will a lower alcohol content yield a better quality mead or does this have no bearing?

3-where is the Mead Calculator everyone reffers to, I see its used all the time but cant find it?

4-I know people say that they add fruit to the secondary ferment in a bag but how do you get it in and out of the carboy without juicing the fruit all over the sides of the carboy? Big bag small hole any tips or am I mis-understanding this step?

5-Recipe reductions. is this like cooking? Just looking at some of the recipes I would like to try but maybe not 5 gallons would I make the reductions proportionate to the amount I'm making? Ex: 5 apples 5 gallons would go to 3apples for 3 gallons


thanks for any and all answers and I look forward to getting to know all of you in the future

I'll be the first to welcome you to GotMead!

1. Short answer yes, long answer no. To be specific final alcohol depends on how much of the sugar the yeast eats and how much the specific gravity drops. This is directly related to how much sugar is made available, however, which yes is controlled by how much honey you use. But for example, adding 2lbs of honey and a drop to a gravity of 1.000 will have a higher ABV than 2lbs of honey only dropping to 1.020, assuming all other things are equal. Specific gravity is basically just measuring the amount of dissolved sugars in the water. A drop in gravity means that the yeast are eating the sugars and spitting out alcohol. So what the amount of honey you add is doing is actually setting up what the POTENTIAL ABV is.

2. I would say that depends almost surely upon taste. One advantage to making a low ABV mead (I imagine) would be you have to manage the fermentation shorter as it would ferment faster, and there would be less of a window for making a mistake. But as far as strictly quality goes, it has no real effect. There can be great quality low and high ABV meads.

3. The Mead Calculator can be found in a link under the "Site Menu" on the left of the page. It's the seventh entry down.

4. Do you mean the outside of the carboy? Well some spill is inevitable, but that's what paper towels are for :)

5. The recipes can be scaled down, yes. If you want to make a one gallon batch out of a recipe that is actually for five gallons then just multiply all of the ingredient amounts by 1/5. Scale up in the same way. As long as everything is in the same proportion the recipe should come out the same way.

wildaho
02-23-2009, 01:07 PM
Hi jefferson83 and Welcome to the GotMead? World!

Let me add a little clarification to Shane's response:

1.) Alcohol content is primarily a function of available sugars. But you also have to factor in the alcohol tolerance of the yeast you are using as well. If you add honey to reach a Potential Alcohol By Volume (PABV) of 20%, and you've chosen a yeast that has an alcohol tolerance of only 14%, you'll be left with a very sweet mead. Yeast will eat sugars until the alcohol level reaches such a point that the yeast die in their own wastes. The yeast chart (also located in the Site Menu off to your left) lists several common yeasts and their tolerances.

2.) Alcohol content has little or no bearing on the quality of the mead. Managing your fermentation kinetics and following proper procedures will have a much larger effect on the quality of the mead.

3.) Yep, look to your left!

4.) Quick answer: buckets instead of carboys. I do all my active fermentation in buckets. They allow much better access for aeration, cap management, nutrient additions, etc. than a carboy will. Carboys are great for clearing and aging but I ferment in buckets.

5.) Shane nailed it.

In your reading did you happen across our NewBee Guide? There is a link for it as well over to your left in the Site Menu. If you don't see the Site Menu, look for a down pointing arrow under the header. If you click the arrow, the menu will drop down.

:cheers:
Wade

Shanecb
02-23-2009, 03:18 PM
Hi jefferson83 and Welcome to the GotMead? World!

Let me add a little clarification to Shane's response:

1.) Alcohol content is primarily a function of available sugars. But you also have to factor in the alcohol tolerance of the yeast you are using as well. If you add honey to reach a Potential Alcohol By Volume (PABV) of 20%, and you've chosen a yeast that has an alcohol tolerance of only 14%, you'll be left with a very sweet mead. Yeast will eat sugars until the alcohol level reaches such a point that the yeast die in their own wastes. The yeast chart (also located in the Site Menu off to your left) lists several common yeasts and their tolerances.


Forgot to mention yeast tolerance! Thanks for adding that in for me. :)

jefferson83
02-23-2009, 06:07 PM
thanks for the answers just got done messing with that calculator whoever created that deserves a big gold star. im looking forward to getting a batch going, just need to get some hard cider out of the primary so i can try my hand at some mead.

pugsquasher
02-26-2009, 01:12 AM
How's it going, jefferson? For a first batch of mead, JAO is great. You have to really, really, go out of your way in order to screw that one up. The only reason I recommend that one: it was the first(and currently, only) mead I ever made. It turned out tasty, with no aging. Two months from pitching, it's ready to drink. Mine turned out stronger than I expected though....,probably do to the climate around here: 30 one night then 70 two days later! Listen to the experts, manage your temps, and as said before, by MANY veterans here, do a search on "Oskaar in a Nutshell". If Oskaar can't answer your question, I don't think anyone can. Hope that was helpful to you.

Cheers,

The Hamster