View Full Version : Pyment Mead & Total Acidity

02-25-2009, 10:30 PM
I'm into a 60 day secondary ferm. making a pyment with Sauvignon Blanc juice. Should I be monitoring the Total Accidity as winemakers do. Should pyment-meads be held to the same T.A. specs as wine makers do. magarcia12

02-26-2009, 01:07 AM
Usually not necessary to monitor total acidity since this is going to be a mead that you'll need to show the honey influence. It is important to monitor the pH of the fermentation and make sure it doesn't drop past 3.2.

If you find at the end of the ferment that there is not enough acidity to your pyment you may adjust with an acid addition at that point to your preference.

Cheers, Oskaar

02-26-2009, 01:23 AM
Has anyone used the grapes to make there pyment, instead of just the juice?

02-26-2009, 01:45 AM
Yes, I've done this many times.


03-01-2009, 01:26 PM
Any chance you want to share advice on this? Say for a 5-ish gallon batch how many pounds of grapes are you using?
IS there less DAP and Fermaid-k used, cause the grapes are there?

Yeasts???? would you use a yeast that goes with the kind of grapes you are using?

Do you leave some stems from the clusters???

Do you find this even works, using whole grapes?

I have had 3 stabs at this, not much good luck with the pinot noir grapes yet. I did a Chard.. grapes this past season it is looking real good. I few months will tell. It is dry according to the numbers but fruity on the mouth. :)
In another 20 or so years I may be able to answer these questions. But you only get fresh grapes 1 time a year.

03-01-2009, 03:14 PM
Can you give me an idea of how you're processing the grapes, must and fermentation management with the Pinot batches you've done?

Basically I approach pyment as it's own beast and with a modified wine oriented methodology. I take my must after I've sulfited at a rate of about 30-50 ppm and pull off about 10-15 gallons of the must itself. I process with enological enzymes (Lallzyme-EX) for color and tannin extraction and to aid mouthfeel as I would with wine. The winegrower I get my grapes from has all the vital information on pH, TA, VA, YAN etc. so any adjustmets to acid are going to be subjective based on my tastebuds, and not on a TA test. I don't generally add acid up front in pyments, if I need more acid I'll add at the end.

Pairing up the must with a yeast is pretty straight forward. I use RC-212 for Burgundy oriented pyments, K1, QA23, EC or D47 in most whites and either D21 or D254/D80 with my Zin, Petit Sirah, Primitivo or Sangiovese juices. Basically I aim my yeast at the grape or style I'm producing and run with it.

The must I use is right from the crusher/destemmer (see attached photo) and includes the seeds and stems. I'm a believer that the tannins you get from them really adds to the tannin profile and is helpful to the overall tannin character of what you're producing. Having a good tannin profile prior to oaking brings a very nice balance of grape skin/stem/seed to wood tannin balance.

Once the wait is over from the sulfite treatment, I process my honey into the must and bring the brix up to the desired level. I then prepare my yeast slurry and inoculate the must. I check my pH and brix throughout the fermentation and monitor the temperature as I would a batch of wine.

I punch the cap daily several times, check the must and decide how long I'm going to let the skins stay in contact, and this is based on tasting the must daily as well. On this years batch of Zin we let the skins stay in contact for 14-17 days, I don't remember off the top of my head. Then the spash rack and another quick rack off the gross lees a day later.

That's pretty much how I roll when I Pyment.


03-01-2009, 11:56 PM
What I have done the past few years is start the mead. I usaully set the brix to about 5 short of the yeast averages. The mead (soon to be pyment) gets to work for about 4-5 days, Then I add the grapes. The thought behind this was that the alcohol already in the mead would take care of any yeasts hitching on the grapes. Which seems to have worked so far.
I feed as a normal traditional mead, maybe a little lighter cause the grapes bring in quite a bit.

I am picking the grapes myself. I have just crushed them by hand or potato smasher. :) Real high tech at our house. I could get them from the destemmer I just haven't. I leave the skins and alot of the stem not all but alot. Like you said I figure it would add to it.

At first I was using around 15# of grapes, it was not enough so this past season I used 30# with Chard.. grapes it seemed alot better.

Cap managment much like yours punch down 2-3 times a day. Although I have left the grapes in untill about the end of ferment.

I really don't deal with ph untill the end on anything. I would say about 90% of everything I have brewed I didn't mess with ph it came out good on its own. BUT I will adjust as I see fit in the end. I have wondered if maybe I should be more concerned with ph in the beginning. So far, fingers crossed, my after the fact has been working. :) Boy don't you hate it when lazyness pays off.

I have easy access to gamay, chardonnay, pinot noir. From a bio-dynamic vineyard. I don't buy in to the whole bio-dynamics BUT alot of what they do does make for better fruit no doubt about it. Less or no chemicals is always a good thing.

If I can get my hands on enough fermenters I was going to run 3 batch runs of 2 of the grapes. Work work work. That is why I was wondering what you where doing, to help with some of the learning curve. Thank you very much for the info it has been printed and put in the folder. :)

If you every come up to OR, give me heads up if your interest in some wine tasting, I will get your tasting fee covered and good neighbor pricing on your bottles of wine. At least the 10 winerys that I'm on good terms with. As for the others, they just haven't met my yet. :)

Because where I live I feel I must come up with a drop dead good pyment using the local grapes.

03-02-2009, 12:35 AM
.... and pull off about 10-15 gallons of the must itself.
... I process my honey into the must and bring the brix up to the desired level.

Removal of the must - is so that the added honey doesn't make it too alcoholic?

What brix (roughly) do you head for ?

03-02-2009, 03:13 AM
Removal of the must - is so that the added honey doesn't make it too alcoholic?

What brix (roughly) do you head for ?

Basically all I'm doing is taking 3 or so 5 gallon buckets worth of crushed grapes right out of the crusher-destemmer and sulfiting it, then adding honey to bring the brix up to about 30 or more. I want the unfermented must because I want the color, sugar, tannin and acid from the skins from the outset rather than getting a mead starter and then adding the grapes in.

Just a different approach I'll also add in some juice from the main wine fermenter because there's usually plenty. I run the fermentations pretty much parallel with the wine that's going at the same time.

Hope that helps, Oskaar

03-11-2009, 02:06 PM

Thanks for the response. The pH is 3.84. magarcia12

03-11-2009, 02:10 PM

A low acidity would only be infered from a HIGH ph , correct ? How else would I evaluate the acidity. magarcia12

03-11-2009, 03:34 PM
pH (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PH) is a scale with 7 considered neutral (e.g., pure water): anything numerically lower is acid, anything numerically higher is base (or alkali). -- Olen


Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PH