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ibwahooka
10-15-2009, 06:37 PM
Hey everyone,
Has anyone ever tried watermelon honey? I found some at my local farmers market today and was thinking about making a 1 gallon batch of show mead with 2.5 lbs of watermelon and 1 lb of clover. I saw that some people have used watermelon juice, but no one seems to have used watermelon honey. Thoughts? Suggestions?

Thanks,
Shawn

AToE
10-15-2009, 06:45 PM
Why add the clover at all? Might as well just see how the honey does on it's own, you can always blend clover in later if you really want to. 2.5lbs will put you a little over 12% ABV, which seems like a good place to end up.

The only real advice I could give you is from one newbie to another (I'm assuming you're new to this... sorry if that's incorrect) would be to leave making a show mead until later when you've more experience. For now maybe stick to a traditional - nutrients are your friends! I'd use goferm DAP and FermaidK, my fermentations have improved greatly since I switched to those (and a nutrient dosing schedule) from just using generic nutrient.:)

afdoty
10-15-2009, 06:58 PM
I'm with Atoe on this one. Why delute the honey. See what it's made of. Post up a recipe and let us take a look at it before you start.

ibwahooka
10-15-2009, 07:10 PM
The only reason for the clover is because the farmers market didn't have enough to make 3.5 lbs of honey. If you guys think that 2.5 lbs would be enough to make a gallon batch then I could do that.

-Shawn

AToE
10-15-2009, 07:17 PM
It'll go dry, but I like dry, I think it tastes sweet anyways. You can always backsweeten, hard to dry out a sweet one though (trust me, I've tried and failed several times!).

ibwahooka
10-15-2009, 07:23 PM
That's why I wanted to go with 3.5 lbs so it wouldn't be too dry.

Here's what I've come up with:
2.5 lbs of Watermelon Honey
1 Gallon of water
1 tsp. of yeast energizer
1 tsp. of yeast nutrient
1 tsp. of yeast

Thoughts? Suggestions?

-Shawn

ibwahooka
10-15-2009, 08:46 PM
I have a better idea:

2.5 lbs of Watermelon Honey
1 Gallon of water
1 tsp. of yeast energizer
1 tsp. of yeast nutrient
1 tsp. of yeast

When I'm ready to bottle if too dry for my or my wife's taste I'll add the following:
Enough Potassium Sorbate to stabilizer per directions
1 lb of Watermelon Honey (if it's still available) or enough to make it the sweetness that we want

Thoughts? Suggestions?

-Shawn

Shanecb
10-15-2009, 08:56 PM
I have a better idea:

2.5 lbs of Watermelon Honey
1 Gallon of water
1 tsp. of yeast energizer
1 tsp. of yeast nutrient
1 tsp. of yeast

When I'm ready to bottle if too dry for my or my wife's taste I'll add the following:
Enough Potassium Sorbate to stabilizer per directions
1 lb of Watermelon Honey (if it's still available) or enough to make it the sweetness that we want

Thoughts? Suggestions?

-Shawn

It wouldn't actually be a "show" mead in that case. Show mead is just honey + water + yeast. What you'd have is a traditional mead, since you'd be adding nutrients and energizer.

ibwahooka
10-15-2009, 08:58 PM
It wouldn't actually be a "show" mead in that case. Show mead is just honey + water + yeast. What you'd have is a traditional mead, since you'd be adding nutrients and energizer.

Ahh... I was confused. Thanks for clearing that up. Any thoughts to the recipe?

-Shawn

Shanecb
10-15-2009, 09:01 PM
Ahh... I was confused. Thanks for clearing that up. Any thoughts to the recipe?

-Shawn

The recipe looks fine to me. Would probably just want to let it go completely dry, then stabilize and backsweeten to taste (if at all) like you said. Just do a forum search for stabilizing and you'll get numerous topics. Just generally, it's add an appropriate amount of potassium metabisulphite, wait around 40-48hrs, then add your sorbate.

Have you tasted this honey yet? Just wondering what it's like.

Angelic Alchemist
10-15-2009, 10:42 PM
Ahh... I was confused. Thanks for clearing that up. Any thoughts to the recipe?

-Shawn

If you are looking to make a sweeter/stronger product, adding water to bring the total volume up to a gallon is the way to go, rather than adding a full gallon of water. It also fits into 1gal carboys nicely...unless, you want to drink the leftovers when you do your transfer to the secondary!

MagicNinja
10-15-2009, 11:26 PM
I have a better idea:

2.5 lbs of Watermelon Honey
1 Gallon of water
1 tsp. of yeast energizer
1 tsp. of yeast nutrient
1 tsp. of yeast

When I'm ready to bottle if too dry for my or my wife's taste I'll add the following:
Enough Potassium Sorbate to stabilizer per directions
1 lb of Watermelon Honey (if it's still available) or enough to make it the sweetness that we want

Thoughts? Suggestions?

-Shawn

I suggest you 1/4 the nutrient to start, so 1/4 tsp(duh) to start, and ad another 1/4 tsp after a few days, but you probably wont really need it. Keep the energizer and go 1/4 tsp.

Thats how I did my orange blossom traditional, and its still going strong of the initial 1/4 tsp. Started sunday the 11th. I did use 1/2 tsp of nutrient(half of label instructions) but 1/4 should be fine, and add another 1/4 later as needed. The reason is to avoid the yeast not using it all. And from what I've read, they suggest leaving it out initially(i think thats right), but I think the small amount in the beginning will help to ensure a strong ferment.

What type of yeast do you plan on using? I'm sure the more experienced brewers could help with a suggestion on that.

If you want to try for some residual sweetness, try using an ale yeast, talk to your local home brew shop guys and find something in the 8-10% tolerance range. A belgian strain could probably work nicely. Anything that will bring out more of the fruityness should play well the the honey you have.

I'm a research junky, I soak everything I read and hear up. But if anyone with more experience can correct me, on anything, please do. I'd rather look like an ass, than give someone poor information.

2.5 lbs is a good number for 1 gallon batch, and with the lower alcohol content it'll be ready faster.

Found here http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15014

Angelic Alchemist
10-15-2009, 11:44 PM
I suggest you 1/4 the nutrient to start, so 1/4 tsp(duh) to start, and ad another 1/4 tsp after a few days, but you probably wont really need it. Keep the energizer and go 1/4 tsp.

I saw Ooskar mention on another thread that adding DAP at the top of the project is ill advised because it will kill much of the freshly rehydrated yeasts. From what I can tell, the preferred place to add nutrient is at the 1/3 sugar break. Granted, I've made the "mistake" of adding my nutrient at the pitch on many occasions with acceptable results, so I think the technique of waiting to feed is more of a fine tuning detail.

akueck
10-15-2009, 11:57 PM
B3 had watermelon honey in stock for awhile, but doesn't seem to anymore. If you want to use just the watermelon honey, make whatever volume you get at your desired OG. Don't feel constrained by gallon increments. I have done 3 quart batches when I used the carrot honey I got from B3 and I didn't have enough for a full gallon.

ibwahooka
10-16-2009, 05:29 AM
What type of yeast do you plan on using? I'm sure the more experienced brewers could help with a suggestion on that.


I've picked up some Lalvin 71B-1122 for my yeast. The only reason for the nutrient and energizer was per most books that I have been reading when making mead. So in this case maybe just leave out the energizer all together unless the fermentation gets stuck? Just add the nutrient?

-Shawn

Shanecb
10-16-2009, 08:41 AM
I've picked up some Lalvin 71B-1122 for my yeast. The only reason for the nutrient and energizer was per most books that I have been reading when making mead. So in this case maybe just leave out the energizer all together unless the fermentation gets stuck? Just add the nutrient?

-Shawn

I wouldn't necessarily leave out the energizer altogether. It has some stuff that yeast like (e.g yeast hulls) that you won't really find in yeast nutrient (primarily a source of DAP). In fact, the yeast nutrient isn't going to be much use past the 1/2 sugar break, when the yeast can't really make much use of the DAP, but the yeast energizer would still be a good addition if things seem slow. There are quite a few different approaches to nutrient additions. Doing a forum search on staggered nutrient additions is probably your best bet, so you can read up on a few of the different schedules. I've typically added at the beginning when I pitched the yeast, at the 1/3 sugar break, and at the 2/3 sugar break(though sometimes not if everything seemed fine), but I'm thinking of changing my method soon.

Medsen Fey
10-16-2009, 09:19 AM
Nutrients are needed to prevent stuck fermentations, but they usually won't cure a stuck fermentation once it occurs. Adding an energizer if you stick is not a great plan. It is better to plan you nutrients and add them at a stage when they can be useful.

For a one gallon batch with 71B and a modest gravity, 2 grams of DAP (around 1/2 tsp) and 2-4 grams of Fermaid K (0.5-1 tsp) should be plenty.

You don't want to add any DAP to the yeast while they are rehydrating as it can be toxic. I prefer to add the nutrients starting at the end of lag phase (when the first signs of fermentation are visible). For a batch with a gravity in the range where 2.5 pounds of honey will put you, staggered nutrients aren't really necessary, and you can add them all at once.

Just be sure to give it the other critical nutrient (oxygen) for the first couple of days.

ibwahooka
10-16-2009, 03:41 PM
Thanks for all the help guys! I will try that out tonight or tomorrow and let everyone know how it goes!

-Shawn

ibwahooka
10-17-2009, 07:01 PM
Ok, so here's the skinny on the watermelon honey. It is by far the most interesting honey I have ever smelt or tasted. The scent of watermelon was the best thing when I opened up the jars. I am definitely going to be getting more of this honey.

So here's how my mead went down:
2.5 lbs (40 oz.) of watermelon honey
1/4 tsp yeast energizer
1/4 tsp yeast nutrient
Enough water to make 1 gal.
1 tsp of yeast

I boiled my water for a few minutes to make sure any last minute bad stuff was out of there and then I removed the pot from the heat and added the energizer, nutrient and honey. I stirred until all the honey was thoroughly dissolved and transferred into my 1 gallon carboy. Then I added the remainder of the water to bring it up to 1 gallon. I'm currently waiting for the must to cool down to 65-72 degrees so I can add the yeast. Then of course I will install my airlock and then leave it alone so it can become tasty, tasty watermelon mead. Well that's about it.

Thoughts? Suggestions?
-Shawn

ibwahooka
10-22-2009, 09:05 PM
One more quick question and then I'll get out of people's hair. Do you have to add more energizer and nutrient to your mead or only if it gets stuck?

-Shawn

wayneb
10-22-2009, 10:14 PM
Shawn,

I encourage you to do a search here on Staggered Nutrient Additions (or SNA) when you have the chance to do so. The bottom line answer to your question is that if you have added enough in your first dose, you probably won't need any more nutrients. But, adding the nutrients in smaller measured amounts during the course of the first 1/3 of fermentation will present the yeast with just the stuff it needs, no more and no less, and so your fermentation will be quicker and more clean if you follow a staggered nutrient protocol.

ibwahooka
10-23-2009, 05:49 AM
Thanks for the info Wayne! I will definitely do that today.