View Full Version : WYeast's Sweet Mead Question

03-30-2010, 09:20 PM
My plan is a 5G batch of Orange Ginger mead. Using 10lbs OB and 5lbs Alphalfa honey. Im adding the juice of 5 oranges and the peel of two along with about 6 oz of ginger in the primary and adding the same at secondary. SG should be around 1.11 and Id like to finish at around 1.02. This should give me an ABV of almost 12%. WYeast Sweet Mead says it attenuates at 11%.

Now my question: Can I trust that or will I have to kill my yeast off at 1.02 (or will I just have to wait and see)?

Thanks in advance and I have to say this is a wonderful site!

03-30-2010, 09:29 PM
From what I understand, the wyeast <insert class> mead yeasts are notoriously tricky and unreliable. I would recommend doing some searches on the board here to read up about it. I've never used it, myself.

Any info I provide has no professional basis and there are no warranties or guarantees expressed or implied :)

03-30-2010, 10:55 PM
In fact you may find that your fermentation stalls at much higher than 1.020. As jdw03n noted, both the Wyeast and the White Labs sweet mead cultures are notoriously unpredictable in how they will finish. Personally, I prefer liquid beer yeasts (with one notable exception), and active dry wine yeasts. Good luck with your batch.

03-30-2010, 11:03 PM
Well, I just took jdw03n's suggestion and searched. Not a lot of good news there regarding wyeast sweet mead. The part that makes me laugh (mostly at myself) is that I had bought D47 already for about $1.00 but those clever marketing guys at wyeast called theirs "sweet mead" so I spent $7.00 to get that one assuming it would be a better fit.

I should learn to read and research first and spend money second. But that would make my wife right again...:D

I guess I can always repitch with the D47 if the wyeast fails to get to 12%, right?

03-30-2010, 11:25 PM
Yes, you can, but if the ABV is above about 9% when it stalls, then you'll have to take care to build up an acclimated starter of D47, or any other yeast, before pitching. There's lots of good info on how to rescue a stuck fermentation and if you search the forums you should be able to find most of it.

Oh, and before I forget, Welcome to the "GotMead?" community!! ;D

03-31-2010, 01:17 PM
Thanks again for the advice! So, I have come to the conclusion that I have a few choices to try and get my fermentation off to a good start:

1. Go with the wyeast sweet mead as is (breaking nutrient bag and waiting x hours for the yeast to grow and then add to mead). Id add nutrients for the first 3 days and aerate vigorously...and hope.

2. Try to kick start the wyeast beyond what you get by breaking the nutrient bag in the wyeast packet. Not sure exactly how, but I havent finished searching for that yet. Again, add nutrients for the first 3 days and aerate vigorously.

3. Say my fond farewell to wyeast and just use the D47 I have. This sounds the smartest but I have this irrational urge to use wyeast because I bought it.

Any concensus on this? Did I get my choices basically right? Thanks again :)

03-31-2010, 01:28 PM
If you really want to use that Wyeast, then I'd suggest helping it along by making a starter - basically that's your option #2. You should be able to find info about doing a yeast starter by searching the forums, but if you don't, then let us know.

But personally, I'd write off the $7 and go with D47. Better to do that and lose a few bucks, than to go with something that may be problematic later, IMHO. That Sweet Mead yeast might leave you with a mead that is too sweet and too far along to reliably re-start with any yeast later.

I don't often diss a commercial product and I only do so after much personal thought and soul-searching, since I firmly support all the vendors who have over the past 10 to 20 years made homebrewing much more pleasant and reliable than it has been in the past. I especially endorse all the Wyeast ale yeasts that I've used - they've been great. But I've had enough difficulty with this particular one that I can't in good conscience recommend it to anyone.

04-01-2010, 03:00 PM
I have found a lot of good info on making a starter here. The more you dig around, the more stuff you find. Luckily I have some free time (aka work) to explore.

Two more questions:

1. If I cant find Go-Ferm is there another suitable substitute using easier to find ingredients? There are no LHBS in my area that carry it.

2. I found a tip on here that said MoreBeer.com or Northern Brewer.com would have Go-Ferm (and they do). I thought if I was going to e-order some stuff Id get the whole list of Oskaar's recommended things (Go-Ferm, Fermaid-K, DAP, and Fermaid-2133 or yeast hulls). I cant find anybody that carries all of that (tried google and other searches). Does anybody have a tip on where to go to purchase this stuff all in one place?

Thanks again!!

04-01-2010, 03:09 PM
My LHBS doesn't carry any of lalle's stuff besides the yeast, so I had to order my goferm and fermaid-k from morebeer. It came pretty quickly.

04-01-2010, 03:29 PM
Secrets out, Im an idiot. I guess Morebeer does have all that stuff. Sorry to waste your time on this one. I dont know how I missed that, I swear I looked at that website 5 times minimum ???

Im going to hopefully start my batch this weekend (Sunday most likely). Ill start a brew log and open a new topic in that sub forum. Thanks again for all your help!

edit: Id still be interested in a substitue for Go-Ferm for this batch of mead since I wont get Go-Ferm in time.

04-01-2010, 04:20 PM
Go-Ferm isn't strictly required. It is an aid to rehydration, and gives your yeast an extra measure of vitamins and nutrients as they rehydrate so they're that much more ready to begin reproduction when added to the must, but you can rehydrate in plain tap water at the correct temperature and everything should work just fine.