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Eden192
06-27-2010, 03:13 AM
Ok, so, I decided to brew up my first and second batches of mead tonight after having looked thru the forums for a while. I started with making a 1g batch of J.A.O.M. and followed the recipe exactly. It turned out great, started bubbling away happily within a few minutes. SWMBO was really excited watching it go.
The second batch I made was a 1g batch of my own recipe (yeah I'm ambitious ). I decided to try and craft my own Cranberry/Pomegranete Melomel with some ingredients that I had. I took inspiration from J.A.O.M. and used Cranberry and Pomegranite juices (no preservatives, not potassium sorbate), a split Vanilla Bean (for flavor), a small handful of Raisins and Craisins (about 25-30 of each for flavor and tannins), the zest of one orange (again flavor), and somewhere between 3 1/2 and 4 lbs of honey (i think closer to the 4) because I forgot that the juices had some sugars added.
The mix smelled great and the small sample I took was fantastic, but my OG was off the hydrometer. If my reading was accurate then it thinks my final ABV would be around 25%. I know the yeast won't go that far but I'm worried about shocking my yeast and it dying off early. Anyone have any suggestions for preventing that? I did add a yeast nutrient at the beginning because I was worried that nothing I had added in would give enough fermentable material (other than just straight sugars).
What else should I do to keep this going good?

::Edit:: If it matters I also used Lalvin K1v1116 yeast instead of the bread yeast that I used for the J.A.O.M. because I thought it would attenuate better than the bread yeast and be a bit hardier.

fatbloke
06-27-2010, 03:34 AM
Ok, so, I decided to brew up my first and second batches of mead tonight after having looked thru the forums for a while. I started with making a 1g batch of J.A.O.M. and followed the recipe exactly. It turned out great, started bubbling away happily within a few minutes. SWMBO was really excited watching it go.
The second batch I made was a 1g batch of my own recipe (yeah I'm ambitious ). I decided to try and craft my own Cranberry/Pomegranete Melomel with some ingredients that I had. I took inspiration from J.A.O.M. and used Cranberry and Pomegranite juices (no preservatives, not potassium sorbate), a split Vanilla Bean (for flavor), a small handful of Raisins and Craisins (about 25-30 of each for flavor and tannins), the zest of one orange (again flavor), and somewhere between 3 1/2 and 4 lbs of honey (i think closer to the 4) because I forgot that the juices had some sugars added.
The mix smelled great and the small sample I took was fantastic, but my OG was off the hydrometer. If my reading was accurate then it thinks my final ABV would be around 25%. I know the yeast won't go that far but I'm worried about shocking my yeast and it dying off early. Anyone have any suggestions for preventing that? I did add a yeast nutrient at the beginning because I was worried that nothing I had added in would give enough fermentable material (other than just straight sugars).
What else should I do to keep this going good?

::Edit:: If it matters I also used Lalvin K1v1116 yeast instead of the bread yeast that I used for the J.A.O.M. because I thought it would attenuate better than the bread yeast and be a bit hardier.
With the second batch you mention, yes, it's quite possible that if you pitch the yeast, then it will be shocked and not start fermenting.......

fatbloke
06-27-2010, 03:52 AM
As it's hard to remove the sugars once they're mixed in, you can either water it down to a level that the yeast can manage with, or you could make a yeast starter and hope that when pitched in, will have a strong enough yeast colony to be able to at least start the fermentation.

Me? Well I'd take a couple of litres out and chill it then mix the rest of the must with a bit of water to bring down the gravity (thinking something like 1080 to 1100) and then start the fermentation. The reserved part of the must can be used to top up.

Or how about doing that, but then starting the ferment in a bucket? with a gallon of high gravity must in a 2 gallon bucket, the'd be plenty of space to increase the water content to run the ferment.....

So yes, as you can see there's different ways of sorting this out. I'm thinking that moving it to a 2 gallon bucket and fermenting it will give you the easiest way or sorting it as it's easy to put a hydrometer into it and then add water and stirring to reduce the gravity some - you're only issues then would be when it comes to racking etc and making sure you've enough capacity to rack it for secondary ferment or if you just finish it in the bucket, to be able to rack it off the lees for clearing etc......

Medsen Fey
06-27-2010, 02:56 PM
Welcome to GotMead Eden192!

Fatbloke's advice is sound. If you start with a gravity that high it tends to stress the yeast, cause stuck fermentation, produce more sulfur odors and more acetic acid. The easy answer is dilute with water down to a reasonable gravity (1.140 or below which is still high, but at least tolerable for the yeast). It may still be a tough fermentation without added nutrients but it will give something that should be much more likely to be drinkable.