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View Full Version : Just a bit (for now) advice needed



bonbird
02-01-2011, 07:36 AM
Hi Im bonbird and I am new here just getting ready for my first (1 gall.) batch of mead.
I will be using supermarket honey single variety I have a choice of acacia,orange or lavender.To my taste the lavender has a bit more depth and flavour the other two seem a bit insipid so I was going with the lavender unless advised differently.
I have a problem with temp.so I am changing my choice of yeast from D47 to K1V116 but this poses another problem in that I would sooner an ABV lower than the projected 18%. and a final gravity of 1015 ish
From my reading of the forum my understanding the preferred method is to ferment right out and then backsweeten rather than use the chemical cosh to kill the yeaties
After stabalising is there a way I can sweeten and at the same time lower the ABV maybe with lactose made into a weak syrup or preferably with a honey/water mixture.?

Could anyone give me a rough timeline from pitching the yeast to 1/3 sugar bit and then to racking? (Im away for a week in late march and dont want my mead to be at a potentialy critical stage) Fermentation will be between 12 and 18 deg.C. I brew beer so I know that fermentation times can vary widely.Any help much appreciated

triarchy
02-01-2011, 08:49 AM
Ill take a crack at this. Id say go with the honey you think tastes best. For me personally, I always liked the orange blossom I get, but OB in your area might be total crap.

Just because K1V has a tolerance of 18% doesnt mean you have to craft your mead to reach that level. 18% assumes you feed it enough sugar to get there. I would limit my SG and let the mead ferment out dry. Then backsweeten to 1.015. Do you have an idea what alcohol content you want for the finished product?

I would tend to agree that trying to stop an active fermentation is pretty hard, I believe it is best to stabilize and backsweeten.

For calculating 1/3 sugar break, first pick a starting SG (which will be determined by what final ABV you want). Lets say you want 14%. You can use the mead calculator on this site to figure out that 14% abv in a 1 gallon batch requires about 3 lbs of honey. It puts your starting gravity at 1.110. For me, my total fermentation usually takes about 1-2 weeks. Use a starter for your yeast, feed the mead with nutrients (search SNA or staggered nutrient addition) and aerate 2-3 times per day until 1/3 sugar break and you should get similar results Id think.

Medsen Fey
02-01-2011, 11:12 AM
Welcome to GotMead bonbird!

Triarchy is right. You can start with a gravity that will leave with the amount of alcohol you want, and then let it finish dry. After clearing, you can then use sorbate/sulfite in combination to prevent the yeast from fermenting more. Then you can add honey until it tastes best to your palate - that might be at a gravity of 1.015, or you might find you like it best higher or lower, so you can fine tune it to make it what you want. Just one small caveat - as time goes on, meads tend to taste slightly sweeter as they age, so you might want to make is just slightly less sweet than you think is ideal.

For a traditional mead, I like to start with a gravity of around 1.095-1.100 to come in around 12.5-13% ABV. Then I'll sweeten it up when it is finished.

If you haven't taken time to check out the NewBee guide, please take a look (see link in the column to the left of the forum).

bonbird
02-01-2011, 01:21 PM
many thanks for the prompt responses.I am OK with the calculations having had a play with the mead calculator. I will decide on the ABV this evening do my calculations and try to get started tomorrow.I will post a brew log and research some more while the fermentation is taking place.

bonbird
02-08-2011, 06:08 PM
Hi sorry for he delay took longer than I anticipated to gather together the materials

My recipe.to make 7.5 litres of 12% fully fermented dry mead to be backsweetened SG 1090
2161 gms of supermarket spanish lavender honey 83% sugar.
5 gms Lalvin K1 V116 yeast To cope with fermentation temp of min 11 deg C
Tronozymol yeast nutrient and energiser salts.
ingredients; Diammonium phosphate, magnesium sulphate, magnesium carbonate, albumin, nicotinamide, aueurine hydrochloride, trace minerals and vitamins.
Instructions say for every 4.5 litres. 1-2tsp for dry table wines 2-3tsp for sweet wines for high alcohol strongly flavoured wines up to 5 tsp.
My intentions are to add 5 tsp in three steps 1 to start,1 at one third sugar level and 1 inbetween.
I will start tomorrow as the weather will be inclement and it looks like Ill have time on my hands.I do hope this will work.