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mccann51
02-03-2011, 06:25 PM
Objective: make a drinkable mead within a month's time.

I'm not talking a complex, interesting, sip-on-it-with-a-starry-gaze mead, I'm talking something that will taste good enough where you're not forcing yourself to drink it and you can get a nice buzz while hanging with some friends (or by yourself, whatever).

I'm thinking an initial gravity of 1.110, orange blossom honey (or wildflower, or a mix), D47, and a dose of Fermaid after lag and at the 1/3 break. I figure the D47 will ferment pretty much til dry, but it won't be bone dry (<1.000), and I seem to remember reading it makes for a relatively quick turnaround from ferment to drinkability.

Since I'm not aging this, could I just aerate straight through to the end since I'll be drinking it relatively soon after fermentation? Would this benefit anything?

How's my yeast selection? Better options?

wayneb
02-03-2011, 06:32 PM
Rather than changing yeast strain, I'd suggest considering dropping your initial gravity a bit.

In traditional meads such as this one, the principal source of "hot" characteristics that take some aging to mellow out are fusels (aka higher order alcohols). To the first order, the amount of fusels produced in a given fermentation are proportional to fermentation temperature (so cooler ferments are, in general, better for meads that are to be consumed shortly after fermentation is over), but they are also proportional to the total ABV. So, again in general, lower ABV meads will have less detectable fusel character, all other things being equal.

If I were interested in turning out a "quick mead," I'd start from an initial gravity of 1.080 or less, I'd ferment cool with a yeast not known for fusel production, and then after it finished (likely totally dry), I'd backsweeten a little bit, because a little residual sugar can cover up a multitude of other minor sins. ;D

AToE
02-03-2011, 06:36 PM
I would start with a lower SG and then backsweeten - 14% is going to need some aging generally. For a quick mead sweeter is better too, nothing dry is going to be good in that timeframe.

Traditional meads don't clear quickly, so you're going to have to add fining agents to get it clear (not necessarily a bad thing), and this will also help you when you go to stabilize it (trying to stabilize a cloudy mead is tough, too many yeast cells to fight).

I would not aerate past the 1/3 or 1/2 mark, there's no point, won't help you out and might oxidize the mead somewhat.


If you do all that and ferment cool it might work. 71B is probably a better choice for a young mead, and will be a bit more forgiving of nutrient and temperature problems.

EDIT: Wayne beat me!

Medsen Fey
02-03-2011, 07:00 PM
If you do all that and ferment cool it might work. 71B is probably a better choice for a young mead, and will be a bit more forgiving of nutrient and temperature problems.

I agree that 71B would be better for a quick drinking mead.
The other yeast that I like for drink out of the primary is DV10.

If you make a fruit bomb of a melomel that may also make it drink much faster. I'd consider stabilizing then tossing in a bunch of fruit or juice, then sweetening from there.

If you filter it to clear out the yeast and/or fine it, that will also speed up the drinkability by getting rid of bitter yeast cells and amino acids and peptides.

Whatever you make that is drinkable, just know that a year later it would have been bodacious! If you can stash away a bottle or two, you'll see for yourself.

mccann51
02-03-2011, 07:32 PM
Thanks, guys! Very helpful comments.

I had been thinking of backsweetening...


... because a little residual sugar can cover up a multitude of other minor sins. ;D

... and based on the recommendations will probably go with it.

That being said, one last idea before I commit to the stabilizing/backsweetening route: honey-bottom-thinga-ma-bobber? (can't remember the acronym for the life of me) If I mixed to a gravity of 1.080 (or even less) and then had some honey sitting on the bottom, would this reduce the fusel production? In other words: is it high OG or high ABV that stresses the yeast to produce fusels (or both)?

I may just flip a coin to decide if I use 71B or DV10. I've been really wanting to try out DV10, but haven't felt like ordering it, so maybe this will be the motivation I need.

Oh, and I promise to ferment it cool.

akueck
02-04-2011, 12:33 AM
Even if you succeed in keeping the OG down by BDCDYF, the high alcohol will still stress the yeast out at the end. Fast drinking = low ABV, not a whole lot of ways around that. A 4% abv beer can be consumed within a week of yeast pitch if you can force carbonate it.

I tend to say this a lot, but for some reason no one likes this suggestion: bottle it dry and blend it with a sugar syrup in the glass. No stabilization, no backsweetening, easy as can be. Mix up a syrup (with whatever sugar you like, you can add other flavoring too) and pour some in a glass. Top with mead. Stir (or shake!). Done. You can even make a liqueur instead of a simple sugar syrup and boost the abv that way. A month is plenty of time to mix up a liqueur of your choice, just soak the desired ingredients in vodka, rum, etc and strain after a few weeks; mix in simple syrup and bottle.

mccann51
02-04-2011, 01:49 PM
A MIXED DRINK!? WTF?!

Just kidding. This is great advice, and simple, which was an unstated objective of this little project.

Okay, I'll stick with a low OG and steer clear of the BDCDYF.

By the way, I finally mustered up the effort and ordered some DV10 off of Morewine.com; I also got some Fermaid K (which I cannot find in any stores around here) and D21 (cause I figured I'd wanna try it out eventually). I'll probably brew this up next weekend.

AToE
02-04-2011, 02:12 PM
I think you'll like DV10, I'm using it in my Mocha mead right now and it's fermenting happily with absolutely zero off-odours even though I gave it an extremely stressful environment to work with (very high gravity, not tons of nutrients).

akueck
02-05-2011, 01:44 AM
A MIXED DRINK!? WTF?!

Not a mixed drink, it's a blended libation. ;) Blending gives you infinite opportunity with finite ingredients and very little time. I think it's highly underutilized and for whatever reason unfairly stigmatized. Every* commercial-scale production facility (beer, wine, distillates) blends, why not homebrewers?

*Yes I'm sure you can find some that don't, but even I am prone to hyperbole.

Chevette Girl
02-05-2011, 01:49 PM
My ginger hydromel had fermented out completely in a couple of days, and if I'd had my crap together I could have primed and bottled it then and it would have been ready to drink in a month...

I think the reason I've never gone for blending in the glass is that it's too much work, I just wanna drink my darn mead... the time for doing work is BEFORE bottling...

gray
02-05-2011, 02:13 PM
My ginger hydromel had fermented out completely in a couple of days

Is that this one? http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16243
A couple of days sounds good for my dwindling drinking supply :)

Chevette Girl
02-05-2011, 02:32 PM
That's the one. It might be fermented after a couple days but it'll still be coudy for a while until things settle out. Now that I check the dates, started Jun 21, bottled July 1, yeah, it's pretty quick, really the only thing you'd be waiting on is for it to clear, but I've found this sometimes is pretty quick with the lower-gravity brews, this one was pretty clear a week after fermentation and so was my perry (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16809), but your mileage may vary...

gray
02-05-2011, 02:43 PM
That's the one. It might be fermented after a couple days but it'll still be coudy for a while, Now that I check the dates, started Jun 21. bottled July 1, yeah, it's pretty quick, really the only thing you'd be waiting on is for it to clear, but I've found this sometimes is pretty quick with the lower-gravity brews, this one was pretty clear a week after fermentation and so was my perry (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16809), but your mileage may vary...


Very cool. I'll have to borrow that recipe from you :)
I'm not super worried about it clearing, especially if I'm the only one planning on drinking it. The perry sounds delicious. I think I may also need to borrow the bottling in soda bottles idea too, I'm quickly running out of space to store large containers.

mccann51
03-27-2012, 02:31 AM
I've been meaning to update this, but kept forgetting. Now I remember, but I don't have my brewlog on hand. Such is life.

I've done a few of these and here are some off-the-dome notes:
Best results have been with melomels; I've just drank em out of the fermentor, fruit chunks and all.
The couple attempts that weren't melomels were not good.
I think I've used DV10 for all of them; it would probably be worthwhile to try other yeasts, but I've been going with what's been working.
I've been keeping them under 1.080.
I have not been backsweetening.
I've noticed high nutrient additions have resulted in poorer products (though I haven't done enough to compare low to medium nutrient amounts).

I'm currently brewing a hopped, super-low OG (1.035) mead based on a post by BBBF. It is a little out of the spirit of this thread in that it requires a bit more effort due to dry-hopping and carbing, but I figured it was worth a mention.

I'm gonna be brewing up a QnD blueberry melomel soon with similarly low OG and no nutrient to see what kind of result that gives.

In regards to the un-intuitive nutrient result, I recall a discussion in which it was brought up that although nutrients are necessary for a healthy ferment, they can increase the vigor of the ferment equating to more fusels (I'm sure I'm missing important details here). I have no idea where this discussion is, but I would like to reread it if somebody knows the one I'm talking about (or if they could just explain it again for me). The idea is still a little counter-intuitive to me, but I remember it making sense when I read it.

tweak'e
03-27-2012, 03:32 AM
how you do the nutrients is probably more important than the amount of nutrient.
looking at the amount of yeast pitched relative to the amount of nutrient.

one problem you can get is to much nutrient at the start which basically makes the yeast breed like crazy and the large amount of yeast eat through the nutrient very quickly and then do the bulk of the ferment as staving wee yeasties. that certainly can throw bad flavours.

if you using something like DV10 i would cool it right down so it ferments at a slow pace.

Chevette Girl
03-27-2012, 10:36 AM
if you using something like DV10 i would cool it right down so it ferments at a slow pace.

Actually from what I've read around here, if you want something that's drinkable quickly, cool is the place to be anyway no matter what the yeast, even if the fermentation takes a little longer.

TAKeyser
03-27-2012, 11:07 AM
Actually from what I've read around here, if you want something that's drinkable quickly, cool is the place to be anyway no matter what the yeast, even if the fermentation takes a little longer.

What's the quote "Slow and steady wins the race" or something like that. kinda fits :)

Chevette Girl
03-27-2012, 03:03 PM
To a point... if it's slow because of temp it's fine, but you risk off flavours if it's because of stressed yeast.