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THawk
03-30-2011, 11:33 PM
I'm looking to make a blueberry mead. Base recipe is a sweet mead:

3.5 lb Clover Honey
Water (balance of 1 gallon)
Yeast Nutrient
Yeast Energizer
Yeast

Question is -- what kind of yeast do I use?

I have the following on-hand: D-47, EC-1118
I have the following in transit: K1V-1116, 71B

After one to two weeks I plan to rack this onto about 24 oz of frozen blueberries...

AToE
03-30-2011, 11:42 PM
My favourite blueberry yeast is RC212, but you don't have that one and it's difficult to work with frankly. Of the ones you listed 71B would be my choice.

EDIT: and I wouldn't rack after a guestimate amount of time, I'd wait until fermentation is finished to rack out of primary. Now, that said, I personally also add my blueberries during primary!

EDIT2: Also be advised the amount of berries you're using will end up with a pink-medium purple mead with a mild blueberry flavour, but adding it in secondary might help get more "fresh" flavour out of it.

THawk
03-30-2011, 11:55 PM
I read somewhere that the ferment does funky things to the fruit during the primary which is why I was thinking of adding it to the secondary...

I was also trying to get a nice fruity flavor to it sort of a mead version of a drink I remember in Boston -- Bluebeery Ale (in that case they dunk the berries before serving)...

AToE
03-31-2011, 12:12 AM
It doesn't do anything funky to the fruit, more subtle fruits may lose a lot of their fruitiness and aroma, but robust fruit like blueberries do just fine. It does result in a different taste for sure, more wine-like, but it will still taste like the berries, personally I prefer it, but many people do prefer secondary additions. Secondary will make it taste more like the unfermented fruit, may have a little more "fresh" aroma as well.

Sounds like secondary is a good bet for you, especially with this smaller/medium amount of fruit.

THawk
03-31-2011, 12:41 AM
Well, I guess I'm going to have to wait for the 71B then... :-)

Btw, what happens if I did both -- as in, add berries in the primary AND the secondary??

And can you eat the berries after the secondary? ;-)

AToE
03-31-2011, 12:50 AM
I don't think they'd be very nice to eat, but you try it and tell me how it was! Make sure you mash the berries a bit before adding them, or you won't get much anything out of em.

If you add during both you'll get a bit of both worlds, can be a great thing. For the sake of the learning experience I'd say just do one, then make changes later, over time you'll start picking out what came from what.

Tiwas
03-31-2011, 03:25 AM
Interesting stuff! :) If adding to secondary - how long should it stay before reracking?

THawk
03-31-2011, 04:27 AM
Read it in another thread that fruit should be in the secondary for only two weeks max or they may rot... So I'm most likely going to rack after 2 weeks...

Tiwas
03-31-2011, 04:44 AM
How about just adding the fruit to primary after the fermentation slows? Or will you stop fermentation when you rack to secondary? If you don't stop the fermentation should kick back in again unless the yeast has reached its limits...Also, if adding after fermentation has stopped, this will dilute the mead and lower the ABV, right?

K5MOW
03-31-2011, 06:40 AM
I'm looking to make a blueberry mead. Base recipe is a sweet mead:

3.5 lb Clover Honey
Water (balance of 1 gallon)
Yeast Nutrient
Yeast Energizer
Yeast

Question is -- what kind of yeast do I use?

I have the following on-hand: D-47, EC-1118
I have the following in transit: K1V-1116, 71B

After one to two weeks I plan to rack this onto about 24 oz of frozen blueberries...

I have herd great things about D-47. I now have a Orange blossom and raspberry mead going in D-47. It has now been in secondary for about 3 weeks and they both are very drinkable already.

Roger

THawk
03-31-2011, 07:46 PM
How aggressive a fermenter is D-47? I seem to have more activity in the must where I pitched EC-1118 even if I pitched that one after the D-47...

The batch with D-47 is a 1-gallon batch of Orange Blossom Traditional Sweet and the EC-1118 batch is an apple cyser. Both have 3.5 lbs of honey (Clover in the latter) but I accidentally overdosed on the Fermax (3x the recommended amount!) in the latter...

mccann51
04-01-2011, 11:59 AM
Read it in another thread that fruit should be in the secondary for only two weeks max or they may rot... So I'm most likely going to rack after 2 weeks...

This is not true. The alcohol and established yeast population will keep things "clean".


How about just adding the fruit to primary after the fermentation slows? Or will you stop fermentation when you rack to secondary? If you don't stop the fermentation should kick back in again unless the yeast has reached its limits...Also, if adding after fermentation has stopped, this will dilute the mead and lower the ABV, right?

This is generally what I do, wait til late in the ferment to add the fruit, though I have no strong rationale or justification for it, but it works. If you rack it to secondary and add fruit, there will still be yeast to break up the sugar, but the population will be lower, so it'll just take longer. You'd need to sterile filter it or stabilize it with K-sorbate and metabisulphite (Campden) to stop the fruit from being fermented. Yes, the ABV will be slightly lowered if you do this.


How aggressive a fermenter is D-47? I seem to have more activity in the must where I pitched EC-1118 even if I pitched that one after the D-47...

The batch with D-47 is a 1-gallon batch of Orange Blossom Traditional Sweet and the EC-1118 batch is an apple cyser. Both have 3.5 lbs of honey (Clover in the latter) but I accidentally overdosed on the Fermax (3x the recommended amount!) in the latter...

D47 is definitely a slower fermenter than EC. The extra nutrient is probably playing a role as well.

mmclean
04-01-2011, 12:07 PM
Per wayneb:


Generally you don't want to leave a mead that has finished fermenting very long on the "gross lees," which include bits of fruit pulp, spices, misc. bee parts, etc. Gross lees will start to autolyze (i.e. "rot") after a couple of weeks, and can result in some unpleasant smells and/or tastes. I generally recommend that folks rack off of the gross lees asap after primary fermentation has finished.

Fine lees, which are only residual yeast that have gone dormant after the fermentation (and which usually drop out of suspension for several weeks after racking out of the primary fermenter) are a different story, and extended time on fine lees using a "sur lie" protocol can add depth to your mead. But even then you need to be using a strain of yeast compatible with sur lie, or you can get some nasty off-flavors in your mead as a result.
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havoc64
04-01-2011, 12:21 PM
I used D47 on my Blueberry, Raspberry and Blackberry Melomel and added the fruit in the secondary. Color was dark and rich and the flavor was spectacular. My wife said that she didn't think any of the bottles would make it past 6 months.

Also, the rasp and blackberries broke apart, but the blue berries swelled back up. My daughter and I ate several of the 14% berries..very nice. Like a dry berry bomb...lol

I had no problems with the fruit spoiling in the secondary, and Ken Schramm mentions in his book that he does mostly secondary fruit additions.

Enjoy,
Mike

Medsen Fey
04-01-2011, 12:57 PM
When you leave fruit in a mead for extended periods there is a risk that you will either have:

1) sulfur odors - I'm not sure that is "rotting" but the smell isn't too different. This may occur with wines if the wine is allowed to sit on grape pulp in the gross lees for too long.

2) excessive tannins - if it is a high-tannin fruit (elderberries as an example), you can get frank bitterness and wicked astringency that makes an unpleasant mead.

3) vegetal character - sometimes grassy/herb-like aromas and flavors will leech out.

There is no hard and fast rule. Depending on your recipe and the yeast and the honey and residual sweetness and so forth, you may find that extended time on fruit works for you. In some cases it won't be a problem. In other cases, it will leave you with a awful mead that you'll spend a long time trying age into drinkability.

You pay your money - you take your chances.

THawk
04-02-2011, 12:53 PM
I used D47 on my Blueberry, Raspberry and Blackberry Melomel and added the fruit in the secondary. Color was dark and rich and the flavor was spectacular. My wife said that she didn't think any of the bottles would make it past 6 months.

And DID they last 6 months? ;)

TheAlchemist
04-02-2011, 08:59 PM
Somebody somewhere suggested that Cotes dec Blancs is a high maintenance primadonna.

That's proving to be true for Red Rope. Slow to warm up, but bubbles like mad when I give him some pollen.

THawk
04-04-2011, 02:32 AM
I have a traditional orange blossom sweet mead in the primary with D-47. Airlock is going at the rate of 1 burp every 4-5 seconds. Is this normal?

It's bubbling but not as violently as the apple cyser ( EC-1118 ) or even the JAO...

Tiwas
04-06-2011, 07:21 AM
Don't know with that yeast, but my traditionals with XL 4632 (Wyeast dry mead) is burping at least a couple of times every second :)

THawk
04-06-2011, 09:07 AM
My problem might be temperature... Room temperature is in the low 20's Centigrade... D-47 has a range of 15-20 (though I don't know if there's a fudge factor there)... Maybe I should have used 71b to do my sweet mead... :(

mmclean
04-06-2011, 10:43 AM
Lalvin ICV-D21 is a good higher temp yeast (15-28C), if you can get it.


During fermentation, Lalvin ICV-D21 produces very few sulfides and it is also noted for its good fermentation performance even under high temperature and low nutrient conditions.

Try to stay to the lower end of the yeast's temp range.

AToE
04-06-2011, 12:39 PM
D47 is fine at lower temps, 71B is the one that gets more likely to stall out when too cool in my experience.

Don't worry about your burps per minute/second compared to anyone else, it's utterly meaningless. How full the airlock, type of airlock, amount of headspace, minute leaks (even if you think you don't have one you easily could).

SG readings is the only thing to worry about, if it's dropping less than 10 points a day then it's slower than normal (assuming it's the beginning of the ferment, later it'll slow down) but not a bad thing either, less than 5 and I personally start to stress out a bit.

Medsen Fey
04-06-2011, 02:26 PM
My problem might be temperature... Room temperature is in the low 20's Centigrade... D-47 has a range of 15-20 :(

Above about 21-22 C, you start making paint thinner with D47 and I'd choose a different strain. D21 is good. K1V would be my first choice.

THawk
04-06-2011, 06:49 PM
So my sweet mead might end up as "sweet rocket fuel"? Might not necessarily be a bad thing -- Filipinos love sweets, especially sweets with a kick. My co-worker's husband loved the sample I gave them. It was some leftover rocket fuel when I re-racked my first batch (stormthecastle recipe) into water bottles... (see the thread on my JAO variant for details).

Won't K1V send it into dryness?

As for 71b stalling at low temps, no worries about that... :)

Medsen Fey
04-06-2011, 07:10 PM
Won't K1V send it into dryness?


Yes.
But that is what stabilizing and backsweetening are meant for.

There may be other yeast that will perform well in the 24-30 C range but you may need to run some side by side tests to find them. The HotMead Yeast Test (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12645&highlight=hotmead) (in the Patron's area) was very enlightening.

AToE
04-06-2011, 07:37 PM
I wouldn't necessarily equate "rocket fuel" with good alcohol burn - around here the term rocket fuel seems to be used both to describe high ABV burn that hasn't integrated yet, and also fusel alcohol unpleasantness.

I'd go for the happy burn of a lower temp ferment personally.

THawk
04-06-2011, 10:15 PM
I wouldn't necessarily equate "rocket fuel" with good alcohol burn - around here the term rocket fuel seems to be used both to describe high ABV burn that hasn't integrated yet, and also fusel alcohol unpleasantness.

I'd go for the happy burn of a lower temp ferment personally.

That's about the same way I'd describe the first batch I made... harsh liquid that plasters you to the back wall on the first sip... :eek:

THawk
04-07-2011, 05:09 AM
Not to make excuses but with power and fuel prices on the rise here, investing in a cooling system (i.e. either a fan or an AC) to cool my fermenter is a bit out of the question. So am I now limited to either K1V or 71B to create my blueberry mead - and backsweetening it when the K1V ferments it to dryness?

Temperature in the office (in front of 2 ACs is still about 23-24 C) which kinda makes D-47 a bit out of the question (unless I plan on putting the finished product in my car!)...

Medsen Fey
04-07-2011, 09:43 AM
As mmclean pointed out, D21 is also a good choice.

Beyond that, you can try other yeast and let us know which ones you find taste good (after a year or so).

THawk
04-07-2011, 09:51 AM
As mmclean pointed out, D21 is also a good choice.

Beyond that, you can try other yeast and let us know which ones you find taste good (after a year or so).

That too -- unfortunately it's not one of the yeasts I ordered... :)

Currently I only have K1V on hand; 71B is en route...

mmclean
04-07-2011, 11:26 AM
Not to make excuses but with power and fuel prices on the rise here, investing in a cooling system (i.e. either a fan or an AC) to cool my fermenter is a bit out of the question. So am I now limited to either K1V or 71B to create my blueberry mead - and backsweetening it when the K1V ferments it to dryness?

Temperature in the office (in front of 2 ACs is still about 23-24 C) which kinda makes D-47 a bit out of the question (unless I plan on putting the finished product in my car!)...

You could always pack it up and move to Baguio. :D

THawk
04-07-2011, 07:36 PM
You could always pack it up and move to Baguio. :D

ROTFL. There's that too! :)

PitBull
04-27-2011, 08:59 AM
Somebody somewhere suggested that Cotes dec Blancs is a high maintenance primadonna.

That's proving to be true for Red Rope. Slow to warm up, but bubbles like mad when I give him some pollen.
I have to agree. I used Cotes dec Blancs for the first time recently. I have four different traditional meads in the seconday right now. Different honey, different yeast, but pretty much the same nutrient and pH levels. All were supposed to be about 12-13% ABV at S.G. = 1.000.

The fermentation was at about 60 degrees F. The Cotes dec Blancs crapped out at 11.6% ABV at S.G. = 1.009, while the 71B and D47 reached 1.000 or less. The Cotes dec Blancs batch was good, but just a bit too sweet for my tastes. I moved the primary upstairs for 10 days where the temperature was about 10 degrees warmer in hopes that the fermentation would re-start. It did not.

On the plus side, the Cotes dec Blancs mead flocculated very nicely. It cleared quicker than the other yeasts.

THawk
05-04-2011, 04:07 AM
In general what's the effect of using bread yeast for meads other than a JAO?

Loadnabox
05-04-2011, 07:37 AM
In general what's the effect of using bread yeast for meads other than a JAO?

I would be pretty interested in this too, perhaps even some info on nutrition/feeding since I know JAO was designed to provide lots of nitrogen to the bread yeast to keep them happy.

Medsen Fey
05-04-2011, 10:19 AM
You can use bread yeast, and make good meads, but bread yeast tend to not settle and clear as quickly, and they may leave more of a "yeasty" flavor behind - that can be good or bad depending on what you want.