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Golden Sun God
04-29-2011, 10:06 PM
I'm currently making an unspiced 20 oz. version of JAOM with 9 oz(by weight) honey, and I was wondering at what speed does Red Star Quick Rise bread yeast ferment honey. I used 1/2 a packet of the yeast, and like I said above 9 oz honey. So does anybody know the speed at which my yeast turn honey into alcohol so that I can plan meads to be done on certain days.

PitBull
04-30-2011, 12:05 PM
I'm currently making an unspiced 20 oz. version of JAOM with 9 oz(by weight) honey, and I was wondering at what speed does Red Star Quick Rise bread yeast ferment honey. I used 1/2 a packet of the yeast, and like I said above 9 oz honey. So does anybody know the speed at which my yeast turn honey into alcohol so that I can plan meads to be done on certain days.
Not only does it depend on the yeast, but nutrient level and fermentation temperature. I've had fermentation to S.G. < 1.01 in a few days at 70 degrees F and also take over a month at 60 degrees. Generally, the lower temperature will produce a better mead.

My advice is to get a hydrometer and be patient. The yeast will have its own schedule.

Golden Sun God
05-01-2011, 09:14 AM
I was just wishing that I would be able to predict when mead was done so that I could have certain types done on certain days, such as having a pumpkin mead done on Thanksgiving or something like that. Oh well guess I'll just have to experiment.

Loadnabox
05-01-2011, 11:10 AM
I was just wishing that I would be able to predict when mead was done so that I could have certain types done on certain days, such as having a pumpkin mead done on Thanksgiving or something like that. Oh well guess I'll just have to experiment.

Start it at least 9 months in advance then (Now's a good time to start on your Christmas mead) While it's impossible to predict when fermentation will stop, every mead will always taste better when aged. JAO is about the only one that people claim is good enough to drink when it's newborn.

Most fermentation won't last more than 3 months so that gives six months of aging at best or six months of leeway to getting the fermentation stopped at worst. If you start brewing a year in advance it just gives yourself that much more fudge factor.

Chevette Girl
05-01-2011, 12:14 PM
My findings so far:

If it's a kit wine, it can be done and drinkable in a month. Best aged a year after that though.

If it's a JAO or other variant made with bread yeast, they're USUALLY clear and drinkable within 3 months, best after some age though, and doing anything other than the original recipe voids the 3 month warranty, some of my creations never quite cleared ;D

If it's a fruit wine or melomel, the fermentation should be done within two months unless you were mean to your yeasties, but it's anyone's guess how long it will take to clear, so budget 6 months if you use chemicals to stabilize and clarify it, longer if you want to go au naturel...

Traditionals should also be done within two months if you aerate well at the beginning and also use nutrients and energizer, but again, anyone's guess how long it'll take to clear.

Show meads (just honey, water and yeast)... well... I started mine a year ago and I don't think they're finished fermenting yet, they've been bubbling along slowly in their carboys but they're clear...

With the exception of kit wines (which I did two months before my wedding and all was fine), budgeting a year to a year and a half isn't silly if you want a particular wine ready on a particular date.

mmclean
05-01-2011, 03:52 PM
So far I've crafted all of my meads on a one year time line.

akueck
05-01-2011, 07:01 PM
I agree, trying to time your meads down to the day is a recipe for disappointment. You might be able to nail it down to +/- a few weeks if it's a recipe you're experienced with making.

AToE
05-01-2011, 07:08 PM
Especially when you consider that if you're trying to have them finish fermentation right when you plan to drink them they're probably going to be pretty gross. Even "fast" meads need at least a little time after fermentation to age out of being awful!

Medsen Fey
05-02-2011, 11:04 AM
One of the beautiful things about mead is that it tends to continue improving when given long aging. If you want to make a great pumpkin mead for Thanksgiving, go ahead and start it now. Then on Thanksgiving in 2012 or 2013 (assuming the Mayans are incorrect) you'll have something wonderful to enjoy. This is probably the toughest aspect of mead making, and the one that causes many to quit in frustration or to lose interest - it takes a long time to develop. If you try to rush a recipe and get it ready fast, you tend to have problems. If you can make a mead today, with the patience to plan on enjoying it 2 years from now, you can have phenomenal results.

TheAlchemist
05-02-2011, 07:03 PM
If you want to make a great pumpkin mead for Thanksgiving, go ahead and start it now. Then on Thanksgiving in 2012 or 2013 (assuming the Mayans are incorrect)...

Ha! Hope we're all "still with us" after Winter Solsitce 2012!

My own Pumpkin Pie certainly could use more time in the bottle, she gets more interesting all the time, but I doubt I'll have any left for the fated Mayan Solsitce. Since she's my firstborn, I'm chompin' at the bit to have something to drink. Now.

Golden Sun God
05-03-2011, 10:12 AM
I was just using pumpkin mead as an example. I was just trying to figure out so that I could plan on getting fresh ingredients to make mead from within a couple days or within a week so that they don't go bad when they are waiting to get put into my fermentation vessel, which is currently reused glass and plastic bottles.

Medsen Fey
05-03-2011, 10:30 AM
There are a lot of ways to approach that. One is to make a batch of traditional mead, and then you can add fruits/spices/whatnot later on when you have the fresh ingredients on hand. The timing of the additions can be pretty flexible if you aren't planning to ferment something in the primary.

However, well nourished, properly managed fermentations of normal strength are usually completed within 14-21 days. That can vary quite a bit with temperature and other recipe factors. Other yeast strains (than the bread yeast) can be faster or slower. And while getting the fermentation completed tends to occupy a lot of our focus, that is only the beginning. A freshly fermented mead usually isn't very tasty - or more precisely it tastes very yeasty/hot/astringent/bitter/rough. With age, the harshness fades, the honey aroma and flavor come forward, and you can get something that is truly delicious.