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THawk
05-29-2011, 11:02 PM
Has anyone tried a traditional sweet mead with bread yeast?

Thinking of trying this one with Buckwheat honey and made JAO style (no spices or fruits) but am afraid that it might turn out cloyingly sweet...

AToE
05-30-2011, 12:03 AM
If you know what gravities your JAOs start and finish at, then how sweet it is is totally under your control, you could make it anywhere from bone dry to so sweet you could stand a spoon up in it. ;)

I think the general verdict is that there are just so many other yeasts better suited to the task that there's not a whole lot of point to it. What a bread yeast contributes to the flavour and aroma may just be inferior to the others, or it might be fine - you'd really have to do some side by side comparisions to learn this.

THawk
05-30-2011, 12:15 AM
Trouble is, without resorting to labor-intensive temperature regulation methods (e.g. using frozen water bottles), most wine yeasts don't really like it where I am... Bread yeast seems to be the only thing I can get here fairly inexpensively, and it tolerates the high 20-30 degrees C... Electricity rates in the Philippines are among the highest (if not THE highest) in Asia so investing in a dedicated cooler isn't an option unless I plan to sell the stuff (then I'd have to worry about bribes next)... :)

AToE
05-30-2011, 12:56 AM
Ah, I see. Go for it then, I've heard it may impart a little nutty character, but I don't see that as a bad thing really.

You should be able to basically dial in the amount of sweetness you want (the most accurate way to do that is ferment dry then stabilize and backsweeten, but that technique isn't for everyone) by adjusting your starting gravity.

If you like how sweet JAO seems when it's done, then shoot for a little/fair bit drier with the traditional, as it won't have any spices, acidity, bitterness to balance the sweetness.

I think bread yeast commonly goes to around 12%? If I'm right about that then just shoot for about 10 gravity points higher (maybe just 5... incase it doesn't get to as high an ABV in a traditional as it does in a JAO due to lower nutrients) than would get you to 12% ABV and you should wind up somewhere in the 1.010-1.015 range. To me that's far too sweet for a traditional, but should be fairly similar to a JAO's sweetness, considering JAO is usually about 1.025 when it's done (I think...?).

Mead-E-Ogre
05-30-2011, 11:56 AM
Hi Thawk

Believe it or not but i've also begun a traditional using bread yeast. It's in week three now in primary. I'm aiming for a sweet traditional - guess only time will tell how it turns out

AToE
05-30-2011, 01:20 PM
I'm sure it's something that's been done quite a few times and probablly documented on this site, but trying to use the search function to find those brewlogs might be nigh on impossible, since the keywords "bread" "traditional" "fleishmanns" etc are going to turn up so many hits it'll be crazy.

Medsen Fey
05-31-2011, 12:40 PM
Tut-tut. Such negative waves.
For all its shortcomings, the search tool actually works if you give it a chance (and a little careful direction)

For example if you search the following:
"bread yeast" +traditional

You get 44 hits (currently). If you pick through them and ignore obvious JAO threads and such, you can find some useful threads discussing bread yeast and their use including:

This one (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15649&highlight=bread+yeast+traditional) where mediaevalquendi kept a brewlog.
One here (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14282&highlight=bread+yeast+traditional) where wildaho makes reference to using bread yeast for cysers.
Another one (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14518&highlight=bread+yeast+traditional) mentioning Sandman's used of bread yeast.
And one (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15670&highlight=bread+yeast+traditional) discussing bread yeast in general.

The search tool works well if you take the time to narrow your searches and are willing to invest a few minutes reading through some superfluous info while getting to the stuff you really want. No search system is perfect, but this one really does allow you to zero in on relevant stuff, but you have to practice.

AToE
05-31-2011, 12:42 PM
Sorry! :(

I didn't know you could add quotations and + signs and such, I'd tried quotations in the past and it didn't work, I probably did something wrong though.

Chevette Girl
05-31-2011, 09:40 PM
Thanks for that heads up, that might help overcome some of my frustrations with the search engine too, I knew about "" and + but didn't know they were valid in the same request.

THawk
06-09-2011, 02:46 AM
In terms of clarity, would this clear to an amber color?

Medsen Fey
06-09-2011, 07:48 AM
If you make a traditional mead with buckwheat honey, it will make a clear, dark amber mead. Buckwheat, while being a good and useful honey, is sometimes best as an additive to other honey in a traditional. By itself, it may make a very strong-flavored batch that may not be to everyone's taste. I'd recommend doing no more than a 1-gallon batch to see if you like the results first.

PitBull
06-09-2011, 08:41 AM
If you make a traditional mead with buckwheat honey, it will make a clear, dark amber mead. Buckwheat, while being a good and useful honey, is sometimes best as an additive to other honey in a traditional. By itself, it may make a very strong-flavored batch that may not be to everyone's taste. I'd recommend doing no more than a 1-gallon batch to see if you like the results first.
I have a 4-gallon batch (after 3 rackings) of local buckwheat honey traditional that's being fined right now. It dropped more lees than any of the other traditionals that I've made. It's currently about 5 months old and ~12% ABV. I used 71B yeast and it fermented to dry. It has a gorgeous color and a very nice initial taste. It finishes with a malty flavor and a somewhat harsh aftertaste that is hard to describe. The malty flavor is not bad, just different from most traditionals. I'll probably bottle in a month or two and hope that the harshness will age out in a year or so.

I've also made a cyser with buckwheat honey. The buckwheat really melded nicely with the flavor of the apples and it gave the finished product a lot of character. So its use as a supplement to other flavors/honeys may be best.

I'll let you know in about a year!

THawk
06-09-2011, 11:41 AM
I've also made a cyser with buckwheat honey. The buckwheat really melded nicely with the flavor of the apples and it gave the finished product a lot of character. So its use as a supplement to other flavors/honeys may be best.

Hmmm... now you're making me think about revisiting my apple cyser recipe... I wonder how it would taste if it finished sweet instead of dry...

PitBull
06-09-2011, 01:49 PM
Hmmm... now you're making me think about revisiting my apple cyser recipe... I wonder how it would taste if it finished sweet instead of dry...
Yeast are finicky organisms. It is hard to get them to finish exactly were you want them to, unless you cold crash and then stabilize. Often the yeast will exceed its “maximum” ABV limit and produce a hot-tasting, drier wine than anticipated. If you do not have a spare refrigerator, you might consider finishing dry at, for example, around 12% ABV (not hot tasting from too much alcohol content). You can then back sweeten to your desired level. It is very easy to add sweetness, but about the only way to reduce sweetness is to blend it away. Hotness should eventually age out, but that can take several years.

THawk
06-09-2011, 11:06 PM
Well the only type of yeast I've had success with so far is bread yeast... Temperature's too high here for most wine yeasts... so most of the meads I'll be making will be JAO style...