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dlloyd
06-09-2011, 07:41 AM
Hi, I'm new here.

I've been a long time fan of mead, and eventually had a go at making it a few months back (September 2010). I went for simplicity, putting 20 jars of honey mixed with water into a 25 litre plastic bin with a bag of Wyeast 4021 liquidy stuff. I racked this off after a couple of months into five 1 gallon (UK) demijohns, one with a load of mashed up brambles (340 g) and set them a-bubbling again.

I racked the melomel a few months later to get rid of the fruit, and tried it this week. It was very dry, absent of any sweetness, so I backsweetened it with a fair amount of sugar. The taste was pretty amazing, and while I have no accurate measure as I didn't have a hydrometer at the start, I'd put the alcohol content at around 18% ABV.

The remaining demijohns are awaiting some finings I've ordered, as they're still cloudy, but haven't bubbled in a long time.

I don't think I'd want to go quite so alcoholic next time, probably aim at 14%, any suggestions on yeast?

RightHookCook
06-09-2011, 10:47 AM
Welcome to gotmead mate!

alot of people recommend Lalvin K1V-1116 as its a utility type yeast, but to be honest theres to many other factors to take into account than just a yeast strain to get your desired ABV.

as im still pretty new i will let one of the mead legends on here take over.............
:D

Loadnabox
06-09-2011, 10:17 PM
to get your abv to a specific point the best way is to start with a specific SG then back sweeten to taste. the yeast rarely stop where you want them to.

Chevette Girl
06-09-2011, 11:27 PM
Welcome to our wonderful addiction ;D

If you've added sugar or honey to sweeten your mead you will want to stabilize it if you haven't already, and before you use finings, you'll want to degas it (rack it off whatever's settled out and then gently stir it without splashing it around a few times a day for a few days to make sure there's no CO2 trapped in it), that can mess with the fining process.

And I second Loadnabox's comment that yeast rarely stop where you want them to, it's easier to aim for dry and then stabilize and backsweeten.

Check out the yeast table to the left, there's some good info in there, if we knew where you were from we'd have a better idea what's available in your area. :)

dlloyd
06-10-2011, 05:18 AM
I've only backsweetened the melomel and it's too late to stabilise it, it having been consumed already. It tasted really good, but had a slight petroleum hint which I think would disappear on aging.

I have about 4 gallons (UK gallons that is, roughly 4.8 US gallons) of mead left.

I was planning to:

1. add finings to the mead (will now attempt to de-gas first) to clear it and wait a week
2. rack to fresh demijohn/carboy
3. stabilise with sodium metabisulphite and potassium sorbate
4. back-sweeten and age

I'm in Scotland, to answer the questions. I'll have to purchase yeast online, so any that are available from UK shops should be fine.

Chevette Girl
06-10-2011, 12:32 PM
4. back-sweeten and age

I'm in Scotland, to answer the questions. I'll have to purchase yeast online, so any that are available from UK shops should be fine.

Hehe, figured you weren't from the 'States since you used grams and UK gallons :)

Fatbloke's around here somewhere, he's in the UK and probably knows all the good places to order.

Regarding backsweetening, a lot of folks have found that with 9-12 months of age, some more honey flavour and some perceived sweetness comes back to a mead, so if you were planning to age it in the carboy, you may want to clear it, age it a bit and THEN stabilize and backsweeten, since some folks have found that once this perceived sweetness comes back it's too sweet if they'd already sweetened it to taste.

And congrats on making a drinkable mel right off! :) Uh, petroleum notes... keep an eye (more rather a nose) on your other batches, I ended up with two batches that had an odour of diesel fuel, one happened after bottling and the other was peceptible at bottling and got worse with age, but in my case it's only an odour, not a taste, and with a little agitation and a wine bottle vacuum pump I've managed to get it drinkable within a day or two once the bottle's open.

K5MOW
06-11-2011, 08:52 PM
Welcome to the forum.
Roger