PDA

View Full Version : Young wine or too much alcohol content?



Wojnar
09-03-2011, 06:16 PM
Hello folks :), I'm new here and first of all I want to introduce myself..My name its Danny, 23, I'm from Andorra, located in the heart of the pyrenees mountains I apologize if my inglish is not allways correct, its not my mother lenguage, but I'm trying to do my best.
I have started brewing my own Mead this year, I have been following the recipes and the methods by StormTheCastle(.)com.
At the moment I have 1 gallon batch of traditional mead (only honey, not fruits or spices)
I have used:
-1 Gallon of water
-3 pounds of a local beekeeper honey
-20 or 25 raisins
-1 package of Narbonne Yeast (Lalvin 71B-1122)

I mixed all of this, the day 19 of this past June and let it ferment until today, when i have done the last racking (3 with this one) leaving the last and poor sediment away, i assume the fermentation is finished or its in the way to finish because balloons aren't inflated anymore and there is no more bubbling inside.

Today i tasted a bit, and it's not infected or anithing like this, but have a VERY strong taste and smell of pure alcohol, I asume this is because its a really young wine (3 months aprox.)
So, please tell me Is this gonna change with the next months/year ?:confused:

few aclarations:

-I'm not using ANY chemicals, (because I'm against it) apart of the cleaning and sanitating product.

-I'm not using fermetation cubes, glass carboys, and hidrometer (because in this moment I'don't own it)
(I only use spring water bottles, baloons as airlocks, and a old inox racking kane with tube)

hope you can help me, with this little issue
Thanks to all!!!

kudapucat
09-03-2011, 06:30 PM
Not having a hydrometer makes your job very difficult.
I find, if you are patient enough that you will only need 1-2 rackings. Less rackings means less need for chemicals, so you will want to try this if you don't want to add sulphates and sorbate.
As you have no hydrometer, I can't quickly tell if you have a sweet or dry mead. What is the ABV tolerance of 71B? I'm going to assume 14% or less, so this should be sweet or semisweet.
If it tastes 'hot' from alcohol this can be caused by young wine, or by poor ferment. It should age out with time.
Sit it down for 6 months before tasting it again.

kudapucat
09-03-2011, 06:30 PM
But dont bottle it yet in case it's not finished yet (you need a hydrometer)

AToE
09-03-2011, 06:42 PM
Well without a hydrometer this is tricky, but here's some educated guesses on what's going on in the mead (your English is totally passable by the way, don't worry about it!).

If you added a full gallon of water to 3lbs of honey then you're probably looking at around 13% alcohol potential, and 71B can chew through that like nothing, so in this case you probably have a totally dry mead with little or no sugar left.

If instead you added water to the honey for a combined volume of 1 gallon, then you're looking at a little over 14% ABV, which again is well within what 71B can do in warm fermentation temps, so you're also probably looking at a dry mead (but without a hydrometer there's just no way to know, and if there is any sugar left then this is NOT safe to bottle!).

So your ABV isn't too terribly high. What you're dealing with is a very young mead, that is possibly totally dry (and as such has little or no sugar left to cover up the alcohol taste).

Dry meads are my personal favourite but do take longer to age - I mean WAY longer, they generally require an absolute minimum of 1 year of aging, and really start to improve after 1.5-2 years.

So don't bottle it yet, give it some time to age in bulk - and see if it's possible for you to get your hands on a hydrometer. They're cheap (even if you have to ship one in) and they are the single most important tool for anyone fermenting anything!

If you have any more questions feel free to ask!

Wojnar
09-03-2011, 06:52 PM
Thank you for your quick reponse kudapucat!
as i have read the ABV in the 71B -1122 is 14%. It is supposed to be a good yeast for fruity aromas and smooth flavours. but in my situatin its doing a strong alcoholic brevage with any special character at all, i will follow your recomendation and let it sit for 6 or 8 months more before tasting it again, and i'm already planing to improve my equipment and buy a hidrometer too, in this next days.
Thank you again :)

Wojnar
09-03-2011, 07:06 PM
If you added a full gallon of water to 3lbs of honey then you're probably looking at around 13% alcohol potential, and 71B can chew through that like nothing, so in this case you probably have a totally dry mead with little or no sugar left

I think this is me..

I suppose the better I can do is buy a hidrometer, and let age this batch for a year or more

thanks for your time and nice reponse AToE

AToE
09-03-2011, 07:26 PM
Never a problem, I think 71B is a great yeast for people new to fermenting because it does so well in low nutrient situations. What temp do you think your ferment happened at (ballpark guess is fine)? That could also be causing some of the harshness if it was at a warmer temp. 71B is rated to go up to 14% ABV, but in some conditions it will blast past that point.

Traditional meads generally taste pretty bland at first too, and take a long time to truely clear (you should be able to read small printing through the whole jug if it's clear), and until it's clear there's still enough yeast in suspension to add to the harsh taste/aroma. After 4-8 months a traditional will usually taste something like a blander white wine. After a year, the honey character will start coming back and then as time goes on you'll be seriously amazed how much flavour/aroma seems to appear out of nowhere!

Wojnar
09-03-2011, 07:49 PM
It has been in a closet at 20 to 22 C (68 F aprox.)
at this point i can see my fingers through the bottle, but in any case i can read small print through it, I assume I will have to do some more rackings..isn't it?

I'm going to be patient and let it sit for a year or so, i'm really impacient to taste that honey characters you saying

as another question...its a very negative thing to let it age in PET bottles? or spring water bottles?

kudapucat
09-03-2011, 08:09 PM
AToE, I got 1.5 kgs + 4 litres. Coming to 5.5 kgs and 5 litres.
Oh yeah, which is 1.100 gravity and would ferment dry to 13%. For some reason I got 16% when I did it in my head :-(
Sorry for the bum-steer Wojnar.

chams
09-03-2011, 11:25 PM
It has been in a closet at 20 to 22 C (68 F aprox.)
at this point i can see my fingers through the bottle, but in any case i can read small print through it, I assume I will have to do some more rackings..isn't it?

I'm going to be patient and let it sit for a year or so, i'm really impacient to taste that honey characters you saying

as another question...its a very negative thing to let it age in PET bottles? or spring water bottles?

Some say plastic bottles for aging are wrong because it allows too much oxygen transfer, some say it's ok.
You will have to try for yourself at some point. Glass is what most home brewers use for bulk aging.
(Don't use leaded glass). Is there leaded glass any more... :confused:

AToE
09-04-2011, 12:31 AM
Actually to clarify that, nobody really says aging in plastic bottles like water bottles is a great idea, it's generally the thicker plastic you can get away with. Also, though some oxygen will get through, traditional meads are extremely difficult to damage with O2, so you will probably be ok regardless of what you're using. Plus, if it's what you have it's what you have!

Your temp is good by the way.

kudapucat
09-04-2011, 04:39 AM
<snip>
(Don't use leaded glass). Is there leaded glass any more... :confused:

Yup, they call it crystal, and charge a fortune. It makes for a crisp glass, that's wonderful to drink from.
Nobody in their right mind would use it for long term storage, unless using a beautiful decanter, and then just for looks... Usually used for serving rather than storing though.

Medsen Fey
09-04-2011, 11:47 AM
With a traditional mead (one made from just honey), you can probably get away with aging in a PET bottle (with the air squeezed out). I prefer to age in glass or stainless steel.

Chevette Girl
09-05-2011, 01:42 PM
Actually to clarify that, nobody really says aging in plastic bottles like water bottles is a great idea, it's generally the thicker plastic you can get away with. Also, though some oxygen will get through, traditional meads are extremely difficult to damage with O2, so you will probably be ok regardless of what you're using. Plus, if it's what you have it's what you have!


My boil-no boil show mead experiments have never seen glass, they're in distilled water bottles. I suppose I'd better add another line item to the to-do list, since I don't have a comparaison between glass and plastic storage in the long term...:rolleyes:

AToE
09-05-2011, 03:55 PM
My boil-no boil show mead experiments have never seen glass, they're in distilled water bottles. I suppose I'd better add another line item to the to-do list, since I don't have a comparaison between glass and plastic storage in the long term...:rolleyes:

Well and those are way thicker plastic than like a single serving water bottle. The variables are so nearly endless that it's hard to say for sure what the impact of different aging vessels is with our testing abilities!