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Zsnethen
11-11-2011, 01:22 PM
Heres what I'm planning for my next mead
18lbs of wildflower honey
ec-1118
into 5 gallons.

I know this is what is termed a show mead however I'm highly willing to change this around. I really need to make something good here my last 3 meads have been undrinkable.
my fermentation area is now much colder than in the past it will have a possible low of 50 with highs to 75

Whats gone wrong in the past

Mead 1 Got infected turned into a vinegar Dam well water!!


Mead 2

13lbs clover honey
5lbs blackberrys mashed
Chapane yeast

Was going well for a while but ended up with a harsh flavor so I added extra honey and cinnamon Well i went overboard with the cinnamon and now the mead has a nasty after taste.

Mead 3

13lbs raspberry honey
red star chapane yeast

Ended with a fiery taste due to what i think was high ferment temptures. Back sweetened with white sugar and added oak chips gonna let it sit for a few more months and see what happens.

Long story short I need something that tastes good or I might find something else to make. I like a sweeter mead that is thin but can kick my butt with out drinking a whole bottle.

wayneb
11-11-2011, 02:47 PM
I have two suggestions for you. First, abandon the champagne yeasts (including the EC-1118 ), since they tend to ferment fast, hot, and with some fusel and phenolic byproducts that can cause the harshness you experienced with your other meads. If you still want a yeast that can produce relatively high ethanol levels but is easy to manage, I'd recommend K1-V1116. I think you'll be more pleased with the overall results.

Second, add some yeast nutrient. You're really after a mead that is pleasing to drink in a relatively short period of time, so making sure that your yeast are stressed as little as possible is what you should be trying to accomplish. Even for a strain like K1-V, which has relatively low nutrient requirements, the yeast will do much better (and produce a cleaner ferment) if their minimum nitrogen and other trace nutrient needs are met. If you're wondering how to add nutrients, I'd recommend that you read the Newbee Guide (link is over on the left side of this page), and then ask questions if you still have any.

Good luck with your next batch. While it will be a "traditional" rather than a "show" mead if you use nutrient, I'm sure you'll be more pleased with the results, more quickly, if you go the nutrient route! ;D

Zsnethen
11-11-2011, 03:38 PM
I will defiantly add some yeast nutrients in. Ill try the KIV-1116 Thanks for the advice.

YogiBearMead726
11-11-2011, 03:44 PM
+1 on Wayne's suggestions.

I will add that the "fiery/harsh" taste is pretty typical in a young mead (in my experience). Given some age and time to come into it's own, I think you'll find only a few of your meads will actually need to be backsweetened. With age (like 6 months is when I start tasting without expecting the harshness), those fusel and phenolic compounds will dissipate, and a perceived sweetness will come back.

Patience is a virtue in this hobby...which is why I started making beer to drink while the mead ages. :)

brian92fs
11-11-2011, 05:42 PM
I'd also suggest giving 71B a try if you’re not trying to go above 14% ABV and you’re looking for something that will be ready sooner.

Zsnethen
11-15-2011, 12:12 AM
Not that I'm disregarding the advice here but Ive got some d-47 laying around here and im considering using that because my honey got here but im still waiting on the yeasts. Any opinions? Also I broke my hydometer:( So i really don't know if i should brew a batch before the new one shows its coming with the yeasts. Also I don't wanna stress the yeast out so how big a issue is heat range its going from 55-75 when I light my pellet stove I have some other batches of wine covered with blankets to keep the tempture more stable.

wayneb
11-15-2011, 12:28 AM
D-47 can make a very good traditional mead, but I would again advise you to keep the fermentation temperature on the cool side. This strain does seem to be sensitive to temperature, producing significantly more harsh fusels and phenolics at higher temps. The only other temperature advice that I can give you is to try to keep the temps stable during fermentation. Wide swings in temperature can stress the yeast as much as fermenting hot, sometimes even causing the fermentation to stall early.

I'd recommend waiting until you get your new hydrometer. That simple instrument can tell you so much about a fermentation in progress, that at least to me, it is an indispensable piece of equipment when I ferment anything. In the grand scheme of things, while it may be difficult to wait a week for the new one to show up, given that your fermentation and aging will likely last several months (or more), by the time your next batch is done you'll hardly notice the extra week or so.

Loadnabox
11-15-2011, 10:17 AM
+1 for keeping stable temps

Placing the fermenter in a water bath will help to stabilize the temp -some-

If it's getting towards 50Fi at night, then you'll want to wrap it with a blanket and use some type of a warmer.

If at all possible, keep it indoors, perhaps in a closet or some room that always has air going to it. Indoor areas usually have a more stable temp.

huesmann
11-16-2011, 09:46 AM
I'll second the K1V-1116 recommendation. I used it for my first mead and it turned out perfect.

The other thing I would suggest is boiling your water, if you're using well water. Obviously, let it cool before you add it to your must!

Zsnethen
11-19-2011, 01:09 AM
Ok So I finely got all of my ingredients and going to brew it up tomorrow and I wanted some Final thoughts on my plans. Thank you for the advice It did change my plans.

recipe

18lbs of wildflower honey
71b-1122
bottled water from the store non distilled
and brewersbest yeast nutrient

From my calculations the starting og will be 1.129 and should end at 1.020 giving me a mead on the sweeter end of the spectrum unless the yeast goes past 14%.

So the last few of my main questions is do I need to cold crash this at 1.020 to keep the sweetness or will the yeast stop? Will taking the yeast to tolerance stress them out and make rocketfuel? And if so what can I do Im not stuck at going to 14% I would consider stopping it at 12% but ive never had luck with capoden tablets and cold crashing the musts always went on to ferment to dry. I just really prefer not to back sweeten it never seems to clear.

Loadnabox
11-19-2011, 09:14 AM
Ok So I finely got all of my ingredients and going to brew it up tomorrow and I wanted some Final thoughts on my plans. Thank you for the advice It did change my plans.

recipe

18lbs of wildflower honey
71b-1122
bottled water from the store non distilled
and brewersbest yeast nutrient

From my calculations the starting og will be 1.129 and should end at 1.020 giving me a mead on the sweeter end of the spectrum unless the yeast goes past 14%.

So the last few of my main questions is do I need to cold crash this at 1.020 to keep the sweetness or will the yeast stop? Will taking the yeast to tolerance stress them out and make rocketfuel? And if so what can I do Im not stuck at going to 14% I would consider stopping it at 12% but ive never had luck with capoden tablets and cold crashing the musts always went on to ferment to dry. I just really prefer not to back sweeten it never seems to clear.

I wouldn't bother trying to stop them, it's nearly impossible by most accounts. However, quite often when it comes to the end of fermentation near the tolerance of the yeast, simply racking off the sediment (after stopping all stirring etc for a day or two) has been enough to stop my fermentations.

tweak'e
11-19-2011, 07:00 PM
.......
From my calculations the starting og will be 1.129 and should end at 1.020 giving me a mead on the sweeter end of the spectrum unless the yeast goes past 14%.

So the last few of my main questions is do I need to cold crash this at 1.020 to keep the sweetness or will the yeast stop? Will taking the yeast to tolerance stress them out and make rocketfuel? And if so what can I do Im not stuck at going to 14% I would consider stopping it at 12% but ive never had luck with capoden tablets and cold crashing the musts always went on to ferment to dry. I just really prefer not to back sweeten it never seems to clear.

probably better to start with little less honey so it ends about 1.010.
only thing to watch with that yeast is PH needs to above 3.5(?) otherwise it may stop early.

if you have already started it, then i would let it complete. cold crashing it early will just make it even sweeter. much easier to add in honey later than to make it less sweet.

if you have the gear, cold crashing should stop it easy enough. then its a matter of racking it off the yeast after its completely settled. then sulfite and sorbate it to stop the remaining yeast. note-it has to be cold while you do it otherwise the yeast will fire back up again.

Matrix4b
11-28-2011, 02:23 PM
18 pounds of honey should make a good sweet to medium sweet mead. Ofcourse at bottling it will taste antiseptic..after a year of aging, the sweetness will come out at that time. 6-8 months I would list as a minimum aging time after it has cleared.

+1 on yeast nutrients. Also, Yeast Energizer. Much needed in your recipie.

See step nutrients, though not neccessary just makes it beter.

Also, Seriously consider oaking. I did a side by side batch with 1 oz of lightly toasted oak chips put in the must for 2 weeks only. And the results were that the oaked was smoother, aged a bit quicker and had less bite overall. I am currently doing a side by side of 3 show meads with a different toast level for each oaking and going to taste personally the difference.

I like the 71B yeast with varing temps, It can handle up to 82 I think. D-47 shouldn't go beyond 70 degrees. But both are good clean yeasts. From what I have heard here the 71B you do not want to leave on the lees long. Timely racking is best. I haven't see it matter with the D-47.

Matrix