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cjuenchico27
01-06-2012, 12:16 PM
So my JAOM is fermenting nicely now. I'm looking to start making my second batch of mead in the next few days. I'm thinking maybe a simple cherry melomel or some simple spiced mead recipe.

Now the thing is I'm brewing these two batches for a music festival in June, we all make it a tradition to bring something homebrewed every year to share around at the campsite.

So this gives me just about 6 months for this batch. I know the JAOM will be fine for then but i was wondering if my other mead will be ok to drink by that time in June. I know it will have finished fermenting by then and will have a small window of time to sit in bottles and age, but will this be enough for a half decent mead in june? Taste is obviously an issue but when its paired with homebrew gin i don' think we'll mind too much since we just want it so we can get smashed :P

But will everything be ok by june?

Duracell
01-06-2012, 12:48 PM
But will everything be ok by june?

It will be drinkable by June sure, it will (most likely) NOT be at it's best but it will be drinkable. It's all a matter of how drinkable you want it to be. Also, a lot depends on how the fermentation goes. If you get a lot of fusels it might still be hot, if not, it might be just barely ready. Some people can brew mead that's ready to drink in a few months and some can't. Hell, I had a drink of a melomel Oskaar made and it was fantastic at 2 months (exception not the norm).

Recipe is a big part of it but also SNA (staggered nutrient additions), temp, yeast, ph, etc.

My suggestion would be to make a big batch of JAO now and right around the time of your get together start next years batch. Always a good idea to plan way ahead.

brian92fs
01-06-2012, 01:30 PM
Other things that will reduce aging times:

Lower ABV. Id say keep it 13% or lower
Sweetness. Keep it off-dry or sweeter
Yeast choice. 71B-1122 would help
Good fermentation management (as Duracell pointed out)


My first batch was a OB traditional made with 71B. It finished at 1.005 & 14% ABV. I had a very long primary fermentation (40 days), but it is very drinkable after 4 months of aging.

cjuenchico27
01-06-2012, 04:00 PM
So would the Cherry Melomel be drinkable by June with this recipe?

3.5lb Jersey Honey
1lb Cherries
Cup of orange juice (pure not from concentrate)
Water to a gallon
Lalvin 71-B or K1-V yeast

Just a simple recipe (any recommendations on any other ingredients would be much appreciated too lol) gonna rack into the secondary after 30 days and then rack every 2-3 weeks for the following 3 months or so then bottle (if all goes according to plan of course).

This sounds pretty good for a drinkable mead by June?

Soyala_Amaya
01-06-2012, 04:04 PM
If you're going for a faster mead, I'd use 71-b. KIV, while a work horse, produces harsher, higher level alcohols.

And why are you adding the orange juice? For acid or flavor? If you're doing it for acid additions, no need. Mead is high in acids already, if you have to manually do anything with the ph, it's lower it. If for flavor, add some zest, just juice doesn't give off as much in the way of the nose. Zest helps a LOT.

Just my first thoughts.

cjuenchico27
01-06-2012, 08:16 PM
And why are you adding the orange juice? For acid or flavor? If you're doing it for acid additions, no need. Mead is high in acids already, if you have to manually do anything with the ph.

Just my first thoughts.

The orange juice was mainly for an extra bit of nutrition for the yeast and I was told that no more a cup of pure orange not from concentrate was good for the ph of the must.... Now I'm confused..... :/

mmclean
01-06-2012, 10:17 PM
I would drop the OJ and throw in some raisins.

Black currant goes very well with the cherries.

Soyala_Amaya
01-06-2012, 10:24 PM
You're probably looking at an older recipe, or someone who brews wine/beer. It used to be very common to add acid (lemon juice, orange juice, acid blend) at the beginning of fermentation, but with more research and time, the mead elders have determined it to be an outdated and harmful act to mead. :)

No worries, it's a very common step in older recipes, and is usually a good way to see if the recipe is outdated or not! If I see a step for acid or tannins (usually tea) in the ingredients list as part of fermentation, I'll usually either adjust the recipe or find a new one. Some people DO add those things after fermentation, but it can stall out your yeast in the honey blend.

Listen to mmclean, raisins are a MUCH better source of nutrient for your yeast, though I would look at getting some fermaid k at some point so you can properly dose your nutrients. Do a search for nutrients and you'll find LOTS of info, also take a look at SNA, or staggered nutrient additions.

cjuenchico27
01-06-2012, 10:32 PM
I would drop the OJ and throw in some raisins.

Black currant goes very well with the cherries.

Thanks mmclean. Can't believe I didn't think of blackcurramt!! Lol. How much should I be looking to add? And do you reckon I should throw in a few raisins with the blackcurants? And if I'm now deciding to add these should I adjust the amount of cherries I throw in?

God all these questions... You lot must hate me already lol. Thanks for all the help everyone! Very much appreciated :D

mmclean
01-06-2012, 10:51 PM
I would add about 25 raisins, more would be O.K. as they don't affect taste at this level.

As for the black currant, I think I might ferment the cherries first and add black currant juice to taste. Then you would have an idea as to how much to add to the next batch.

Here is Curt Stock's Black Currant Cherry Melomel

■22 lbs Wildflower Honey
■8 lbs Black Currants
■12 lbs Tart Cherries
■3 gal Water
■3 tsp Yeast Energizer/Nutrient Blend (Fermaid-K and DAP)
■10 g Lalvin Narbonne Yeast (71B-1122)

Approximate OG: 1.161

Target FG: 1.030 - 1.040

Estimated ABV: 16.1%

Chevette Girl
01-07-2012, 12:52 AM
Mead is high in acids already, if you have to manually do anything with the ph, it's lower it.

Just being picky here, but to prevent confusion, you mean raise the pH: high acidity = low pH.

And I often add up to a pound of raisins per gallon if I know a particular fruit I'm using tends to yield a thin wine, raisins help give wine some body, I always add raisins or white grape concentrate to a pear wine...

Soyala_Amaya
01-07-2012, 12:08 PM
Thank you Chevette, I always say that messed up because I know I'm testing with PH strips, and the numbers seem backwards to me. Thank you for fixing my mushy brains. :D

cjuenchico27
01-07-2012, 12:43 PM
Here is Curt Stock's Black Currant Cherry Melomel

■22 lbs Wildflower Honey
■8 lbs Black Currants
■12 lbs Tart Cherries
■3 gal Water
■3 tsp Yeast Energizer/Nutrient Blend (Fermaid-K and DAP)
■10 g Lalvin Narbonne Yeast (71B-1122)
Estimated ABV: 16.1%

Thanks again mmclean. What amounts would you say would be good for a 1 gallon batch? (I suck at math) lol. Cheers

cjuenchico27
01-07-2012, 01:52 PM
Ok after slaving over a calculator I think I've got it.

3.5 lbs jersey honey
1lb cherries
2/3 lb blackcurrants
25 raisins
Balance water to a gallon
1tsp yeast energiser/nutrient
Lalvin 71-B yeast sachet

Are all my amounts ok?

Medsen Fey
01-07-2012, 02:22 PM
You can keep the energizer as is (if it is the tan powder kind like Fermaid K), but can cut the nutrient to 1/2 tsp (or even less).

fatbloke
01-08-2012, 07:56 AM
-----&<-----
1tsp yeast energiser/nutrient
-----&<-----

Depends on what you can get on the Island(s). Or whether you're gonna mail order or not.

FermaidK is quite hard to get here on the mainland, as most HBS use Ritchies or Hambleton Bard for wholesale.

Tronozymol is one of the brands that will be a close equivalent to FermaidK and if you look at the "Yeast Nutrient" (can't remember whether it was Ritchies or Youngs), but the main ingredient is di-ammonium phosphate (with a secondary ingredient which is an anti-caking material). So that is fine in place of "pure DAP".

Of course, if you're using mail order for supplies it's easier to get the genuine article(s).

I can only get the "usual suspects" from the range of Lalvin yeasts, but if I mail order from the US, then you can get stuff like the lesser available stuff from morewine (http://morewinemaking.com/search/103218/beerwinecoffee/coffeewinebeer/Lallemand_Lalvin_Yeasts).

Dunno what the main source of nectar for the bee's in likely to be though i.e. whether it's gonna be like wild flowers or one of the wide number of horti/agri food plants etc. As to whether Jersey uses the EU guides on labelling and information or whether it's better I don't know. I suppose if the honey tastes good then it should be fine - perhaps you could locate someone who will sell raw honey ?

Just a thought/my tuppence worth.......

p.s. Oh and I understand that the current suggested quantities etc for nutrients/energiser to use US parlance, would be 70% FermaidK/Tronozymol/Tan powder nutrient and 30% DAP/di-ammonium phosphate/white crystals (pretty sure those are the numbers from another of Medsens excellent posts not so long ago)

Matrix4b
01-13-2012, 05:43 PM
All very good advice for you. I would actually recomend a little zest and juice to keep the cherries from tasting like coff suryp as I have heard that cherries do.

Something that I have found helps in aging quicker, at least initially is oaking it.

Once off the fruit, put in 1 oz of lightly toasted oak chips or some prefer cubes. This will make it smoother quicker, I would leave it in about 3 weeks or so. Should help.

Matrix

Mars Colonist
01-13-2012, 08:09 PM
p.s. Oh and I understand that the current suggested quantities etc for nutrients/energiser to use US parlance, would be 70% FermaidK/Tronozymol/Tan powder nutrient and 30% DAP/di-ammonium phosphate/white crystals (pretty sure those are the numbers from another of Medsens excellent posts not so long ago)

I was recently looking for the "proper" ratios to use there... Ive seen Oskaar and Medsen going 70/30 Fermaid K/DAP (by weight), to HighTest at 50/50 and then to Curt Stock at 33/66. Legal limit (US TTB) for Fermaid-K is supposedly 0.25g/L max [because of thiamin], which puts most of my formulations at 15/85!!! The only thing Ive really seen is a correlation between too much early DAP leading to increased H2S production.

brian92fs
01-13-2012, 09:46 PM
The legal limit for Fermaid-K is 25 g/hL, DAP is 96 g/hL and yeast hulls are 36 g/hL. You can find the details in "Title 27 Part 24 24.246 Materials authorized for the treatment of wine and juice (http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=506cf0c03546efff958847134c5527d3&rgn=div5&view=text&node=27:1.0.1.1.19&idno=27#27:1.0.1.1.19.12.343.7)".

Go-Ferm and Fermaid-O do not appear to fall under any TTB limitations.

Mars Colonist
01-13-2012, 10:13 PM
Thanks! I found ammonium phosphate and yeast hulls, but didnt find Fermaid-K

brian92fs
01-14-2012, 03:11 PM
The limitation is based on thiamine. There are several sources that indicate that 25 g/hL of Fermaid-K reaches the TTBs limit for thiamine... I just can't seem to find any of those sources at the moment.

Of course, all of this only really matters if you're commercial. Nothing says that the home producer has to observe these limits as far as I know. I have been observing them... but that's just a matter of personal preference.