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View Full Version : What do you think? Only my second batch so still new.



Brandon O
01-21-2012, 01:49 PM
12 lbs amber honey
4 oz. hibiscus petals
white labs sweet mead yeast
northern brewer yeast nutrient

-steep hibiscus petals to make a tea, then bring the water to a boil 10 minutes to boil out any chlorination
-add honey and let dissolve when heat has been turned off to pasteurize it
-ferment around 65-70 degrees

I was hoping to make a 4.5 gallon batch of something close to Viking Blod (except this will only be 15% ABV.) I love it and cannot get it where I live. I was thinking about adding potassium sorbate and campden tabs when fermentation has finally ended and giving a taste test 24-48 hrs later and deciding then whether or not to back-sweeten?

Any opinions or something I should do differently in your opinion

mmclean
01-21-2012, 02:50 PM
Wecome to GOTMEAD?

When I made my double one gallon batch of Hibiscus Ginger Metheglin, I used 2oz. hibiscus in each gallon. I got real good color extraction with the
D47. Less with the D21.

Next time I'm thing to do a three way split. RC212, D254 and maybe D80.

Three pounds of honey to a gallon gave me a starting SG of 1.108. Which the D21 took dry.

I'm not sure of the rating for your yeast, but you may want to bump up your S.G. a bit.

I hope that you will be putting up a meadlog when this is up and running.

-M-

Brandon O
01-21-2012, 04:42 PM
I made a dry mead before and due to the fact that it took almost all the honey flavor away I decided to try my hand at sweet meads.
The strongest yeast I found for sweet was the white labs that has a 15% tolerance.
I like my beer strong and meads sweet I think.

Would you think I need more like 8 oz of hibiscus to my 4 gallons of water to let the color and flavor shine through? Ginger like you used sounds intersting as well.

Also do you recommend any changes? Should I look at a different yeast strain?

mmclean
01-21-2012, 07:01 PM
To make a sweet mead, you could add more sugars (honey) than the yeast can convert or add enough sugar to take the mead only to a desired ABV, stabilize and backsweeten.

The problem with the first is, you can not really control the yeast. If you take good care of them, stir them, feed them, keep them at a nice temp, they could blow right through their alochol ratings. This mead could take a year or more to come together. Most people seem to like 14% to 15% ABV.

The second takes a little more work but leaves you in more control.

As for the White Labs Sweet Mead Yeast, a lot of new meadcrafters have problems with this one. You can do search here and get a lot of info.

Any of the yeast I mentioned will take you to the 15% to 16% ABV range. Another good one may be Lalvin V1116 (K1), good to 18% ABV.

Brandon O
01-21-2012, 07:25 PM
Hey, thanks. That makes a lot of sense about using either type of yeast dry or sweet and if I can use some of the types you wrote down and sweeten later would make for a more true V.B. style clone.

I have been reading and have a couple of books on the way. I have been brewing beer long enough to feel comfortable but this is really a different beast!

Thanks very much for the help and advice.

mmclean
01-21-2012, 10:42 PM
If you haven't yet already, I highly recommend reading the newbee guild. Look for the link in the tool bar to your left.

fatbloke
01-22-2012, 06:07 AM
To make a sweet mead, you could add more sugars (honey) than the yeast can convert or add enough sugar to take the mead only to a desired ABV, stabilize and backsweeten.

The problem with the first is, you can not really control the yeast. If you take good care of them, stir them, feed them, keep them at a nice temp, they could blow right through their alochol ratings. This mead could take a year or more to come together. Most people seem to like 14% to 15% ABV.

The second takes a little more work but leaves you in more control.

As for the White Labs Sweet Mead Yeast, a lot of new meadcrafters have problems with this one. You can do search here and get a lot of info.

Any of the yeast I mentioned will take you to the 15% to 16% ABV range. Another good one may be Lalvin V1116 (K1), good to 18% ABV.
Well most of that is spot on..... but it's the wyeast sweet mead yeast that is the PITA to use (I'm forever mixing them up, as the names the same and they're both liquid yeasts I understand, well the wyeast one certainly is, the white labs one isn't available here) - as it doesn't seem to like gravity much higher than it's tolerance (about 11%). The white labs one is, apparently, better. It certainly has a higher tolerance.

I would also have suggested that as well as using K1V already suggested (which should kill off the sweet mead yeast and become dominant), and the extra honey to increase the gravity, making so called "tea's" with spice or herb type ingredients doesn't always get all the flavour/colour. I would have thought it better to add some hibiscus to either secondary directly, or even after the ferment is complete. If it's added along with pectolase, then the pectolase isn't doing it's primary role i.e. preventing pectic hazes (i wouldn't have thought there's much possible pectin in hibiscus), but another property of it, is that it also aids in the extraction of colour and flavour elements of other organic ingredients....


Whether something like rohapect would also be useful for colour and flavour extraction I don't know, but some of the grape wine makers I know use it as a matter of course, for reds........