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View Full Version : Im stuck and so is my mead!!



alleydoc
03-01-2012, 06:49 PM
This is my 2nd time doing Mead.. I have been doing beer and wine for over15 years now.. but Im stuck

Ok So here is what I have done so far
I started with 30 LBS of orange blossom honey
I took 25 lbs and added the water to fill my 6 gal carboy
OSG was 1.185 @ 68 degrees ( I will call this batch #1)
I added 1.5 pks of D47 after hydration to the mix
All that was done on 10-19-11. I saw active fermentation on 10-24
On 11-16 I was down to 1.130
On the 16th I took 1 gal out and to that 6 gal batch and I added 1 vanilla bean and 2 sticks of cinnamon, 2 tbs of yeast nutrient and 1\2 pk of D47 ( to the single gallon carboy) I admit there was still some active fermentation going on : (

on 2-11 No signs of active fermentation and the SG was 1.088 @ 60 degrees
I racked to a 2nd carboy, both batches.
I added 1 pk of re hydrated D47 to the now 5 gal batch and 1\2 pack of D47, rehydrated to the 1 gal batch...Since then I have seen no signs of fermentation in either batch.

Now for batch 3
on 10-17-11
I took 5 lbs of orange blossoms honey and add water to make 1 gal batch. OSG was 1.175 @ 70 degrees 1\2 pack of D 47 and 1\2 tbs of yeast nutrient
by 11-16 SG was 1.140 I added 1 vanilla bean and 1\2 tbs of yeast nutrient
11-21 I added 1\2 pk of rehydrated D47 On 2-11-12 my SG was 1.120 and racked into a secondary carboy and added 1/2 pk of D47 rehydrated
Since then no signs of fermentation.
Im thinking there is lots of sugars to ferment yet..What Am I missing??
Thanks!!

The_Bishop
03-01-2012, 07:07 PM
You are adding *way* too much honey to your starting must. Most yeasts have a hard time getting started at 1.140, you're pitching into 1.185!

akueck
03-01-2012, 08:03 PM
Wow, good job getting those first batches to go as far as they did. Most folks starting with an OG of 1.185 would wind up with a FG of about the same.

If you've done wine, you know that the typical starting gravity is in the neighborhood of 1.090-1.110. This is a good spot for mead too, though many folks will go up to about 1.135-1.140 for "big mead"; however these meads require special attention. At 1.185 it's very difficult to get things going, and even with a high FG of 1.088 you've got more than 10% alcohol in there. I doubt you'll convince anything to ferment it more than it has.

The easiest solution here is to dilute with water down to an adjusted OG no higher than about 1.120. You might see renewed fermentation just from that.

alleydoc
03-02-2012, 11:55 PM
Yeah I figured as much.. I was looking for a stronger mead.. I thought I could get more fermentation.. I will dilute it and give it a try.. I tasted the batches .. Not bad but Still too sweet for me..
Thanks for the help!!

fatbloke
03-03-2012, 04:36 AM
As highlighted, the high levels of honey. Also your point about aiming for a stronger mead.

I've also been thinking about something similar, but being aware of the difficulties of very high gravity musts and their propensity to stick, or even not start, it seems that its probably better to start lower and step feed the batch with honey, taking readings both pre and post addition.

That way, you've got a record of gravity drops too total and can work out the strength, in relation to the published tolerance for the yeast.

Plus, D47 isn't likely to be the best, with a 14% tolerance. K1V, EC-1118, or even one of the turbo type yeasts that list a tolerance of20% is likely to be better.

I would then back sweeten the finished batch to about 1.010 - 1.020, but no more.

It's probable that such a batch would need extended ageing.......

alleydoc
03-04-2012, 10:51 AM
Thanks for the info.. When finished, I was planning on a extended aging process.. maybe a year or even two that was one of the reasons I was shooting for a higher SG.. A bit too high now!!! I'm hoping that the dilution idea works.. No way am I giving up on it .way to early for that..!!

fatbloke
03-04-2012, 10:54 AM
Thanks for the info.. When finished, I was planning on a extended aging process.. maybe a year or even two that was one of the reasons I was shooting for a higher SG.. A bit too high now!!! I'm hoping that the dilution idea works.. No way am I giving up on it .way to early for that..!!
Top man ! that's what I think of as the right approach :cool:

Loadnabox
03-04-2012, 01:01 PM
Thanks for the info.. When finished, I was planning on a extended aging process.. maybe a year or even two that was one of the reasons I was shooting for a higher SG.. A bit too high now!!! I'm hoping that the dilution idea works.. No way am I giving up on it .way to early for that..!!

extended aging for high ABV meads generally means over two eyars from my understanding.

(Someone will undoubtedly correct me if I'm remembering wrong here)

TAKeyser
03-05-2012, 01:41 AM
I'm impressed that you got the mead down to 1.088 gravity as that pretty much matches the 100 point drop that you can expect from D47. Even EC1118 is only good for a drop of 1.135 so that would have still left a lot of residual sugars.

If you are going for those BIG Meads instead of just rehydrating the yeast do a starter and perhaps step it up a few times to progressively stronger starters to get the yeast acclimated to the higher gravities and insure a large population of yeast.