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Survivecrunch
08-07-2012, 11:53 PM
Here is what I just started. Kindof just came up with what I thought might be good after read literally hundreds of recipes. It was my first batch of Mead I have ever made. I just don't know what I should expect as far as a potential ABV% I don't know if I added too much nutrient and energizer. It looks to be bubbling great, at least a bubble or two every second, but there is only a tiny tiny bit of foam forming on the top. I guess I would like to know if my ingredients or methods will produce any off flavors. If so or if there are better suggestions i will try them in a month (I have 40# of honey left!) Thanks!


Recipe:
List ALL ingredients used.
2 tbsp. of Yeast energizer
1.5 tbsp. of Yeast nutrient
2 crushed campden tablets
3 teaspoons pectic enzyme
2.5 # blueberries
15# Honey
Lalvin D-47 2 packets
Process. Brewed Aug 3, 2012

Put honey into pot and slowly brought to a low boil. Skimmed off foam. Added 2.5 gallons of water to fermenter and then poured in liquid honey. Topped off fermenter with 2.5 gallons of water. Added in energizer, nutrient, campden tablets, and acid blend. Let sit overnight. Next day prepared yeast in warm water. Meanwhile add in blueberries in mesh bag, (slightly crushed,) then the pectic enzyme. Put on lid and added blow off tube.
.

Initial Gravity: 1.085

mediaguru
08-08-2012, 01:01 AM
I have some questions (mostly because I am new and have not made a melomel, but might want to do so at some point):

1) Why the campden tablets right up front? I would think boiling (ie. pasteurizing) like you did would be enough? Is it to fend off anything that might happen while it is cooling?

2) 2 tbsp energizer and 1.5 tbsp nutrient seems like a lot, but I'm no expert. For me, I just used 2 tsp (not tbsp) nutrient (yeast hulls with some DAP and a little mg in it) and it worked fine...

3) Might it be better to add the blueberries at secondary? Or is it better to add the fruit right up front at primary? (or maybe both?)

Chevette Girl
08-08-2012, 01:40 AM
Welcome to the forum, Survivecrunch.

Your procedure lists acid blend but it's not in your ingredient list, did you use it or not? If you've been reading recipes here, you'll notice we recommend against up-front acid additions as honey has its own acidity and while it's still good procedure with fruit wines to make it closer approximate a grape must, it's not needed and can actually be counterproductive to add acid blend up front in a mead.

Mediaguru, in answer to your questions:
1) You're right, boiling AND campden tablets is kind of redundant. I generally don't bother with either, and a lot of folks around here will recommend against boiling the honey becuase it drives off a lot of the delicate aromas and more volatile flavours out. Honey's pretty resistant to infection just as it is, so one or the other would be fine but neither's really required.

2) Regarding nutrients and energizer, the listed recommendation for nutrients (DAP) is 1 tsp per gallon for wines and this is a 5 or 6 gal batch so 2 tbsp isn't crazy, although that's assuming it's a wine must and that's all you're using. Adding 1.5 tbsp of energizer might be a bit much in combination with this much DAP since most recommend about 1/4 tsp per gallon according to the instructions on mine, but it probably won't affect the taste, it might just make for some really happy yeasties.

3) Both methods are equally acceptable, it depends what you're looking for in the taste of the final product. Some people (myself included) mostly only do fruit in primary for a variety of reasons (easier to manage fruit in a mesh bag, which is a lot easier to manage in a bucket than in a carboy, prefer the taste of fermented fruit rather than the taste of adding fruit juice to mead, etc), some only ever do it in secondary because you won't lose the more delicate flavours to a very vigorous fermentation. And some people split the difference and do half and half so they get the fermented fruit flavour as well as the fresher juice flavour. It's up to you whether you think the work's worth it or whether you prefer one over the other.

Hope this clears up a few things for both of you.

fatbloke
08-08-2012, 07:51 AM
CG's got most of the points worth mentioning, so I'll only add one more.......

If you live (and ferment) in a warm location, its worth checking on the yeast properties. D47 makes some good meads, but it has a very narrow temp range, and needs to be fermenting below 70F/21C. As above that, its known to produce fusels, that take a very long time to mellow (if ever).

Fusels don't taste very good, unlike normal potable alcohol (ethyl alcohol). So can leave you with a "rubbing alcohol" taste and smell.

If you don't have any temp control facility and its likely the ferment might get too warm, the research "swamp cooler" as that often helps.......

Survivecrunch
08-08-2012, 12:43 PM
Well looks like you found my flaw in my records! Yes I did add a tablespoon of acid blend. I guess I added the campden tablets to ensure nothing from either my water or blueberries were going to be a problem. The boiling of the honey to ensure that I got the empurities out because it was raw unprocessed unpastueried honey. I added the blueberries to my fermenter so that I could get some of the 11% per pound of sugar of the blueberries contributing to the AC. Might add a little to the secondary for flavor as well. My fermentor has a temperature strip on it and I have it stored in a dark closet in my house and it is a constant 70 degrees. With a specific gravity of 1.085 what should I expect for a roundabout ABV% Just wondering if I should expect a sweet or dry mead. Thanks for the comments guys, and yes I am absolutely excited about starting this hobby!