View Full Version : 2nd batch ever, more apple cider or water?

09-22-2012, 01:24 PM
After trying my hand at a so far sucsessful batch of JAOM a few weeks ago, I decided to start a batch of crazy good mead on 9/17. I left plenty of room for krausen. I would like to add more fluid and any advice on which one would be appreciated. Worth noting: I scaled the recipe down to 3 gallons and used Lalvin 71B yeast instead of champagne yeast becuase I don't want an extreme dryness. My OG was 1.074. Here is the recipe:

At a glance
5 gal10 lbs light clover honey
2 lbs blueberries (I used frozen)
1 gallon apple cider (pasteurized)
1/2 oz Saaz hops
yeast nutrient to instructions on package
1 packs champagne yeast (I used WYeast on this one)Methods/steps
Bring 2.5-3 gallons of water to a boil. Add honey, bring to a boil again. Toss in the yeast nutrient and hops and boil for about a half-hour, skimming off any scum that forms on the surface during the boil.
Put berries into a hop-boiling bag. Lower heat to a very low simmer, and toss in the berries, mashing the bag around to break them up some. Continue to steep the fruit for about 10-15 minutes while you get the fermenter ready.
Put the gallon of apple cider into the fermenter when the boil is about done, and then add the hot wort.
Add water to bring the total up to 5 gallons. Let cool, and pitch yeast.

Vance G
09-22-2012, 03:32 PM
I have made a similiar mead and I currently have one about an inch from the top of the brew bucket with no problem at all. Not that I would recommend that potential messmaker to anyone without my immediate floor drain and unfinished room. The hops may change that though because I have never used it.The cider will be just fine as you don't have an especially high gravity. I don't understand though if you are making three or five gallons? Just remember to rack off the 71B as soon as possible because that yeast will leave some unpleasant reminders behind if it breaks down while still in the mead. Your batch should be about drinkable by the Christmas Holidays if it is going now.

09-22-2012, 06:12 PM
I made a 3 gallon batch. Fernentation started 5 days ago and is still quite active. There is also a decent formation of lees. Do you recommend waiting until the mead clears or fermentation slows down a bit before racking?

Vance G
09-23-2012, 12:05 AM
Oh you definately need to wait for fermentation to be done! Just don't leave it on 71B for months. GO to the mead calculator and you can figure out what your batch should turn in to. It is not hard.

09-23-2012, 07:50 AM
That batch should ferment pretty completely. 1.074 is well within the performance limits of 71B. Adding more cider now will actually dilute it slightly (most apple juices are around 1.050). Water will obviously dilute it quite a bit more. With the berries in there, I'd recommend leaving a good amount of headspace. Those things can fly if the top pops.

You might want to toss some pectic enzyme in there too, to get rid of any potential haze from heating the fruit.

09-24-2012, 11:19 AM
Big thanks for the advice everyone. Helps out big time.