View Full Version : First traditional need some advice

11-06-2012, 03:29 AM
So my first batch of JAO is clearing up in my closet, and as recommended in a post I made in The Hive, I'm going to try starting a traditional batch. I'm shooting for something strong and sweet.

Since I know it's going to need to age for about 10 billion years to mellow out the alcohol taste, I figured I'd do a 5 gallon batch. Using the tables on here, I decided on a FG of 1.012, 16% ABV, which means I'd need about 18lbs 7oz of honey.

Now here are my questions. What yeast would you folks recommend? Also, where is a good place to get honey from? I could just go to my grocery store, but that's going to get expensive quickly.

Thanks for the help!

11-06-2012, 07:56 AM
There's a recent thread on internet sources for honey. I like Flying Bee Ranch

11-06-2012, 09:20 AM
Now here are my questions. What yeast would you folks recommend?

If you can keep your room temperature low, like around the low 60's F, I like D47 for an easy to find strain. But even though it has a stated alcohol tolerance of 14%, my experience is that it will have little problem overshooting that. Especially if you follow the good fermentation practices mentioned on this site.

So that might leave you with a drier mead than you wanted. The solution there would be to stabilize and back sweeten once you age it for a year or so.

11-06-2012, 11:23 AM
I know it's not what you're planning, but I'd recommend aiming for a lower ABV, say like 13-14%. I know it isn't as exciting, but the flavors will integrate faster, and there is less alcohol burn that has to age away. But, if you do make it higher ABV, your plan to leave it sweet should have a similar effect of making it drinkable earlier.

As for yeast, 71B and D47 are both great for traditionals. As triarchy says, D47 is sensitive to higher temps above the low 60's. And with 71B, you'll want to rack it off of the yeast every month or so; it can produce some gross flavors if you forget about it while it's clearing from being in contact with the lees (yeast cake) for too long. That isn't to say you must rack it every month, but if you notice the yeast starting to build up on the bottom of the carboy, it's probably a good idea to rack to a new vessel.

11-06-2012, 01:53 PM
So it sounds like 71B it is as my fermentation closet is usually around 70-72. I'll make sure to rack frequently. How likely is it go beyond the stated 14%? I'd definitely like something 15-16. I guess there's really one way to find out! Going to shop around for some honey tonight after work.