View Full Version : 3 Gallon Spiced Orange Melomel

02-26-2013, 05:23 PM
So, I've made a few successful batches of JAO(1 gallon) and want to try something a bit more high volume and gravity.

I've got a 3 gallon PET carboy on the way, hydrometer, s-type airlock, #10 bung, two packs of K1V-1116 and some yeast nutrient. I'll be using 9lbs Fireweed honey for caramel notes, and spring water.

My question is, is it really as simple as this?
1. Sanitize.
2. Mix honey and water until O.G. is 1.107.
3. Aerate with nutrient.
4. Activate and add one package of yeast.
5. Add 1 sliced orange, 1-2 cinnamon sticks, 2 cloves.
6. Aerate every few days during growth stage.
7. Rack when must reaches F.G.
O.G: 1.107 - F.G: 1.006

I figure this will take about 9 pounds of honey for 3 gallons.

The method seems extremely simple, and allows for a ridiculous amount of customization. Is there anything else I need to know before I start this 3 gallon batch?

Also, what is your general philosophy on feeding? I've read that 1/4tsp per gallon is a good goal to shoot for. Also, do you usually do a single feed or a step feed every 1/3 S.G drop?

02-26-2013, 10:47 PM
You should be fine with just one packet of yeast.

I can't remember who, or where, but someone said 1 packet of yeast is fine for up to a 5 gallon batch. ChevetteGirl perhaps? Doesn't really matter who it was really, as in any recipe I've seen only 1 packet is used, unless a problem occurs.

Chevette Girl
02-27-2013, 12:21 AM
I probably have said that but I won't have been the only one :)

I'd change step 6 to aerate every day until SG has dropped to about 1.070 (this is your 1/3 sugar break, the yeast don't use much oxygen after this point).

Check the package of your nutrients/energizer; it will suggest the total amount of nutrients you want to add to your must. It may not be pefectly ideal since the nutrients are most likely suggesting amounts for a grape must, but it's at least a good place to start. You can add the total amount at pitch, or some of it at pitch and the rest later, but you want to make sure whatever nutrients you're adding get added by 1.070 if you want your yeast to be able to use them If you want to do a staggered nutrient addition, my lazy-ass method is to add half of it after you've pitched the yeast and it's started to do its thing... then put the remaining amount I intend to add into a spare jar, and every time I aerate, I give it a little shake of the remaining nutrients and I try to time it so that my last addition is right around the 1/3 break. Just make sure you add the nutrients AFTER you've been stirring for a while or you may experience what we call a MEA (mead eruption accident) if you drop powder into a must with a lot of dissolved CO2 causing a sudden release.

02-27-2013, 12:52 PM
Okay, thanks for the tips Chevette! It seems like from what you're saying, as long as the yeasties get some food along the way it doesn't matter too much when to feed them. So long as you stop feeding at the 1/3 sugar break I take it.

I like your idea of mixing the nutrients with some spare must and adding it in gradually. I think I'm gonna use that so I don't have an MEA on my hands and so it's already pre-mixed. :)

O, and another question for you. Do you use a starter on K1V-1116 or can you really just pitch the yeast as-is, aerate and wait? I've noticed that lalvin yeasts want you to use a starter, but that mead makers sometimes pitch lalvin directly into the must, aerate and wait for fermentation.

02-27-2013, 02:04 PM
For the most part, always follow the directions on the package. I always rehydrate the lalvins since that's what they say to do.

Bread yeast, those I toss just in, because that's what Joe says to do for his JAOM. (=

02-27-2013, 09:26 PM
If you rehydrate, you will end up with a larger 'live cell count' this has advantages and disadvantages, depending on your brew.

In the case of JAO a lower live cell count is ok, just put more yeast in, the dead fellows will be consumed as nutrient, and bread yeast is cheap so what the hey?
Also. bread yeast kicks off very quickly.
If you have a lower live cell count your lag phase will be longer (again, doesn't matter for JAO) doesn't really matter for any brew to tell the truth, just takes longer.
But if you have a finicky yeast, it may not have enough live fellows to be happy and breed.

Ok I just rambled rather than listing pros and cons, so lets try again.

Much higher number of yeasties are alive when pitched.
As such less yeast is needed.
Lag phase is shorter as they need to do less breeding.
The yeast that survive are less stressed.

Not Rehydrating
Provides some yeast fodder, as they will eat their dead fellows.
It's easier (marginally)
You need more, so it's costlier
Yeast may be stressed and throw nasty smells.

Personally I rehydrate everything. If I want nutrient, I rehydrate more yeast in boiling water.
Note: I always use the same yeast, in case any survive the hot-rehydration.
I also buy my yeast in 500g bags, as it's the same cost as 10 sachets, but you get 100 goes. Keeping it in the fridge makes it last years (Well past the use by)
Because I have so much, I can afford to use 10 times as much yeast and still break even.
10 batches in a year is not hard to achieve, so my yeast doesn't tend to last very long despite getting so much.

02-28-2013, 02:37 PM
Ahh, thanks for the clarity! Now it's starting to come together, and it definitely looks like I'll be re-hydrating my yeast so it has a better chance and isn't as stressed when pitched.

So kudapucat, do you use any nutrient besides the dead yeast? Or is your nutrient regime using dead yeast in a more supplementary fashion? This reminds me of a few recipes I've seen using dead yeast hulls.

02-28-2013, 04:58 PM
Boiled yeast is 'yeast hulls'
I often add some DAP, and raisins feature if I think the flavour profile won't be disadvantaged.