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Droc
09-11-2013, 09:39 PM
I'm new to making mead and I just pitched my yeast into my first attempt. I'm going for semi-sweet, and was wondering if you guys had any suggestions for anything else I might be able to do for this batch or for future ones...

Here's what I used

2 1/2 lbs Honey (not sure the type as I got it form a farmers market and it didn't say)
1 lb peeled peaches
5g Lalvin Ec-1118
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1/2 tsp yeast energizer
1/2 pectic enzyme
1 tsp potassium metabisulfate

First I mixed together the nutrient, energizer, potassium metabisulfate and water together and then added the honey. I blanched, peeled and quartered the peaches, put them in a mesh bag and put them in the fermentor. After that I put the lid on and let it sit over night.
The next evening I activated my yeast, added my pectic enzyme and mixed the must together for about 5 minutes to try to get some O2 into it. It is now being stored in my basement which stays around 70 degrees or so.
My initial SG was 1.12. I was going to test out the acid, but I forgot, so I may open it up tomorrow and do that.

Any help or comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!

rmccask
09-11-2013, 11:34 PM
I would have put the pectic enzyme in there at the beginning and not the energizer and put the energizer in right before the yeast. Some people wait signs of fermentation to add the energizer. I also would have frozen the peaches to help break down the cells of the peaches. I also would consider a different yeast next time. I prefer 71B for melomels. These are all already done so don't lose sleep over it. Just things to consider for next time.

Do NOT put in the acid while it is fermenting. You can do that to taste at the end. I usually worry more about it being too acidic and the fermentation stalling. If you see signs that it is stalling, check the pH.

Welcome to the addiction!

Chevette Girl
09-11-2013, 11:48 PM
rmccask, a lot of recipes want you to sulphite your must first and then use pectinase, under the assertion that pectinase doesn't work well with sulphites... which when tested turned out not to be true in the amounts we use... Most of the time you don't really need to sulphite your must before you start, although I do it with pears or else they spoil before the pectinase has a chance to work.

Droc, the EC-1118 is probably going to take that bone dry, so if that's not how you wanted it, be prepared to stabilize and backsweeten.

rmccask
09-12-2013, 12:45 AM
I had never read that before about sulfites causing problems for the pectinase. I just googled and found a few references to adding the sulfite, waiting 10 to 12 hours, adding the pectinase, wait 10 to 12 more hours, then pitching the yeast including some recipes on Jack Keller's site. I found other people dismissing the timing as needed due to better pectinase or not enough sulfites being used to be necessary. I doubt it would hurt any to time it that way.

Chevette Girl
09-12-2013, 07:14 AM
There's a Dutch guy who did a bunch of experiments with pectinase and posted them on his blog, it showed that a lot of the stuff we worried about in theory with pectinase (alcohol and sulphites at moderate levels) didn't matter that much in practice. Temperature mattered and pectinase doesn't like working through an active fermentation.

Droc
09-12-2013, 08:19 AM
Thanks for the tip about freezing the peaches. I still have 2 lbs that I didn't use so I'm going to peel them vacuum seal them then throw them in the freezer. As for the yeast, I actually got two different strains and got them mixed up. Would I wait until I rack it out of the primary to back sweeten it, or should I wait closer to bottling? The alcohol content should be high enough so I'm not worried about that, I just want a good tasting mead. I'm guessing I should also add a little of the pectic enzyme after I rack it too, hopefully that will help it clear up.

GntlKnigt1
09-12-2013, 08:38 AM
I would suggest that you wait until your fermentation is done, then add a stabilizer (and a clarifier, unless you can wait for sediment to fall out naturally) and only then back sweeten with honey to whatever you find suitable. Check the SG again when you are satisfied so that you know where you want to be for your next batch, and plan your yeast and SG to try to hit that level next time.