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View Full Version : Hello all... I'm the new Newb... and guess what, I got a question...



MJZeigler
10-24-2013, 09:49 AM
Ok, so
Been researching Mead for A LONG time.
However I still have some questions that I can't find answers for...
Can I ferment directly in a carboy, IE do I NEED to do a primary fermentation in a plastic bucket then transfer to the carboy?

Lavlin D10... where the hell can I get it? I find studies and spec spreadsheets on it, but I, for the life of me, cannot find where I can buy it. Looking for the D10 for it's low temps and high alcohol tolerences.

Thanks all!
VR
Matt

mannye
10-24-2013, 10:23 AM
I don't see D10 on the Lalvin website. If you can't find it, try EC1118 or 71B perhaps?

You can ferment directly in a carboy. But you can also do the bucket then transfer if you wish.

If you've never made a fermented alcoholic beverage before OR if this is your first mead, I suggest you make that D10 batch as a second effort. Try the one gallon JAOM and go from there. No fancy yeast needed.

If have your heart set on D10, go ahead and call or email the Lalvin company; I'm sure they would be happy to steer you towards a local-ish distributor.

loveofrose
10-24-2013, 11:32 AM
DV10 is sold at morewine.com.

Bob1016
10-24-2013, 11:49 AM
D10 is clean as they get, and can be pushed >20%abv if your attentive. It's a good yeast available at morewine like loveofrose said. It's a lallemand product (lalvin is a subdivision of lallemand, as is enoferm), and is on they're site.

bernardsmith
10-24-2013, 11:55 AM
I think you want to use a bucket as your primary fermenter if only because you want to agitate the must during the first few days and you want the must to be exposed to air. You can certainly agitate and allow the must to be exposed to air even if you use a carboy but a plastic bucket makes this far more easy

anir dendroica
10-24-2013, 11:56 AM
Try this link instead:
http://morewinemaking.com/category/wine-yeast.html

Yes you can ferment directly in a carboy; I've made at least 100 gallons of various fermented beverages, mainly meads, and have never used a bucket. It is useful though to have two fermentation vessels so that you can rack between them. If you only have one carboy, the buckets are a bit cheaper. If you can't rack, then be sure to choose a yeast that allows aging on the lees (settled yeast cells) without imparting off flavors. Both DV-10 and the more widely distributed D-47 are good choices in this regard.

MJZeigler
10-24-2013, 12:15 PM
Fantastic... Thank you all!
Still awaiting the 12 lbs of honey I'm having shipped in from Mississippi and aquiring the carboys from my Wife's Grandfather.

Great info, getting these ducks in a row is getting easier!

VR
Matt

MJZeigler
10-24-2013, 01:41 PM
Would I be correct in my assumption that I am able to do a bulk primary fermentation in a bucket, (figuring a little over 6 gallons, 1 gallon of honey, 5 gallons water, whatever liquid for the yeast) then rack into carboys to do melomel's, experimentals, etc for the rest of the fermentation process?

Would/Should I add additional yeast when racking into carboys and adding extras or just let the yeast that's present do what it can?

I just ordered the DV10 and some Fermaid K as well as a 6.5 gallon bucket/lid/stopper/airlock and cleaning supplies... fingers crossed lol

anir dendroica
10-24-2013, 02:05 PM
If you rack while the yeast are still active (i.e. just before fermentation stops) you won't need to add more.

12 lbs of honey in 6 gallons (i.e. 1:5 ratio) will make a fairly weak mead, and with a champagne yeast like DV10 it will ferment bone dry with no residual sugar, and alcohol under 10%. You can always backsweeten, but it will probably seem light on body and flavor.

For your first mead I would recommend 14 lbs of honey in 5 gallons total volume for a starting gravity of 1.100 and final alcohol around 13%. This will still ferment dry with DV10 but will be richer with more body.

MJZeigler
10-24-2013, 02:41 PM
Thanks for the heads up, was contimplating dropping the ratio to 1:4.

What I want to make a Vikings blood melomel (cherry juice and black cherries), a peach and vanilla, an orange/cinn/vanilla, green tea or green tea/oolong tea mix and a show, for a total of 5, 1 gallon batches.

any tips on backsweetening and ensuring the best alcohol %'s possible?

Honeyhog
10-24-2013, 08:51 PM
I've got a black cherry melomel going now that is already mighty tasty after only a couple of months. I used 14lbs. of honey in 5 gal of must with 4lbs of black cherries and 2L of black cherry juice and got a gravity of 1.113 and then I pitched EC-1118 because it's what I had around. It fermented down to .994 and I racked it onto sulphite and sorbate, let it sit for a day, added 4 more pounds of black cherries, an ounce of medium toast oak, let it sit for three weeks then racked it off the oak and cherries with a final gravity of 1.013. The first time I tasted it it tasted like bad dry red wine. Now a couple of months later the cherry and honey is really coming up to the front. I could have drank a whole bottle, easy.

joemirando
10-24-2013, 10:10 PM
I've got a black cherry melomel going now that is already mighty tasty after only a couple of months. I used 14lbs. of honey in 5 gal of must with 4lbs of black cherries and 2L of black cherry juice and got a gravity of 1.113 and then I pitched EC-1118 because it's what I had around. It fermented down to .994 and I racked it onto sulphite and sorbate, let it sit for a day, added 4 more pounds of black cherries, an ounce of medium toast oak, let it sit for three weeks then racked it off the oak and cherries with a final gravity of 1.013. The first time I tasted it it tasted like bad dry red wine. Now a couple of months later the cherry and honey is really coming up to the front. I could have drank a whole bottle, easy.

Good to know. I made three cherry mels, all gallon batches, one with 100% cherry juice, one with 'kinda' cherry juice (cherry/apple/pear), and one with a pound of cherries.

All three of them came out like dry italian table wine. I have about half of it aging, the other half has been blended with a dry traditional.

Thanks,

Joe

anir dendroica
10-24-2013, 10:54 PM
Thanks for the heads up, was contimplating dropping the ratio to 1:4.

What I want to make a Vikings blood melomel (cherry juice and black cherries), a peach and vanilla, an orange/cinn/vanilla, green tea or green tea/oolong tea mix and a show, for a total of 5, 1 gallon batches.

any tips on backsweetening and ensuring the best alcohol %'s possible?

For alcohol less than about 14%, if you're using a high-tolerance yeast and providing sufficient nutrients you can pretty much set the ABV by choosing your starting gravity. For higher ABV techniques like step-feeding and pH management become more important. Note that adding fruit will dilute the ABV somewhat, so if you're adding a large volume (more than about 25% of the total volume) you might want to add a bit more honey to secondary as well.

Backsweetening: Wait until your fermentation is complete, then rack onto potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulfite, following dose directions on the package. A typical dose is 1 tsp sorbate and 1/4 tsp metabisulfite (or 5 campden tablets) per five gallons. These chemicals will not stop an active fermentation but will prevent dormant yeast from reawakening. Then take out a small volume, sweeten it to your liking, scale the honey to the full volume, and add it. Over-backsweetening is much worse than under-backsweetening, so add less than you think it needs, let it sit, and taste it again. You can always add more honey but once the sorbate is in there it is very hard to re-start fermentation if it is too sweet.

MJZeigler
10-25-2013, 02:50 PM
So I'm playing with the Mead calculator here, with the fruits going to bring down the %ABV, would I shoot for a much higher %ABV for the bulk assuming a lower %ABV for the racked batches second fermentations?

Also, Sugar, if I say, used the 12 lbs of Raw honey I already ordered, and added say, 25 lbs of sugar, that brings my %ABV up to 34.25% at 5 gallons target volume. Would the sugar kill the honey flavor? What would it do overall?? Just curious at this point

Honeyhog
10-25-2013, 09:07 PM
The yeast will not survive to get to 34% ABV. The very hardiest yeasts will only handle ABVs in the low 20% range with the right care.

MikeTheElder
10-25-2013, 10:04 PM
Even the famous (or infamous) Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity yeast tops out at 25%ABV but that is under ideal conditions.

Scott labs DV10 is a nice clean yeast, you also can't go wrong with Lalvin K1V1116 or the practically foolproof EC1118, those will all top out around 20%ABV with good care and feeding.

That being said, welcome to GotMead

MJZeigler
10-25-2013, 11:53 PM
Even the famous (or infamous) Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity yeast tops out at 25%ABV but that is under ideal conditions.

Scott labs DV10 is a nice clean yeast, you also can't go wrong with Lalvin K1V1116 or the practically foolproof EC1118, those will all top out around 20%ABV with good care and feeding.

That being said, welcome to GotMead

Thanks Mike, I will be using DV10 fed on Fermaid K
So, thinking this out, by providing enough sugars to target 34%ABV even though it will top out at max 20% ABV that should leave me with a good sweetness and plenty of alcohol going into the racking, flavoring and second round of fermentation... Figuring the additions would reduce whatever the ABV is to below the yeasts max %, the second fermentation should eat up left over sugars back up to the max % again correct? Again while leaving me with unused sugars thus eliminating the need to backsweeten?

anir dendroica
10-26-2013, 01:41 AM
You're getting a little carried away...

If you start with a gravity above 1.18 or so (23% potential), the yeast will be unable to grow because there is so much sugar that it is toxic to them. This starts to be a problem even around 1.14-1.15, resulting in slow starts and off-flavors from stressed yeast.

I recommend starting at 1.10-1.11 with your first mead, which is 14-15 lbs of honey in five gallons. Unless you are diluting it half and half with fruit, don't worry about ABV dilution, or just add a bit (1/4 to 1/2 cup) of honey with the fruit to provide more fermentable sugars. There is also sugar in the fruit which will be fermented to alcohol, so the dilution will be 1-2 percentage points at most.

Also, using sugar is generally frowned upon, but if you only have 12 lbs of honey and want to make 5-6 gallons of mead, adding 2-3 lbs of sugar won't have a noticeable negative effect.

Kelvin
10-27-2013, 04:45 AM
I hate carboys because of the hassle with siphoning.. and yes I have all the tools, it just sucks that way. If it weren't for being able to see the final product I would use buckets all the time. But alas, I have to see how my mead is clearing so I use glass carboys : /

Some day I will have a functioning brewery and I will give all my homebrew crap away to my twin nieces : p

They might be in college by then.....

fatbloke
10-27-2013, 06:18 AM
You're getting a little carried away...

If you start with a gravity above 1.18 or so (23% potential), the yeast will be unable to grow because there is so much sugar that it is toxic to them. This starts to be a problem even around 1.14-1.15, resulting in slow starts and off-flavors from stressed yeast.

I recommend starting at 1.10-1.11 with your first mead, which is 14-15 lbs of honey in five gallons. Unless you are diluting it half and half with fruit, don't worry about ABV dilution, or just add a bit (1/4 to 1/2 cup) of honey with the fruit to provide more fermentable sugars. There is also sugar in the fruit which will be fermented to alcohol, so the dilution will be 1-2 percentage points at most.

Also, using sugar is generally frowned upon, but if you only have 12 lbs of honey and want to make 5-6 gallons of mead, adding 2-3 lbs of sugar won't have a noticeable negative effect.
Concur with the "getting carried away" comment......

yeast doesn't just carry on making alcohol like some sort of factory. We happen to harness it's ability to make a certain amount.

Yet when you try to push the yeast too hard, you will likely stress it and get off flavours and other issues. Equally, the issue where the sugar levels make it impossible for the yeast to ferment is known as "osmotic shock" (it's why honey doesn't ferment unless we've watered it down a fair amount).

The Lallemand yeast chart (http://lallemandwine.us/products/yeast_chart.php) helps some. Yet, it's worth remembering that it will have likely been developed with grape musts etc. So should be used as a guide. We've already identified a few things that are worthy of note with it, in respect of honey musts - e.g. D47 needs to be fermented below 70F/21C otherwise it's been found that it produces fusels that take a long time, if ever, to mellow out. 71B-1122 is a good yeast for meads, especially fruit meads, but it's not suitable for "sur lie"/batonage ageing (ageing on the lees) as it's prone to produce "autolysis" off flavours if the ferment is left on the lees too long, etc etc.

The yeasts that boast the ability to go above about the 18 to 20 % mark are very specialist ones, and they need near perfect conditions to do that. Whereas it's easy to make brews of mead in the 12 to 16% area, yet the higher the strength, the longer they need to be aged to mellow out.

Equally, the other way, you can indeed, make low strength brews, but they then have similar problems to beer i.e. are drinkable quicker, but need near obsessive hygiene/sanitation as there's not enough alcohol to act as protection and preservative (10% ABV seems to be the minimum for that).

The high level alcohol you read of with some brews, invariably means that they're either fortified with spirits to increase the strength, like a "Port", or they're distilled to make a spirit - and that is a licensed practice anyway, hence not generally discussed hereabouts (plenty of distilling forums on the net to find out about that technique).

Just my tuppence worth........

kudapucat
10-30-2013, 01:24 AM
I hate carboys because of the hassle with siphoning.. and yes I have all the tools, it just sucks that way. [...]

It sucks. lol. It's meant to :-P