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Thorro
11-06-2013, 03:42 PM
Hi everyone

After starting several batches of JAOM just over a year ago which had to be abandoned after a lengthy illness and a move I started a 23l batch on Sunday and am looking to start off another plain mead (not sure if show or traditional would be correct)

Anyway have spent my spare time reading Ken Schramm's Complete Meadmaker and looking through posts here and have come up with the following as a draft recipe but would be pleased to hear any comments.

I'm hoping for an ABV of about 14% and some residual sweetness, perhaps 1.012-1.016? The ideal would be for this to be left after fermentation but I know I may need to back-sweeten.

Apologies for the dual volumes but a lot of people seem to use different types so I figured I'd try make it readable for as many as possible :) let me know if its just confusing....


Recipe for 5 Imperial gallon-22.7l

1 pack lalvin 71b yeast
19lb generic honey- 8.61kg
Water to 22.7l
Nutients -6 teaspoons - 4 of tronozymol (fermaid k equivalent) 2 of youngs (DAP)

Target original gravity - 1.116

Method

Sanitise equipment

No-heat method - mix honey with warm water and fill to 23l in a 30l fermentation bin. shake for 5 minutes to oxygenate must.

Rehydrate lalvin 71b as per instructions-pitch at 20C-24C (68f-75f) making sure less than 10C temp difference between starter and must.

Seal fermenter with airlock. Fermentation temperature will be between 17C-19C (62f-66f).

Wait for fermentation to start then add 2/3 nutrient.

Aerate twice daily by stirring for 5 minutes until 1/3 sugar break.

At,or just before, 1/3 sugar break add remaining 1/3 of the nutrients.

Leave alone until fermentation has finished.

Rack off onto sulphite and sorbate and 40g(1.4 ounces) medium toasted french oak chips in a 23l carboy with air-lock.

Leave it until cleared then consider racking into another carboy or bottling into 500ml beer bottles and crown capping. Then leave for as long as I can until impatience gets the better of me...


I've tried to do as much research as I can so as not to ask dumb questions but my brain is still a little foggy after the illness (though improving significantly)and would genuinely love to have some of the input and guidance that you guys can offer

All the best, and thanks for the assistance I've taken from you guys already in the posts that were already there :)

Rob

anir dendroica
11-06-2013, 05:54 PM
Looks good to me. My three completed 71B meads have gone 1.130->1.018, 1.130->1.020, and 1.110->1.002. Which is to say that on average, if well fed and not stressed, it knocks off about 110 points before petering out. To avoid backsweetening and finish in your desired range I would probably shoot for 1.123 or so to start, though there is always more certainty with backsweetening and you will end up with the same ABV and residual sugar either way.

Thorro
11-07-2013, 04:09 PM
Nice one

Thanks for that, it's good to know how others have fared :)

I think I'll up the honey to 20lbs, should get me to just about the SG you mentioned, and start it up early next week.

Any views on whether I should use 2 packs of yeast or alter the technique at all?

Chevette Girl
11-07-2013, 08:30 PM
One pack should do it, two won't hurt.

Everything looks good, although I'd leave adding more honey until afterwards... the higher the starting gravity, the harder it is on the yeast and the more likely you are to have it stall out on you.

bernardsmith
11-07-2013, 10:37 PM
Thoro, If your plan is to mix to aerate several times a day why would you stick the must under an airlock? Why not ferment in a bucket and cover the bucket with a clean dishtowel or other cloth which you remove to agitate? Sealing must under an airlock while mixing to introduce air seems to me to be a bit like traveling north while walking south. Either air is good for the must or it ain't. But if it is good for it, then let the dog see the biscuit, and if it ain't then what are you doing agitating? From my perch agitation is good and so putting a fermentation under an airlock is what i do after I rack to the secondary and the SG is close to 1.000.

fatbloke
11-07-2013, 11:25 PM
If it's in a bucket, I use a balloon whisk or stick blender for aeration.

Plus I'd also suggest getting 5 x 1 gallon DJ's and bulk age it before bottling. That way it's easy to do any mods or tweaks and you don't have to open loads of bottles etc.......

Water ? What's you stuff like ? Mine is hard so Ive found it easier to get RO water from the fish/aquarium shop at 3 for 25 litres.... that way there's no harshness from the calcium salts.......

Honey ? Don't just get cheapo tesco/sainsbury rubbish, personally I don't even stump up for Rowse honey, I either get it from the Apiary/Honey place up the road or have a check around for any local beekeepers. .....

Supermarket stuff can be used but I only use it if I make something flavoured where the honey isn't the main flavour......

Thorro
11-08-2013, 09:41 AM
Thanks guys

Chevette girl thanks, so I'm thinking then to leave at 19lbs of honey and back-sweeten as necessary, and rehydrate two packs of 71B to help get off to a good start.

Bernard, what you say makes sense... with regards the air-lock I guess that's probably just out of habit... unless anyone has any reason to seal it I'll only cover it during vigorous fermentation. I take it that once the desired yeast has a good hold the risk of contamination is pretty low.

Fat-bloke I've already used so many of your posts (especially useful on the UK nutrients) for guidance and started looking through your blog the other day. I should be re-claiming my demi-jons over the next few months, i guess bulk ageing in those as opposed to a carboy will let me experiment 5x more with my first batch.

I'll see if I can make use of our electric mixer or if not use on of the balloon whisks.

Water here in Oxfordshire is pretty hard too, I've been thinking of getting an RO unit for my fish tanks so may be useful for future batches. We've not needed to get a car yet and so we cycle everywhere... don't fancy cycling back with 25l. But in future batches (getting a car soon due to the gf needing one for work) I'll have a go- have you found significant benefits from the RO water?

And yes sadly my current honey is generic tescos.... in my defence there was a 3 for 2 sale on honey at tescos when I first discovered the JAOM recipe on here. In my lack of knowledge I simply stocked up on loads and even after all the batches that I started before getting ill we still had 50 pounds left over. 21 pounds has gone into my new JAOM but i figure I should use the rest before getting more.

When I say 'I figure' what I mean is that my gf would rather like the whole cupboard devoted to honey back after over a year :)

Also i figure if I mess anything up the loss will be limited. Though I am very interested in exploring the local options when we get a car.

Have you ever used it in a plain mead?

Thanks again :) its quite strange getting responses from people who's posts I've been looking at for months or even years and all the input is appreciated

Chevette Girl
11-17-2013, 02:21 PM
Bernard, what you say makes sense... with regards the air-lock I guess that's probably just out of habit... unless anyone has any reason to seal it I'll only cover it during vigorous fermentation. I take it that once the desired yeast has a good hold the risk of contamination is pretty low.

I aerate my must in a bucket that stays under airlock when I'm not in there, in my case it's to keep people from accidentally knocking stuff into the bucket through a towel while trying to get past my sprawling brew area... anyone with kids or pets will likely tell you something similar, there's more security in a bucket lid than a towel :) In short, use what works for you. There are very few ways to do anything that would be considered absolutely wrong.



And yes sadly my current honey is generic tescos.... in my defence there was a 3 for 2 sale on honey at tescos when I first discovered the JAOM recipe on here. In my lack of knowledge I simply stocked up on loads and even after all the batches that I started before getting ill we still had 50 pounds left over. 21 pounds has gone into my new JAOM but i figure I should use the rest before getting more.

Whoah, you DID stock up! :) It'll still taste good in a traditional, but better honey will make a better tasting mead.



Thanks again :) its quite strange getting responses from people who's posts I've been looking at for months or even years and all the input is appreciated

That's what we're here for :)