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sdrilling
12-14-2013, 05:32 PM
Hello All

We just moved two recipes from primary to secondary. Both went into primary on the same day (last week.) Perhaps way too fast fermentation.

Black Cherry (1 Gallon) Started 12/7/2013
3 Lb Wildflower Honey
64 Ounces Just Black Cherry Juice
1 Lb Thawed Black Cherries suspended in mesh bag
teas Pectin Enzyme
1 teas acid blend
1 Packet Montrachet Red rehydrated using 6.25 gram Go Ferm Method
Starting OG 1.114
Ending 1.008 – at 12/14/2013
Estimted ABV 13+%

We used SNA with teas FermaidK/DAP on Day 2 and 3 with aeration

Thoughts – Dryer than what we had planned. We fermented in a 2 gallon bucket. We did not think it was fermenting cause didn’t see anything going on in the airlock so we brought upstairs into family room where temp averages 70. Smells ok. Doesn’t taste good or bad.

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Black Currant with bit of berries (4 Gallon) Started 12/7/2013
8 Lb Wildflower Honey
96 Ounces Vinter Harvest Black Currant Juice
48 Ounces thawed Triple Berry Mix suspended in mesh bag
teas Pectin Enzyme
3 teas Acid Blend
1 Packet Lalvin 71B-112 rehydrated using 6.25 gram Go Ferm Method
Starting OG 1.055 (not sure why we didn't catch this and add more honey up front. )
Ending .998 – at 12/14/2013
Estimted ABV 8%

We used SNA with teas FermaidK/DAP on Day 2 and 3 with aeration

Thoughts – Dryer than what we had planned. We fermented in a 5 gallon bucket. We did not think it was fermenting cause didn’t see anything going on in the airlock so we brought upstairs into family room where temp averages 70.
Smells stunning yum yum. Definitely dry. Very light bodied. Is this because we should have used more honey???

We racked both of these over to secondary.
My thoughts are to leave the black cherry alone.


Any suggestions for the black currant? Should we leave it be and it will be a light 8% libation for labor day or late summer or perhaps use this as the base for a different recipe to end up with a higher ABV??

We probably should have left both of these in the basement. They didn't look like they were doing anything and it has been about 61 degrees down there so we brought them up. Obviously something was going on. We had planned for primary to be about 3 to four weeks. We only took a hydrometer reading today because we were thinking of pulling the fruit out.

Neither seem too alcoholic or have strong honey taste. I gather we need to add more honey. The difficult part is figuring out much honey is the right amount of honey?

Thoughts? Suggestions

Thank you all!

Steph

GntlKnigt1
12-15-2013, 03:27 AM
Before you backsweeten, you need to add sorbate and sulfite to stabilize the mead and prevent renewed fermentation.

You can download a spreadsheet to calculate how much honey to add to backsweeten, but you might just want to add it a cup at a time, mix and taste, until you are satisfied. http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showpost.php?p=181692&postcount=8

AFTER you backsweeten, you might want to add a clarifier to speed alongthe process, and then age in bulk or bottle it.

8% is rather low for many batches. For sulfite additions, you might want to look at the charts on page 2 here... http://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/FS/FS-52-W.pdf

sdrilling
12-15-2013, 08:24 PM
Thank you for the heads up on the backsweeting.

We decided to take our 8% black currant and layer something on top.

So our base was

Black Currant with bit of berries (4 Gallon) Started 12/7/2013
8 Lb Wildflower Honey
96 Ounces Vinter Harvest Black Currant Juice
48 Ounces thawed Triple Berry Mix suspended in mesh bag
teas Pectin Enzyme
3 teas Acid Blend
1 Packet Lalvin 71B-112 rehydrated using 6.25 gram Go Ferm Method
Starting OG 1.055 (not sure why we didn't catch this and add more honey up front. )
Ending .998 – at 12/14/2013
Estimted ABV 8%


Layer

7 Pounds Blueberry Honey
64 Ounces Red Grape Juice
3/5 package Lalvin RC-212 rehydrated with GoFerm Method.
We forgot to take a reading of this piece.

We did take a reading on the combined. Back to 1.050

We only used part of the RC-212 since the 71B was still chugging. We created a separate one gallon blackberry with thai basil with the remainder of the envelop. Basil and blackberry. Smells very nice.

So we will see. It smells wonderful. Tastes pretty good. Not sure what we will end up with but will be higher than 8% and hopefully the addition of honey and grape juice will give a bit more body. Checked it a bit ago and it is chugging away nicely.

This is fun

Chevette Girl
12-15-2013, 11:13 PM
The other thing to remember about drier meads is that the honey flavour and a perception of sweetness can often come back after six months to a year of aging...

That said, I apparently just don't like dry meads and should just backsweeten anyway.

WVMJack
12-16-2013, 03:50 AM
I suggest the next step in the process you guys learn is how to measure acid levels with a TA kit. You are adding both acid blend and more berries to a currant which can already be pretty acidic which is ok if you plan on backsweetening to balance it out. Do you guys have carboys or is this all in gallon jugs? What was the point of using a different yeast for your layer, it would have been very easy to innoculate the layer just by adding it to the must since the 71B was still active? Not that there is anything wrong with using 2 different yeasts, just asking if this is a plan or just a random act of a newbie:):) I predict many carboys of wine are ahead for you two. WVMJ

GntlKnigt1
12-16-2013, 05:08 AM
I really like the el cheapo pH meter....much less hassle and easier for us males that have red-green issues.

Sent from my HTC Vision using Tapatalk 2

sdrilling
12-16-2013, 02:27 PM
Good morning Jack

We have a mix of 5, 3 and 1 gallon carboys and also fermentation buckets. This is a new hobby. We know just enough to be dangerous and are reading constantly.

When we racked the currant out of primary we left all the yeast in the fermentation bucket. After the transfer to the carboy, we thought if we added more honey we would not have enough yeast to get the secondary going. After reading through Jack Keller's site and several GotMead forum posts we elected the RC-212 and thought to add a partial envelop. It appears our fears were ungrounded. The stuff took off like a rocket. So yes. Newbies stumbling in the dark.

We love the fruity aroma of this batch and are also afraid we might strip it out in a second fermentation.

Oh... and the blackberry/thai basil is a whole different batch. That is where we used the extra yeast.

About TA -- yes we need to learn this. My son (a biology major) is home for xMas and we need to get him to teach us how to do this.

We have quite a few things cooking away -- probably about 15 gallons in all and I would like to try a few more small one gallon batches -- like an apricot-ginger-thyme . Luckily we have a large group of guinea pigs at our summer campground who will happily drink anything -- now matter how bad it is that we bring.

I have another question -- We steeped .3 pounds of basil in two cups of water for an hour and added that to our blackberry must. The aroma of blackberry and thai basil is outstanding. Do you think it will stay? I know adding fruit to primary is a good thing but we didn't see much about adding herbs to primary.

Shmafty
12-16-2013, 04:48 PM
Luckily we have a large group of guinea pigs at our summer campground who will happily drink anything

Haha... for just a minute there, I thought that you meant that you had an actual herd of guinea pigs that you feed your unwanted mead to.

http://i.imgur.com/WuoLFod.gif

sdrilling
12-16-2013, 06:49 PM
Close -- just exchange the guinea pigs for two hundred or so 40-70 year old adults who spend every weekend from April to October camped out in the woods with their atvs, golf carts, mudpit and hundreds of gallons of assorted libations. ;)

WVMJack
12-16-2013, 08:47 PM
Ok, yeah you are not going to ever leave all the yeast behind when you rack from your primary fermentor to your secondary fermentor. I like the experimental approach. What kind of basil are you guys using? We grow several kinds in the summer, large leaf and Gennovese for canning tomatoes and Thai for curries. A basil blackberry might be interesting. WVMJ

sdrilling
12-17-2013, 02:29 PM
What kind of basil are you guys using? We grow several kinds in the summer, large leaf and Gennovese for canning tomatoes and Thai for curries. A basil blackberry might be interesting. WVMJ

We are using organic thai basil.

TheAlchemist
12-18-2013, 10:49 PM
Bees
Love
Basil!

WVMJack
12-19-2013, 04:21 AM
Bees
Love
Basil!

Our bees LOVE basil especially in the later summer, they bump the bumblebees to get to the basil, I think their favorite is the Thai basil, ours is under drip irrigation so when all the other flowers dry up you can almost see them fly out of the hive, hook a curve around the house and descend into the veg garden. We dont collect honey at that time of the year, leave it for the bees to overwinter on, but I wonder if it would have a basil taste, if one type of basil would predominate or it would be a big mingle of Italian and Thai together.

WVMJ