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jdektattoo13
02-03-2014, 04:55 PM
i have brewed beer for many years, this is my first attempt at mead. my starting gravity was 1.170. 20 lbs clover honey, three pounds brown sugar, spices, and white labs super high gravity yeast (two of them),in a six gallon batch.
It's day seven, i'm getting bubbles every 10 to 15 seconds now. today my gravity reading is 1.010. i'm very surprised it got so low. it's 21% alcohol right now! How much lower will it go? and should i rack it today or is it to soon?

jdektattoo13
02-03-2014, 08:27 PM
thanks for all the great advise, soooo helpful!

mmclean
02-03-2014, 08:53 PM
Hello jdektattoo13,

Welcome to GOTMEAD.

I don't know anything about White Lab yeast. Most people here prefer Lallemand yeast but not all. It has only been four hours since your first post.

A little patience will go far with crafting mead. Relax and have a cold one, someone will help soon. ;)

kudapucat
02-04-2014, 09:18 AM
If you want folk to help, please be nice, we're not all in the same time zone as you.

According to this site I've linked to, (http://www.whitelabs.com/yeast/wlp099-super-high-gravity-ale-yeast)
WLP099 SUPER HIGH GRAVITY ALE YEAST
Can ferment up to 25% alcohol. From England. Produces ester character that increases with increasing gravity. Malt character dominates at lower gravities.

First clue would have been 'super high gravity' it looks like this bad-boy will take your mead completely dry.
Also, because of the high alcohol, it will likely require some years of aging. It's going to taste as hot as a good scotch for some time.

I'd get stuck into making a lower alcohol sweet batch so you've got something to drink whilst you wait this fella out.

As mentioned, patience will be required. Welcome to the madness that is GotMead!

GntlKnigt1
02-04-2014, 10:29 AM
1.17 SG works out to 23% potential ABV and your yeast is rated to 25%.... If it performs as stated, you will have a dry mead at 23% ABV. Is this not what you wanted? I missed the rating on the chart for mead....

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

Shmafty
02-04-2014, 12:41 PM
How much lower will it go? and should i rack it today or is it to soon?
I'd say it's probably a little soon, since the yeast still seems capable of eating more sugar. It's not going to hurt anything if fermentation finishes and it sits on the yeast for a few days. The typical guideline is to rack after the gravity doesn't change over a period of three days or so.

rtu
02-04-2014, 01:42 PM
What I have done with the last few batches is to take SG readings over a few days. When the SG is the same for several days, then the yeast have likely reached their limit, under the current conditions. You could then do your first racking. This is not an original idea of mine, but something I read in another post and it makes sense to me.

From what I have read in the various forums, this in no way guarantees that if you add sugar at some later point your yeasties won't decide it's time to chow down again. I have some personal experience also when I added strawberries, got in a hurry (see patience below) and forget to stabilize the mead before adding more sugar. The yeasties were very happy to eat again.

I can wholeheartedly second the admonitions to be patient. I am not a patient person by nature and every time I have done something with my mead and posted a request for help, I have gotten it and usually with a gentle reminder to patient, even when I thought I was. So now I get to the point where I think I'm being patient enough, then wait longer.

I have found the people on this forum to be very willing to help out anyone.

jdektattoo13
02-04-2014, 10:24 PM
Thank you for the advice. Patience is something that eludes me at times. The crazy thing is I pitched one vial than at 40 hours pitched the second, no starter no step adding honey, just threw it together, spiced it and off she went, was shooting for sweet but dry it is, lol. I racked it from a bucket to a Carnot and am getting bubble every 8 seconds or so now. I'm going to ignore it now for about a month and rack again. Keep everyone posted :)

kudapucat
02-04-2014, 11:21 PM
Thank you for the advice. Patience is something that eludes me at times. The crazy thing is I pitched one vial than at 40 hours pitched the second, no starter no step adding honey, just threw it together, spiced it and off she went, was shooting for sweet but dry it is, lol. I racked it from a bucket to a Carnot and am getting bubble every 8 seconds or so now. I'm going to ignore it now for about a month and rack again. Keep everyone posted :)

Thing is, if you'd used a champagne yeast, it would be sweet.
If you'd used a wine yeast it would be desert sweet, if not intolerable
If you'd used an ale yeast, I expect it would be undrinkable syrup.
However, you used a yeast designed for high gravities. Designed to eat everything in its path. If it didn't say 'Ale yeast' in it's title, I'd expect it was in fact designed for making the base for distillation. The only yeast I know that goes that high is 'turbo yeast' and produces off flavours, but "Who cares, because I distill them out" is the response I get.

NB home distillation is illegal in Australia and the US and I am in no way advocating it.

jdektattoo13
02-08-2014, 03:01 PM
just a quick update, took gravity reading, mead is at 1.006 as of yesterday. the airlock is calm but for a bubble every minute or so. i am curious when this yeast will max out, there cant be much sugar left in the must. i figuring i am at 22% at this point. my next thought is should i back sweeten something like this, its very hot now. was also thinking of freeze distilling it and putting it in a 5 gal oak cask. i got so mant things i want to do with it :eek: any advise would be greatly apprecated..

Bee Serious
02-08-2014, 03:41 PM
WOW. I am impressed.

That might be a little rough for awhile. I really do like WLP099 - never used it for mead. If you wanted to freeze distill, you definitely would concentrate the mead to an abv that even the WLP099 would stall out at. Then you could safely backsweeten, if you needed to. I always like oak with mead.

I don't know where you live, but here it looks like Monday is going to have a low of -10 degrees F. So if you were inclined... set it outside and scoop off the ice. That will also probably clear it - but as others pointed out, it is very young for a mead, not to mention one 7 days old.

You really took it from 0 to crazy on your first batch - I like that.

loveofrose
02-08-2014, 03:49 PM
Careful on the freeze concentrating. I only freeze concentrate after all the hotness/solvent/rocket fuel flavors age out. Otherwise, you concentrate those flavors as well. Also, those flavors are eliminated by the yeast. When you freeze concentrate, the yeast die and the solvent flavors never really age out.
You've been warned!

GntlKnigt1
02-08-2014, 03:56 PM
If you follow the maxim about aging for 1 month for every % alcohol.....

Sent from the Nexus of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which has been infected with Vogon poetry, some of which leaked out here.

jdektattoo13
02-09-2014, 02:03 AM
six gallons
20 lb. Kirkland clover honey
1-clove
1/2 cinnamon stick
tsp. lemon peel
tsp. ginger
tsp. coriander
tsp. cardamom
four tea bags- white tea
1/2 bag brown sugar
1 cup fermex ( read package wrong, it called for teaspoon per gal. being it was such high gravity (1.170) i doubled recommended amount, but thought it said tablespoon, so it got 12 tablespoons, roughly a cup)
2-vials of white lab wlp099, pitched one as soon as must reached 72 degrees, the second forty hours into ferment.
aerated twice a day for first four days with air stone five min each time.
48 hour reading 1.130
72 hour reading 1.070
96 hour reading 1.026
racked to secondary day 8
168 hour reading 1.020
216 hour reading 1.010
264 hour reading 1.006
now still 1 bubble every minute or so.
thinking of putting 1/2 oz. of hallertau hop pellets in for a week dry hop, and some medium toasted oak chips to with it..then plan to back sweeten right before bottling, which i plan to do around June, also is there a possibility of making some of this batch sparkling? Any and all feed back is greatly appreciated. BTW; this stuff is strong, just want to make a great product!!!!

jdektattoo13
02-09-2014, 06:42 PM
Mead is at 1.000, air lock has stopped pretty much. Still co2 bubbles at top of carboy though, and is not clear at all yet. Should I leave it alone? Been thinking about racking to a third and finning it, to soon ? Any feed back is appreciated.

Honeyhog
02-09-2014, 08:57 PM
I would leave it where it is until it is pretty much clear, then rack to a third vessel and either add fining agents at that point or let it sit and continue clearing (and aging) on it's own.