View Full Version : Curious about BOMM and yeast

03-25-2014, 02:58 PM
The rule of thumb on this forum is that meads often require years of aging before they are really ready for drinking. On the other hand BOMM is ready for drinking about 30 days after pitching the yeast. The secret , it seems is in the yeast (Wyeast 1338). But I wonder whether the secret is perhaps in the potential alcohol of BOMM compared to the potential ABV of other meads.

BOMM is made with a starting gravity of about 1.096 which is a potential ABV of about 12.5%. Other meads are made with gravities in excess of 1.120 or a potential alcohol content of about 16 - 18 % ABV. Has anyone here tried to make BOMM using QA23 or 71B and found that it still needed years to age?

Medsen Fey
03-25-2014, 03:18 PM
Yes. 71B can make a quick mead. With QA23 and many other yeast the mead often come out harsh even with a low gravity. It usually takes time for them to smooth out and for the aroma to recover.


03-25-2014, 04:10 PM
Alcohol content certainly plays a role in how quickly a mead is drinkable - I make a lot of hydromels (5-6% ABV) which are quite good after just a few weeks.
However, I think the use of 1388 came about the result of a comparison with numerous other yeasts, and was found to be drinkable sooner than the others, so choice of yeast can also play a part.

03-25-2014, 06:12 PM
Wyeast 1388 along with SNAs and pH buffering with K2CO3 are the key to the BOMM protocol. If you switch the yeast but still use SNAs and buffering, you will be able to drink your mead faster, but the yeast you use determines the definition of fast. I've found that wine yeasts generally throw more fusels that ale yeast in general. I imagine this is due to the fact that no selective pressure has ever been used to pick fast drinking wine yeast; this is in stark contrast to ale yeast.
In my hands:

Wyeast 1388 is ready in 1-3 months depending how picky you are and the recipe. Actual ABV limit is 13.5% in mead if all fermentables are added up front. I have slowly step fed up to 19% ABV though and it still remained drinkable in less than 2 months. (I'm drinking it right now actually).

Other ale yeast are fast, but have a strong beer flavor that is generally not desired in mead. US05 for Braggot is fine though.

71B is about 8-12 months. Earlier for sweet fruit meads.

DV10, EC1118, KIV1116 are fairly clean, but still need a year to remove the fusels in the back palette.

All of these are averages and assume religious SNAs and pH buffering/monitoring. Neglect the ferment and more aging will be required.

Hope that helps!

Better brewing through science!