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ErusPrime
05-03-2014, 06:25 PM
I'm looking into making mead but I'm trying to figure out how this scales up so I can understand the relationships between the ingredients.

For Example:

Yeast: EC-1118 (1 packet)
1 Gallon Spring Water
4.5 pounds wildflower honey
1.5 pounds red raspberries
The juice from 1 lemon
The juice from 1 lime
3 Tablespoons of strong english tea
1 teaspoon of yeast nutrient

This is a recipe for 1 gallon. Suppose I want to scale this up to using a 55 gallon primary. Would I simply multiply everything by 55 or do things start to change at some point?

Oskaar
05-03-2014, 07:11 PM
Have you made this recipe before?

I ask because you are using lbs of honey and raspberries, juice from 1 lime and tablespoons of "strong" english tea. If you try to step this up you're going to have a very tough time managing, adjusting and fermenting this recipe.

At one gallon, this is easy to handle, at 55 gallons this will be problematic.

So let's start with the basics and find out what you're after and if you have made this recipe before. We can take it from there and help you get to what you want.

Cheers,

Oskaar

ErusPrime
05-03-2014, 11:21 PM
I don't care about any recipe specifically. I'm trying to figure out the relationships between the ingredients at scale so I can better develop my own flavor. Basically, all that stuff that you said might be a problem is what I'm looking for. Why is it a problem? and what changes as things are scaled up? I eventually want to do a large batch but not until I've developed my own unique flavor.

WVMJack
05-04-2014, 07:27 AM
Just measure out 55 tsp nutrient
155 Tbs tea
juice 44 lemons and 55 limes
pick a lot of raspberries
stir very hard to get 200+ pounds of honey mixed in, this is the biggest challenge
The recipe says start with 1 gal of water, it will give you more than a gallon of must at the end which is good, but when you scale up just how much more do you need
Temp control is said to be an issue with big batches
You dont mention yeast but you dont want to add just 1 pack of yeast or by 55 packs to add, you might only need 10 packs, or make a big starter.
Out of curiosity how does scaling up tell you anything about the relationship about ingredients? Gravity and acid levels are going to be the same, processing is going to be the big dfiference. WVMJ

ErusPrime
05-04-2014, 08:13 AM
If we were to plot the amount of each ingredient over scale a curve would form that would allow me to write an equation. That way I could replicate the recipe at any scale without having to do things like ask on the forums every time I wanted to increase my production. It will also help me do a cost benefit analysis as I do have a limited budget. It's one of my little quirks that I use to keep me from jumping in headfirst. What I want to do first is a bunch of 1 gallon melomel and cyser recipes til I find the right one and then move up to 6 gallons once I find my flavors. I'll probably hover at that level for awhile since I am trying to save money to buy my own little piece of farmland.

Oskaar
05-04-2014, 11:00 AM
I don't care about any recipe specifically. I'm trying to figure out the relationships between the ingredients at scale so I can better develop my own flavor. Basically, all that stuff that you said might be a problem is what I'm looking for. Why is it a problem? and what changes as things are scaled up? I eventually want to do a large batch but not until I've developed my own unique flavor.

If you are looking to be quantitative on this then your best best is to actually make the recipe and find out if you actually like it. An equation for this type of recipe will be problematic as there are variations in fruit acid/sugar/flavor throughout the course of the year and from different origins. Same for honey and the strength of the brewed tea.

You'll be much better off by starting with brix/specific gravity readings, ml/oz of juice, etc. You also need to do your diligence on rehydration nutrient and fermentation nutrient. This style of recipe is an "old internet" style recipe that really doesn't produce a very high quality mead in my opinion. Sure, with the ingredients and flavors it could be good, but with the lack of starting gravity and more specific juice and nutrient measurements it will be an issue getting to the flavors you're seeking.

This recipe is using the citrus juice to add acidity which isn't necessary, the tea is for the tannin, again unnecessary. There isn't enough raspberry in this recipe to do anything other than give the mead some light flavor and aroma, and possible seed astringency. Most of the raspberry flavor will be metabolized during the primary fermentation.

You're better off telling us what you like and what you want the flavors to be, otherwise you're going to be doing a lot of pitch and pray batches. If that is what you want, then you can construct an equation from the ingredients in the recipe you posted and go for it. However, if you want to put together a good basic batch of mead that you can make a few times and then step up and make fruit, spice and other addtions to, then we need to get you moving in that direction.

Oskaar

ErusPrime
05-04-2014, 09:28 PM
What does liking a recipe have to do with determining the relationship of the ingredients at scale? I might be confused here.

EbonHawk
05-05-2014, 12:37 AM
Ummm...because small batches are more forgiving. Large batches (55 gal) can be nightmares? They'll hand you your sad sack back to you and tell you to go sit in the corner and wait for your next batch to mature.

It's about problems, and what that recipe has in it already are a few "problems", like Oskaar said. You will be wasting a ton of time trying to scale something like that. Little bitty problems become exponentially ginormous problems, and there's just nothing linear about some things.

Matrix4b
05-05-2014, 10:55 AM
The other thing that comes to mind from me is that not all of the ingredients scale the same way. Yeast for instence. I personally use 2 of the packets of wine yeast in a 5-6 gal batch but in a larger batch I would not simply mulitily it. It's unneccessary. Same with going from 5 gal to a 1 gal. I would only go 1 packet for a 1 gal and that isnt' a direct ratio. There are many factors to consider. One is brewing temp. I have been told that there is quite a lot of heat differnece between a 5 gal batch and a 55 gal batch. The yeast do give off heat when fermenting. You would need to be very careful that the heat doesn't rise to high or you produce fusels and off flavors that wouldn't show up in a 5 gal batch. Now, at some point, I would like to go to a large batch but the formulation and timing are going to be different. It's not a sliding scale or even a formula. This is why mead making is a craft, an art. Now, chemistry and brewing can be treated like a science and often does. But the relationship of the amounts of ingredients going from small to big are not direct ratios.

As was pointed out by EbonHawk and Osaark, A small flaw in a mead at a small batch level is magnified when going bigger. A tiny off taste is made exponentially worse when you increase the volume. Due to this, brewing bigger isn't as simple as increasing the ingredients.

Matrix

Get_Wiggly
05-10-2014, 07:30 PM
I would imagine most fruits are going to scale linearly, spices probably similar. But yeast, nutrient, and temp control won't.

Stasis
05-10-2014, 07:44 PM
I experimented with a 3 gallon batch to a certain extent to see if I could get away with using fewer nutrients. The batch ended too sweet and re-starting it proved a bit problematic (although I didn't try much either). I ended up using some for topping up and blending the rest and the problem was solved. Now blending could help in many ways, not just to reduce overall sweetness. So problems in smaller batches tend to be easier to fix. This also ties well with Oskaar's suggestion to try the smaller batches and then step up.

Matrix4b
05-12-2014, 10:35 AM
Actually, the Spices don't really scale linerarly all the time. Extraction of flavors from spices does vary. The old adage, less is more, is true were spices are conserned. I would take a particularly light hand with clove and nutmeg. I use 1/2 of a whole nutmeg in a 5 gal batch and the flavor does come out rather strongly at the 1 year aging but a lot more subtle at the 6 month aging. So take care here. If I was doing a really big batch I would not scale up the nutmeg linearly, I would probably go with a lesser amount.

Matrix

ox45
05-12-2014, 12:07 PM
I think Matrix nailed this one on the head already. It sounds like Erus wants an a+b+c=mead formula, but unfortunately it does not work like that. There is a lot of science and technicalities to mead making, but in the end it is still art. Imagine painting a 4"x6" picture. You know the size of the brushes, the colors and amount of paints used, etc. Now you want to scale it up to 4x6 foot canvas. Sure you could figure out the brushes you will need, and the amounts of paint you will need. But your techniques and methods are going to be drastically different painting at this size. Details that could easily be hidden on the small one will need to be drawn in with great detail on the large.

And even if you get the numbers down pat, that is still not a guarantee of outcome. I recently made a batch that came out fantastic. I take meticulous notes, use the same equipment, the same honey from the same bucket, same yeast, temp controlled fermentation chamber, etc. The second batch modeled after this came out great as well, but different than the first. Science and technique will only help you produce a good product consistently. Unfortunately, there are just too many variables to figure out what x is.

Oskaar
05-12-2014, 05:06 PM
What does liking a recipe have to do with determining the relationship of the ingredients at scale? I might be confused here.

Erus,

I'm closing this thread. It doesn't appear that you got the answer you were looking for. Maybe you'll find something that you can use in a different section of the forum.

Cheers and best of luck,

Oskaar