View Full Version : upcoming batch ideas

Hillside Heathen
01-21-2016, 01:47 PM
I was thinking of starting two batches in a month or so and was hoping you would give me some pointers, tips and/or suggestions. Im also looking to make something different than the all too common Orange Blossom or Wild Flower meads...

I have very little experience with this so im not looking to get too scientific just yet or add any fruit, I like things pure and simple. I have a hydrometer and im getting my numbers from the calculator on the forum.

- One 3 gal batch with 12lbs of raw goldenrod honey. Using EC-1118
This one should hit 1.144 at start and probably top out just over 18% alc. maybe more with this yeast.

- One 5 maybe 5.5 gal batch with 15lbs of raw bamboo honey from ebeehoney. Im guessing its really Japanese Knotweed honey...? It's extremely dark, almost completely black but doesn't smell unpleasant.
Also EC-1118.
Starting Grav 1.108 topping at around 14% alc.

Im thinking both of these may end up dry because I dont plan on forcing the fermentation to stop using chemicals, I'll cold crash and rack a few times if I have to, but I think these should have pretty different flavor profiles and hopefully be pretty tasty with some aging...

01-21-2016, 02:57 PM
I love dry traditionals, totally my bread and butter! Like Oskaar, I'm a strong advocate of perfecting your traditional technique before trying anything wild and crazy.

The goldenrod one might finish off-dry since your potential alcohol is about 19.5%. EC-1118 is a beast, though. You might be able to get it that high with good fermentation management, though.

I have to admit, I've never used EC-1118. It's got a reputation for vigorous fermentations that can blow off delicate aromatics. For my traditionals my yeast of choice is K1V, and have gotten great results with D47 and 71B as well. I know from first-hand experience that K1V can get up to 18% if you want it to.

Like they say, with traditionals there's nowhere to hide. Control your fermentation temp rigorously. Watch like a hawk for any signs that the yeast is getting stressed. Take immediate action if you start getting bad smells or off-flavors.

01-21-2016, 03:51 PM
I just started doing side-by-side dry traditionals, not only because I really liked the ones I've had, but also because I'm trying to learn more about honey. Some things you can't read, right? If it were me, I'd make one batch of goldenrod, one batch of bamboo, and one batch of them combined.
Don't forget about nutrients. And temperature. And sanitation...

01-22-2016, 12:51 AM
I'm finishing up a batch with honey, maple syrup, coconut nectar, coconut sugar, dates, and dried cranberries. It's seen some oak for the last few weeks, and as of tonight it's ready to bottle. I'm calling this my Hail Mary batch because I just kinda used up lots of odds and ends. Absolutely one of my favorites so far. Get creative with ingredients, and follow a process that works for you. Good fermentation management, the proper yeast (probably not 'EC-1118'), and timing should be your focus.

01-22-2016, 01:18 AM
I wouldn't try to start a batch at 1144. To much osmotic stress. Why not start at 1120 and add the remaining honey around day 3 or so. They will be in their prime then and will metabolize it very nicely with out all the damage of trying to get it going at such a high OG

01-22-2016, 02:14 AM
And I don't see any mention of nutrition. Have you considered this? What's your plan for proper care and feeding of that yeast so it doesn't turn on you and start creating biodiesel?

01-22-2016, 07:59 AM
Bamboo honey is almost definitely Japanese Knotweed. Very dark (almost purple if you get a pure honey), with nice caramel overtones. Makes a good mead. It's the only thing Knotweed is good for. (Other than that it's a horrible, horrible invasive.)

Hillside Heathen
01-24-2016, 10:32 AM
Thanks for the reply's everyone.
The Bamboo Honey is super dark and smells strong like what I've read about Buckwheat being a "barn yard" smell but the buckwheat I have doesn't smell that bad, however this bamboo honey is super potent.

Anyway, last night (23 January 2016) I made a 6 gal batch with the bamboo honey. 15lbs with just under 5 gal water. Its a really dark red color, i've never seen honey that dark. Took HOURS to get it liquid enough to pour without boiling it, was exhausting.. It's almost in between black and red.. Im excited to see its final color.
Starting Gravity read 1.066. According to the chart that came with the Hydrometer that hits somewhere around 9% alc. Honestly I'm a lil disappointed. Could have used a few more pounds. Hopefully this will be rich with flavor...

OMG, just smelled the top of the airlock, smells like chocolate. ahhh so good...

As for the question about nutrients etc:
its fermenting in an upstairs room of a garage thats heated so the temp i dont know exactly but its very comfortable when you walk in so i know its not too hot or cold and im using ec-1118 so im pretty sure we're good...
I am using a generic nutrient. LD Carlson brand Diammonium Phosphate.
I'm going back and forth as far as nutrients and added ingredients go.
I like things natural, simple and pure, so adding all this Fermaid K or FermO or whatever else people are using doesn't sit well with me. I understand why but to me its too much, I'm willing to bet that's not how it use to be made anyway, so it is possible to do without, depending how complicated you plan on making your batch that is. I'd like to use raisins but at the same time I'd hate to invest into a batch and have it get stuck so I compromise and use a manufactured nutrient which I suppose could be faulty logic. I'm still experimenting. Also, around 24 hours after pitching yeast I open the carboy for just around 1 minute to let the yeast get some more O2 before I leave it in its final resting place. Bad idea?

Next month Im starting a 3 gal with 12lbs Goldenrod honey...

01-24-2016, 11:06 AM
Two things:

With 15 pounds in 6 gallons you should have had a starting gravity around 1.097. So you're not too far off, but I'd guess you hadn't completely dissolved the honey into the must before you took your reading. No worries though, it'll turn out fine. It'll definitely be higher than 9% ABV, though, so watch out!

Also, if you're looking to go organic, Fermaid-O IS your answer. DAP is a synthetic nutrient, and if you add any past about 9% alcohol, or you've added too much and the EC-1118 doesn't use it all, you may taste it in the final product.

EC is a good worker, and will definitely take your mead down to 1.000 or below at the gravity you're starting at. That'll be around 13% ABV.

If you can get some Fermaid-O, I suggest the TOSNA protocol, at www.meadmaderight.com.