PDA

View Full Version : problem with my traditional



heathd666
03-05-2016, 12:23 PM
here is the recipe i am trying since any questions are always supposed to be accompanied by a recipe.

Wyeast 4184 Smack Packs x2
19 lbs clover honey
4 tsp yeast energizer (says to use 1 tsp per gallon of must)
3 1/2 tsp yeast nutrient (says to use 1/2 tsp per gallon of must)

Started 2 Wyeast 4184 Smack Pacs at 2/5/16 at 10 am. Started a Traditional mead on 2/6/2016 @ 12:20 pm. On 2/6/16 cleaned all the pots instruments etc with star sans and let drip dry. using a dutch oven, a large stainless steel pot filled with water than placing a smaller one inside this one and placing the honey inside the smaller one so i dont scorch the honey, I heated up 3 batches of clover honey from hunters honey farms, the honey i get comes in a 5 gallon bucket and it looks kind of like soft peanut butter fudge all crystally and sweet smelling.I only heated the honey up until it starts to get runny. 1st batch of honey is 6.5 lbs, 2nd batch 6.4 lbs, and 3rd 6.6 lbs. Added 2 gallons of water to a cleaned fermentation bucket. Added 1 teaspoon of yeast energizer and x2 - 1/2 tsp of yeast nutrient. Mixed up. added 1/3rd of the honey mixture. Mixed up. Added another 1/3rd of honey and mixed up. Added final 1/3rd of honey and scraped stainless steel pan with spatula to get as much out as I could. Finished adding water to almost 6 gallons it was just shy of it in the fermentation pail. Mixed for 5 minutes with cordless drill and mixing wand. SG was 1.128 ish. Temperature before pitching yeast was 86 degrees f. Finished at 1:30 pm.

2/7/2016 @ 4:30 pm temp is at 69 deg and no activity yet. aerated mixture

2/8 aerated mixture and added 1 tsp yeast energizer and x2 tsp yeast energizer. Lots of foam after aerating it spilled over it foamed so much. Temp is 65 degrees

2/9/16 @ 2 am there were bubbles starting mayby 1 a second temp is 69 degrees aerated mixture

2/10 @ 6pm added 1 tsp yeast energizer and 2 tsp yeast energizer. Lots of foam after aerating it spilled over it foamed so much. I believe it has something to do with the energizer or nutrient. Next time I make a batch and use them i am going to rotate days of aerating with adding nutrients. Gravity was 1.120 temp is 68 degrees. am going to aerate every other day.

2/14/16 @ 10 am gravity 1.108 stirred up with drill and aerator foamed up again almost over the top

2/18/16 @ 6:30pm stirred and checked gravity 1.090

3/2/16 @ 4:33 pm stirred added tsp energizer and 1 tsp nutrient gravity is 1.050 and temp is 70 degrees f. checked PH using a test strip where you match color up is between 3.6 and 4.0 so I am guessing 3.8. no bubbles visible in airlock.

so the problem is i think i put to much honey in for the yeast to bring down the gravity any lower as i really didn't want a dessert mead and i believe that the gravity wont lower any more with the current yeast. i plan on giving it another week and testiing the finsal gravity but there hasnt been any activity in awhile.

there are only 3 things i can think that i can do from this point.

1st i can start a smaller batch mayby a gallon and ferment it dry than mix with this batch to lower the gravity more towards a semi sweet mead. not sure how to calculate how much to make to add to this or even if this is advisable.

2nd i can make a starter of a higher alcohol content yeast and pitch it into this. not what i really wanted to do so kind of a last resort because i wanted to see what a traditional would taste like with this yeast.

3rd i can suck it up and enjoy a very sweet mead. is a mead with a gravity of 1.050 really that sweet?

4th .....

so any advice, thoughts, suggestions from you all would be appreciated. i have mayby a dozen meads under my belt but as always i am always learning.

thanks in advance

Farmboyc
03-05-2016, 02:35 PM
You could split into 2 batches and top up with water. If you dilute and reduce the ABV the yeast will likely become active again.
I would try 2/3 must with 1/3 water. Might want to try a small test batch.

Squatchy
03-05-2016, 04:08 PM
You could make another batch the same except with less honey. Run it dry and then blend them together

heathd666
03-05-2016, 07:57 PM
@ Squatchy so how do i find out how much to make? should i just make a 1 gallon batch use 2 pounds honey and add water to 1 gallon mark pitch 1 smack pack of wyeast . give it a couple weeks until i get a solid week or 2 without the gravity changing than add it a little at a time to my original batch until the gravity lowers where i want it?

heathd666
03-05-2016, 07:58 PM
@ farmboyc will that alter the taste by adding water to it?

Farmboyc
03-05-2016, 09:24 PM
@ farmboyc will that alter the taste by adding water to it?
Well yes it will alter the taste hut I though that was the point.
Right now the taste is ridiculously sweet and you would prefer it less sweet. Correct?

When I looked up your yeast it declared an alcohol tolerance of about 11% and with a OG of 1.128 you have a potential ABV of 16 ish%. If you are currently sitting around 1.05 your current ABV should be in the 10.5ish% range. I suspect you have hit their alcohol limit. If you add more water you will reduce the ABV and the yeast should be able to restart fermentation and achieve a lower sugar level and leave you with a drier and less sweet final product.

Will you like this? Dunno that is why I suggested a trial batch.

Squatchy
03-05-2016, 11:16 PM
So you have options. You could make a batch that has run dry but come short of your tolerance level and by adding that to the too sweet batch you could hope to eat some more of that sugar to dry it out. Or, you could run a batch to dry at your tolerance level. It then would not be able to eat any more sugar because they have exceeded their tolerance level. You could then try to seek a balance by adding two batches that have each reached their end.

I have on hand at all times finished traditionals. One batch I currently have is about 1003. I have a different batch that is around 1026. And lastly another that is about 1018. If you have different gravities you can use them to mix your way into the profile you are looking for. I also have, and think it's wise for everyone to have some trad that is very high on the aromatic scale, which I do. I just recently balanced my Mazer cup entries. Some of them I didn't really want to change my gravity much. But I did want a stronger honey profile so I added "the nose" without really changing the gravity much.

Many people here add raw honey to their mead after they have stabilized. Judges look at that raw honey in a finished mead as a fault and it will drop your score. And yes, who gives a rats ass if it's what you like. But, if you think the trained judges have a better idea of what mead should taste like maybe it's a good idea to try to do things they would not ding you on a scoresheet.

Mazer828
03-07-2016, 08:11 AM
I like this method. Keeping a few traditional meads on hand just for balancing adjustments. Makes it a little difficult to duplicate a recipe, if you're trying to nail it down for "some day" mass production. But for rescuing batches on a case by case basis, pretty clever.

Maylar
03-08-2016, 05:36 PM
Many people here add raw honey to their mead after they have stabilized. Judges look at that raw honey in a finished mead as a fault and it will drop your score. And yes, who gives a rats ass if it's what you like. But, if you think the trained judges have a better idea of what mead should taste like maybe it's a good idea to try to do things they would not ding you on a scoresheet.

Got any references to support that? I was reading the BJCP Mead Exam Study Guide and that's not one of the flaws mentioned.

jdranchman
03-08-2016, 07:05 PM
True, that technically isn't in the BJCP Mead Guidelines and study guide however it is a very common preference among some of the mead judges that I've met. They love mead. They don't like raw honey favored mead. Maybe that is more indicative of back-sweetening gone wrong most likely due to inexperience. I haven't done it myself as I tend to like it dry. If I want something sweeter or dryer I'll blend in some other batch that is overly sweet or dry as dust.

Mazer828
03-08-2016, 08:01 PM
Got any references to support that? I was reading the BJCP Mead Exam Study Guide and that's not one of the flaws mentioned.

Many of the founding members of this forum (including Vicky, AJ, and Pete) have significant experience with mead judging, whether by their own entries, or having assisted with judging, themselves. Whether it's in the BJCP guidelines or not, I would not discount their frequent mention of this tidbit.

ScottBehrens
03-08-2016, 08:13 PM
I remember Pete mentioning he could taste it once. But he also discussed how to do it properly. Please show us more examples of the others.

Sometimes, if you repeat it to yourself enough it becomes true.

Squatchy
03-08-2016, 10:30 PM
Got any references to support that? I was reading the BJCP Mead Exam Study Guide and that's not one of the flaws mentioned.

Yes it is. If you look on "Introduction to Mead Guidelines" Page 1. Categories M1-M4

Important attributes:
Sweetness. Sentence #6 ,,,,,,,,,,I quote " Sweet meads should not be cloyingly sweet, and should not have raw, unfiltered honey character".

Medsen Fey
03-08-2016, 10:35 PM
The secret to avoiding the raw honey flavor is AGING. After a couple of years everything integrates nicely. :)

jdranchman
03-08-2016, 11:11 PM
Medsen the Missing- I've found that theory also applies to so much more than mead!

Maylar
03-09-2016, 10:03 AM
Yes it is. If you look on "Introduction to Mead Guidelines" Page 1. Categories M1-M4

Important attributes:
Sweetness. Sentence #6 ,,,,,,,,,,I quote " Sweet meads should not be cloyingly sweet, and should not have raw, unfermented honey character".

Fixed. And thanks for that.

heathd666
03-09-2016, 08:34 PM
i really appreciate everyones advice as to how to fix this your time and knowledge is much appreciated. so i think i will do a 1 gallon batch and use some wyeast 4632 yeast to ferment it as the sweet mead 4184 yeast will not go dry basically like squatchy suggested. . so 2 pounds of honey and 1 gallon of water, adding 1/2 tsp energizer and 1 tsp nutrient sound about right? im going to take another measurement tomorrow to verify that the gravity has not changed but how do i figure out how much to add to it to bring the gravity to where i want it to be which is 1.020 ish. im not asking someone to do the work for me just to mayby tell me how to figure it out myself. the only way i can think of is to add a little bit stir it up and check the gravity. thanks so much for any advice.

Farmboyc
03-09-2016, 08:39 PM
http://meadcalc.freevar.com/

This can help you get close. Might want to add a little less, check, add more.

Mazer828
03-10-2016, 10:25 AM
2 pounds of honey in 1 gallon batch will get you about a 1.076 starting gravity. With Wyeast 4632 you'll end up with a nice dry mead probably around 0.998-1.000 gravity, and 9% ABV.

Your nutrient additions should be a little more regular though. The terms "nutrient" and "energizer" are pretty generic. Around here we like to use specific product names so we can all talk apples to apples. If I were doing your batch, I'd start off with 1 tsp of Fermaid-O at yeast pitch, a second tsp at 24 hours after, a third at 48, a fourth at 72, and a fifth at 1 week or when your gravity reaches 1.050 (i.e., the 1/3 sugar break). That's the TOSNA protocol you can read about at www.meadmaderight.com, with the exception that I add another nutrient dose at pitching when TOSNA does not call for it.

And keep in mind if this batch comes out splendidly, and you decide to try a 5 gallon batch of the same, the wyeast smack packs carry a much lower cell count than active dry yeast packets do. So you may consider more than one pack, or use active dry yeast. Your inoculation cell count can be 10x or more higher than with the smack pack.

heathd666
03-10-2016, 05:17 PM
@ mazer828 the reason i was even making the smaller batch was to add to my 5 gallon batch that i goofed on and made to sweet to hopefully tone it down. personally i like a semi sweet mead but i wasnt paying enough attention when i made my 5 gallon batch and didnt figure the residual sugar left behind by the 4184 yeast in when i put it together. thank you for the advice. i dont have any fermaid o so ill look for it this weekend at great fermentations where i buy my stuff. fermaid k, which i assume is similiar just has man made stuff instead of all natural like fermaid o, says to add 1 tsp per gallon why add x5 the recommended ingredients? ill check out the article this evening thanks again