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Drew
04-24-2016, 03:58 PM
Hi!
I have always wanted to make mead and talking to some home brewer's at work I decided to jump in and try. I am still in the preparation phase and getting my materials and equipment together. I intend to make a traditional sweet mead and want to get everyone's opinions and advice in doing so. Here is what I am at so far.

18 LBS orange blossom honey
5 Gal water
10-15 grams Lalvin 71B-1122 yeast
1 tsp Goferm
1 tsp Fermaid K

I intend to split the nutrients into 1/4 tsp servings and add the first portion to my yeast when I prepare it for pitching. The yeast will be hydrated by with some warm water and a bit of honey. Approx. 24 hours after fermentation begins, add my second portion of nutrient. 24 hours after that add 3rd portion. Final portion will be added when OG has dropped by 2/3. Each portion will have a little bit of honey and water added to it. The first 3 portions I think I need to aerate the must. Then just let it rock and roll.

Let me know if I am on the right track.

djsxxx
04-24-2016, 04:34 PM
Use GoFerm as per the instructions...

Respect a ratio of 1 part yeast to 1.25 parts Go-Ferm. Mix Go-Ferm in 20 times its weight in clean 43C(110F) water.

Let the mixture cool to 40C(104F) then add the active dried yeast. Let stand for 20 minutes. Slowly (over 5 minutes) add equal amounts of must (juice) to be fermented to the yeast slurry. Watch the temperature difference. Do not allow more than 10C(18F) difference between the must (juice) and the yeast slurry. Atemperate as neces*sary.

Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk

bmwr75
04-24-2016, 06:00 PM
Read the last two articles at this link before starting your first batch. The guidance in them might just save you from wasting 18 lb of honey.

https://denardbrewing.com/blog/category/articles/

Stasis
04-24-2016, 07:23 PM
I don't agree with the frontloading of dap. Dap is toxic to yeast during the growth phase and this is stated in a lot of places all over the web. I'd at least wait a couple of hours after pitching the yeast before adding dap to the must. Especially if you're using dry yeast with no GoFerm..

Stasis
04-24-2016, 07:33 PM
Well crap...
And I disagree with this:
"You would add at the very beginning (1.099), at 2/3 sugar break (1.066), and 1/3 sugar break (1.033). Just divide your SG into thirds"

1st of all the 1/3 sugar break comes first, then the 2/3 sugar break

2nd of all, most yeast (if not all) will not be able to assimilate most of the nutrients at the 2/3 sugar break (1.033). At that point the alcohol will be around 9% abv which will hinder nutrient uptake. I would suggest looking at protocols which ask you to add nutrients up until the 1/3 sugar break.

The protocol posted by bmwr is basically the bomm protocol. Denard claims it is the best protocol for wyeast 1388, but I'd be utterly dumbfounded if it is the best protocol for a yeast such as 71b.

Sorry for bringing this up, but these articles have been up and promoted for years and I'm amazed nobody has spoken up yet

Drew
04-24-2016, 09:27 PM
thank you all for the input... with all that being said, does anyone have a good 5 gal traditional sweet mead recipe they would be willing to let me try out on my first go? I have read the first of the last 2 articles... the last one doesn't come up. I actually got this recipe from another website that someone shared. if this recipe is a good one just need me to tweak it then cool... I will attach the link so anyone can look at it and see... again, I am about as green as they come. and I would actually mix the fermaid k and goferm together before mixing in with the yeast... if this is still a bad idea then please educate me.

http://beersmith.com/blog/2013/09/20/making-mead-for-home-brewers/#comments

loveofrose
04-24-2016, 10:19 PM
It seems the issues are 2 fold. A typo with sugar breaks and a supposed toxicity with upfront addition of DAP.

To the typo, I'm sorry, but mistakes get copy pasted. The gravities were also included, so I don't think there is any real harm there.

I've done upfront addition of DAP for years with liquid yeast and rehydrated dry yeast with absolutely no signs of yeast stress. I promote what I know works from experience. As long as the yeast are rehydrated, I've never seen an issue. Same for the 2/3 break addition. I'm currently working on a Fermaid O protocol, but it's in the early stages now.

As far as "best" protocol, I don't think anyone has the mythical best protocol because new things are discovered everyday (like the recent Fermaid O protocols.)

I will say this however... If we are following the logic of "no one should read these articles because of a typo and a questionable DAP addition, then no one should buy Ken Schramm's Compleat Meadmaker. (I'm absolutely not saying don't buy Ken's book. It's fantastic.) Mistakes happen, updates are made. Such is life. When I started making mead, I would of killed for a one stop explanation of everything...even if it was a bit dated. Cheers!


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html

Stasis
04-24-2016, 11:19 PM
"no one should read these articles because of a typo and a questionable DAP addition"

Well I never said that. So it's nice to invent stuff to counter my argument. I clearly said I do not agree with them.
I don't see the logic in going against what studies say just because you can't see a difference in results. Just because you don't see a difference doesn't mean it doesn't matter or even worse that it's better.
For example, in the protocol you are pitching twice the amount of yeast. So if you are killing off a portion of yeast due to toxicity then maybe you won't see any difference and that makes total sense. it still doesn't mean over-pitching just so you can kill off yeast is ok.
You mentioned in a previous thread that feeding until the 2/3 break was the best protocol you found for 1388. If you did not do this it would produce fusels. For bomms you could maybe say this, but in that article you are applying the protocol for everything. So it is not true that you adopted the 2/3 feeding protocol because it is best for bomms, but simply... out of old practices. If you add nutrients which have no effect on yeast or the mead then simply don't do it, it's proven to be better if you don't provide excessive nutrients.

"I've done upfront addition of DAP for years with liquid yeast and rehydrated dry yeast with absolutely no signs of yeast stress."

This is not true. You have reported fusels in multiple batches, in fact you claim that not feeding at the 2/3 break produces fusels, for example. Maybe if you treated the yeast better they would not have unusual feeding and ph buffering needs.

And as for best protocol... that was just a nice way of saying you should look for a better protocol. By saying it is not the best I am not saying it is bad, while if I say 'you should find a better protocol' it could imply the protocol is bad. I do believe the protocol needs improving

loveofrose
04-24-2016, 11:47 PM
I work in science. I know how studies are fraught with problems. The studies you are citing are all done in wine by the way. They also have some issues as pointed out by others in multiple post. Between that and the fact that my mead is very good, I don't take too much stock in them; however, Your point is taken about finding a better way. I'm constantly doing so. Currently, I am doing so with Fermaid O.

For 1388, the protocol never produces fusels. I only reported fusels when I tried to use Fermaid O. With wine yeast, you always get trace fusels no matter what you do. Even TOSNA is not immune to that.

I admire your strive towards perfection, but there are so few articles on meadmaking. Following any of these articles will likely make good mead even if they are not perfect. I try to put forth material to get people started with good practices. As practices are updated, new articles must be written. Another article on current techniques may be in order soon enough! It's just that not enough data points exist to do so yet.

PS: What SNA protocol are you using? That would actually be more helpful for the newbee whose thread we hijacked squabbling over nutrient regimens. Sorry, Drew!


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html

Shelley
04-25-2016, 06:44 AM
Adding 18 pounds of honey is approximately 1.25 gallons of volume. Check to make sure you want a total of 6 gallons of must as you have here, or a total of 5 gallons of must (which means less water). I make my large volume sweet meads by adding the honey and topping off to 5 gallons, not adding 5 gallons of water to the existing honey.

Drew
04-25-2016, 06:48 AM
I was wondering if you looked at the recipe I linked? I know that when clicked on, it shows comments. Scrolling up will bring up recipe and steps. I am wondering if this recipe would work and be a good sweet traditional. Your thoughts are more than welcome

Drew
04-25-2016, 06:50 AM
Thanks... I should have more clear. The goal is to have 5 gallons total

Shelley
04-25-2016, 06:56 AM
thank you all for the input... with all that being said, does anyone have a good 5 gal traditional sweet mead recipe they would be willing to let me try out on my first go? I have read the first of the last 2 articles... the last one doesn't come up. I actually got this recipe from another website that someone shared. if this recipe is a good one just need me to tweak it then cool... I will attach the link so anyone can look at it and see... again, I am about as green as they come. and I would actually mix the fermaid k and goferm together before mixing in with the yeast... if this is still a bad idea then please educate me.

http://beersmith.com/blog/2013/09/20/making-mead-for-home-brewers/#comments

It doesn't need to be complicated and fraught with calculations. I'll give you my tried-and-true methodology; just be aware that many prefer a different approach to their mead making.

Here's a one gallon approach (a little easier on the pocketbook for experimentation):

1 quart of honey (3 pounds)
add 3 quarts of warm water and stir to dissolve
add 1 campden tablet, crushed, stir and wait 24 hours
add yeast nutrient (probably 1 tsp) and energizer
pitch your yeast and stir vigorously (I use Cotes de Blanc)

after a week, rack to your carboy. It's OK to oxygenate
let it ferment until done. Rerack as many times as you want for clarity
taste-test at all stages to see what your brew is doing

My approach front-loads the sugar, and pitches dry yeast. I don't bother with sugar breaks and with rehydration protocols. It works for me. It's been working for me since the 1990s. (It worked for meadmakers in the 1640s, too, except they weren't pitching dry yeast.)

You can get one gallon carboys at your homebrew store. You can pick up a food-grade 2-gallon pail (for must) if you sweet-talk your grocer's bakery department for their empties. The rest of the equipment you probably already have, if you're ready to embark on a 5-gallon batch.

Shelley
04-25-2016, 06:58 AM
I was wondering if you looked at the recipe I linked? I know that when clicked on, it shows comments. Scrolling up will bring up recipe and steps. I am wondering if this recipe would work and be a good sweet traditional. Your thoughts are more than welcome

OB honey makes a great sweet traditional! And 18 pounds is right for a sweet.

loveofrose
04-25-2016, 07:01 AM
Thanks... I should have more clear. The goal is to have 5 gallons total

18 lbs in 5 gallons is a starting gravity of 1.144. With 71b ABV tolerance at 14%, it should stop around 1.037. Since anything above 1.020 is sweet, this mead will be extremely sweet. If that is what you want, go for it. If not, back off to 16 lbs so that it ends around 1.020.

Keep in mind that yeast can sometimes exceed tolerance, so save some honey in case you think it needs to be sweeter. You can always add more later, but you can't take it back!



Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html

Stasis
04-25-2016, 01:28 PM
PS: What SNA protocol are you using? That would actually be more helpful for the newbee whose thread we hijacked squabbling over nutrient regimens. Sorry, Drew!

Well.. If the SG really is 1.144 then the potential abv is 18%... This throws all the usual protocols out the window. I've done some high gravity ferments but I'm not sure my protocol would be the best to do it. My last try also used Fermaid O, and since no Fermaid O is being used here I wouldn't be able to offer my advice. Basically what I did was used up to 150ppm Fermax at the start of ferment, by the time the ferment reached 5% abv it was calculated about all dap should have been consumed. The later feeding were with Fermaid O and I hardly calculated Fermaid O is more effective than the stated amount. Total ppm nitrogen was around 350.

Let's say this was an average ferment.
I'd basically do what you suggested Lor, but add the first feeding no earlier than 4hrs after pitch. The yeast lag phase depends on a variety of factors. 4hrs is the earliest I had signs of fermentation and is the earliest I feel comfortable adding dap.
I'd move the sna feeding and make sure the last one is not later than the 1/3 sugar break or 4% abv. I would probably use less nutrients than your protocol.. It depends how much a tsp weighs. Including your aim for ppm nitrogen might have been a nice touch. I feel there is no definite best amount of ppm except very low or very high values cold be considered wrong. I aim for 250-300ppm N for traditionals. A variety of factors could move this number either way. 71b would probably do well with 250ppm but I haven't used it in traditionals myself to be certain. Creating a larger initial feeding is optional and I probably wouldn't go into detail about it... In short I'd say it's debatable. If I were to include this as a guide I'd be double checking my values and reasons

TLDR
So basically I'd only adjust the timing of the feedings, notably the first and last one

Stasis
04-25-2016, 01:34 PM
Btw Drew, I'd be very very careful before attempting high gravity meads. I've seen too many threads where mazers report problems with high gravity meads. The feedings of nutrients is different for high gravity musts and you probably shouldn't add yeast to such a high gravity must or they will fail to start due to osmotic shock. You'd have to add half the amount of honey, let the yeast ferment down a good amount of that sugar and gradually add the rest. Also, plenty of aeration and a rehydration protocol such as suggested by djsxxx

Squatchy
04-25-2016, 05:04 PM
Personally I would not suggest starting at 1144 either as a newbee. I would concur that starting at say 1120 or less would be a good idea. Then once the yeast have chewed it down to 1090 or so then add the last portion of honey. I would feed it as if I started with all the honey up front for the ease of the math calcs. I would also figure at 400 ppm and be very careful to monitor my attemperation temps. Lastly I would use 20 grams of yeast and for sure use the go-ferm protocol. :)

Drew
04-25-2016, 05:51 PM
Awesome info everyone! Thank you very much!

Shelly- That sounds like a good get your feet wet recipe... I will def try that. I plan on using spring water so maybe the campden tablet is not needed. other than that it seems like a great one. what do you think?

Love of rose- thanks for the info. again I am very new at this. I think for my 5 gal batch I will take your advice and drop it down to 16 lbs and go with that. like you said, I can always back sweeten it if needed what do you think about what stasis said about maybe not adding the nutrients until a few hours after pitching my yeast? I also will def hydrate it as well.

stasis- have you looked at the recipe I am looking to try? if so when do you recommend I put in the nutrients? it looks like you recommend the first one not to be dropped until active fermentation has started. is this for both the goferm and the fermaid-k? or is it cause the fermaid-k contains dap?

Stasis
04-26-2016, 10:56 AM
GoFerm is primarily a yeast rehydration nutrient. This means that you rehydrate your yeast in GoFerm much like djsxxx recommended. After rehydration most mazers never use GoFerm. In fact I wonder if using GoFerm later on has much of a positive impact. Up until now I never gave it any thought and I'd be very interested if there is information out there that says goferm is beneficial later on. The fact that the person who posted this recipe just mixes goferm and fermaid K in all additions leads me to believe that he does not totally know what he is doing, but I might be wrong.

Fermaid K should not be added until after the lag phase because it contains dap. It's not always easy to detect exactly the end of lag phase and the lag phase is not always the same duration. Active fermentation marks the end of the lag phase but this could be any sign whatsoever: some feint popping/fizzing sounds, some slight foaming... Some people do the first addition 24hrs after pitch. I think 12 hrs is ok but I might be wrong. According to another thread at least, it is not important to be exact when the lag phase is over (I agree, hence the 12hrs pitch) http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/14860-how-to-tell-when-lag-phase-is-over

Therefore:
GoFerm for rehydration
Fermaid K about ~12hrs after pitch i.e. after lag phase
Fermaid K at 1/3 sugar break or once you calculate abv to be around 4% (maybe later for high gravity musts)

Amounts of Fermaid K depends on gravity. You will have to use around 52g or ~15tsp (gahh I hate using tsp! so innacurate) if you want 300ppm in a 14% abv mead
18lbs of honey has a good chance of being problematic for you. I'd recommend going for 16lbs like LOR suggested if you're aiming for as little back-sweetening as possible. LOR's approach is the best in terms of honey amount if you know what you're doing and if you want a sweet mead. Even with 16lbs you might want to add 12lbs at the start and add the remaining 4 gradually once fermentation has picked (let's say in 3 days).

Squatchy
04-26-2016, 06:15 PM
One ting to consider. The amount of alcohol production does not run linearly through out the process. If you were to graph your fermentation's on a graph you will find a step decline in sugar consumption once things get underway in earnest. This will go on for a while and then slowly pan out. Once the ABV gets higher the yeast begin to struggle because of the toxicity of the alcohol. It very slowly finishes out. So due to the slowing process at the end of the fermentation this changes the back side of a bell curve a good bit. So what I'm saying is you can not just do the math in a pure linear fashion and find the cut off point where DAP becomes unconsumable for the yeast. It happens sooner in the process.