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View Full Version : Bottling question, and recipe suggestions.



Sleepy_P
12-15-2016, 05:57 AM
Hey guys and gals,

First off, I have looked through the forums trying to find a close to definite answer for my bottling question, but still could use a good answer. I have read multiple responses about bottling, and when it comes time to do so, as long as I sorbate and sulphite, do I REALLY need to worry about dropping a CO2 layer when I bottle and cork? I'm not 100% decided on recipes yet, which will be the other gal of this post, but I plan to be super careful to minimize oxidation when bottling and will be stabilizing with chemicals after cold crashing. I'm very OCD about possibly ruining what I make, but I dont have the financial means to layer with CO2. I'm looking to bottle in wine bottles and cork, and I tend to over think things, so hopefully this is just a false concern if I'm planning to be as careful as possible.

My next thing is I am looking for some recipe ideas based on my honey and yeast choices. I will be using a wild blackberry honey with D47 yeast. My tap water tastes very clean, but I will be using store bought spring water just to be safe. My fiance and I have different tastes, she likes sweet, like a Riesling, and I prefer just about anything that tastes great lol. I have a list going of possible flavor ideas, but I am still new and don't know what might complement the honey well. The honey is coming from Snoqualmie Valley Honey Farm, a local bee farm in my home town. Not sure if anyone has used their honey before. Also, I won't be doing anything sparkling if that helps?

Anyways, thanks for any help/suggestions available!

D

Sleepy_P
12-15-2016, 06:28 AM
Also, I am not stuck on the yeast choice. If something works better, especially if it is suggested for a certain recipe, I am not against grabbing some new yeast. Also, my house sits steady between 64-68 degrees. I recently changed my thermostat since it's getting colder and I don't want to freeze out my fiance!

Maylar
12-15-2016, 09:35 AM
You don't need to stabilize with sorbate and sulfite unless you intend to sweeten your mead before bottling and the yeast haven't reached their alcohol tolerance. Stabilizing will prevent refermentation of the added sugar. However for long term aging, adding about 50 ppm potassium metabisulfite (or Campden tablets) as an antioxidant is a good idea.

That said, my meads don't last more than about a year in bottles before they're consumed and I've never had a problem with oxidation. I don't bother with CO2 purging except for when bottling carbonated cysers. Fruit juice like apple cider is more prone to oxidation than honey.

Most yeasts are happy in the 60-65 F range. If you'll be above that, check here first.

bernardsmith
12-15-2016, 10:02 AM
Others may disagree with me but I would suggest that "clean tasting water" from your faucet may not be a sufficient condition for using municipal water. Most (I believe ) municipally supplied water contains chlorine or chloramines and often fluoride. I am not sure that those chemicals really add anything positive to a wine or mead or for that matter , a beer. If your water comes from a well that may be a different story but I would look for chlorine and fluoride free water for wine making... (not just because it does have an impact on the flavor but I think chlorine inhibits and damages the yeast....

Squatchy
12-15-2016, 12:06 PM
It's probably not what a new mazer wants to hear. But I would say learn to make a good traditional first. If you do this everything else will improve because of it. Nothing can hide in a traditional. It will show you if your process/protocol is good or not. When you add tons of other things you can cover up the flaws and not taste them.

Don't worry about oxidation. It's almost a non issue for most meads.

Make a trad with the same must and make a few different batches. Make them all the same except for different yeast. Try CY3079, D47, D21 and DV10. Rehydrate with go- ferm and feed Fermaid-O and use TOSNA feeding protocol. Keep your temps in mind.

If you do this you will be a much better mazer in short order. Once you know "how" the "what is very easy.

Sleepy_P
12-15-2016, 10:45 PM
Maylar: Yeah the stabilizing was just a better safe than sorry idea. Like I stated, I tend to get OCD and over think every possible scenario, and most possibilities are that something goes wrong. With my traditionals, I may be less worried, but not with my first two gallons as these have been my learning batches and I'm hoping my two Frankensteins finish off as a nice Kaley Cuoco (not suggesting they are having issues btw!). I think as I get better at the whole process I will be able to let go of some of my fears of something going wrong. However, stabilizing shouldn't effect the final product, even if it didn't need it, correct? If so, then yeah, guess I will have to take some risks!

Bernard: I actually stated I would be using store bought spring water, as I don't feel I can trust my tap despite it seeming to be rather clean. But thanks though for the response.

Squatchy: I saw this response coming from at least one person. I actually started listening to the old podcasts from last year (nothing better to do at work at 2am) and one of the guests had stated the exact some thing. Granted he was speaking about meads presented in competitions, but he touched on practice doesn't make perfect, only perfect practice makes perfect. I do like your idea though about doing a large batch traditional and testing different yeasts. Which leads me to a new question. I'm going to use 12lbs (1gal) of honey. Is the 3lbs per gallon in regards to 3lbs per gallon of water added? Or 3lbs per gallon of total must? If it's 1gal honey and 4gal water, I can test 1 more yeast, and I was thinking of the 1118 as I see a lot of people using that for their Mel's, which is what my fiance is leaning towards wanting to make someday. I will for sure be using the TOSNA method, however, still learning what each chem does what. The Go-ferm is a starter nutrient I assume? I did pick up Fermaid K and DAP for the staggered additions.

Thanks for the responses though ladies/gents. Would have responded sooner today, but my kids are up from Florida, and I spent the day with them before they come over on Monday for two weeks.

Sleepy_P
12-20-2016, 06:13 AM
So I checked out what the nutrient packet I got from my LHBS contained. It's a mixture of DAP and Go-ferm, and I do have Fermaid K to use once I start another batch. Quick question though. Will TOSNA be affected by me using this nutrient? I have some DAP on it's own as well, but still need to pick up some Go-ferm if I need to worry about exact measurements.

And quick update, my first two gallon batches were both at 1.040 when I checked gravity on Sunday. Since I didn't have the hydrometer for the first batch, I'm going to assume the OG was similar for both since they are both the exact same recipe/ingredients. Second batch started at 1.094.

pwizard
12-20-2016, 09:05 AM
DAP and Go-Ferm are a very odd combination. Go-ferm is helpful when re-hydrating, but is of little use in an active ferment.

TOSNA is designed for Fermaid O only. THere's a variant (TiOSNA) that allows you to use Fermaid K. Do you have a scale that can weigh grams to two decimal places (x.xx)? You will need that to measure properly.

caduseus
12-20-2016, 10:39 AM
So I checked out what the nutrient packet I got from my LHBS contained. It's a mixture of DAP and Go-ferm, and I do have Fermaid K to use once I start another batch. Quick question though. Will TOSNA be affected by me using this nutrient? I have some DAP on it's own as well, but still need to pick up some Go-ferm if I need to worry about exact measurements.

And quick update, my first two gallon batches were both at 1.040 when I checked gravity on Sunday. Since I didn't have the hydrometer for the first batch, I'm going to assume the OG was similar for both since they are both the exact same recipe/ingredients. Second batch started at 1.094.

If you dont know the exact amount of DAP in that formulation then you wont be able to follow TOSNA/TiOSNA. That does not mean you cant approximate. I was not aware there was a combo of DAP+Go-Ferm.
Go-Ferm is best used when hydrating yeast. However with mead making it is best to hold-out using DAP until start of fermentation. These 2 ideas are in conflict with each other if they are in combination.

If it was me and I wanted to follow normal nutrient supplementation, I would either:
1) not use that supplment at all
2) more likely, I would use this supplement as replacement for just DAP since there is VERY little nitrogen in Go-Ferm. However to do this you would need to get an approximate amount of DAP in your nutrient and use it in your nutrient supplementation. In this case you follow TiOSNA with a split of Fermaid-K and DAP+Go-Ferm. This would be trule complicated math however.

Sleepy_P
12-22-2016, 07:16 AM
Thanks for the heads up guys. I can message the shop and ask them for the exact details on the nutrient mix. I believe they make the mix themselves. I'll take a look at the TiOSNA and see what I can do with the nutrient I have. I'm glad I bought the separate packs of DAP and Fermaid K now, just in case. I do have a scale that weighs in grams, but haven't made any new batches since I got it. The two I have going now are going on 2 and 3 weeks. Also, i don't think I will be using the nutrient mix with my next batch for sure, as I only have the amount the recommend for 3 gallons, and I will be doing a 5 gallon traditional next month. I will definitely check into TiOSNA though. I will keep updates coming as they are available.

Shelley
12-23-2016, 08:08 AM
With these experiments, you're going to really benefit from a hydrometer. My thought on 12 pounds of honey in 5 gallons of must is that it's not going to be enough honey -- it'll leave you with a very dry mead and your fiancee isn't going to like it. I find that I need 15ish pounds of honey in a 5 gallon batch to have the right final sweetness.

caduseus
12-23-2016, 10:09 AM
Sleepy-p:
I like to ferment to dry and then backsweeten. The reason for this is because once it is sweet you cant make it drier without dilution.
The other benefit is I like to share my meads with my friends have different tastes: some like it bone dry, some insanely sweet, and in between.
You can customize sweetness based on her with some bottles and some however dry or sweet you personally like it.

Sleepy_P
12-29-2016, 05:46 AM
Shelley- Yeah we have thought about what we want to do for actual honey amount and final must volume. Originally we thought 12 lbs and a total volume of 5 gallons, but might drop it to 12 lbs and 4 gallons total must. Since 12 lbs is about 1 gallon, we figure the honey with 3 gallons of water will get us what we will like.

Caduseus- Back sweetening is something I am thinking of. We are buying our honey in 12 and 24 lb batches depending on available funds, but I have thought about buying an extra 3 lbs for every 12 to use for experimentation with how much we will use for it. Depending on how sweet the 12 lbs comes out going with 4 gallons total must will determine if we decide to back sweeten.

Thank you all for the continued advice and options though. She is learning all of this through me explaining what you all have suggested and from what I find here on the forums and other online sources. I will be keeping a log post going once we start our next batch so that people can track it with us and provide any advice as we go.