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Suited Deuce
07-14-2017, 09:11 AM
So my first batch happened....


https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?share_fid=23353&share_tid=26771&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Egotmead%2Ecom%2Fforum%2Fsho wthread%2Ephp%3Ft%3D26771&share_type=t

I racked early because I was worried about it sitting on the lees. It's currently aging in the closet. Clear as can be with nothing on the bottom. It'll sit there for quite some time.

Second batch was a jug mead using bread yeast (not JAOM though) with rose hips. It has a beautiful flavor, and will be racked pretty soon.

Third batch though.... I decided to take the advice of Squatchy and Dadux (Thanks for your wealth of knowledge). Here's the skinny..

07/02/17
Batch 3- OG=1.097
4.5 cups local citrus honey (3lbs and a little)
one teaspoon of molasses
lalvin d-47 yeast
1 tsp DAP
7/8 gallon of distilled water
Aerated well.

07/04/17
Degassed and added 1/4 pack boiled bread yeast and 1/2 tsp DAP. Aerated well.

07/05/17
Test gravity- 1.072
Degassed. (Should have aerated here as well, but fermentation was well off as you can see by my next reading)

07/06/17
Degassed.

07/07/17
Test gravity- 1.027
Degassed.

07/08/17
Degassed.

07/09/17
Degassed.

07/11/17
Degassed. Fermentation appears complete. Will test within the week.
Fermentation temp- This batch fermented at 60-62 and slowly climbed to 70 every 12 hours. I added frozen water jugs in 12 hour shifts.

07/13/17
Test gravity- 1.000
Degassed. Roused lees.
Took a temp reading of the must at 1430. 61 degrees. The ice jug went in at 7 am. House temp is 75 degrees.
Taste- Not as hot as I would have thought. Dry, but still some honey flavor. Not yeasty. Good.


Overall I'm super excited about this batch. I know I still have to acquire fermaid-O and follow TOSNA, but other than that, this batch is a vast improvement. It's not half as hot as the first two batches (most likely due to lower fermentation temps). I don't think the must temps were swinging as much as the water temp inside the "shell". What I have is a Rubbermaid tote with 5 gallons of water inside. The buckets sit in the water, and I swap frozen gallon jugs every 12 hours.

This batch is already pretty clear, but I'm going to rouse the lees for another two-three weeks and then rack.

My plan for this first rack will be over 12-20 oz of puréed blackberries, which should restart fermentation. I'll let it ferment as far as it will go, then rack if necessary. I'm hoping this will finish around 14%, with a little residual sweetness. That'll probably depend on the tartness of the blackberries and the strength of the yeast.



-the Deuce

Dadux
07-14-2017, 09:42 AM
Once the ferment is over you can let the temps go to normal. Only need to manage while fermenting.
I think we said it already but its better if you use spring water or even tap if its good. Distilled has no minerals, and normal water minerals are used by the yeast. Its not gonna make a huge difference i guess but you dont need to get the distilled water.

I dont see why you would add the blackberries later. I'd have advised you to add them in the ferment, at the start. You'd be better off adding them now, wait until the ferment is over, then rouse the lees for a month. This way you get two things. First, there is more yeast ready to ferment the blackberries which is good for you. Second, once you rack you'll be separating the mead from the blackberry residue. If you rack and then add them, you'll need to rack one more time. That means more mead loss. IF you add it now, keep the temps down until the ferment is over.

Suited Deuce
07-14-2017, 09:59 AM
Ya know, I meant to tell the wife grab spring water, and I told her distilled. Next batch will be spring. I don't really want to get into tap over here as it ads an extra step in removing the chlorine, and I really don't know the quality of my water (we don't drink it).

As for the blackberries, I'll add once I get the pectic enzyme (currently in the mail) and just leave it in the bucket. I see what you're saying about yeast quantity and mead loss.


-the Deuce

Squatchy
07-14-2017, 07:58 PM
Please don't ever use distilled water to rehydrtae you r yeast with. If it doesn't kill it outright it will wound every cell right from the very start.

Suited Deuce
07-14-2017, 09:56 PM
Bottled spring water for that. It's readily available in 16.9 oz bottles that are always laying around.


-the Deuce

Suited Deuce
07-16-2017, 05:33 PM
So I added blackberries today. I went with 18oz blended with 4oz spring water, then strained through a mesh strainer. I tested gravity after the fact out of curiosity, and it was a whopping 1.006. I'm ok with that though, because I don't want this to be too much abv. I'm expecting fermentation to restart, and a few more days of degassing, then a while of rousing lees before racking. https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170716/106896cb37e1989bc3860e7ce0d4787b.jpg

Suited Deuce
07-22-2017, 10:10 AM
Keeping up with the rousing every other day. This mead is very clear when I open the bucket, but it'll keep getting a stir for a while. It tastes very good, but only a hint of blackberries comes through.

Quick question about where to go next. Should I oak? Should I leave it as is? Is there anything else I could do to enhance this mead beside let Father Time work his magic? I know this is largely going to depend on what I want in a mead, but I'm just curious of my options here. Bottom line is I want good mead, and I know that's pretty objective from person to person. Anyone have any short thoughts?


-the Deuce

Dadux
07-22-2017, 10:53 AM
Keeping up with the rousing every other day. This mead is very clear when I open the bucket, but it'll keep getting a stir for a while. It tastes very good, but only a hint of blackberries comes through.

Quick question about where to go next. Should I oak? Should I leave it as is? Is there anything else I could do to enhance this mead beside let Father Time work his magic? I know this is largely going to depend on what I want in a mead, but I'm just curious of my options here. Bottom line is I want good mead, and I know that's pretty objective from person to person. Anyone have any short thoughts?


-the Deuce

Short thoughts:
I always end up tweaking my stuff. Aim for a flavour profile and learn how different things work in mead so you can use them to get to the desired point.

You can consider tweaking: acidity (lemon or orange juice if you dont want to buy blends), body (oak, some spices such as marshmallow, tea), sweetness (oak, some spices such as marshmallow or vanilla, and backsweetening), and lastly flavour.

Oak will go well nearly with any mead. Unless what you have is a total hit you dont want to alter in any way, adding some oak after the ferment is done to se what it brings in a mead is a good idea. Add low ammounts and taste repeatedly to get a good understanding of different levels of oak.

In the end is not only personal but also different for each mead. Do you want something to drink as a wine or something for the after meal to drink is small ammounts, more wine like or liqueur like? If the fruit in the end does not dominate a lot it can be great as the first. If the fruit flavour is very strong maybe go for the second.

Over time you'll learn what different adds will bring to your mead. This is key to not only make good mead, but to make the mead you want. I'd recommend you to experiment. Its the only way to learn. Sometimes this will improve your mead, and some it might result in worse tha expected. But you'll learn in both outcomes. Taste a lot to see how it changes.

Suited Deuce
07-22-2017, 11:08 AM
Thanks Dadux! This is pretty much what I was looking for. I guess the best for me will be a bigger batch and split it up to learn the ins and outs. I don't have that now, so I'll stick to one thing at a time (like oak for now) and just taste often as you said. Thanks!


-the Deuce

Dadux
07-22-2017, 11:45 AM
Thanks Dadux! This is pretty much what I was looking for. I guess the best for me will be a bigger batch and split it up to learn the ins and outs. I don't have that now, so I'll stick to one thing at a time (like oak for now) and just taste often as you said. Thanks!


-the Deuce

I'd recommend reading the threads "wood management thread" and "how to balance your mead" (not 100% sure the name is exactly like that, if not its very similar), both written by Squatchy. The first has a compilation of articles video and podcast about oak, i recommend the articles (i admit to not having seen the video or listened to the podcast, im sure they are good too) The second is a rundown about what i said about body sweetness acidity etc, but much more in depth, written by Squatchy. Both are long but if you find the time its a lot of concentrated knowledge that im sure you'll find helpful.

Squatchy
07-22-2017, 07:39 PM
+1 on reading the 2 threads I wrote that Dadux mentioned. Yes there is a kot of info there. If you ztuxy all of it you will jump miles ahead of others that have note spent the time to digest the info. It's these things that separate mediocre from excellence.

Suited Deuce
07-22-2017, 08:14 PM
Glad to hear. I will 100% get into them because I'm already invested, and I have plenty of time. I'm down on thumb surgery for a bit longer. These physical therapy sessions are a great time to learn.


-the Deuce

darigoni
07-22-2017, 08:34 PM
+1 on reading the 2 threads I wrote that Dadux mentioned. Yes there is a kot of info there. If you ztuxy all of it you will jump miles ahead of others that have note spent the time to digest the info. It's these things that separate mediocre from excellence.

ztuxy? I just have to know what I was supposed to really say. Study? :-)

Squatchy
07-22-2017, 09:35 PM
ztuxy? I just have to know what I was supposed to really say. Study? :-)

Damn Phones!!!