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Geoffrey Johnson
04-03-2005, 10:34 AM
As a disclaimer, I did use the search function and I think I answered my own question using it ;)

However, for peace of mind, I wanted to run by what I was thinking, incase my thought process is seriously skewed.

We recently created several 1 gallon batches of plain mead, and a couple cysers. The cysers are bubbling along merrily. The Mead, on the other hand, have not stirred. I am pretty sure that the SG is way too high to give the yeast a chance to start. Therefor, I am going to combine the two 1 gallons into a 5 gallon carboy and dilute so I can get the SG down to 1.12-1.13.

Here is my recipe for both. Please let me know if what I am doing is right, wrong, or wether I should go back to making beer. Also, in one batch I used EC-1118, and the other D-47. As a understand it, I should not have a problem with the two yeasts killing eachother, correct?

1/2 gallon clover honey
1/2 gallon tap water
EC-1118
D-47
a wee pinch of Jay's Acid Blend (Woohoo Jay's Brewing in Fairfax, VA!!)
fistfull of raisins.

I heated the water to 150, dissolved the honey, cooled the must, siphoned into a carboy, cooled, pitched the yeast, let 'er roll. SG was off the hydrometer....so I figured something around 1.18-1.19.

Again, any advice. suggestions, badgering, or other verbal abuse is more than welcome!

Geoffrey

lostnbronx
04-03-2005, 12:52 PM
Geoffrey,

As you guessed, your SG is much too high. Diluting should make all the difference. I don't know what the effect of combining the yeasts will be, though. I imagine that one strain will probably out-compete the other initially, though the EC-1118 will most likely take over once the ABV starts getting up there.

-David

Geoffrey Johnson
04-03-2005, 02:54 PM
Thanks for setting my mind at ease, David.

A better way to get a sweeter honey would be to start out with less honey it the must in order to get the yeast started, then back sweeten as desired? Sorry, thinking outloud, while looking for validation :P

This is truely an addicting hobby!

God I love it!

~Geoffrey

lostnbronx
04-03-2005, 05:09 PM
A better way to get a sweeter honey would be to start out with less honey it the must in order to get the yeast started, then back sweeten as desired? Sorry, thinking outloud, while looking for validation :P

This is truely an addicting hobby!

God I love it!

~Geoffrey



Geoffrey,

I like the idea of backsweetening too -- especially in a situation like this, when you aren't quite sure what to expect. The best mead, of course, is one which is exactly as sweet as you like it to be right out of the fermenter, but it takes a lot of experience to get that good; I'm not there yet, except for once and a while.

This is an amazing hobby -- truly, it just gets more fascinating the more you do it!

-David

David Baldwin
04-03-2005, 08:42 PM
If you want a higher gravity end product, you can add honey to the must as it drops gravity points. For instance, you can start with a SG of 1.12, let it ferment for a while and then add enough honey to bring it back up to 1.12.

Know the end threshold of your yeast tolerance, and you can calculate how much honey to add that will leave you with a Final Gravity that is right where you want it.


One thing that mead has taught me is that I like a drier mead than I do wine. I like my wine quite sweet. A semi-dry wine is often too dry for me. Mead however seems to run the range from dry to sweet and still I find it very acceptable.

Good luck and enjoy. You've found a wealth of information here.

David

hedgehog
04-03-2005, 09:49 PM
Heya David, et all,
When you all speak of feeding the yeast once its fermenting, how do you all do it? I mean do you just dump honey into the carboy? Or do you make up a high SG water-honey mix? Any heating involved? I have read many posts about feeding a fermenting batch, but no one has mentioned the actual process they undergo. just wondering
hedgehog

lostnbronx
04-03-2005, 10:40 PM
When you all speak of feeding the yeast once its fermenting, how do you all do it? I mean do you just dump honey into the carboy? Or do you make up a high SG water-honey mix? Any heating involved?



Hey Hedgehog,
One tried and true method is to syphon out a measure of your must, dissolve your honey or other sweetener into it, then pour it back in. This allows you to control the sweetness of your mead without watering it down. It goes without saying that cleanliness is absolutely vital here. Some people do heat this small amount of must for sterilization purposes.

-David

Geoffrey Johnson
04-04-2005, 09:46 PM
Oh the humor! I turned two sluggish to non responsive 1 gallon containers of mead and one sluggish gallon of cyser into 5 brand new gallons of mead!! I sometimes even impress myself!

I brought the three questionable one gallon carboys upstairs in preparation to combine them all together, thereby negating all the work I had done :'( . However, much to my happiness, they began to gain some activity on the kitchen table! I guess the basement was not warm enough, taking into consideration the high SG. However the kitchen seemed to wake them right up! Hence why they are currently living in the corner of the kitch ;D

That being as it is, I decided not to mess with them in fear of contamination. Instead, I took the "filler" honey and the 5 gallon carboy I had originally intended to use as a rescue carboy and created a whole new batch of mead, to be flavored later!

Just out of curiosity, the insanely sweet 1 gallons which are bubbling along well now will end up how? Will the high sugar concentrations have a negative affect on the end product? I guess it all comes down to sampling and adjusting the taste as I go, eh? Good times!

Geoffrey

Jmattioli
04-04-2005, 10:28 PM
(snip) Just out of curiosity, the insanely sweet 1 gallons which are bubbling along well now will end up how? Will the high sugar concentrations have a negative affect on the end product? I guess it all comes down to sampling and adjusting the taste as I go, eh? Good times!

Geoffrey


Sweet Rocket fuel if it finishes. 18%ABV and very sweet. ;D
Use water to top off and enjoy in a couple years. ;)
Joe

Aggie4You
04-11-2005, 10:53 AM
Just out of curiosity, the insanely sweet 1 gallons which are bubbling along well now will end up how? Will the high sugar concentrations have a negative affect on the end product? I guess it all comes down to sampling and adjusting the taste as I go, eh? Good times!


The gallon that uses the D47 will probably end up with a lower abv and sweeter. As a matter of fact, you may find it useful (once the fermentation is done and you can taste) to repitch that gallon with the 1118. However, the 1118 should easily make 18% (I've heard as high as 20-22, but I've never used 1118) and that could lead to the "rocket fuel" taste that Joe mentioned.

If the carboys get in the way in your kitchen you might consider something like this (http://thebeeressentials.com/equipment/beer_wine_making_equipment_temperature_controllers .html), or, for your larger carboy, this (http://www.morebeer.com/product.html?product_id=16674).

Geoffrey Johnson
04-12-2005, 10:04 AM
Yeah, Aggie, I was thinking about repitching the 1118 to knock some more of the sweetness off, depending on how it all ends up. Of course that could take it up to over 20%, which I imagine would give it a rather harsh bite. Oh well, if it is that harsh, I'll draw a bit off to mix with orange juice, or 7-up, and bottle the rest, leave it alone for 5 years, then enjoy my lovely honey liquor!

We are actually in the process of building a carboy holding station in the shower in the basement. Since we never use the darn thing, but don't want to tear it out for re-sale value reasons, we are building 3 shelves inside the shower. The floor will be for the larger carboys, then my 1 and 3 gallons can sit on the middle shelf and the brewing supplies go up top. When we get it all put together I'll post a picture of it...should be intresting!

~Geoffrey

Jmattioli
04-12-2005, 04:11 PM
Solution is s i m p le.
D I L U T E it to a resonable SG to get the desired alcohol and sweetness you are looking for with the yeast you are using. All else is problematic.

Joe

Norskersword
04-12-2005, 07:39 PM
I agree with Ancient Joe. Dillute it down until it is around 1.100 SG for a semi sweet end product.

How many pounds is a half gallon anyway? ??? Never go by gallons, especially if you are doing a one gallon batch. You usually want about 2.5-3.5 lbs of honey per gallon. I think a half gallon would be 6 pounds! :o

toolboxdiver
04-12-2005, 07:49 PM
I agree with Ancient Joe. Dillute it down until it is around 1.100 SG for a semi sweet end product.

How many pounds is a half gallon anyway? ??? Never go by gallons, especially if you are doing a one gallon batch. You usually want about 2.5-3.5 lbs of honey per gallon. I think a half gallon would be 6 pounds! :o


I agree with Joe and Norskerword 6 pounds of honey for a gallon of mead is way too sweet .... Dilute it

Geoffrey Johnson
04-13-2005, 11:20 AM
/agree with all above...Further tinkering with these bad boys is being flamed ;D ;D in the Brew Log section...

Just kidding about the "being flamed"....really do appreciate your posts about all your experiences, and especially the fact that you are all willing to take time out of your lives to offer advice and suggestions.

Thanks again!
Geoffrey