View Full Version : Vanilla Mead

11-28-2004, 07:05 PM
Okay, I started on Saturday a 5 gallon batch of orangeblossom mead and threw in 5 madagasgar vanilla beans.

The starting gravity was 1.092 with 12lbs of honey. Not quite what I was looking for in order to make a sweet mead at 2.4 lbs/gallon. May have to back sweeten. I added some carbonate to reduce the initial 4.4+ PH to 4.2 at which point the must took off running with fermentation.

Used Red Star Cotes Des Blanc yeast wanting it to finish out at about 14%ABV. May add another 1/2 gallon honey to the must to get there, but we'll see what happens after tasting and initial racking.

11-29-2004, 03:39 AM
I found it best to wait til you get the alcohol up before adding vanilla beans. No sense wasting part of the aroma and flavor of the beans through the airlocks. (Disregard that statement since you used 5 beans cause that is a lot of vanilla) Also with Cotes de blancs, it always requires over 3 lbs per gallon to come out sweet if you get a complete fermentation. Might as well feed more now while its going good cause when it slows down it slows down and drags on. It has been the longest fermentor of all the yeasts I have used. Took over 2 months to complete. If your fermentaion is cooler it will stop with more residual sugar but 3 lbs/ gallon is a minimum (more is better).

11-29-2004, 06:35 PM
I just may do that. I may have to rack into a 6 gallon carboy to do it, though... *grins*

I re-worked my calculations using .008 as the basis for the honey and found that I would come close to 1.096 when in reality I was 4 points below that. Not bad though. I figure if I were to add the extra 6lbs of honey, my original SG should have been (taking into account the 4 point difference) 1.1402. I say 2 as there may be a bit more variance than the 4 points when adding the honey.

Now, from research, I've found that Cote Des Blancs should ferment to 14% which would yield me a FG of 1.006. Very little residual sweetness, so I think I'll keep a closer eye on it when it gets closer to 1.030 and stop it when I like the taste and get my FG from there and work my new recipes from that.

Now I'm getting really excited as I'm playing with my own recipes and really messing with my yeasts to truly get to know them... *grins*


11-30-2004, 09:38 PM
Had enough headspace to add 3 pounds of honey. Will have to wait until I get another 6 gallon carboy to rack into that and add the next 3 lbs.

Had an unexpected PH reaction, though. The must fizzed like I'd added a carbonate to the mix. However, the reaction wasn't potent enough to make it bubble out of the carboy. Was a very interresting turn of events.