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David Baldwin
10-20-2004, 08:32 AM
Was given a bunch of concord grapes. Juiced the grapes and got about 1/2 gallon alcohol potential about 7% - pretty low sugar content for grapes.

10-20-04

1/2 gallon grape juice
6# raw honey
water to make 3 gallons
K1V1116

SG 1.11

K1V rehydrated and added to primary bucket which I covered - not airlocked.

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10/21/04

Huge head of foam in the primary bucket. That surprises me. The straight mead - my "firstborn" didn't foam much at all.

Added 1 Tsp. Pectic enzyme.
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10/23/04

Bubble bubble, toil and trouble fingers itching, hydrometer twitching... must...resist... compulsion...to... check... test...meddle...

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Transfered from the bucket to the carboy. I wasn't getting a good seal on the bucket. Had to use blowoff tube - too much foam and too little head space.
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11/2/04

Fermentation rolling along with and only slightly slowing down.
SG is at 1.018

Taste: Just a hint of concord grape - predominantly honey in character. Very nice and my wife LOVED it.

Pale violet in color. about 5/8 inch of lees.

I think I'll stop and stabilize it right here.

David Baldwin
11-02-2004, 07:50 PM
What an amazing difference between "my firstborn" and this pyment!

Same honey, same water, similar prep (no pasteurization on pyment), Same yeast, OG and the grape juice were the primary differences at the outset.

SG is already at 1.018. At this rate, I expect that the K1V-1116 would take it totally dry left on its own.

Fermentation is still vigorous, and after tasting the hydrometer sample, I'm going to stop it right here.

Jmattioli
11-03-2004, 05:10 AM
Good choice. I find stopping them early like that makes them drinkable early. Seems like pushing them dry brings out the worst in alcohol and leaves them harsh and de[leted of flavor for a while.
Joe

David Baldwin
11-04-2004, 07:19 AM
Well, I set it out last night with the ancient orange to chill and clear. It is working, but working better with the ancient orange.

The KIV is still holding out and I'm getting an occasional bubble. It is starting to clear though. The top two inches are notably stratified - not yet clear, but notably fewer suspended solids.

David Baldwin
11-08-2004, 07:20 AM
Like the ancient orange, it began to ferment again, so it went into my new carboy cooler to get the yeast to hibernate so that I can stop it where it is.

It sits in my newly built carboy chiller. I'm anxious to see how quickly it will clear now.

Jmattioli
11-08-2004, 07:34 AM
Out of curiosity, did you sulfite grape must at the start? If not the reason for all the foam may be that you may have had a lot of grape wild yeasts working also. My brother, who grows his own concord grapes always sulfites his grape must first 2 days before pitching yeast for that very reason. Either way, it can still come out fine.
Joe

David Baldwin
11-08-2004, 07:49 AM
No, I did not sulphite the grape juice, but I really doubt that any wild yeasts would have survived my rendering process.

I knew that some of the grapes were well beyond their prime, so I put the grapes over medium heat and then low boiled them to break them down. I squeezed the juice from the pulp like you would for making jelly.

I suppose it's possible that wild yeast may have survived, but I'd thought that the 1116 would have overwhelmed it in short order.

Any thoughts?

Jmattioli
11-08-2004, 09:05 AM
I agree that your rendering at a low boil would have taken care of any wild yeasts. I took a look at your firstborn and the only thing I can figure is that the grape juice provided more quick nutrients for your yeast. My pyments also always ferment faster than straight meads same as my cysers.
Joe

David Baldwin
11-08-2004, 06:37 PM
Many thanks Joe for your insight.

I also suspected that the grape juice had to have more essential nutrients. It took off with a roar and just kept going.

I think that stopping it where it's at now will give me a sweet mead that should be a lot of fun.

David Baldwin
11-15-2004, 08:12 PM
11/15/04

With cool weather pretty consistently in the 40's, I've pulled my carboys out of the chiller, and am letting the ambient air temperature help the clearing process along.

The pyment is definately clearing. It is very different in its progress compared to my batch of Joe's Ancient Orange. This batch has a gradual increasingly apparent turbidity toward the bottom of the carboy.

The mead at the top of the carboy is becomming quite clear, and the bottom of the carboy is quite cloudy yet.


Should I leave it in the cool temps until it has cleared completely, or is it safe to bring it back to the basement to clear? I've added sorbate and suplphite, so I am hoping that it won't restart fermentation, but am a but unsure. I know that the yeast has stopped at the current temps.

Jmattioli
11-15-2004, 09:04 PM
If you added the Sorbate and sulfite as recommended, It won't start up. You may get a few last bubbles but that is all.
Joe

David Baldwin
12-05-2004, 09:39 PM
It dropped clear around December 1. I bottled on December 4.

The color is very nice blush and very gem like in clarity.

I think it tastes a bit young, so I gave my wife my glass to taste. She finished the glass, so I'll chalk this one up to a success! :D

Final gravity reading was 1.015. It's a very nice semi-sweet wine with the subtle concord grape flavor.

With an ABV of about 12.5% there is very little alcohol bite to it, and I expect it to age out very nicely.

Jmattioli
12-06-2004, 04:40 AM
Sounds like a real sucessful batch. Right in the range I personally like of both alcohol and sweetness. In a month your wife will drink the whole bottle cause it ages quickly. Wish I were closer, I'd join you in a glass.
Joe

David Baldwin
12-06-2004, 06:56 AM
Many Thanks Joe for your encouragement and guidance.

I'm surprised that the last batch I started is the first into the bottle.

My Orange/Spice is clearing but not yet ready to bottle, my "firstborn" is still slowly fermenting along.

Many thanks again to all who have contributed to my mead through your input to this excellent forum

David