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agfisher
01-30-2006, 11:40 AM
Hello all,

After a great recipe by WW and some info from Oskaar and the rest this is what I have come up with. So how does it sound? Questions, comments, criticisms?


A once over of my final recipe.

Ingredients
1 gallon Blueberry Honey.
1/2 gallon Grade B Maple Syrup.
3.5 gallons Bottled Spring Water.
5g Lalvin 71B-1122 yeast.
Go-Ferm.
5 grams Fermaid K.

Primary
Day 1
Heat water to approx. 90 degrees to help with dissolvng of honey.
Add honey and mix until dissolved.
Prepare yeast.
Add 5 grams of Fermaid and wait for 5 minutes.
Transfer one quarter of the must to the fermentation bucket.
Add yeast slurry to fermentation bucket.
Transfer remaining must.
Using diffusion stone and oxygen tank, oxygenate must.
Ferment at 70 degrees.

Preparing yeast
Heat approx 85 ml of water to 110 degrees.
Add 6.25 grams of Go-Ferm and let it sit till temperature is 104 degrees.
Add 5 grams of yeast and let sit for 15 minutes.

End of lag
Add 3 grams of DAP.

Day 2:
Oxygenate must.

Day 3:
Oxygenate must.

Day 4 plus:
Take gravity reading.
If gravity is at 1/3 depletion mark, add 5 grams of Fermaid K to fermentor.

Rack when airlock slows to about 1 blip every 15 seconds.

Secondary

Rack 1/2 of primary into secondary.
Add 1/2 gallon grade B Maple Syrup (stir well but donít aerate).
Finish transferring primary to secondary and give some gentle stirs.

Rack one more time when fermentation is complete to get must off of the lees.

Bulk age; wait as long as you dare before bottling.

WRATHWILDE
01-30-2006, 05:29 PM
Just One more Caveat... Sterilize everything that comes in contact with the mead just before use, stirrers, carboys, transfer tubes, stoppers... everything!!!

Other than that... you're Golden!!!

Wrathwilde

agfisher
01-30-2006, 05:54 PM
Just One more Caveat... Sterilize everything that comes in contact with the mead just before use, stirrers, carboys, transfer tubes, stoppers... everything!!!


It's in my DNA. I've been a brewer for 15 years. I clean and sanatize EVERYTHING!!!! I use Iodaphor. How about you?

Lugh
01-30-2006, 06:50 PM
Just checking - 71B has an alcohol tolerance of 14%. You are adding about 12 pounds of honey and 12 pounds of maple syrup (1/2 gal up frount and 1/2 gal later). Looks like a starting brix around 28, (SG 1.12) and an overall blended brix of 37 (grav 1.16) after adding the additional 1/2 gallon maple syrup. That's going to be a very sweet mead.

agfisher
01-30-2006, 09:42 PM
only one 1/2 gallon per five gallons. The ingredient list at the top is all the ingredients.

Adam

Boston, MA

Lugh
01-30-2006, 10:26 PM
Ah, I see where I erred Adam, never mind, recipes looks good. :D

WRATHWILDE
01-30-2006, 11:26 PM
Maple Syrup isn't quite as heavy as Honey, 11 pounds per gallon. Also Maple Syrup averages about 66% sugars, while honey averages 78%. Which means you are only getting about 5/6 of the sugars in the same volume (not weight) as honey. So 1 gallon of Maple Syrup equals about 10 pounds of honey. a 1/2 gallon - 5 pounds. The total sugars for Agfisher's batch is equal to 17 pounds of honey

USDA data lists the Average values for honey as follows...

Honey
38.2% Fructose
31% Glucose
17.1% Water
7.2% Maltose
4.2% Trisaccharides & other higher carbohydrates
1.5% Sucrose
.5% Minerals, Vitamins and Enzymes

The data sheet for Maple syrup I found is a bit different, values as a percentage of total solids, excluding the 33.5% water.

Maple Syrup 66.5% solids, 33.5% water

Carbohydrates percentage of total solids
Sucrose 88 - 99%
Glucose 0 - 11% (the darker the syrup the more Glucose)

Organic Acids
Malic Acid .141%
Citric Acid .015%
Succinic Acid .012%
Fumaric Acid .066%

Amino Acids ppm
Amino Nitrogens 50 - 280
Phenols 450 - 1441

Vitamins in micrograms/Liter
Niacin (PP,B1) 276
Pantothenic Acid (B5) 600
Riboflavin (B2) 60
Folic Acid, Pyridoxine (B6), Biotin, Vitamin A - Trace amounts

Minerals ppm
Potassium 1300-3900
Calcium 400-2100
Magnesium 12-360
Manganese 2-220
Sodium 0-6
Phosphorus 79-183
Iron 0-36
Zinc 0-90
Copper 0-2
Tin 0-33

Cheers,
Wrathwilde

agfisher
01-31-2006, 11:09 AM
n addition to the above recipe, I was also thinking about adding some tannin and vanilla beans (fresh).

The tannin - My idea was 1/4 tsp per gallon in the primary fermentor before I add the Fermaid K, etc. How's that sound?

The Vanilla. Not sure, I was thinking sometime during the ranking stage. Ideas? How would you prepare? Cut, scoop, and dump? or maybe the vodka extract methid? How many beans per 5 gallons?

Thanks for your time

Adam

Boston, MA

WRATHWILDE
01-31-2006, 11:23 AM
Personally I don't think the recipe needs either, you'll be surprised how good, and balanced it is already. Don't mess with the recipe as given... it's perfect as it is.

Wrathwilde

agfisher
01-31-2006, 11:25 AM
OK, i will consent to the master. :-)

Oskaar
01-31-2006, 12:30 PM
One slightly dissenting opinion here. I'd say go ahead and add the tannin to the mix. It will help with clearing, and add some middle palate structure to the mead at a young age which it will not otherwise have at the time you plan to bottle and drink it.

I seem to remember that this is the wedding mead recipe that needs to be done in a hurry right? If not disregard the above information.

If so then I do recommend the tannin up front, but at a reduced rate of about 1/3 tsp/gallon for grape tannin. If you're using tannin galalcool or tannin VR then go with 75% of the recommended dosage.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar

WRATHWILDE
01-31-2006, 01:22 PM
Agfisher,

Oskaar is the only one I'd trust to make that call for this recipe, I don't use tannins... but Oskaar has had my Acerglyn and is the absolute master meads on this forum, if he thinks it will help the recipe in your situation... I'd trust his opinion.

Wrathwilde

agfisher
01-31-2006, 02:06 PM
If so then I do recommend the tannin up front, but at a reduced rate of about 1/3 tsp/gallon for grape tannin. If you're using tannin galalcool or tannin VR then go with 75% of the recommended dosage.


Some of the sites (like morebeer) recommend some tannins at 1/4 tsp per 5 gallons. Are tannins so different that the quanities you add can vary that much?

Adam

WRATHWILDE
01-31-2006, 02:37 PM
Agfisher,

Remember, your trying to work yourself into a pretty tight time frame, Oskaar has probably cut the quantity to help the balance in such a young mead, you want the tannin to do it's thing without being too noticeable. Oskaar's family has been brewing for multiple generations, the guy has more tricks than the red light district in Amsterdam. :o ::) ;D And yes, Tannins come from a variety of different sources so expect them to require different amounts and impart their own unique qualities to the mead. Oskaar, I'm sure, has taken it all into consideration for you.

Wrathwilde

Oskaar
01-31-2006, 03:30 PM
WW has it right. The tannin sources are all different so it's necessary to factor them down a bit so as not to sully the flavor of the mead. If you had a full time frame I'd leave it alone and let it go it's natural course without the tannin because it really doesn't need the structure after it has gotten a chance to sit for a while and develop itself. In this case I recommending a reduced amount so the tannin that you will use does't stand out, rather acts as a clearing agent, and a binding agent to help integrate the flavors.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar

agfisher
01-31-2006, 03:45 PM
Very helpful, thanks. Just got my tannin. It's packaged by Crosby and Baker. The package says: Tannin, usage varies.

and thats it. The guy from the LHBS swore up and down its a 1/2 tsp per 5 gallons in a white wine. So what do you think? I trust you guys to the nth dgree. I'll try whatever you say!!!

Thanks again for dealing with my stupid questions. hopfully I'll learn enough to help someone else in the future.

Adam

Dan McFeeley
01-31-2006, 03:58 PM
Very helpful, thanks. Just got my tannin. It's packaged by Crosby and Baker. The package says: Tannin, usage varies.

and thats it. The guy from the LHBS swore up and down its a 1/2 tsp per 5 gallons in a white wine. So what do you think? I trust you guys to the nth dgree. I'll try whatever you say!!!

Thanks again for dealing with my stupid questions. hopfully I'll learn enough to help someone else in the future.

I'd say go with Oskaar's recommendations for the correct amount. Mead is mead and wine is wine, the two are different in how they respond to different additives. Oskaar is working from long experience with this.

Tannin has been used in meadmaking for quite some time, in fact, the old counry wine recipes for mead which include raisins are simply a way of introducing both nutrients and tannin into the mead. Again, Oskaar's description of the best use of tannin in meadmaking is right on target, to help clear haze, and as a binding agent to integrate the flavors. Not as a flavor itself -- that's why you have to go with reduced amounts.

Tannin in meadmaking hasn't gotten enough press -- a fair number of meadmakers use it with great success. The earliest reference I know of in the use of tannin as an additive to mead is Roger Morse's 1953 Master's thesis for the University of Cornell. He investigated its use as a clearing agent, although didn't go into the other uses that were mentioned, probably because the enological use of tannin was not well explored at that time. At that time, the US public in general was not well informed on wine, and consumption tastes were a reflection of it. Prohibition was still a strong memory for a lot of people, and the glory of California wines not even a glimmer on the horizon.

Uh oh -- I just said Oskaar's name three times (hard to avoid when he gives good advice). Hope that doesn't work like the Beetlejuice movie, but I'd better go check my meads! ;D ;D ;D

SteveT
01-31-2006, 06:00 PM
Uh oh -- I just said Oskaar's name three times (hard to avoid when he gives good advice). Hope that doesn't work like the Beetlejuice movie, but I'd better go check my meads! ;D ;D ;D



Don't let Oskaar near your meads and I think you'll be OK :-)

My experience with tannin matches yours and Oskaars -- although I typically add tannin only after I have racked 2 to 3 times, and in very small amounts. I've read posts of folks using 1 tsp tannin/gallon, that to me is an insane amount. I can taste a 1/4 tsp in a 5 gallon batch, and seldom add more than 1/2 tsp/5 gallons. It does an awesome job clearing meads, and grape tannin is the best to use (it does have a shorter shelf life). I believe Oskaar mentions using tannin earlier in the meadmaking process, that may be a worthy trial.

Steve

Oskaar
02-01-2006, 02:38 AM
Hey Agfisher,

The amount depends on the type of tannin you're going to use. Grape tannin concentration can vary so you need to adjudicate based on the recommended dosage by the manufacturer. I'd recommend going to morebeer.com and taking a look at the different tannins they offer, then deciding based on what you feel is going to be most beneficial to your batch. Take a look and decide what you think fits best. You can always call them too for some more insight on the specific tannin you're using.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar

Dan McFeeley
02-01-2006, 09:57 AM
Oskaar -- have you got this down to a more or less rough system? I'm thinking matching tannin types to type of varietal honey, or varietal honey blends. What's been your experience here?

agfisher
02-01-2006, 10:41 AM
Well I have 13.5 (Maple Syrup added later :-)) gallons in 3 buckets fermenting away at this point. I ended up using about 1 1/2 tsp of tannin per 5 gallon batch. I hope thats not too much. Thanks for all your help in figuring out the recipe :-)

Right now I'm using open fermentation. I have each of the three buckets covered with a towel with a rubber band to hold them in place. At what point to I put the lid on and add an airlock? Also, whens the best time to know that the lag phase is over?

Edit: I was also just thinking about when I took gravity readings last night. It was late so it didn't really hit me till now but I add 1 gallon of honey to 3.5 gallons of water. When I took the gravities tey ranged from about 20 to 21 or so. Doesn't that seem really low? The volume was spot on though. My graviety at this point is only 20 while I was expecting around a 26 or so. Does this seem funny to anyone else?

Adam

agfisher
02-01-2006, 03:56 PM
If so then I do recommend the tannin up front, but at a reduced rate of about 1/3 tsp/gallon for grape tannin. If you're using tannin galalcool or tannin VR then go with 75% of the recommended dosage.


No 1 and a half per 5 gallons. I was following the above advice of 1/3 per gallon. Uh-oh, did I goof up bad?

Adam

WRATHWILDE
02-01-2006, 04:02 PM
Looks like I misread Oskaar's post... You're OK.

Wrathwilde

agfisher
02-01-2006, 04:16 PM
Whew, thanks :-) Do you have any ideas about my other question in the same post? The part about the gravity. Do some honeys just have less sugar by volume or weight?

Adam

WRATHWILDE
02-01-2006, 04:27 PM
Did you adjust the reading for temperature? Just a quick look at my hydrometer, figuring 12% alcohol potential in 5 gallons, mine says you should be around 22.5.

Yes honeys can vary in their water content by a couple of percent. It looks like your in the ballpark.

Wrathwilde

Oskaar
02-01-2006, 05:34 PM
Hey Dan,

I use grape tannin or tannin VR for any pyments or dark fruit melomels. I'm now using tannin galalcool SP for traditional meads that run dry to semi-dry. I generally adjudicate how much to use based on the starting brix, and "thickness" of the must. The higher the brix of the must is, the more likely I am to go with the recommended amount, the lower the brix is, the lower the amount of the tannin I use. In some cases when coupled with oak in the primary I'll use the full dose.

I started using the tannin galalcool a few batches back and I really like it. Prior to that I used the tannin VR and wine grape tannin for about everything, but mostly in my wines. I'd used them at the end of fermentation and aging in my meads, but it was Joe Mattioli and Chuck Wettergreen's posts that got me interested in using it up front. I generally made my wine additions up front in my white wines, but was treating mead differently because of the way I made it. Now I do make the tannin additions up front.

When I blend honeys for traditional sweet meads I use about 50 - 75% of the recommended dosage of tannin galalcool SP and find that it helps the structure and in clearing a bit faster. But I say this as I stare at two fully-dosed dry meads that are about 4 months old and are just now acting like they want to clear. Then I have another dry one that is only two months old, with a full dose of the galacool SP, and it is about cleared at this point.

To me it really depends on your ingredients and what you're shooting for as far as middle palate structure, aroma, color and oak balance that drives what kind and amount of tannin you use, if any at all. I also think that wine grape tannin lends to clearing more than other types of tannin. That's not based on any empirical evidence other than experience.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar

agfisher
02-17-2006, 01:06 AM
Well I racked this mead tonight and added the maple syrup. I was pretty much all fermented out. The gravity was at around 0.997 and it was dry but tasted great. So far I'm very happy even though it is only 17 days old. Thanks again for all your help.

Any idea how long I should keep it in the carboy before its final racking for aging?


Adam
Boston, MA.

SteveT
02-17-2006, 07:14 AM
Two months at a minimum... it also gives you a chance to see if it is completely finished.

Steve

WRATHWILDE
07-27-2006, 02:46 PM
Hey Agfisher, how about an update on this batch?

Wrathwilde