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sickpuppy
03-30-2006, 02:57 PM
This is the recipe that pertains to the questions I am asking: http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=103&topic=3623.0
(http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=103&topic=3623.0)
I have started a 2 gal. Batch of Strawberry Melomel and was wondering if I came close on the Acid Blend since I did not have a way to test the acid content of the must and the recipe I am using did not say how much?

Also when I add the yeast should I add yeast nutrient (fermax)? And final question for now, should I stir the must after adding the yeast?

Thanks in advance,
Dan

kace069
03-30-2006, 05:33 PM
Well most here add there acids post fermentation, When I first started I added acids because thats what the books said, but they were wrong. You should add acid at post fermentation to taste.
As for nutirent, yes you should add the nutrient when you make your must, which usually means immediatley after you add your yeast. But with the addition of strawberries you can probably get away with no nutrients. My only concern is that you added campden tablets and yeast at the same time?? You don't really need to stir, the yeast will find there way to the fermentables.

sickpuppy
03-30-2006, 06:02 PM
Kace069,

Thanks for the help.

I have not added the yeast yet. Per the recipe I add the pectic enzyme tomorrow, 3/31/06 and then on the day after that I will be adding the yeast.

I have added the acid blend already so I am stuck with that. I will know better next time.

Thanks again,
Dan

Oskaar
03-30-2006, 06:02 PM
Hiya Dan and Kace,

I have a slightly different take on acid and nutrient.

I generally don't add any acid. Mead generally does not need acid up front, or in my experience at the end. There are times that you want to balance the sweet meads out a bit, but those are pretty far and few between in my eyes.

I add my nutrient into the must too, but before I inoculate must with the yeast. Reason is, I want the nutrients in there for the yeasties so they can immediately begin nutrient uptake. I also suppliment the fermentation with nutrient at various stages. I like the fermentation kinetics I get when I dose with nutrients and aerate.

When you use Campden tablets (you might consider switching to a K-metabisulfite powder that you mix into water instead) you'll definately need to wait 24 hours before you pitch your mead, otherwise it wil not only kill off all the spoilage organisms, but your yeasties as well.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar

sickpuppy
03-30-2006, 06:14 PM
Oskaar,

I have added the acid blend already so I am stuck with that. Next time, no acid.

As far as the nutrient, should I add it tomorrow when I add the pectic enzyme or wait and add the next day just before adding the yeast.

I was following the recipe and then had these questions. Glad I asked. But it seems that one question leeds to another.

Thanks for any help,
Dan

kace069
03-30-2006, 07:05 PM
Dan ,so I was just wondering how long ago did you make this must, and how long between making your must and the time that you pitch your yeast?

Oskaar. I add my nutrient and dissolve it and then pitch, is this about how you do it? I have read about adding nutrients later during fermentation on other forums but nothing here, is this another one of your practices?

sickpuppy
03-30-2006, 07:21 PM
Kace,

I just made the must this morning and per the recipe that I am using (from the Gotmead recipe file) tomorrow I add pectic enzyme and then on the following day, saturday 4/01/06, I pitch the yeast. Not sure why the delay between starting must and adding pectic enzyme and then yeast, but that was the recipe.

Thanks again,
Dan

kace069
03-30-2006, 07:46 PM
I would add yeast tommorow and the pectic enzyme. That is if you had added all the campden tabs. I don't put any campden tablets in my must and I only add fruit to my secondary now, primary fermentation will take a lot of berry flavor and aroma out, but it will give you mnice color and fermentation.

sickpuppy
03-30-2006, 07:56 PM
Kace069,

Since I already have strawberries in primary, could I also add some at the secondary. Would that be to much fruit. I am going to add the yeast tomorrow after the pectic enzyme.

Boy, I have lots to learn, but thanks to all the good folks on the forum, I think I may end up turning out some drinkable mead.

Thanks,
Dan

kace069
03-30-2006, 08:17 PM
No adding more fruit will be fine, but it will raise the alcohol a bit. This is exactly the strategy I plan on using this summer for my melomels, add some fruit at the beginning of the fermentation and then add the bulk of the fruit in the secondary.

Oskaar
03-30-2006, 09:49 PM
Hi Guys!

Ok Dan, lemme ask you this; Did you heat or boil the must in any way? If not, skip the pectic enzyme as it will not really help you. Generally pectinase (pectic enzyme) is used when you heat the must with the fruit in it. If you have not done so then the pectin has not been set by heat, and therefore does not need pectinase added. You can also leave your fruit in the primary and even add some to lock in the flavor. When I add fruit to the primary I use up to 4.5 lbs of fruit per gallon of must, depending on the fruit. You can balance that by adding about 2 - 2.5 lbs of fruit/gallon in the primary, and then supplementing with another 1.5 - 2 lbs of fruit/gallon in the secondary. Or you can just add it all to the secondary. Fermented fruit/juice has a different flavor than unfermented fruit additions in the secondary. The secondary addition will maintain a "fresher" fruit flavor, but the primary fermenation with fruit added will really give your mead some depth and complexity.

I notice in your recipe that you're using Premier Cuvee yeast. If you want this to be a sweet mead, you'll need to add more honey to bring up the gravity. Premier Cuvee will take that current recipe dry since your gravity is about 1.11 or so. If you do want sweeter mead you can add another two pounds of honey to the must and that will give you a PABV of about 20%, and the Premier Cuvee will knock itself out at about 18% and leave you some residual sugar. Now's the time to make that decision, before you add the yeast.

Kace, I do use timed nutrient doses when I make mead in many of my batches. There are some that I do not use any nutrient, and others that I use nutrient in the must only. Generally when I'm making a traditional sweet mead I add DAP in the must up front, and dose with DAP at the end of the lag phase. I also rehydrate my yeasties with Go-Ferm before I pitch. When I use a yeast that is nutrient hungry (EC-1118, D47, R2, CY3079, etc.) I will also add Fermaid K or Fermaid 2133 at the 1/3 sugar break and 2/3 sugar break if the yeast calls for it. Adding nutrient in timed additions give a consistant supply of FAN (Free Amino Nitrogen) for the yeast to assimilate and helps to ensure a healthy and strong fermentation with minimum yeast stress so as not to produce off-flavors. I also recommend aerating the must a couple of times daily, and swirling the container throughout the fermentation to keep the yeast in suspension. Consider oxygen another nutrient during the first few days of fermentation, young yeast in the aerobic fermentation stage need access to oxygen to grow up heathy. You can also add yeast hulls if your must is highly clarified because yeasties like a turbid environment. Adding yeast hulls is beneficial because it will increase the surface area for the yeast to contact and stay suspended in the must, and help to ensure your yeasties are strong and healthy. Yeast hulls also contain lipids which are beneficial to the growth of your up and comming yeast cells in the must.

I highly recommend that you read all of the articles you can find at the link below for some more excellent information:

http://consumer.lallemand.com/danstar-lalvin/lalvin.html

Hope that helps,

Oskaar

sickpuppy
03-30-2006, 11:42 PM
Oskaar,
I did not boil the fruit with the honey, but after boiling the honey in water, it was poured over the fruit while pretty hot. The fruit had been frozen and was still cold when the hot honey water was poured over it. Would you still skip the pectic enzyme.

Also I was planning to use Premier Cuvee yeast but would it be better to use K1V-1116 instead (the only two types I have on hand and there are no local brew stores here). If not, I will add more honey in primary and will add more strawberries in the secondary.

I really appreciate your knowledge and help. Thanks again.
Dan

Oskaar
03-30-2006, 11:58 PM
Well,

Then I'd say to use the pectin, but go ahead and add it in since your must is cool. Mix about a little less than a teaspoon into about 100 ml of bottled water and add to your must.

I'd recommend the K1-V1116. It has less nutrient needs, will not produce H2S or SO2 to the levels that the Premier Cuvee will, and is very respectful of your honey and fruit flavors, whereas the Premier Cuvee tends to impart a more bitter and yeasty character that takes time to age out. The Premier Cuvee is a champagne yeast that is designed to give a more astringent, yeasty and pungent character during the fermentation.

If you do go with either, and you want a sweeter mead, you will definately need to add more honey as described below.

Cheers,

Oskaar

sickpuppy
03-31-2006, 10:26 AM
Oskaar,

So much to learn! But, I hope, with time and the help of knowledgeable people like you on Gotmead, that I will be able to brew some delicious mead.

Today I have added the pectic enzyme dissolved in 100ml of bottled water, and 2 tsp. Fermax. I also added 2 pound more honey. After getting all that mixed in the primary, I disolved the K1V-1116 in 50ml of warm water and have pitched it. Now with fingers crossed I wait.

Thanks again,
Dan