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Thread: Honey to water ratio.

  1. #1

    Default Honey to water ratio.

    Having had only one brand/type of Mead I don't know all that much, but I tried is what is what I would like to try and make myself. So for those that have had the traditional honey wine from Redstone what would be the ratio of honey to water per gallon? Is it 3 pounds honey to one gallon? Or is it more? My wife and I both are in agreeance on the sweetness being just right with that mead. Anyone have an idea?

  2. #2
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    Trying to guess your flavor/sweetness is not an easy thing. So many different meads and so little time.........
    Redstone is typically 12-14 percent and the SG is aropund 1.015-1.020. Depending on what your looking for, my yeast to get this value, would be 71b or a strong ale yeast.

    Have you read the Newbee guide? If not, do so, if yes then try a batch with 1/3 honey and 2/3 water. Your Starting gravity should be around 1.140-1.150. Throw some bread yeast in and let it go for 3 months. Let it clear and TADA! sweet mead.

    Now of course there are cleaning issues. This is not a recipe, just and idea for you to try.
    If I was a mead what flavor would I be?

  3. #3
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    Why on earth would anyone tell someone to use bread yeast in this day and age. With an OG of 1.14, a California Ale yeast will give a sweet mead without adding a lot of ale flavors, that's WL001, Wyeast 1056 or Saflale 005 (I think, not a dry ale yeast fan). But this would likely be sweeter than you want.
    Quality ingrediants yield quality meads, perhaps one of the biggest rules in mead making.

  4. #4
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    Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think Redstone uses Montrachet yeast which typically goes to about 13% ABV.

    If you want to know for sure how much honey to add, take a bottle of the Restone mead and measure the gravity. That is where you want to end. For 1.015 you would then add honey to your mix to get the gravity up to about 1.115, and it should finish close to 1.015. That would typically be close to about 3.25 pounds of honey per gallon of mead. Since honey can vary quite a bit, it is probably a good idea to use the hydrometer to guide you or else you could be quite a bit higher or lower than 1.115.

    Of course, there is another way to do it to get the exact level of sweetness you want. You ferment a batch completely dry, then stabilizing by adding potassium metabisulfite and potassium sorbate. This will then allow you to add honey without it being fermented by the yeast and you can add it a little at the time to get the sweetness exactly where you prefer it. I happen to favor this approach as it gives you more control over the final result.

    In this case, I would probably add a bit less than three pounds per gallon shooting for a gravity of 1.095-1.100. You can use the Montrachet yeast although if can produce some off flavors if it get too warm or is undernourished. There are many other yeast that work well, and which may be less finicky, but I believe that Redstone uses Montrachet and if you want to get that exact flavor, it may be the one to use.

    You may want to spend some time looking at the mead NewBee Guide. It will give you a lot of information to help you get what you are looking for.

    I hope that helps.

    Medsen
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  5. #5
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    Bread yeast is easy to come by and is another full proof yeast to brew with. JAO , have you brewed it, it is one example of how a great recipe is brewed, using cheap products. Why would you force other yeasts that require maintenance to new brewers when there are yeasts the require none. When I was new, bread yeast was the bomb. Pitch it and forget about it. Works on its own. Baby step dont take leaps, thats my way.
    Last edited by Yo momma; 07-30-2009 at 06:56 PM.
    If I was a mead what flavor would I be?

  6. #6
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    30 years ago, bread yeast was one of the few out there. It leaves a yeasty taste, hence all the fruit and spice in JOA. It doesn't need the help you speak of because of the over pitching. I have noticed that none of the recipes the advanced mazers post use bread yeast because better options exists. So why start new, inexperienced mazers out with sub par ingrediants? Good yeasts are easy to get now. Top notch ingrediants are more important than a proscess, look at what won the Mazers Cup.

  7. #7

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    Having used Montrachet yeast before in an Apfelwein that I made I am fine using this yeast. I am not a total brewing novice just nothing with with mead. I could detect some of the flavor in the Redstone that was similar to my Apfelwein but I don't find the flavor "off". I actually do intend to use Montrachet unless there is a yeast that will produce a good mead faster. Like maybe in 6 months. Then again I am prepared to wait longer. I have heard montrachet takes longer to age.

  8. #8
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    I had an oppertunity to talk to the Redstone Mazer earlier this year. He told me that when his meads hit the gravity (sweetness level) he wanted, he cold crashes to de-activate the yeast then sorbates, lets it clear and bottles. Something to try?

  9. #9

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    Thank you to all for your help so far. Do most of still just let your Mead ferment to where it wants? Or do you cold crash? I don't even have the means to ferment right now, both of carboys cracked in almost the same way. I can't cold crash either. Thanks again.

  10. #10
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    I think you'll find most folk use the stabilize and backsweeten approach. Cold crashing works but you have to have fridge space and I do it sometimes. Sterile filtration works but needs the equipment. Brewing to try to have the yeast leave you with residual sugar is commonly done, but it is easy to end up with more alcohol than you wanted.

    Other techniques such as pasteurization are possible but rarely used.
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  11. #11
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    Well my vote is to follow Medsens suggestions i.e. make a batch that will get you somewhere between 12 and 14 % and then use sorbate to prevent any refermentation and back sweeten to your taste.

    It's unlikely that you'll be able to replicate the redstone stuff any time soon.

    I'd suggest that you just go for something like 3 to 3 1/2 lb in the gallon, using good quality honey, decent yeast and nutrients, then ferment it dry, sorbate it and then experiment with it by adding additional honey (same as in the original ferment), but add it a couple of ounces at a time and keep tasting/testing to work out the required level of sweetness.

    Plus, document, document, document..... so you can replicate further...

    regards

    fatbloke
    here's me home brewing blog (if anyones interested....)
    and don't forget
    What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away! Tom Waits.....

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