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Thread: New Homebrewer getting ready for the first attempt!

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by caduseus View Post
    Always better to add more honey later than have too much ok hand later. If you make a dessert level of sweetness, you won't be able to tolerate more than a glass at sitting as it will be cloying sweet
    Just an FYI. My preferred wines are Ice Wine, Moscato, Moscatel, Late Harvest Riesling.

    -Greg

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by caduseus View Post
    Actually the beginnings of osmotic stress start st 1.1 and most can't handle even above 1.15.
    You can always start at 1.1 and add more honey when the yeast have eaten half the honey sugar. This gets you what you want with less stress for the yeast. (Keep in mind this SG when down to 1.000 gets you 13%abv).
    Also you can stabilize your mead and THEN back-sweeten to get your personal preferred level of sweetness.

    The advantage of fermenting to dry AND THEN sweeten to preference is that you don't have to worry about continued fermentation if it has been stabilized from cold crash and sorbate combination.

    Another approach is to ferment to dry.... add honey to preferred sweetness....ferment to dry, etc.
    This allows you to ferment to dry, no sulfates needed and the yeast ferment until all are dead from either exhaustion or too high an ABV
    The Staggered feeding sounds really interesting. If I have a starting gravity of 1.129, do you think this will still apply? Trying to get to an FG of 1.025.

    -Greg

  3. #23

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    It will always apply, without exception.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squatchy View Post
    It will always apply, without exception.
    So, never start with a gravity of 1.100 unless you want to stress the yeast. What happens when you stress the yeast, say starting with 1.129?

    -Greg

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregma View Post
    So, never start with a gravity of 1.100 unless you want to stress the yeast. What happens when you stress the yeast, say starting with 1.129?

    -Greg
    The higher you go above 1.1 the more the yeast experience osmotic stress. This leads to yeast stress (one of many possible causes).
    Anything that stresses yeast leads to more off flavors and what is called fusels. Fusels are other types of alcohol other than ethanol (traditionally what we think of as alcohol). These leave a "hot" or "off" taste. These will go away with time but the more fusels created, the longer the mead "has to age out" these off flavors.

    Translation: less yeast stress= less fusels= the sooner your mead will be drinkable.

    Some compensate by making their mead VERY sweet (SG >>1.025 even has high as 1.08 ).
    Not what I would recommend. I think it is better to just baby the hell out of the yeast and then only make sweet enough for your personal preference than dessert sweet.

  6. #26

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    It depends on the yeast too. some yeast resist better than others osmotic stress, You can start at even 1.17 and some yeasts, if properly rehidrated will ferment it anyway. But 71B is probably a softer yeast (the opposite would probably be EC-1118 ) so osmotic stress will give you more off flavours. Start at 1.12 max. That is how it has been done for a long time and if properly rehidrated ithe yeast will do fine. You can start lower but 1.12 has been done with 71B and it seems to go OK

  7. #27

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    Sounds good, thank you all! I think I'll start with 3 pounds of honey, which should give me an SG of 1.108. Then add more at the 50% mark? How do I know that I'm at 50% of consumed sugar?

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregma View Post
    Sounds good, thank you all! I think I'll start with 3 pounds of honey, which should give me an SG of 1.108. Then add more at the 50% mark? How do I know that I'm at 50% of consumed sugar?
    With SG readings. In general it is good practice to do gravity readings at least every other day until fermentation is finished. Many experienced mead makers do daily readings.

    If you want higher than 13%abv then add halfwAy.
    But if you are happy with 13%:
    You can just ferment to dry-> stabilize-> back sweeten to desired sweetness.

  9. #29

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    Aha! So, the 50% mark would be 1.054 (half of the SG of 1.10.

    -Greg

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by zpeckler View Post
    If you're going to use sorbate you stabilize it's mandatory that you use sulfites. If you add sorbate and the mead undergoes malolactic fermentation the sorbate breaks down into a compound that tastes like geraniums and doesn't age out. You need to add sulfites along with the state to prevent the malolactic fermentation.
    Well crap!
    Light Fuse; Get Away

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