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Thread: Racking?

  1. Default Racking?

    This is my first brew and I found a recipe for a mead that should only take a month

    Syr Michael of York Mead

    Ingredients

    1 Gallon Water 2 1/2 lbs Honey
    1 Lemon 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
    1 pkg Ale or Champagne yeast
    Syr Michael of York, raised in the East Kingdom, wrote the original article in the Knowne World Handbook on brewing. He has won East Kingdom brewing competitons several times with this recipe.

    Boil the water and honey. Add the juice of the lemon and the nutmeg. Boil, skimming the foam that rises to the surface, until it stops foaming. Let cool to blood temperature, actually under 90 degrees F, then pitch the yeast.

    Let it work two weeks, bottle it and let it age two weeks.


    I used D-47 wine yeast instead of the suggested Ale or champagne yeast. It's been just over 2 weeks and I am preparing to bottle it but the fermentation is still fairly strong. Should I follow the recipe and bottle it or wait for the fermentation to finish/slow down? I'm afraid of creating bottle bombs if I move it now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    535

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    No. FYI don't boil the water as it blows off O2 the yeast needs.
    Don't boil the honey as it blows off aromatics. Warming water only is adequate.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Brookline, NH
    Posts
    222

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    I tried to find when "Knowne World Handbook on brewing" was first written, but the best I can tell is that it's at least 21 years old. Quite a lot of changes in the mead making world in the past couple of years, let alone 21 (or more). If you plan on making more mead, you should do a LOT more research. Read the NewBee Guide (above) and check out the 9 week Meadology course on youtube. You'll find that a lot of the principals used by beer brewer don't make sense when making mead.

    In my research, I found your recipe all over the internet. And the last sentence was always to make sure you refrigerate after bottling.

    Wait until it stops fermenting, and then you may want to wait for a week or so after that, before bottling.

    After bottling, you may want it to age longer than two weeks. Mead should get better the longer it ages.

  4. #4

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    I would say wait many weeks or more to see no change has happened. You hear all the time of things staring back up fermenting after bulk agening for many months for no reason at all. I personally always stabilize to be sure. Stabilizing will also make your stuff age better in the bottle later on.

    You most like will make bottle bombs. What would you want to bottle something before it's clear anyway?

    Even if you want it to carbonate you still can rack it after almost all of the particulates have settled. Then add some honey to start back up fermentaion in your bottles. Keep those in the fridge or know for sure how much honey to use
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  5. #5

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    Matt, there are so many things wrong with this "recipe" and your plan its hard to decide where to begin. I dont mean to be overly critical but if you want to make good mead that you and others can enjoy then please take the advise from caduseus, darigoni, and squatchy very seriously. They've pointed you towards the references that will elaborate on the many flaws in this plan: acid addition up front, arbitrary yeast selection, no mention of temperature control, dry yeast pitching, no yeast nutrient, and premature bottling.

    I want you to enjoy your mead, but you will likely need a few course corrections to do so, especially if you intend to enjoy it within one month which is VERY hard to do.

    Jeff

  6. #6

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    Jeff I totally corect. With modern science we can make very good meads in short order that just get better with time. But there are a few pieces you need to employ all in the same batch to make it work. You can do all but one and have problems. I can't tell yo uwhich one. Because what I am saying. Is if you leave out any of "the one" you will suffer.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  7. #7

    Default

    I am also uber new to mead making, but one thing I've found already is that if a modern recipe calls for a certain type of yeast, you should use that type the first time you make it, different types of yeast behave differently and like different environments.
    I have a batch going now close to your recipe, D47 yeast, but I didn't boil and I have add nutrients, that has been bubbling away for over 3 weeks. Another batch I started at the same time using the same recipe but with an ale yeast, Wyeast 1388, already has been racked over.
    Light Fuse; Get Away

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drewed View Post
    I am also uber new to mead making, but one thing I've found already is that if a modern recipe calls for a certain type of yeast, you should use that type the first time you make it, different types of yeast behave differently and like different environments.
    I have a batch going now close to your recipe, D47 yeast, but I didn't boil and I have add nutrients, that has been bubbling away for over 3 weeks. Another batch I started at the same time using the same recipe but with an ale yeast, Wyeast 1388, already has been racked over.
    Almost all ale yeast drop out right away. They have been trained to do that for their entire life (so to speak). You can stabilize cold crash and fine all at the same time, and your yeast will drop out as soon as your ferment is over, if you do this.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 1996
    Location
    Youngsville, NC
    Posts
    1,602

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    Matt,

    I've been SCA for many years, done living history (and a lot of research), and done a ton of brewing demo's for those events, and I can say that more often than not, anything you find in a 'Known Worlde' or other similar doc will most likely not make a good mead. I've judged my share of SCA brewing events, (and I have been judging mead in BJCP competitions around the country for over 15 years now), and nearly all the 'period' mead I've had was at best, mediocre, and most often, just nasty.

    Check out the recipes posted here, read the NewBee Guide, and read 'The Compleat Meadmaker' by Ken Schramm, and 'The Complete Guide to Making Mead' by Steve Piatz, they will give you excellent tools to create reliable recipes, and create excellent mead.

    The advice you've gotten here in this thread has been excellent, and I'd recommend following it.

    Generally:
    - don't boil your honey, just warm it enough to liquify it, and ideally, don't even warm it, just stir it well when you pitch - it will lose all the really good aromatics
    - use a yeast that is appropriate for the type of mead you're making
    - rehydrate and proof your yeast with a honey water and nutrients mix
    - read meadmaderight.com and learn about TOSNA
    - feed your mead - mead needs nutrients, and should be fed at minimum at the first break (when it foams), at the 1/3 and 2/3 mark between where you start and the expected finish for your batch on the hydrometer
    - TAKE GOOD NOTES - if it goes well, you want to be able to repeat it, if it goes poorly, we can't help fix it without notes
    - if a recipe you use has been done before, and turned out well, DON'T CHANGE IT - make it the way it works first, to make sure you can get it to turn out, before changing things

    I hope this helps, and the gang here is awesome at helping folks figure out how to make great mead, so use that talent, they're great folks!
    Wassail!

    Vicky Rowe
    Owner & Webmistress, Gotmead.com
    Executive Director, American Mead Makers Association
    http://www.mead-makers.org
    Making Mead since 1995

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