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Thread: Better Late Than Never, I Guess :)

  1. Default Better Late Than Never, I Guess :)

    I've been working on a recipe, and now after two years of work and life getting in the way, I've grasped my breath, girded my loins and plunged into the breech.

    By far the most expensive thing I'm going to have brewed, I thought I'd drop by put my recipe up and get some final thoughts before I get to work.

    I've seen many people making attempts around the story of the Mead of Poetry from the Norse Poetic Eda's

    I call it: Óğrerir




    Óğrerir

    Sweet Mead (24 C)



    Type: Extract
    Batch Size: 5.00 gal
    Boil Size: 4.93 gal
    Boil Time: 60 min
    End of Boil Vol: 4.43 gal
    Final Bottling Vol: 5.50 gal
    Fermentation: Mead Aging


    Date: 06 Jun 2017
    Brewer: Tom
    Asst Brewer:
    Equipment: Tucks Brewery
    Efficiency: 72.00 %
    Est Mash Efficiency: 0.0 %
    Taste Rating: TBD



    Ingredients

    Amt Name Type
    5.00 gal Filtered Water Water
    25 lbs Honey (1.0 SRM) Sugar
    2.50 oz Yarrow Petals (Boil 20.0 mins) Herb
    0.50 oz Myrica (sweet) Gale (Boil 10.0 mins) Herb
    2.0 pkg Sweet Mead/Wine (White Labs #WLP720) [35.49 ml] Yeast
    2.50 oz Yarrow Petals (Primary 3.0 weeks) Herb
    7.00 lb Lingonberry (Secondary 12.0 weeks) Flavor
    1.00 Item Yellow Birch Honeycomb barrel alternative (Secondary 6.0 weeks) Flavor


    Gravity, Alcohol Content and Color

    Est Original Gravity: 1.164 SG
    Est Final Gravity: 0.962 SG
    Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 27.6 %
    Bitterness: 0.0 IBUs
    Est Color: 4.4 SRM


    Mash Profile


    Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out
    Sparge Water: 0 gal
    Sparge Temperature: FALSE
    Adjust Temp for Equipment: False
    Est Mash PH: 5.71
    Measured Mash PH: 5.20


    Total Fermentable Weight: 25 lbs



    Carbonation and Storage

    Carbonation Type: Bottle
    Pressure/Weight: 0 oz
    Keg/Bottling Temperature: 70.0 F
    Fermentation: Mead Aging
    Fermenter: Carboy


    Volumes of CO2: 0.0
    Carbonation Est: None
    Carbonation (from Meas Vol): None
    Age for: 90.00 days
    Storage Temperature: 65.0 F


    Well, what is everyone's thoughts?

  2. #2
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    First off. Welcome to gotmead!

    Ahhh, please read the NewBee guide at the top of the webpage.

    Due to your format, I'm guessing you're a beer brewer?

    1. Boiling is not suggested, as it will boil off flavors and aromas of the honey. Heat the water to 130F or less and then mix in your honey.

    2. You're starting off with WAY to much honey. Using the gotmead batch calculator you're going to end up with a
    OG = 1.18. This is so high that your yeast will go into shock and fermentation will never kick off.

    3. Even if fermentation were to start, the yeast you are planning on using has an Alcohol Tolerance of 10 to 15%, which means it will die off way before you get down to 1.00. Which means it will end up WAY to sweet.

    So, don't boil. Use about 15 Lbs of Honey. Read about nutrients and SNA (staggered nutrient additions). Read the NewBee guide. Check out the Meadology series in youtube. Come back with an updated recipe.

    dave
    Last edited by darigoni; 06-19-2017 at 01:52 PM.

  3. #3
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    Is this your first mead?

    WAY too much honey as darigoni said. Do everything he says. Especially the no boil and the reading of the noob guide.

    Your recipe reminds me of my first mead attempt! As a long time beer brewer I was all ready with my mash tun and a nice long boil. Luckily, I found this place and was rapidly schooled and as a result saved a LOT of money. I don't see any barley in that recipe so I don't see any need for boiling.

    If this is indeed your first mead, may I suggest trying a simpler recipe first like the BOMM? and one gallon rather than 5. The honey you don't use won't go bad.

    WELCOME! We are here to help!

    I ask if it's your first attempt because, just like my first mead, it's very ambitious.

  4. #4
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    Welcome Tom!

    So your recipe display is kinda bad. I see you come from beer brewing but your recipe does not help at all really. Probably made with a beer calculator. Get rid of it for meadmaking
    What dagorini and mannye said is accurate but more can be added

    In mead efficiency is usually 100%
    It is too much honey to add from the start but if you want a sweet mead you can use as much, but you cant dump it all in one go. YOu need to start at 1.120 max, then add the rest of the honey after two or three days.
    I dont think your yeast pick is the best here. If you already have it you might use it but i think you'd go much better with a mead dry yeast such as K1V, D47 or others.
    When making a recipe tell us what type of honey you will use.
    If it was me i would not add any herbs or spices in primary. If you want to add them in primary nontheless, consider doing a strong tea then adding that to the mead before pitching, but secondary is better because you can taste and see if the flavour is too overpowering or needs more spice. Easier to tweak.
    The bottling and storage temps are not as important as fermentation temperature. That is a key factor. We tend to go low, to 15ºC, max 20ºC usually.
    Measure your pH. IT should be 3-4 during the ferment., If it goes lower than 3 you have a problem and need to buffer.
    Nutrients. NUTRIENTS. You are not using nutrients. No nutrients = crap mead that needs to be aged forever. You need to get Fermaid O (preferably), or Fermaid K (second best). IF you are in europe there are other brands avaliable if you dont find those. Honey has nearly no nitrogen/YAN compared to malt or grapes so you need to provide it.
    If you want a sweet mead and you push the yeast to its ABV tolerance limit expect long ageing (6-12 months if done right). You can also stabilize to get sweet mead (get dry mead, kill yeast with sulphites, add honey that wont ferment)

    In all honesty i think this recipe is not gonna go so well. Thats just it. Too complicated for a first time. I recommend you store it, learn by makign easier stuff and try in 6 months. I'd go for a dry traditional with some good raw/strained honey that you like. Easier stuff wont have to aged too long and you can enjoy them sooner.

    There is other stuff that needs to be mentioned for a recipe that you dont such as rehydration (goferm?) SNA (staggered nutrients additions, we dont add all the nutrients at once, but in two or more additions), aereation (for the first 2-3 days because in case this was not clear, a starter in mead is usually not needed. That is why we aereate early on. And mead barely oxidizes comapred to wine/beer so no problems there), degassing (until the ferment is over), and rousing the lees (daily stirring/shaking after the ferment is done to keep the yeast in suspension).
    Also please for good mead you need good honey (strained works best) and i know its already said but DONT BOIL IT. Boiling honey destroys its original flavour leaving only the sugar mix, and you lose a lot/all of the honey properties. No heating over 104 farenheit, and even better, no heating at all. Do some heavy stirring to dissolve and that's that.
    Lastly, 90 days of ageing is short ageing. Mead usually needs more (and newbee mead specially, we all make mistakes early on, until we learn the process. The better the process of fermentation the less you'll need to age)

    So i hope have not scared you with my honesty. This is a lot to take in, i know. But go, read it a couple times and focus on getting some nutrients (and a different yeast if you still have not bought it, most manufacturers tell you what strains are best for mead, but you can ask) and decide if you really want to go ahead with this recipe or go with something easier. As said you need to read the newbee guide. After that, search for the terms i gave you, and ask us any questions that you cant answer by looking in the forums (the search tool is quite good). And tell us what brand of nutrient you buy. Also most of what i posted here applies to this recipe you want to do, but also to any mead you make. You still need nutrients, aereation, etc. Your recipe is not that bad except the format, and you already have experience fermenting. Many people do worse in their first try (i did and here we are ). Most of the things i pointed out are very common. Hope you still want to give mead a go!
    Last edited by Dadux; 06-19-2017 at 04:14 PM.

  5. #5

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    Welcome to our community Truck

    I looked back at the other threads you have posted here before. You were given good advice on them as well but you don't seem to embraced any of that rhetoric when you started this thread. I hope your not "that guy" who asks for help and then disregards the advice you were given by others with more experience than you have.

    These guys are correct in what they say and are only saying it because we don't want you to make bad mistakes and make a bad finished product. With that said. While you are getting your feet wet as was suggested above (best advice) you can also make a small batch of mead with your desired yeast. (BTW, 2 vials of that yeast for your original intended batch size is way under pitching. And has a very bad history of stalling.) But, like above said, I would suggest to just make a gallon of traditional and once it clears add your adjuncts and let them soak for a while. This way you can run a test batch to see if you have your adjunct fractions how you want it. I would even make a tea with just the adjuncts alone to see if you like it as it stands alone. Then if you like that add it to the finished mead to see how to blend it.

    Mead isn't hard to make at all but it requires several pieces working together in unison for it to turn out descent. Miss any one of the foundational pieces and you will suffer. Stick around here and read and ask questions as this is the best mead forum in the world.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  6. Default

    Wow, thanks for all the responses.

    I figure I should answer a few questions

    Yes, I'm a homebrewer, I have made a few meads before though. 3 to be exact. All basic straight forward Water, Honey Yeast. All of them have made me and a horde of others very happy.

    I used Beersmith to formulate it. Mostly because its a good place to store details and method.

    The honey I plan to use is local raw un-everything honey. The guy I'm getting them from has his own apiaries, and is part of a group of local bee keepers.

    Every high gravity brew I've made, including the previous meads have aged at a minimum of 6 months. I learned that early on. In fact, I have a couple bottles of my last mead, that was made over a year ago. I was anticipating at least a year on this one.

    Nutrients: I was thinking of grabbing some bread yeast, and pitching it in 100C water, then using that. Forgive if I sound pretentious, but I'd like to try to make this as close to the way things were done in days of yore, as I can.

    I also have a 0.5 micron SS oxygen diffuser. (So much for doing things the way they did back then.....lol)

    Regarding the amount of honey: I wanted to produce an ABV in excess of 15%. I didn't realize that mead efficiency is at 100%. I guess in retrospect it makes perfect sense. So I am pleased to turn down the volume on that.

    Same with boiling.

    I had considered making an unfermented pico batch (16oz or something), but then I didn't know how to scale it appropriately.....I will look at it again to be sure.

    I haven't purchased the yeast yet, so changing gears here will be no problem.

    Again, thanks for the input. Admittedly, it was a little tough to swallow at first. One creates this recipe from an idea, and one is very chuffed with oneself, only to find out that one has been more delusional than anything else. But ultimately I want it to be successful. So I'm all ears.

    I must have missed this earlier:

    I looked back at the other threads you have posted here before. You were given good advice on them as well but you don't seem to embraced any of that rhetoric when you started this thread. I hope your not "that guy" who asks for help and then disregards the advice you were given by others with more experience than you have.
    Believe it or not, there are others who are just as well versed in methodology as anyone on here, and many of these folks hold contradictory positions. Things like boiling, and adjunct additions etc.

    This is true with almost anything in life. I weld. When I was learning, I had a bunch of skilled welders giving me contradictory advice.
    I found that some of these guys, were so convinced in the superiority of their abilities, that they lived under the delusion that their way was the 'right' way, and anyone who did not take their advice immediately and at face value was 'that kind of guy'.

    The reality with welding, is that absolute fundamentals aside, it came down to what worked best for me. Borrowing a little from here, and there, until I had my own technique. At the end of the day, as long as the weld held and passed muster, that's all that mattered.

    Passive aggressive statements like the above serve no purpose other than to close minds and make people resist instruction, and communicate elitism. Nothing I have said, in this post or the last justifies this attitude. Nothing.

    Frankly I am disappointed by it.
    Last edited by Tuck; 06-19-2017 at 06:55 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuck View Post
    Wow, thanks for all the responses.

    I figure I should answer a few questions

    Yes, I'm a homebrewer, I have made a few meads before though. 3 to be exact. All basic straight forward Water, Honey Yeast. All of them have made me and a horde of others very happy.

    I used Beersmith to formulate it. Mostly because its a good place to store details and method.

    The honey I plan to use is local raw un-everything honey. The guy I'm getting them from has his own apiaries, and is part of a group of local bee keepers.

    Every high gravity brew I've made, including the previous meads have aged at a minimum of 6 months. I learned that early on. In fact, I have a couple bottles of my last mead, that was made over a year ago. I was anticipating at least a year on this one.

    Nutrients: I was thinking of grabbing some bread yeast, and pitching it in 100C water, then using that. Forgive if I sound pretentious, but I'd like to try to make this as close to the way things were done in days of yore, as I can.

    I also have a 0.5 micron SS oxygen diffuser. (So much for doing things the way they did back then.....lol)

    Regarding the amount of honey: I wanted to produce an ABV in excess of 15%. I didn't realize that mead efficiency is at 100%. I guess in retrospect it makes perfect sense. So I am pleased to turn down the volume on that.

    Same with boiling.

    I had considered making an unfermented pico batch (16oz or something), but then I didn't know how to scale it appropriately.....I will look at it again to be sure.

    I haven't purchased the yeast yet, so changing gears here will be no problem.

    Again, thanks for the input. Admittedly, it was a little tough to swallow at first. One creates this recipe from an idea, and one is very chuffed with oneself, only to find out that one has been more delusional than anything else. But ultimately I want it to be successful. So I'm all ears
    The spirit is the most important thing. Sorry if you were a bit dissapointed but better that and improvement, than no improvement and no critic.

    About the nutrients, some people worry that the nutrients are added stuff that will stay in the mead or whatever. They will all get munched by the yeast, so no worries there. I get the whole "ancient techniques mead". However, my advice is, get do great mead the easiest way before you go try doing great mead the most complicated way. Boiling some bread yeast will help but its nowhere enough. Using (good) nutrients and propper techniques you can be drinking a really good 15% ABV dry mead in two or three months. No need to wait a year. Some even manage to get good drinkable mead at one month, altough some ageing always is good. So thats why i said, maybe consider storing the recipe and revisiting it in half a year or a year, when you have more experience. The only reason i say this is so you get better mead, mind you. When no nutrients are added also a lot of complications arise many times and knowing how to deal with them can be key, plus more off flavours are produced. And the recomendations of doing a smaller batch are good aswell, so if you dont get something so great, you have not wasted a lot of expensive honey. However thats up to you. Let us know what you finaly want to do.
    In all honesty, i think i can say that a lot of people come here saying they dont want to use nutrients, but i think i've never seen anyone use nutrients and after that make mead not using them (with the exception of making show meads). So maybe that says something...

    Honey is around 80% (84-79%) sugars, the rest is water. So the attenuation is usually 100% unless you exceed the ABV tolerance. As a ballpark 2kg/5 liters (total volume) will give you a 15-16% ABV, but gotmead has a calculator that is really handy. Too high a gravity at pitch creates a lot of osmotic stress on the yeast, and you can get stalled batches or a lot of off flavours if you are not careful. So you either hold back early and add the rest after a few days, when the SG is lower and the additional points wont damage the yeast, or you make a dry batch, then stabilize and backsweeten.

    I dont know if "pico batch" its a typo or i just dont know what that is.

    As Squatchy said, that yeast strain tends to stall mid ferment unless the best conditions are met. So definitely a no if you are not adding nutrients. And even if you are, its easier with others in the beggining. There are a lot of hardy strains good for begginers that produce good quality mead.

    Again, the recipe idea is not bad at all. You fail in the procedures, but the idea of a mead like that, sweet and with that combination of herbs, is not "bad".

  8. Default

    There's no need to apologize. I set myself up for it. As for pico batch. It's just a silly term I used to describe a really small batch of honey, water, berries, yarrow and gale just to get an idea of what I'm dealing with. The scale goes: Micro , Nano, Pico. So really really small

    So talk to me about nutirents. I've never really used them in beer. I did have a spectacular encounter with nutrients that I inadvertently created and used, (although I didn't know it at the time) on the very first mead I made. I'm happy to regale you with the details, if you'd like
    But I've never really given any deeper thought to their application. I live in the US, and it appears I can get my hands on some.


    When it comes to adding the fruit. What's the best way to do this? I've read that freezing them first works best because it breaks down the internal structure of the berry, making the juice easier to access. I've read that room temperature and then assaulted with a cast iron pan, which sounds gloriously messy and satisfying.
    Last edited by Tuck; 06-19-2017 at 08:33 PM.

  9. #9
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    I can't recommend the videos listed on this post enought:

    http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthr...32-Making-Mead

    Week 7 of the Meaddology series does a fairly good explanation of what nutrients (YAN and SNA) are all about. But even so, a lot of mead makers are moving on to using the organic nutrient Fermaid O. Details of which (called TOSNA) can be found on the Mead Made Right website. Personally I still have a lot of DAP and Fermaid K to use up, so it may be another year before I make the switch, if I ever do.

    Also, the BOMM protocol video is excellent. It shows how to make a good mead in 1 month (Bray's One Month Mead), using the beer yeast, Wyeast 1388, and standard nutrient additions (SNA). More info and recipes can be found on Bray Denard's website.

    Sounds like you have the right ideas about making melomels. I've heard adding fruits in the primary gives a more winey flavor, as they are fermented, where as adding them to the secondary brings out the real fruit flavors. Then there are those who do a little of both. Lots of room for experimentation.

    dave
    Last edited by darigoni; 06-19-2017 at 09:33 PM.

  10. #10

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    Hey Tuck, I encourage you to follow the advice everyone's given here. And the links and videos are all very informative.

    The reason mead making does all this weird stuff like tons of aeration and nutrient additions that beer brewing doesn't is primarily the ABV. Higher abvs put more stress on the yeast which will either make them quit before they give you the alcohol you want, or they produce powerful off flavors via fusels, phenols, and sulfur compounds that at best take years to age out, at worst, ruin your mead. Also, as has been mentioned, beer wort has many more nutrients naturally than just honey does. Everyone else has explained the process well, but we do it to keep the yeast as happy and healthy as possible.
    (http://www.meadmaderight.com/)

    On one hand, I want to say "don't mind squatchy, he's the self admitted grumpy mead master", but on the other, I looked through your old threads as well and have to agree with him. I doubt he meant to be passive aggressive and was more giving a direct word of warning. Many of the exact things in this thread (boiling, nutrients, etc) have been brought up in your other ones, even if they are a little old. There are certainly many ways to make good mead, but we're trying to give advice based on our experiences, both anecdotal and experimental, that have given us the best results. If you have reasons for not using the advice you got in other threads, please let us know (ie "authenticity" of boiled bread yeast vs modern nutrients). But otherwise you may find people frustrated when you come back either asking the same questions again, or with problems that could have been avoided by following earlier suggestions.

    Hope that helps, and do keep us posted.

    Edit: at a glance, your herbs look good, but I have no experience with them. Check out https://denardbrewing.com/blog/post/gruit-mead/ which goes into detail on most of the ones you're using.
    Last edited by dingurth; 06-19-2017 at 11:12 PM.

  11. #11
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    HI Tuck and welcome. Just to add to the confusion. You write:
    Gravity, Alcohol Content and Color

    Est Original Gravity: 1.164 SG
    Est Final Gravity: 0.962 SG
    Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 27.6 %
    Bitterness: 0.0 IBUs
    Est Color: 4.4 SRM


    Mash Profile

    Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out
    Sparge Water: 0 gal
    Sparge Temperature: FALSE
    Adjust Temp for Equipment: False
    Est Mash PH: 5.71
    Measured Mash PH: 5.20

    Beersmith may be a calculator that brewers swear by but that software is really irrelevant for mead makers. Here's why:

    There is no yeast that will ferment to 27.6% ABV - To hit that concentration of alcohol you will need to use distillation.
    SRMs are perhaps relevant for beer styles - not for meads
    There is no "infusion" involved. You are dissolving the honey in water.
    And the estimation of a pH of 5.71 is at best wrong and is more likely ridiculous as honey has no chemical buffers and is far more likely to drop to 3.1 or 3.2 if you are lucky and drop below 3 if you are not and that will stall the fermentation.
    If you are planning on fermenting 5 lbs of honey in every gallon of water I would pick up a copy of Schramm's The Compleat Meadmaker or Piatz' The Complete Guide to Making Mead. Read either or both all the way through - top to bottom - and then begin to make your gruit mead - but with that amount of honey, with that yeast and with relatively poor nutrition (honey ain't malt - honey is a nutrient desert for yeast) you may be aging this mead until Valhalla freezes over...

  12. #12

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    My comment was not at all a "passive/aggressive statement. I just wondered why you were asking about things you already had good answers from a year ago? I could care less if you want to listen to me. I only had good intentions to help you. Yes, there are many different ways to make mead. Unfortunately most of what you will find from others is old science and often times misinformation and just plain wrong. I can assure you we are the cutting edge here. And even the things we did just a year ago is now determined to not be the "best" method.

    There are still people who dry pitch yeast in a carboy and put it in the closet for ten years. And they will proudly tell you you don't need to do what we do. It's hard to even want to waste 5 minutes with someone like that. I can make mead you can drink even while it's still fermenting. Now days people win awards in world class mead competitions in less than 3 months. I'm sure your vikings would toss their methods in the trash in an instant if they could taste what we make and knew it was consistently achieved every time we make something. And if you want to make it that way it's no skin off my nose. Hell, indians used to cut down trees with rocks. I bet they wouldn't use a chainsaw if there life depended on it. Right? I make ancient recipes from historic books but I use the science of the modern world and combine it with the ingredients/adjuncts they used. Only because our science has cleaned up all the problems other ages knew nothing about.

    I was only hoping to help you so you too could win awards and have drinkable mead before it even clears. If you can't tell you have insulted me with your comment about my passive/aggressive comment. I don't know why you even came here if your other buddies have all the methods down. Just go ask them why don't you.

    So I don't offend you, I will do you a favor and I will refrain from replying any further.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  13. #13
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    If you really want to do it like they used to in the bad old days, try a JAOM. It uses nothing modern, good old bread yeast, and pretty much keeps you honest as far as not needing ANY modern methods. It's fruit, water, yeast and spices. And it's ready to drink in 90 to 100 days. Even better at 6 months and amazing at one year. This means you're able to really experience the way a mead can change in just 12 months, if you manage to not drink it all! I wasn't able to keep it beyond 6 months until I made multiple 5 gallon batches.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuck View Post
    There's no need to apologize. I set myself up for it. As for pico batch. It's just a silly term I used to describe a really small batch of honey, water, berries, yarrow and gale just to get an idea of what I'm dealing with. The scale goes: Micro , Nano, Pico. So really really small

    So talk to me about nutirents. I've never really used them in beer. I did have a spectacular encounter with nutrients that I inadvertently created and used, (although I didn't know it at the time) on the very first mead I made. I'm happy to regale you with the details, if you'd like
    But I've never really given any deeper thought to their application. I live in the US, and it appears I can get my hands on some.


    When it comes to adding the fruit. What's the best way to do this? I've read that freezing them first works best because it breaks down the internal structure of the berry, making the juice easier to access. I've read that room temperature and then assaulted with a cast iron pan, which sounds gloriously messy and satisfying.
    There are 3 types of nutrients.
    Only organic nitrogen: This is the best of them. The brand name is Fermaid O.
    Mix of organic and inorganic: the most common ones, are ok. Such as Fermaid K, Wyeast wine/beer nutrient, etc
    Inorganic only: DAP or diammonium phosphate, dont bother on this.

    If you can get fermaid O. If not, go for K. As to how to use them, meadmaderight.com has two formulas one for fermaid O one for K, that are called TOSNA and TiOSNA. Those formulas have the bemefit of using the minimum ammouny needed and are very precise, so you dont waste any.

    About the fruit, yes, either add in primary to get wine like flavour or add to secondary (after stabilizing) for fruity flavour. In any case frozen feuit works. Also in primary you can use purees or juice (im talking about fruit in general)

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