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  1. Default Need help selecting yeast

    Ok guys its about mead making time here in FL and want to try something new with my batches this year and need some help!
    Typically I make my meads (all different OGs) from 1080 up to 1200+ and use 1118 or corse dec la, over the years I have used other high gravity yeasts as well. All meads end (FG) close to 1.000 and then back sweeten with raw honey. I thought I liked that but this past week I was up in Asheville and went into a small place and taked to the brewer (makes mainly beer but also meads) and he said its much better just to get a yeast that will end around 1020 - 1040 (again based on the OG) or so to give me the residual sweetness I'm looking for.
    Sp my question nis...
    what yeast(s) do I want to get that will not drop the FG (or ferment) all sugars and end up with 1.000?

    Cheers!

  2. #2
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    I don't know that any wine or ale yeast would have any trouble fermenting 80 -120 points of sugar (15.75% ABV). A yeast with a published tolerance for 14 % will likely reach 16 without much sweat. I can think of two quite different methods, however, to allow you to create a sweeter mead without back sweetening.
    1. Others may disagree, but what you might want to experiment with is cold crashing. I am going to be trying this myself this winter so I cannot say what yeasts are best candidates for this (you might try D47 or 71B) but the process is as follows.
    You decide what the final gravity of this batch should be and you monitor the gravity. As it gets very close you chill the batch as quickly as possible to near freezing. Allow the batch to remain at this low temperature for a few days and then you rack the mead off the lees (and so off almost all the yeast that will have flocculated). Repeat. Repeat once more. This process should have removed almost every yeast cell. You then stabilize at room temperature and monitor the gravity for any changes. If after about 1 or 2 weeks the gravity is rock solid you can bottle with no fear of popping corks or bottle bombs...

    2. The second method forces you to make a high ABV mead. If that is not a problem then this is the process. Begin with a fairly large quantity of honey- say , 3.5 lbs/gallon. This will give you a starting gravity of about 1.122. Pitch your yeast. Let's assume the yeast will convert this to alcohol and the final gravity will be 1.000. you then add more honey in known fixed amounts - say 1/4 - 1/2 lb /gallon. This addition IF the yeast can ferment it will raise the total gravity by 9 points (or 17.5), but if the yeast cannot chew through this because it has reached its tolerance for alcohol then you are left with no more than 9 points (or 17.5) of sweetness. And you repeat this addition until the yeast cannot ferment this last addition. Again I would wait some weeks before bottling as even if yeast "today" appear to have quit the race, "tomorrow" they can appear to be back in the game. and that "tomorrow" may come two or three years from now... So I would monitor this batch to make sure that if aged the yeast stay dormant and like in a horror movie suddenly come back to life when you least expect it...
    Last edited by bernardsmith; 11-04-2017 at 08:39 PM.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by miss_rach View Post
    Ok guys its about mead making time here in FL and want to try something new with my batches this year and need some help!
    Typically I make my meads (all different OGs) from 1080 up to 1200+ and use 1118 or corse dec la, over the years I have used other high gravity yeasts as well. All meads end (FG) close to 1.000 and then back sweeten with raw honey. I thought I liked that but this past week I was up in Asheville and went into a small place and taked to the brewer (makes mainly beer but also meads) and he said its much better just to get a yeast that will end around 1020 - 1040 (again based on the OG) or so to give me the residual sweetness I'm looking for.
    Sp my question nis...
    what yeast(s) do I want to get that will not drop the FG (or ferment) all sugars and end up with 1.000?

    Cheers!
    I have never heard of anyone starting a batch at 1200+ and getting the yeast off. You are one of one in the entire world.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  4. #4
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    I assumed miss rach meant 1.120 but is there not an alleged Polish mead (dwojniak) that dilutes 1 part honey with 1 part water which would mean about 6 lbs of honey in a gallon and at 6 lbs of honey the SG would be around 1.210... Not sure if this is a mythic mead but it is one that is frequently cited in the literature and I have no idea whether Polish mead makers who claim to make such meads step feed the yeast. But by some accounts at least a mead of such high sugar concentrations is presumably possible... Just sayin'.

  5. Default

    Correct my bad..about 1120...I'm sure as hell not making shine!!!

    I can't crash cool 50+gallons in a chest freezer. I know there are yeasts out there that won't ferment all the way down to 1.000!
    This shouldn't be that hard! I'm just looking for some yeasts that won'ts ferment out all the sugars. Since I'm a brewer, maybe a typical Ale yeast? I don't know, thus thats why I'm here asking you all!

  6. #6
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    Every yeast CAN ferment a must bone dry if the yeast is pitched in a concentration of sugar that will not exceed its tolerance for alcohol. The issue is simply then what is your starting gravity NOT what the finishing gravity needs to be. In other words, a yeast whose tolerance for alcohol is spec'ed at 10% will bring a gravity of 1.070 below 1.000 but may have difficulty bringing a starting gravity of 1.100 that low. But I don't know what yeasts are spec'ed so low (10%). Wine yeasts usually ferment starting gravities of 1.090 and higher but ale yeasts may not be so robust - but as a brewer you may be more familiar with beer yeasts. But that said, you don't suggest that you are focused on the starting gravity (with mead the starting gravity has a massive impact on the richness of flavor)... But that is where you need to be focused.

  7. #7

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    I would bet a million dollars there's not a single person on earth that could tell the difference between a mead that was made with back sweetend honey after it's been stabilized versus a mead that was left with residual sugar at the end of the day. You might know the stuff in the first month of its life but if you wait 3 months I promise you can't tell the difference.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernardsmith View Post
    I assumed miss rach meant 1.120 but is there not an alleged Polish mead (dwojniak) that dilutes 1 part honey with 1 part water which would mean about 6 lbs of honey in a gallon and at 6 lbs of honey the SG would be around 1.210... Not sure if this is a mythic mead but it is one that is frequently cited in the literature and I have no idea whether Polish mead makers who claim to make such meads step feed the yeast. But by some accounts at least a mead of such high sugar concentrations is presumably possible... Just sayin'.
    You are correct, starting fermentation with SG of 1.200 to 1.230 is entirely possible and frequently achieved by some mead makers. In Polish traditional terminology mead of such strength (or 1:1 honey to water ratio) is called Dwójniak. Definitely not a myth and anyone saying otherwise is simply misinformed.
    I am of Polish descent and studied Polish mead making history a bit in the last few years in order to better understand haw my favorite beverage was produced. I know quite a few people still making mead using these traditional ways and what they produce is absolutely delicious.

  9. #9

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    Try T58 dry ale yeast.


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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by miss_rach View Post
    Correct my bad..about 1120...I'm sure as hell not making shine!!!

    I can't crash cool 50+gallons in a chest freezer. I know there are yeasts out there that won't ferment all the way down to 1.000!
    This shouldn't be that hard! I'm just looking for some yeasts that won'ts ferment out all the sugars. Since I'm a brewer, maybe a typical Ale yeast? I don't know, thus thats why I'm here asking you all!

    So I wanted to clear up some confusion on here. With such a tremendous influx of new people we seem to continue to get the same questions all the time. And there are always misnomers that seem to hang around for ages . This is because way too many people answer questions with answers they have hear over and over, without really having ever actually experienced a particular answer first hand. At one time the world was flat. I think I can speak for a lot of experienced mead makers that, this is why many stop contributing. It's a constant battle to try and educate new people with real science based info, when so many parrot what they have heard from well meaning people, with no real experience.

    So here is one place that seems to be misunderstood, so I wanted to clarify things for the new mead makes, as well as the confused.

    Seems as though too many think that certain yeast strains were made to make sweet mead, while others were not. This is not true. Despite what some manufacturers label a certain strain.

    Any strain can make a sweet mead. And any mead can go bone dry. It's not about the yeast per say. It's about tolerance levels to ABV%.

    Every strain has a limit that they can assimilate sugars into ethanol. Once they reach this level they do not die. They simply go dormant. And can no longer assimilate any more sugars because they have "tapped out" due to their ABV tolerance level. Most yeast can go beyond the listed levels because we superman the crap out of our yeast with the science we try to promote here in this group. Adds such as O2 additions, Go-Ferm and SNA protocols make them much hardier than they once were.

    So what determines a sweetness level in our concoctions? This simply answer is, we have a certain amount of residual (RS) sugars left in your finished product. So any yeast strain can be made to have RS in the final product, if you have more sugars in the must than the yeast can consume before they " tap out".

    So you can have a yeast that taps at 12% abv in a must with enough sugar points in the must to create 15% ABV. Because we have more sugars than they can assimilate. This leaves RS behind. The more RS, the sweeter the finished product is. So even a high alcohol tolerant yeast can have RS if you have added more sugars than they can assimilate.

    This is important to understand.

    By now I'm sure you all own and use a hydrometer correct ? You can look on it and see any gravity mark also shows the ABV level as well. Now. Once we understand this, we can now determine how many gravity points we need to add to make any ABV we want to make. Higher ABV's take longer to smooth out, because of the heat from the ethanol in it. For this same reason, lesser alcohol meads smooth out sooner. Smaller ABV meads are easier to drink. You might drink 3 or 4 pours of a 12 % ABV and only one or two 18% ABV meads. I think most wines are in the 12% vicinity.

    Too often. When a newbie gets started they want to max out the alcohol levels. But most people would probably find a 12% ABV more suitable.

    Part of the confusion about this entire concept is people believe you can stop an active fermentation part way through. They think through certain activities, they can halt the process of fermentation at a given ABV. This virtually impossible. I'm not saying you can't. But I am saying it's pretty unlikely you can without causing lots of related problems that can lead to off flavors. The very thing we are trying to avoid. Simply put. It's mostly bad information passed along through the ages from the expert parrots. Passing along stuff they have heard, but never tried first hand.

    So here is what is most predictable, and, is most common by far. Pick and ABV you want to create and find the gravity points needed to do this on your hydrometer that you all have by now. When you make up your must. Make sure that the grand sum of all your ingredients add up to the appropriate ABV you are seeking. Now. Ferment this dry. Once it's dry, it then is pretty easy to stabilize your mead with additions of SO2 and potassium sorbate. The best way to do this is to cold crash your meads in a cold environment. The colder the better. Rack off the lees after it has sat in the cold for a few days or longer. Do this to move your must over to a new vessel while leaving the lee's behind. Now add the sulfite/sorbate natural chemicals Once they have done their magic. The yeast can no longer reproduce, or ferment sugar any longer. Now you have frozen your must at the ABV you wanted. Once this is done you can add any combinations of additions to get the finished sweetness level you feel is desireable in your mead. This is called back sweetening.

    This is very basic info I know. But I see this same concept tossed around every week on public platforms. What yeast do I use for a sweet mead? How can I have a certain amount of sugar left behind to carbonate my mead naturally and so on.

    I'm not going to get into it here now. But for beginners. If you want a carbonated mead. Just force carbonate it. If you are at a stage where you need to ask how to do this naturally. You're probably not at a place that you should be messing with it anyway.

    Copied from Gotmead.com - Read More at:http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthr...-for-beginners
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

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    Another way to get residual sugar is to add sugar that yeast can’t metabolize very good. Thinking of maltriose, dextrose, xylitol or lactose.


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    Dextrine I think it spells.


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    Squatchy,
    I have done that process the past few years and it seemed to work find. I brought a bottle down to one of our local beer breweries (also makes meads) and the brewer asked me how I sweetened my mead, I told him about the same process as you outlined above. He said that he could taste the "raw" honey and that its much better with a more rounded flavor by not "back sweeting" it rather use the correct yeast.

    Is that true?

  14. #14

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    I would bet money. That after 3 months time your friend could not tell the difference in a blind test.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

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