Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Need help selecting yeast

  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
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Saratoga Springs , NY
    Posts
    1,065

    Default

    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

    Default

    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
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Saratoga Springs , NY
    Posts
    1,065

    Default

    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
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Saratoga Springs , NY
    Posts
    1,065

    Default

    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

    Default

    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
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Burlingame, California
    Posts
    34

    Default

    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.

Similar Threads

  1. Yeast, is there a correct amount of yeast to add per gallon of mead?
    By Painted toad in forum Troubleshooting your Mead
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-21-2015, 06:55 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •