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  1. #21


    Quote Originally Posted by hpereira98 View Post
    Oh ok, i'll try too keep myself on the "easy" stuff for now, I've got A LOT to learn still. I really like your explanations Stasis, you go directly to the matter in discuss.

    Thank you all for sharing your mead wisdom with me, I'm really grateful and learning a lot.
    here bud. Read this I wrote just a while ago.

    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 - Read Mo

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    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Brookline, NH


    Ryan, read post #16 of this thread......


  3. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Saratoga Springs , NY


    Quote Originally Posted by hpereira98 View Post
    Thank you Bernard, that was what I didn't understand since the beggining, but now I got my thoughts clear, like a mead

    Another question though: does the amount of yeast I put on my vessel change anything? for example, putting 5g or 10g on a 5 gallon carboy.
    So here's the thing: many, many mead makers assume that they should use the minimum amount of yeast possible - they are afraid of "over-pitching" . My understanding is that such a fear from a home mead maker is much like being afraid of sprinting so fast that friction will set you on fire... We don't buy yeast by the kilogram or pound. If you look at the "open-source" approach that the Groennfell Meadery offers, (by that I mean they provide recipes for their meads and discuss their protocol ) Ricky - their master meadmaker suggests that you pitch 1 pack per gallon. Adding MORE yeast (assuming you feed the yeast well with minerals and nutrients) does not create any problems (and will not result in a drier mead - the yeast can only ferment the sugar that is present and the tolerance for alcohol (or sugar) does not change just because their are N billion viable cells rather than N minus M billion cells in the carboy). Yeast is not expensive. Don't skimp on yeast. Groennfell turns on the fact that they sell their meads five weeks after pouring the honey... And their meads are clear, bright, sparkling and dry. They also tend to be low ABV... All other things equal, more yeast results in cleaner and faster fermentation - and for the record, they ferment at very high (relatively speaking, in the 80s F) temperatures because a) they want a dry mead and b) they want low ABV meads and dry low ABV meads tend to have thinner flavor profiles than sweet high ABV meads so Groennfell's use of high temperature fermentations is to embrace and produce the kinds of by-products that other mead makers assume they want to avoid, by-products that is that produce flavors that add desirable complexity to their meads... Check out their web-site (I have no connection with Groennfell Meadery other than I think their approach is delightfully transparent and contrarian and I am a card carrying contrarian...

  4. #24


    My next experiment will be the same must in 3 vessels. One grosely underpitched. One normal. And one grosely over pitched.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hpereira98 View Post
    where I live, most of the honey is from eucaliptus flower, so its easy for me to find it. And how did that go? Wasn't it too empowering?
    At first, I thought my two batches of Eucaliptus (1 traditional, one with pineapple and mint) tasted bad, and looking up online many people claimed that Eucaliptus Honey doesn't make good mead. I thought I agreed, but after watching a video on YouTube with the owner of Moonlight Meadery, he claimed en passant that Eucaliptus made great mead, so I just added more honey to the batches and realized: you just can't make dry meads off of that honey, it tastes too harsh at ABV < 1.000, but as soon as it gets to the 1.020-30 it tastes like great mead, now after 4 months it is ready to age! (made them on sept. 20th last year, this weekend goes to aging).

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