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  1. #1
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    Default 1st Time Pyment Questions

    Hello All, I need some help putting together a pyment recipe and with the generally know-how on making it. I am going to be receiving a 6 gallon bucket of Diamond Grape Juice (sweet grapes) this weekend. I would like to take this and make a pyment using some wild honey my friend collected from his bees.

    As some background, I do have some small meadmaking experience: I made 2 BOMMs and a hopped mead (using wine yeast on the hopped mead). I'm also familiar with the TOSNA protocal. What I'm really unsure about is how you mesh the winemaking part of this with the mead part. My end goal is to have a semi-sweet or sweet pyment. Any help would much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    So, I've done a lot of reading and here is where I'm most confused, do I add any water to this or should the base liquid just be all the grape juice?

    Second, when should I add the honey? Do I do this before starting fermentation, after the juice ferments?

    Lastly, I'm unsure how much honey to add to get my desired semi-sweet to sweet level as I'm unsure what wine yeast I'm being supplied with. My supplier said my bucket of juice will come with a packet of yeast for the specific grape I choose. But, didn't know what it was. That being said, I'm unsure the abv tolerance to expect and what the reading of sugar content will be on my hydrometer for the juice itself. That makes it tricky to plan ahead. Any advice on this?

  3. #3
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    Looks like the ABV of the juice will be around 1.062.

    http://www.brewboard.com/index.php?showtopic=21311

    Instead of jumping right into this, I suggest you take a few days to do some more reading. Have you checked out the gotmead Newbie guide, a link for which can be found at the top of the forum page?

    Do you have a hydrometer?

    Do you have potassium Metabisulfite and Potassium Sorbate? These would be used for stabilizing after fermentation.

    It's kind of hard to plan out a fermentation protocol with a mystery yeast. You should either spend a little money on a known yeast, or, if you insist on using the mystery yeast, plan on adding enough honey to get your potential ABV up to around 12% (SG=1.090), wait for it to finish fermenting, stabilize with metabislufite and sorbate, then backsweeten to your desired level of sweetness.
    Last edited by darigoni; 10-09-2018 at 01:36 PM.

  4. #4
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    Ok, that is really helpful darigoni. Thank you!

    As for your questions, I just reread some sections of the newbee guide which was helpful. Also, I do have a hydrometer, metabisulfite, and sorbate. I'm going to try harder to see if I can find out what yeast I'm being supplied with. Worst case, what yeast would you suggest? I'm hoping for something around 14-16%.

    When I find out the yeast and it's abv tolerance, it's my understanding if i have a desired FG of 1.013 (sweet) I want to first use my hydrometer to find an accurate gravity reading of my grape must. But, from there, how do I determine how much more honey to add to get to my target SG? Let's just say hypothetically the yeast tolerates 14% so we can work with some numbers.

    I can backsweeten if necessary; but, it would be nice if it could end right around where I'm hoping.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by That1Guy4Ever View Post
    Ok, that is really helpful darigoni. Thank you!

    As for your questions, I just reread some sections of the newbee guide which was helpful. Also, I do have a hydrometer, metabisulfite, and sorbate. I'm going to try harder to see if I can find out what yeast I'm being supplied with. Worst case, what yeast would you suggest? I'm hoping for something around 14-16%.

    When I find out the yeast and it's abv tolerance, it's my understanding if i have a desired FG of 1.013 (sweet) I want to first use my hydrometer to find an accurate gravity reading of my grape must. But, from there, how do I determine how much more honey to add to get to my target SG? Let's just say hypothetically the yeast tolerates 14% so we can work with some numbers.

    I can backsweeten if necessary; but, it would be nice if it could end right around where I'm hoping.
    If this is a kit from America you will get EC-1118 most likely. Or K1V-1116. Touch base when you get your kit. You need to be armed with a better plan that what you have right now. WE CAN HELP. Look up Gotmeadlive podcast and look up a pyment podcast we did with me,, Ryan Carlson and David Thibold. It's somewhere in the 6-8 weeks or so past 9/5/17. If you have time I did a series of podcast starting from the very begining to the very end of making a mead following the most modern protocols. It starts on 9/5/17
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by That1Guy4Ever View Post
    Ok, that is really helpful darigoni. Thank you!

    As for your questions, I just reread some sections of the newbee guide which was helpful. Also, I do have a hydrometer, metabisulfite, and sorbate. I'm going to try harder to see if I can find out what yeast I'm being supplied with. Worst case, what yeast would you suggest? I'm hoping for something around 14-16%.

    When I find out the yeast and it's abv tolerance, it's my understanding if i have a desired FG of 1.013 (sweet) I want to first use my hydrometer to find an accurate gravity reading of my grape must. But, from there, how do I determine how much more honey to add to get to my target SG? Let's just say hypothetically the yeast tolerates 14% so we can work with some numbers.

    I can backsweeten if necessary; but, it would be nice if it could end right around where I'm hoping.
    FYI. Yeast can crap out early, leaving you with a sweater product than anticipated, or go beyond the stated ABV limit, leaving you with a dry mead. Or it may stop where you plan, then start up again at a later date, there-by carbonating in the bottle and creating what are affectionately called bottle bombs. That's why fermenting dry, stabilizing and then backsweetening is the probably the preferred method.

    EC-1118 and K1V-1116 are two of the more common yeast, and may be the easiest to handle. Will you be buying online or at a local homebrew shop? If local, I would call to find out what they stocked, and then look up each of the characteristics.

    I assume you have nutrients?

    Have you checked out the Gotmead batch calculator? The link for it should be right next to the link for the newbee guide. Pick your batch size, then pick "Additional Sugars #1". There's no category for grape juice, so just use honey and adjust the amount until you get a resulting "Target Gravity" that's the same as what you measure for your grape juice. This is just a placeholder. Now pick "Additional Sugars #2" and enter in an amount of honey that will get you to your Target ABV.

    So, if your measured specific gravity for your grape juice is 1.062 and you want an ABV of 14%, for a 1 gallon batch size:

    Additional Sugars #1 would need to be around 1.75 lbs of honey to give you a specif gravity of 1.062. This is just a place holder for your grape juice. You really wouldn't use 1.75 lbs of grape juice.

    Additional Sugars #2 would need to be 1.3 lbs to get you to an ABV = 14.25%

    So, unless you water down your grape juice, the specific gravity should stay the same, and thus you would need to add 1.3 lbs of honey per every gallon of your batch size.

  7. #7
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    I just listened to the podacast you mentioned. Really cool, very informative. 2 things I'm unsure of as takeaways you can possibly clarify for me: splitting the 6 gallons of juice across two batches, and oaking.

    Splitting the 6 gallons of juice across 2 batches, adding 12lbs honey and then water to get to 5 gallons sounds interesting. Dave said this gave him more honey character as the grapes tend to take over. My question is 1) is this strategy still viable since I'm actually getting crushed juice as opposed to concentrate? 2) since my grape is a white will it be less overpowering anyway as whites aren't nearly as characterful as a red grape, therefore making this strategy unnecessary anways?

    On the oak aspect, since I'm getting crushed juice, which will give me some tanins, is it unadvised to oak it as it's going to add even more tannins?

  8. #8
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    I spoke with the crushed grape juice supplier, Consumer Fresh Winemakers. They told me to expect my 6 gallons of juice to have a starting reading of 23 Brix. This creates a problem though as that doesn't really leave me with any room to add any significant honey to make it into a mead.

    My thought is to split the juice into 2, 5 gallon batches (so 3 gallons of juice in each batch), add my desired honey, and top off with water. After listening to the podcast, I think I'm going to use K1V-1116. How does this plan sound?

  9. #9
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    Yeah, you might want to think about watering down the juice. If you look at Ken Schramm's book, he starts with juice, adds his honey and then adds water to bring the SG of the must back down into his fermentation range. Adding 1.5 lbs of honey per gallon with leave you with a starting gravity of 1.147, with a potential ABV of 18.5%. K1V will handle it, but we don't generally encourage stating fermentations with sg's over 1.120, as you can run into problems. You might want to think about adding some of the honey up front, then add the balance once your fermentation is rolling and your yeast has already chewed through some of the honey.

  10. #10

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    I would say it's ok to make bigger meads than an SG of 1120 if you know how to compensate. I have made some as high as 1170 just this week, in fact, I made one that big. But you need a better understanding than a basic level to do it. Personally, I would use K1V before EC. And there are other strains that will work nicely as well

    WHit grapes are way less tanic than reds. ANd you have to soak them on the skins for a good while to draw out the tannins. You oak after it's stable usually anyway. So lots of time for that to be decided later. I wouldn't watter them down too much because they are white grapes. You can always dilute later with a traditional if need be.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  11. #11
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    I read Squatchy's post about maybe not watering down too much. What do you guys think of this plan and calculations.

    Using FermCal (sorry still not too familiar with the site calculator), I'm showing that if my 6 gallons of grape must is 1.0965 gravity (23 brix) and I add 13lbs honey total and 2.916 gallons water, this will give me an SG of 1.1055 with a potential ABV in the low 14%. How does this sound? As an amateur can I handle this?
    Last edited by That1Guy4Ever; 10-15-2018 at 01:43 PM.

  12. #12
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    You'll end up with a total batch size of 10 gallons, right?

    That's about what I get when I crank it through the gotmead batch calculator.

    TOSNA? Have you checked out the TOSNA calculator on the MeadMakr website:

    https://www.meadmakr.com/tosna-2-0/

    Make sure you follow the guidelines for qty of yeast and for using Goferm for rehydration.

    Good luck!

  13. #13
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    Yes, 10 gallons total is what I got too. It's not quite 1.5lbs honey/gallon. But, its about the closest I could get without having the SG at around/above the range you suggested staying away from.

    As far as TOSNA 2.0, I'm familiar with it. Used it on my last 2 batches.

    I can't wait to brew this! My juice has been delayed til next weekend. But, this has given me more time to plan.

  14. #14
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    Crush must have gotten delayed up in Erie. But, I finally received my crushed Diamond Grape Juice today! Here is the recipe and methodology:

    October 29, 2018
    Diamond/Wild Honey Pyment
    10 Gallons


    Ambient Temperature - 68F
    Must Temperature - 77F
    Color - Amber
    Initial Tasting Notes - Grape alone is mild, sweet, like store grape juice. Honey is mild, sweet, almost buttery (really good stuff).
    Aroma - sweet, grapey, almost a creamy smell
    SG/BRIX - 1.103.....grape must arrived at 16 BRIX (23 BRIX original), after honey additions 1.079 (so 1.103 when adding what fermented already)
    Yeast - K1V-1116


    6 Gallons - Crushed Diamond Grape Juice
    13lbs - Wild Honey (from local beekeeper)
    3 gallons - Spring Water
    25g - GoFerm Protect Evolution - boil water, cool to 104F, add yeast, wait 30 min, add equal parts must, wait 15 min, if within 10F of must pitch.
    20g - K1V-1116 Yeast (4 packets)
    18g (total) - Fermaid O - 4.5g @ 24hrs, 48hrs, 72hrs, 7th day or 1/3 sugar break


    10/29 Brought must up to warm temperature in 70s. Rehydrated yeast using GoFerm instructions. Added honey to juice must, stirring for several minutes with degassing rod and drill gun. Added water to reach 5 gallons per fermenting bucket (two 5 gallon buckets = 10 gallons total). Pitched rehydrated yeast at 77F. Place buckets in fridge set to 68F.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by That1Guy4Ever View Post
    Crush must have gotten delayed up in Erie. But, I finally received my crushed Diamond Grape Juice today! Here is the recipe and methodology:

    October 29, 2018
    Diamond/Wild Honey Pyment
    10 Gallons


    Ambient Temperature - 68F
    Must Temperature - 77F
    Color - Amber
    Initial Tasting Notes - Grape alone is mild, sweet, like store grape juice. Honey is mild, sweet, almost buttery (really good stuff).
    Aroma - sweet, grapey, almost a creamy smell
    SG/BRIX - 1.103.....grape must arrived at 16 BRIX (23 BRIX original), after honey additions 1.079 (so 1.103 when adding what fermented already)
    Yeast - K1V-1116


    6 Gallons - Crushed Diamond Grape Juice
    13lbs - Wild Honey (from local beekeeper)
    3 gallons - Spring Water
    25g - GoFerm Protect Evolution - boil water, cool to 104F, add yeast, wait 30 min, add equal parts must, wait 15 min, if within 10F of must pitch.
    20g - K1V-1116 Yeast (4 packets)
    18g (total) - Fermaid O - 4.5g @ 24hrs, 48hrs, 72hrs, 7th day or 1/3 sugar break


    10/29 Brought must up to warm temperature in 70s. Rehydrated yeast using GoFerm instructions. Added honey to juice must, stirring for several minutes with degassing rod and drill gun. Added water to reach 5 gallons per fermenting bucket (two 5 gallon buckets = 10 gallons total). Pitched rehydrated yeast at 77F. Place buckets in fridge set to 68F.
    10/30 Added 4.5g Fermaid O and stirred vigorously for a couple minutes

    10/31 Was running a fever today and was feeling pretty crappy. So, I decided not to risk messing with the mead.

    11/1 Feeling better - wore gloves and mask to be safe. Learned a big lesson the hard way...DON'T STIR VERY ACTIVE FERMENTATION FULL BLAST WITH DEGASSING ROD. Needless to say I had a hell of a mess to clean up in my chest freezer. Added my next addition of Fermaid O and stirred in.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by That1Guy4Ever View Post
    10/30 Added 4.5g Fermaid O and stirred vigorously for a couple minutes

    10/31 Was running a fever today and was feeling pretty crappy. So, I decided not to risk messing with the mead.

    11/1 Feeling better - wore gloves and mask to be safe. Learned a big lesson the hard way...DON'T STIR VERY ACTIVE FERMENTATION FULL BLAST WITH DEGASSING ROD. Needless to say I had a hell of a mess to clean up in my chest freezer. Added my next addition of Fermaid O and stirred in.
    That's why we use bigger buckets than the amount of must
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  17. #17

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    Lol. I just started my first ever batch recently and also learned, though I got extremely lucky. My foam rose exactly to the top of my bucket and like magic, stopped right when it couldn't go anymore.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squatchy View Post
    That's why we use bigger buckets than the amount of must
    Oh the bucket was bigger haha! I had around 6 inches of extra space. That sucker still foamed over like a mother.

  19. #19
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    11/2 Added next addition of Fermaid O and stirred up must.

    At this point Ive notice that only 4.5 BRIX have fermented out. Is this normal at this point? Or should it be further along? I did follow the GoFerm and Tosna additions to a tee so far (minus delaying the 48hr Fermaid O addition a day due to being sick).

  20. #20

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    Did you wait until your mead moved out of lag before you feed the first addition of food?
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

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