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  1. Default Getting started help

    Hey everyone, Newbee here.

    I have been reading about Mead for a few weeks now and feel like I fell into something special!

    Anyway went out today and picked up all the necessary equipment and want to start my first batch here soon.

    I just finished reading the Newbee guide and I now have a few questions and am a bit confused with chapter 8 receipe calculation.

    For my first try I want to make a basic mead. My plan is to make two one gallon batches one plan, one with fruit added to the secondary.

    Im hoping for a sweet, somewhere in between the (1.012 - 1.020) FG with an ABV of 14%.According to the information in the guide to achieve this I will need is follows

    3oz of honey = 1% alcohol

    3oz 14 (ABV)= 42oz or 2Lb 10oz

    This is how much honey I need in each gallon to achieve my 14% ABV correct?

    Next being that I want a sweet mead I need to do as follows.

    3oz 2.6 (ABV) number I got off chart.
    = 49.8oz or 3lb 1.8oz.

    This gives me a total of 3lb 1.8oz of honey per gallon of water.

    Does this seem correct? Can anyone chime in and offer advice?

    Thanks for your time Aaron.





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  2. #2
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    Have you listened to the gotmead podcasts? Start at 9-05-2017 and listen to the series on Modern Mead Making (see below).

    Have you learned how to use the Gotmead batch calculator? 14% ABV is approx 2.977 lbs, which is so close to 3 lbs that I wouldn't sweat the difference.

    One thing you'll need to learn is that yeast is a living organism and very rarely stops and starts when you want it to. Your best bet is to use the 3 lbs of honey, let it ferment dry, stabilize (a whole subject onto itself) and then backsweeten to the level you want. 1.012-1.020 is approx. 6 oz to 9 oz.

    Oh, and not all honey has the exact same sugar content, so this is all approximate. You'll need to use a hydrometer to check your specific gravity readings.


    There are others, but these are the core episodes:

    http://gotmead.com/blog/gotmead-live...-making-yeast/

    http://gotmead.com/blog/gotmead-live...st-keep-happy/

    http://gotmead.com/blog/gotmead-live...ilizing-aging/

    http://gotmead.com/blog/gotmead-live...ing-sorbating/
    Last edited by darigoni; 10-31-2018 at 07:53 AM.

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by darigoni View Post
    Have you listened to the gotmead podcasts? Start at 9-05-2017 and listen to the series on Modern Mead Making.

    Have you learned how to use the Gotmead batch calculator? 14% ABV is approx 2.977 lbs, which is so close to 3 lbs that I wouldn't sweat the difference.

    One thing you'll need to learn is that yeast is a living organism and very rarely stops and stars when you want it to. Your best bet is to use the 3 lbs of honey, let it ferment dry, stabilize (a whole subject onto itself) and then backsweeten to the level you want. 1.012-1.020 is approx. 6 oz to 9 oz.

    Oh, and not all honey has the exact same sugar content, so this is all approximate. You'll need to use a hydrometer to check your specific gravity readings.
    Darigoni, thank you for your reply.

    I did start the podcast last night lots of great info! I will continue to work my way through it.

    As far as the gotmead calculator for whatever reason I can't make it work. I tried on my phone and house computer. When I hit the calculate button nothing happens. I did however learn how to do all the calculations from the (newbee guide). I also got some good info off from the Meadmakr batchbuildr.

    I have done a lot of reading and contemplated doing the dry/back sweetining route but for whatever reason that route intimidates me. May have something to do with making sure my yeast is dead before adding more honey.

    I am currently working out my receipe sheet with all my info and I will post it up for some criticism and advice.

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  4. Default

    Well I had a great reply, unfortunately it didn't get posted?!? I did start watching the podcast, lots of great info..

    Unfortunately the calculator will not work on my phone or home computer. I learned how to do the math.

    And for whatever reason stabilizing the mead and back sweetening is intimidating to me.

    Could you point me in the right direction on where to find better info on the stabilizing process.

    Thanks Aaron.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Jaworowski View Post
    Well I had a great reply, unfortunately it didn't get posted?!? I did start watching the podcast, lots of great info..

    Unfortunately the calculator will not work on my phone or home computer. I learned how to do the math.

    And for whatever reason stabilizing the mead and back sweetening is intimidating to me.

    Could you point me in the right direction on where to find better info on the stabilizing process.

    Thanks Aaron.

    Sent from my SM-G935P using Tapatalk

    http://gotmead.com/blog/gotmead-live...ilizing-aging/

    http://gotmead.com/blog/gotmead-live...ing-sorbating/

  6. Default

    Thank you very much, I appreciate all the help. Just out of curiosity. Why is it such common practice to back sweeten? I understand yeast can have a mind if it's own but realistically if you provide more sugar in this case honey than the yeast can eat shouldn't you come out with a sweet or semi sweet mead?

    Thanks again Aaron.

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  7. #7
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    Yeah, as a new member, there are some issues to get through when posting. They are related to weeding out spammers. A way around it, is to create a shirt post, post it and then go back an edit it.


    It's just hard to hit the exact target that the yeast are rated for and leave enough sugar for sweetening AND if you are over eager and bottle to soon, the yeast can wake back up and you could end up with dangerously over carbonated bottles.

    That being said, there are multiple ways to try and hit the "sweet spot":

    1. Put all your honey upfront and hope that it stops where you want.
    2. Step feed; where you keep adding honey until the yeast crap out and you hit the specific gravity that you want.
    3. Add enough honey to hit your ABV, stabilize and then backsweeten.

    And, of course, you can live with mead that's "dry".

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Hi Aaron Jaworowski - and welcome. Here's the thing. The published tolerance for alcohol of any strain of yeast is much like the published strain strength you can rely on for a piece of rope. All that means is that the typical (mode) average tolerance is as published. But you can bet the farm that under many circumstances (not all, but many) that the actual tolerance of YOUR pack of yeast will be greater... and you can also bet the farm on the fact that if your fermenting protocol is atypical for all kinds of reasons the actual tolerance for YOUR pack could be considerably less.

    As darigoni reminds you, yeast is a living organism. It's not a manufactured engineered product so you can want it to hit X %ABV and it might shoot through that with no problem or it might give up the ghost with pounds of honey per gallon of must still unfermented (it stalls and you can't get it to restart). So what many mead makers do is treat the sweetness of their meads as a separate line item. They aim for a specific ABV and at that ABV there is no residual sugar left. They stabilize their mead by removing most of the remaining yeast through racking and then they add two chemicals to prevent any remaining cells from eating up any more sugar and then they add the amount of sugar (honey) they want to bring their mead to the level of sweetness they want. Of course, more seasoned mead makers may work much the same you want to work but these folk are like bread bakers who know their dough. They know their yeast and know their honey and their mead and they know how to step feed their yeast so that the amount of sugar in solution does not cause osmotic shock across the cell walls of the yeast.

    One last point. Your calculations in your first post are interesting. In truth I did not check them out but here's a good rule of thumb. One pound of honey dissolved in water to make 1 US gallon of must will raise the specific gravity of the water by 35 points (1.035). Thirty-five points of sugar has the potential to produce a mead of about 4.5% alcohol by volume (ABV). Everything else is just arithmetic (you double the amount of honey but keep the total volume of the must the same and you double the potential ABV etc etc et cetera ).
    Good luck!

  9. #9

    Default

    I think one point of interest, that even experienced mead makers fail to understand is this. A great mead happens when all the fractions work together so that nothing in the mix is out of the pocket so to speak. In reguards to aroma and balance for traditionals are concerned. I believe, that once you go ove 12% ABV. You have too much ethanol in your mead to ever have a good presentation. IThe alcohol overpowers, the fine and delicate aromas and also is out of balance with the honey/sweet aspect of the finished flavor profile. Most of the time I think the 10% range is even better than the 12% when consideruing the above.

    There is no yeast that tap out in this range. So. You are only left with two options. Disregard all of the above. Or follow the suggestions of setting your gravity to hit a specific ABV. And then stabile it and backsweeten. There is no one who can tell the difference once the mead has age just a few months, regardless of what you might hear claimed.

    One reson the yeast shoot past the listed tolorance for alcohol is that when we employ the "good, modern mead making protocols we superman the hell out of them and fortify them so much , they are much better suited in life and can combat the things that used to cause them to tap out earlier. Primarily, yeast tap out once their cell membrans begin to become permeable. This allow alcohol inside the cell and destroys part of the cell. ANd thus it no longer can produce ethanol. Our modern practices give them building blocks so that they can build a better cell membrane. And that allows them to go further down the road before the memebrane becomes permeable enough to let the alcohol inside the cell to make it no longer able to survive.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  10. Default

    Thank you for all the replays, lots of good information! It looks like I have some research to do on stabilizing and backsweetning. Before I jump ahead on this new adventure. What is everyone's recommendation for yeast? I was leaning towards a 71B.

    Thanks again.

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  11. #11
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    There are no bad yeasts. Your question is like asking- what's the best car. The answer is always - the best for what purpose?

    71B and D47 are easily obtained and are good workhorses. DV10 is good for mouthfeel (I think it produces glycerols and glycerols give a wines a feeling of greater viscosity). Many neophytes grab champagne yeasts but those are sledge hammers and blow off aromatics and flavor but they tend to be able to work across a very wide range of temperatures. Best practice might be to read the spec sheets published by the yeast labs. Each yeast will have its own characteristics and will enhance or mask or create different profiles as it ferments.

  12. #12

    Default

    We just did a podcast a couple weeks ago where I talked about how to pick the correct yeast depending on what you are making. You might enjoy listening to it
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  13. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatchy View Post
    We just did a podcast a couple weeks ago where I talked about how to pick the correct yeast depending on what you are making. You might enjoy listening to it
    Squatchy I just finished that podcast as we speak! Lots of great information. I have to say the more I learn the more excited I get. I came into this thinking I would get a recipe and make mead! Now I realize this really is a science.

    I can't wait to start my first batch.

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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Jaworowski View Post
    Squatchy I just finished that podcast as we speak! Lots of great information. I have to say the more I learn the more excited I get. I came into this thinking I would get a recipe and make mead! Now I realize this really is a science.

    I can't wait to start my first batch.

    Sent from my SM-G935P using Tapatalk
    There's a whole series that starts on 9/15/17
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  15. Default

    I have watched three episodes in the series so far, picking yeast, making yeast happy, and I can't recall the third one.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction where to find an episode on stabilizing mead and backsweetning? I went through the ask questions section of AML and it appears they made episodes on that topic but I can't seem to find them.

    Thanks for all the help guys!!

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  16. #16
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    You asked about stabilizing in post #3 of this thread and I answered it in post #4.....

  17. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by darigoni View Post
    You asked about stabilizing in post #3 of this thread and I answered it in post #4.....
    Sorry, I see that now. So much new information. Looks like I need to slow down a bit.

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  18. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by darigoni View Post
    You asked about stabilizing in post #3 of this thread and I answered it in post #4.....
    For whatever reason I can not make either link you provided work. It brings me to a no results found page.

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Jaworowski View Post
    For whatever reason I can not make either link you provided work. It brings me to a no results found page.

    Sent from my SM-G935P using Tapatalk
    The same links are in post #2 and they seem to work. Not sure why, but the gotmead site abbreviates links when you post them. Something must have got lost in the translation.

  20. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by darigoni View Post
    The same links are in post #2 and they seem to work. Not sure why, but the gotmead site abbreviates links when you post them. Something must have got lost in the translation.
    I figured that out. I'm listening to it right now! Thanks for being patient with me.

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