Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Alcohol content too high

  1. Default Alcohol content too high

    Hi all,

    Novice mead maker, first batch following Ken Schramm's book.

    My problem is my batch of mead while progressing nicely seems to be too high in alcohol - the vapours alone are enough to make you light headed.

    It is now at week three and I have moved from primary to seconday.

    Yeast was 2226 and was the based on advice from the local brew shop.
    OG= 1.12
    First racking at week 3 = 1.05.

    The taste is a bit rough (probably to be expected) but it's the high alcohol content that I am concerned about. After measuring the SG at racking I drank the sample and was surprised at how potent it was.

    Am I worrying for nothing, is there anything I should do - or do I wait it out??

    What do you do if you inadvertently make a batch of "rocket fuel"?

  2. Default Re:  Alcohol content too high

    Although I am not familiar with that strain of yeast, your alcohol is only 9.1875% ABV which isn't too high, though that also depends on your taste.

    You are far from rocket fuel! Harshness at 3 weeks is probably to be expected. Much of that harshness will mellow out with aging. If after some aging (I would guess 6 months at a minimum) you still find it too 'alcoholic' for you tastes you can sweeten it up a bit with additional honey.

    Out of curiosity, what is your recipe?

    If you don't want any more alcohol you can also put the yeast to sleep by putting it in the fridge for 2-3 days and then rack off the lees. The cold temps in the fridge should make the yeast dormant and fall to the bottom.

    Good luck!

  3. Default Re:  Alcohol content too high

    Jab,

    Thanks for this - 9.18% is not too high I agree.

    I am following Ken Schramm's first batch recipe that is just water, honey and yeast.

    Looks like it is time for me to learn the patience of a mead maker!

    Cheers
    Peter.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    The OC
    Posts
    7,874

    Default Re:  Alcohol content too high

    Hey Peter,

    Ken's first recipe called for 71b-1122 or suitable alternative. I would say that while the Enoferm L-2226 will do the job, it's not what I would call an equivalent yeast to the 71B.

    L-2266 is a Cotes du Rhone strain for red wines. It will commonly go to 18% and will easily ferment up to 20% if there is enough available sugar to convert. It is also used to unstick stuck fermentations. The reason it tastes like rocket fuel is because of the by-products of the vigorous fermentation which is the hallmark of this yeast. You'll probably need to wait for a year for that to mellow out.

    That recipe in Ken's book called out a specific yeast, and it's generally a good idea to use what is recommended when you're just starting out making mead. After a few batches you can start to improvise and experiment because you'll have a good idea of what will and won't work, as well as having your own proven meadmaking method that works for you.

    Here's a link to the K1B-1122 yeast information page:
    http://consumer.lallemand.com/danstar-lalvin/71b.html

    Hope that helps,

    Oskaar
    Is it tasty . . . precious?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Independence, KY and Greenacres, FL
    Posts
    1,200

    Default Re:  Alcohol content too high

    That is some great advice for first timers. Wish I had understood that upfront. Substituting yeasts has a lot more ramifications than one would think. Final taste and nutrient requirements vary along with starting gravitiy requirements and temperatures and acohol potentials. One needs to do some research before modifying even one area of a proven recipe. Great input Oskaar!
    Joe

  6. Default Re:  Alcohol content too high

    Thanks for the input on this - I am starting to understand some of the issues/complexities in more depth.

    Would appear that the advice from the brew shop was not that great. In fairness to them I did try to research it myself and was somewhat confused as to how to make a comparison between yeast varieties.

    Now I need to ‘fess up - they also sold me some 71-B but said they would recommend using the 2226. I tried to locate info on it (google) and did not find anything so it's still sitting in the fridge door waiting.

    It was only in your post Oskaar that I realised I had the correct yeast all along - <insert expletive here>!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    The OC
    Posts
    7,874

    Default Re:  Alcohol content too high

    Hey Peter,

    I've had the same experience myself with the Brewshops (LHBS hereafter) I went to when I was first making mead. I also found that while they can offer some great advice on a lot of topics, they can also offer some really lame advice on mead.

    I was going to enter some of my mead in a contest here a few years back at the LHBS sponsored event. When I was talking to the organizer it became apparent that I wouldn't get any fair consideration since I hadn't hopped my mead, and there wasn't any malt extract in it. These were some very nice and knowledgeable people, but they were looking for mead that was made like the beer they were brewing, so I quietly withdrew my entries.

    Anyhow, on the subject of wine yeast, I found a vintner in a town within thirty minutes of here so I can talk to him about the different strains of yeast he has used, and he can talk to a lot of his peers in the industry that have experience with different yeast strains and their characteristics. Hopefully that will help educate me in the area of yeasts and how they influence the end product.

    Cheers,

    Oskaar
    Is it tasty . . . precious?

  8. Default Re: Alcohol content too high

    Not possible .

  9. Default Re:  Alcohol content too high

    hmmm, I'm now pondering how I'm reading my hydrometer now.

    Got two batches -
    1gal with 3lbs of honey in, gave me circa 309g sugar per litre and an SG of 1.087 - EC1118 yeast - yet reading the hydro scale, this seems to give a potential of 18% on the sugar, or 13.5% on the SG

    1gal with 2lbs of hney in, gave me circa 206g sugar per litre and an SG of 1.055 - GV26 yeast - this gives me a potential f 13% on sugar and 9% on the SG.

    Am now confused.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Independence, KY and Greenacres, FL
    Posts
    1,200

    Default Re: Alcohol content too high

    Quote Originally Posted by exmoor_cat
    hmmm, I'm now pondering how I'm reading my hydrometer now.

    Got two batches -
    1gal with 3lbs of honey in, gave me circa 309g sugar per litre and an SG of 1.087 - EC1118 yeast - yet reading the hydro scale, this seems to give a potential of 18% on the sugar, or 13.5% on the SG
    Mine says with an SG = 1.087 11.5% PA BRIX 22 or 22% sugar by weight. The yeast is capable of going to 18% but not enough sugar to get there. You must be mis-reading the scales. If temperature is not around 60F you need to add or subtract a correction per hydrometer instructions.

    1gal with 2lbs of hney in, gave me circa 206g sugar per litre and an SG of 1.055 - GV26 yeast - this gives me a potential f 13% on sugar and 9% on the SG.

    Am now confused.
    1.055 correlates correctly to about 13% on sugar but only 7% PA. Re-read your hydrometer instructions.

    your 1 gallon with 3 lbs honey should have been more like 1.120
    your 1 gallon with 2 lbs should have been more like 1.080

    Don't know if your hydrometer is not accurate or why your honey doesn't record higher but something is wrong.

    ~40 points of gravity per pound of honey is normal in 1 gal
    ~45 points of gravity per lb of cane sugar is normal in 1 gal

    Joe

  11. Default Re:  Alcohol content too high

    Methinks I read my sampling wrong....

    well, we all know the solution to this problem - make another batch!!!!!

Similar Threads

  1. High Alcohol Content Mead and a good starter flavor?
    By rhitz291 in forum Mead NewBees - Post your Questions Here
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 11-18-2008, 09:44 PM
  2. cutting down rocket fuel / aka high alcohol content
    By nessa in forum Mead NewBees - Post your Questions Here
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 02-19-2008, 03:59 PM
  3. alcohol content
    By mercierarmory in forum Mead NewBees - Post your Questions Here
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-02-2004, 05:35 PM
  4. alcohol content
    By mercierarmory in forum Archives
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-02-2004, 05:35 AM

Posting Permissions

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