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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018
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    Pennsylvania
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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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    Default

    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
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Brookline, NH
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    Default

    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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    Default

    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

    Default

    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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    May 2018
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    Pennsylvania
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    Default

    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?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Brookline, NH
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    797

    Default

    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.

  8. #8

    Default

    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!

  9. #9

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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!

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Pennsylvania
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    Default

    Looking at my gravity readings, it appears the yeast did not begin active fermentation until somewhere between 24 hours and 72 hours post-pitch. I was sick on the 2nd post-pitch day, so I chose not to mess with the must.

    Based on what you are saying, it appears I made my 24 hour addition of Fermaid O too soon. I took it to mean 24 post pitch, where in reality it sounds like what you are saying is 24 hours after the lag period ends.

  11. #11

    Default

    That is what I do because otherwise you're feeding the bad guys and promoting their health and not your desired yeast strain
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  12. #12
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    Default

    I just finished listening to your yeast podcast. It sounds like my lag period lasted a little long (not sure why) going off of what you said in that podcast (you felt it should exit lag no later than 48hrs in).

    At this point since I already added my 24hr addition early by your methods, do you feel I need to make 1 more addition today even though I already made what I thought was the 24hr, 48hr, and 72hr additions, or just let it go until 1/3 sugar break/7th day post-lag?

    Also, at what point during my fermentation should I stop stirring, and at what intensity?

  13. #13

    Default

    YOu mike consider a higher cell count at pitch. My bare minimum is 2 grams per and I go up from there. At my place, I feel 8 hours is pretty long. I would not add more food than what your original protocol asked for. So again. Stir rigorously for the first 3 days and politely after that
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  14. #14

    Default

    No leave the pH unless you need to do some acid additions to make it taste better. But that is done to taste and not to a numeric value.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  15. #15

    Default

    You want to add the sorbate at the same time you add your sulfite to stabilize.

    Rack until it's clear. You can use a fining agent to speed that up if you want
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  16. #16
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    May 2018
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    Pennsylvania
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    Default

    So I should add sorbate everytime I rack just like sulfites?

    What fining agent do you suggest? Or perhaps you don't prefer to use them at all.

    I'm patient, but I am curious when I'll truly know it's done. Other than the condition of becoming clear, I was just planning to wait until late spring/early summer to bottle.

  17. #17

    Default

    Sorbate is a one time only add
    Superkler is one. There are many different ones. Some will work when others won't. It depends on what is making your mead hazy. I usually wait till it's clear enough to filter. But it still needs to be pretty clear to do that. I won't serve a mead that isn't clear enough to read a newspaper through the bottle. For me, it's a pride thing. I take pride in what I make and think it's not respectful to serve dirty mead. It also won't taste as good if you have dust in the bottle
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  18. #18
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    May 2018
    Location
    Pennsylvania
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    Default

    Hey Everyone,

    I really haven't done anything to my mead since December as I got a second job and just bought a house...no time. But, I'm finally able to get back at it.

    I'm having a problem with my pyment - it's still pretty cloudy unlike the meads I've made before despite following all of you guy's wonderful steps and advice. What would you advise I do? Bentonite?

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by That1Guy4Ever View Post
    Hey Everyone,

    I really haven't done anything to my mead since December as I got a second job and just bought a house...no time. But, I'm finally able to get back at it.

    I'm having a problem with my pyment - it's still pretty cloudy unlike the meads I've made before despite following all of you guy's wonderful steps and advice. What would you advise I do? Bentonite?
    What things have you tried?
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  20. #20
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    Location
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatchy View Post
    What things have you tried?
    I haven't tried anything yet. I do nothing without first consulting all you guys

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