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Mead Experimentations

Discussion in ''Non Beer' Brewing' started by brucearnold, 8/7/18.

 

  1. brucearnold

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    Posted 8/7/18
    AHBers,

    I am giving mead another try (have done JOAM in the past) but want to find the yeast that gives the best result for me for a dry mead similar to a wine. To try and make things scientific I have used the same recipe, just varied the yeast for individual batches, so far 4 batches have been made with results that have left me scratching my head.

    Batch #1: EC-1118
    Brewed 22-Feb 2018, transferred 18-Apr.
    Still cloudy, but the flavor was good when it was transferred.

    Batch #2: M05
    Brewed 4-Mar 2018, transferred 18-Apr, bottled 8-Jul.
    Clear, slightly fizzy, clean sharp taste.

    Batch #3: CL23
    Brewed 18-Apr 2018, transferred 8-Jul.
    Still cloudy, flavor was a little off compared to the first two.

    Batch #4: SN9
    Brewed 18-Apr 2018, transferred 8-Jul.
    Still cloudy, flavor was not nice (rotten veg).

    The recipe was the boil method (10 min), honey, acid blend, yeast nutrient, water. Fermented in 5L glass demijohns with airlocks, in a fermentation chamber holding at 17.5degC.

    Does anybody have knowledge on wine yeasts and how long they take to clear?
    Do I have 3/4 batches cooked and ready for the drain?

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. MHB

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    Posted 8/7/18
    Try the Wyeast Dry Mead 4632
    Tried lots of others and keep coming back to this one. Mostly I make sweet (mumsy) meads but at fairly high alcohol content and the dry mead will go out to 18% (with care and feeding) I mostly brew at 18-20oC and am mainly making Raspberry Melomels.
    Mark
     
  3. brucearnold

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    Posted 8/7/18
    Thanks Mark, I will give that one a go. I am trying to restrain the alcohol to around 10.5%-12% so it is more white wine strength than a spirit. Do you have issues with cloudiness from wine yeasts?
     
  4. MHB

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    Posted 8/7/18
    Alcohol is a function of OG, so getting say 11% just means adjusting the amount of honey you use.
    Personally for the effort in making good mead I find the wine like ones tasty enough but more expensive and more work than a decent bottle Aussie white so I tend to focus on the more Liquor like super sweets (which I like in wines to - just cant really afford good ones), requires a highly attenuative yeast like Dry Mead.
    Cloudiness? Not really just a function of time and if that doesn't fix it cold maturation which is a part of my stabilisation process anyway, though with good nutrient and acid balance at the start I haven't had any major issues.
    Mark
     
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  5. Slurp

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    Posted 10/8/18
    I am about to have a crack at some mead, I use EC1118 to good effect in my ciders. If you are looking for super clear mead, my understanding is you are going to need to use both finings and a good whack of time. I cold crash my ciders and beers and with the ciders using EC1118 it drops like a stone cold crashing, but I find I still get chill haze if I keg and serve within 2 months. An extra racking step (2 x total) will also help. Keen to try Lavin DB47, it seems to produce a great cider from the reading I have done.
     
  6. HaveFun

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    Posted 19/8/18 at 6:02 AM
    I did my first mead today :)

    3kg local WA red gum honey and 6l RO Water + I used Mangrove Jacks M05 yeast.

    SG 1.1047

    I will ferment in a corny keg under a little bit of pressure at 16°.

    After the first fermentation, I will split the mead and add different fruits and flavours for the second fermentation.

    Cheers
    Stefan
     
  7. altone

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    Posted 19/8/18 at 6:33 AM
    Do you mean something along the lines of a noble Reisling? If so I might try a small batch in my 6l glass flagon.

    edit: I've got access to some yellow box honey at a good price so thought that might fit well.

    cheers
     
  8. MHB

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    Posted 19/8/18 at 7:24 AM
    Yes, or an Auslese, Sauterne.. really aiming to get something like a good Trockenbeerenauslese.
    Like any other type of brewing, lots of good healthy yeast, incremental feeding and patience.
    Mark
     
  9. altone

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    Posted 19/8/18 at 7:44 AM
    Wohoo - definitely giving it a go - you have a good recipe? or still working on it.
    Like I said I'll be trying a small experiment first but then......

    edit: the Brown Bros noble riesling I like is around $40 for 375ml so if I can make something sweet and tasty it's gotta be worth a shot.
     
    Last edited: 19/8/18 at 7:49 AM
  10. Slurp

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    Posted 19/8/18 at 9:44 PM
    Nice! My beechworth orange blossom honey arrived last week, just waiting for my DB-47 yeast and I'll be underway. I have 9.5kg of it so planning on doing 3 small batches which should see me hit similar SG. The reading I have done suggests you should be stirring vigorously twice a day for the first 3 days to keep the oxygen in the yeast, keep us updated on the under pressure ferment. Not familiar with M05 - what is its maximum alcohol tolerance?
     
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  11. MHB

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    Posted 19/8/18 at 10:23 PM
    I wouldn't be adding all the honey at the start, puts a lot of stress on the yeast and you will never get as high an attenuation as you will if you feed the honey in doses.
    I use the Wyeast Dry Mead yeast, with care and patience I have got it up to 17%, using Wyeast nutrient about three feedings and a couple of racking's.
    Mark
     
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  12. Slurp

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    Posted 20/8/18 at 1:54 AM
    Do you use GoFerm to prepare your yeast too? I have read that it is pretty much essential for big sticky meads. I picked some up but curious how much of a difference it makes.
     
  13. MHB

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    Posted 20/8/18 at 2:01 AM
    No, but I don't start the yeast in a very high gravity wort (usually around 1.050-60).
    Mark
     
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