Mead Experimentations

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brucearnold

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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.
 

MHB

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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
 

brucearnold

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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?
 

MHB

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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
 

Slurp

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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.
 

HaveFun

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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
 

altone

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,,, 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.
Mark

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
 

MHB

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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
 

altone

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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

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.
 
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Slurp

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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
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?
 

MHB

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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
 

Slurp

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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
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.
 

MHB

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No, but I don't start the yeast in a very high gravity wort (usually around 1.050-60).
Mark
 

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