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> Making a 5 gallon mead, adding nutrient and energeizer ?
billybud
post Sep 6 2009, 12:43 PM
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I am making a 5 gallon mead this week.
15 lbs of honey
water
yeast
nutrient and energizer.

I don't know if I am going to make if a fruit mead yet. If I do I will add the fruit to the secondary.
But for the beginning, when do I add the nutrient and energizer? I plan on adding the 15 lbs to 2 gallons of water to dissolve, then add it to a 6.5 glass carboy and add water.
let me know what you guys think.
Thanks
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BobH
post Sep 6 2009, 03:39 PM
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Check out the FAQ on Staggered Nutrient Additions
http://www.brewboard.com/index.php?s=&...st&p=695223
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Dave F
post Sep 6 2009, 06:43 PM
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QUOTE(BobH @ Sep 6 2009, 04:39 PM) *
Check out the FAQ on Staggered Nutrient Additions
http://www.brewboard.com/index.php?s=&...st&p=695223


This is interesting, but seems like an awful lot of extra work. Perhaps I could do better, but I just add a healthy amount (usually 2-3 times the amount recommended on the package) of Wyeast yeast nutrient to the warmed water that I dissolve my honey in. This seems to work very well for me -- I get vigorous active ferments quickly (I use a starter too...) and continued strong fermentations that last around 2 weeks. When I use the Wyeast Dry Mead strain, my usual FG is 1.004 or less
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Dave F
post Sep 6 2009, 06:50 PM
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QUOTE(billybud @ Sep 6 2009, 01:43 PM) *
I am making a 5 gallon mead this week....
...then add it to a 6.5 glass carboy and add water.
let me know what you guys think.
Thanks


Just a suggestion, but you might want to just go for a 6 gal must...I started doing this a while back at the recommendation of some mead guys at my LHBS. The 6 gal primary allows you to rack to a 5 gal secondary carboy, and also fill a few (usually 3-4) 750 ml wine bottles. You can just put those to airlock too, and then when you rack off your sediment, you can use the accessory bottles to top off to the top of the neck. This minimizes your airspace to prevent oxidation when you're clearing and bulk aging...plus you always end up with a solid 5 gal at the end, which fills a full 2 cases of 750 ml wine bottles (and occasionally an extra 1 or 2 standard longnecks...)
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billybud
post Sep 7 2009, 10:15 AM
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The 6 gallon idea sounds good.
Thanks for the info. I was wondering about the head space problem and this fixes it.
Thanks Dave
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billybud
post Sep 7 2009, 10:21 AM
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I forgot to ask, will the 6 gallon make a 12% or around 10% alcohol mead?
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Dave F
post Sep 7 2009, 11:29 AM
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QUOTE(billybud @ Sep 7 2009, 11:21 AM) *
I forgot to ask, will the 6 gallon make a 12% or around 10% alcohol mead?


It should...ProMash puts 15 lbs honey in 6 gal at an estimated OG of 1.105. Even if you get 10 points less and start at 1.095, as long as you ferment down dry, you can easily get 10, and probably 12% ABV. It's going to depend alot on the yeast, but if your FG is 1.010, that gives you 11%. I generally use Wyeast Dry Mead strain, and my usual FG's are 1.004 and below, which in this example would give you at least 12%

I didn't know what you were going for though...at 15 lbs in a 5 gal you're starting to get to the point where, for me, most yeasts will end up leaving some residual sugar, even the ones like Wyeast Dry, which are supposedly rated to 18% or so. I think my maximum mead ABV was in the high 14's... Either way, if you truly want a sweet or semi-sweet mead, you can sulfate and backsweeten to taste.
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billybud
post Sep 7 2009, 03:48 PM
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I am going to use lavin d47. I heard that was pretty good for mead. Will it be bone dry or a tad bit sweet? I am wanting to make it sparkling.
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BobH
post Sep 7 2009, 04:35 PM
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QUOTE(billybud @ Sep 7 2009, 04:48 PM) *
I am going to use lavin d47. I heard that was pretty good for mead. Will it be bone dry or a tad bit sweet? I am wanting to make it sparkling.


Just go for it and don't worry! You will make mead.

High OG Mead is a bit tricky and there is a chance it will get stuck if the nutrients run out, the yeast is killed by the high sugar content, or the PH goes well outside of what yeast likes.

Your OG will be around 1.126 at 5 gallons and the D-47 will finish around 1.010-1.015 if it has the nutrients. A mead at that ABV (15%) is going to take a long time. Four, or six weeks in the primary and months in secondary. Your going to need to add another yeast at bottling to carbonate. I would go with re-hydrated EC-1118 in the bottling bucket with your priming sugar.

The lower the OG the drier it's going to finish. But it will have a better chance of carbonating later on unless you force carbonate, then it does not matter.

Use two or three packets of D-47 and re-hydrate before you dump it into a sugar content like that or risk killing off a big portion of the cells.
A 1.060 two packet starter might be needed the week before.
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Dave F
post Sep 7 2009, 11:35 PM
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QUOTE(BobH @ Sep 7 2009, 05:35 PM) *
Just go for it and don't worry! You will make mead.

High OG Mead is a bit tricky and there is a chance it will get stuck if the nutrients run out, the yeast is killed by the high sugar content, or the PH goes well outside of what yeast likes.

Your OG will be around 1.126 at 5 gallons and the D-47 will finish around 1.010-1.015 if it has the nutrients. A mead at that ABV (15%) is going to take a long time. Four, or six weeks in the primary and months in secondary. Your going to need to add another yeast at bottling to carbonate. I would go with re-hydrated EC-1118 in the bottling bucket with your priming sugar.

The lower the OG the drier it's going to finish. But it will have a better chance of carbonating later on unless you force carbonate, then it does not matter.

Use two or three packets of D-47 and re-hydrate before you dump it into a sugar content like that or risk killing off a big portion of the cells.
A 1.060 two packet starter might be needed the week before.


+1 on everything...the "don't worry have a homebrew" attitude is key. And mead in general does requires patience above all...don't even expect to be drinking your final product for at least a year, and ideally for two. Be sure to keep a few bottles for after that and put them where you forget about them..."discover" them on rare occasions.

Bob...interesting to see that you've had the same experience with D-47 as I've had w/ Wyeast Dry...my last mead that started in the mid 1.120's finished at 1.011. Regarding making a starter with dry yeast though...it seemed to make sense to me originally, but I'd learned since that the dry yeasts are essentially put into stasis and packaged at the peak of their cycle, and theoretically don't need a starter if you just pitch enough packets (with hydration, of course...)
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billybud
post Sep 8 2009, 08:34 AM
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I am planing this mead batch for the holidays of 2011 and keep some for 2012.
I am going the 6 gallon route. I don't want it to sweet, just a tad bit and priming it with sugar to make it sparkling. So when I bottle I should use another yeast in the bottling bucket? Will the D-47 be good for the primary with the amount of honey i am using and the 6 gallon?
I am using nutrient and energizer as well. I forgot to ask, should I add the energizer with the nutrient in the 2 gallon I dissolve the honey in?
Thanks for all the help guys.
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BobH
post Sep 8 2009, 03:24 PM
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QUOTE(Dave F @ Sep 8 2009, 12:35 AM) *
Regarding making a starter with dry yeast though...it seemed to make sense to me originally, but I'd learned since that the dry yeasts are essentially put into stasis and packaged at the peak of their cycle, and theoretically don't need a starter if you just pitch enough packets (with hydration, of course...)


This is true about dry yeast. The starter was only to acclimate the yeast to a fair amount of alcohol and finish a high OG mead sooner.
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Mead Guy From MD
post Sep 16 2009, 02:40 PM
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QUOTE(Dave F @ Sep 6 2009, 07:43 PM) *
This is interesting, but seems like an awful lot of extra work. Perhaps I could do better, but I just add a healthy amount (usually 2-3 times the amount recommended on the package) of Wyeast yeast nutrient to the warmed water that I dissolve my honey in. This seems to work very well for me -- I get vigorous active ferments quickly (I use a starter too...) and continued strong fermentations that last around 2 weeks. When I use the Wyeast Dry Mead strain, my usual FG is 1.004 or less


FWIW, I used the SNA on a planned Melomel 2 years ago. It sat in primary for about 6 weeks, then moved to secondary where is was on the fruit for a few more weeks. I then let it clarify in the tertiary for over a year, When it was all said and done, I had a semi-sweet mead checking in at 16.75% A.B.V.. I also have a Polish sweat mead I used the SNA approach with, that is also a bit over 2 years old. Last count it was 14% ABV and still sweat.

Moral is, SNA is a tired and true, valid approach. Simply over pitching, can give you off flavors and cause clarity issues. It's also best to choose a yeast that offers the best match to the profile of the mead. Don't just get *Mead yeast* with out first looking at its intended use. Check the yeast manufacture's site for the correct applications. It's not worth letting a batch sit for 2 years, come to find out that it is not what you had hope for. Pick up a copy of Ken Schramm's *The Complete Meadmaker*, it offers a wealth of excellent information and recipes.
Good luck and happy fermenting (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/smile.gif)

~Phillip

This post has been edited by Mead Guy From MD: Sep 16 2009, 02:41 PM
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Dave F
post Sep 16 2009, 09:40 PM
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QUOTE(Mead Guy From MD @ Sep 16 2009, 03:40 PM) *
FWIW, I used the SNA on a planned Melomel 2 years ago. It sat in primary for about 6 weeks, then moved to secondary where is was on the fruit for a few more weeks. I then let it clarify in the tertiary for over a year, When it was all said and done, I had a semi-sweet mead checking in at 16.75% A.B.V.. I also have a Polish sweat mead I used the SNA approach with, that is also a bit over 2 years old. Last count it was 14% ABV and still sweat.

Moral is, SNA is a tired and true, valid approach. Simply over pitching, can give you off flavors and cause clarity issues. It's also best to choose a yeast that offers the best match to the profile of the mead. Don't just get *Mead yeast* with out first looking at its intended use. Check the yeast manufacture's site for the correct applications. It's not worth letting a batch sit for 2 years, come to find out that it is not what you had hope for. Pick up a copy of Ken Schramm's *The Complete Meadmaker*, it offers a wealth of excellent information and recipes.
Good luck and happy fermenting (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/smile.gif)

~Phillip


Phillip...thanks for the advice...I am still relatively new to this mead game, especially, as you noted, since it takes such a long time to really see your results in a clear light! Regarding the two example batches you mentioned, were you feeding additional sugar along the way or did you just have really high starting gravities? (especially for the melomel...wow 16 + %!) What are the finishing gravities that correspond to "semi-sweet" for your taste buds? I tend to be particularly sensitive to sweet tastes, and even SG's of 1.007-1.011 taste mildly sweet to me.

Regarding pitch rates...I didn't realize there was such as concept as *over* pitching? I thought off flavors came more from higher than optimal temps and that clarity just came w/ time (and/or fining...)
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Mead Guy From MD
post Sep 17 2009, 10:59 PM
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QUOTE(Dave F @ Sep 16 2009, 10:40 PM) *
Phillip...thanks for the advice...I am still relatively new to this mead game, especially, as you noted, since it takes such a long time to really see your results in a clear light! Regarding the two example batches you mentioned, were you feeding additional sugar along the way or did you just have really high starting gravities? (especially for the melomel...wow 16 + %!) What are the finishing gravities that correspond to "semi-sweet" for your taste buds? I tend to be particularly sensitive to sweet tastes, and even SG's of 1.007-1.011 taste mildly sweet to me.

Regarding pitch rates...I didn't realize there was such as concept as *over* pitching? I thought off flavors came more from higher than optimal temps and that clarity just came w/ time (and/or fining...)


Here's the cliffs... O.G. 1.142 and S.G. 1.022 ABV 15.75%, sorry was working from memory earlier.

Full version

Jan 1st, 2008

I poured 1 gallon of water in to my large kettle and proceeded to heat to 175F. Once near boiling I added my honey and began stirring. This dropped temps to approximately 150F. I adjusted heat to stabilize the mixture at this temperature. I continued stirring intermittently for about 15 minutes. At this point I had a nice smooth consistency. At this point I added my yeast nutrient and yeast energizer. I decided to try SNA by using the nutrient and energizer up front. I then stirred again for a few minutes, insuring a well balanced mixture.
I thin pitched my yeast according to the instructions on the label. (Dissolve in warm water for 15 mins, and then stir) Once my yeast has been adequately pitched, I dumped it in to the bottom of my carboy.
From here I used a water jug which I had cut the bottom out of as a funnel. I then topped the carboy with approximately 3.5 gallons of cold water, bringing my entire mixture to 5 gallons. At this time to took a gravity reading. Using my Hydrometer, I get an O.G. of 1.142.
Lastly I combined the airlock with the rubber stopper and put water in the airlock. I placed the carboy in a basement room that averages 65F, for fermentation. I will take a gravity reading in two weeks.

January 5th I added the other of the energizer and the nutrient. I already have good fermentation.

Secondary was in the Spring sometime

July 6th Added 4.5 lbs of fresh Red Raspberries. Gravity is 1.031

September 4th Racked off of fruit. Gravity is 1.028

June 27th, 2009 Bottled the Mead today. Result was 21 bottles; 2 have 1 Coopers carbonation drop have 2 have Hersheys Cocoa.

Flavor is more what I was hoping for. It is still clearly a honey wine, but with a strong flavor of fresh Raspberry.
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