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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2007 * Archive through January 09, 2007 * Mead Question < Previous Next >

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Bob Wall
Advanced Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 597
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 24.99.80.253
Posted on Saturday, December 16, 2006 - 05:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I finally got around to racking my first attempt at a mead to secondary. It is rather tasty already! Had it in Primary since November 12th and forgot to take an O.G. reading. It was a simple recipe, I used 16 lbs of Sourwood Honey, 4 gallons purified water, and WLP720 Sweet Mead/Wine Yeast.

Today's reading was 1.030 and I was wondering how much more I should expect it to drop. Can anyone ballpark my O.G. for me?

WLP720 info:
Attenuation: <75%
Flocculation: Low
Optimum Fermentation Temperature: 70-75F
Give a man a beer and he'll waste an hour. Teach a man to brew and he'll waste a lifetime.
 

Fredrik
Senior Member
Username: Fredrik

Post Number: 3513
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 213.114.44.230
Posted on Saturday, December 16, 2006 - 06:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Without knowing the specific water contenct of that honey a crude guess seems to be around OG 1.115?

Considering that honey is close to completely fermentable, a complete attenuation could probably take that down to around 0.984. But hopefully the yeast will give up earlier and leave some sweetness! Otherwise I can't picture that a driely fermented honey water would taste good to my taste... I don't know what the expected FG might be, i'd say it is a function of the yeast health, FAN level, and it's alcoholtolerance etc. Without experience with the strain it seems very hard to guess. Unless you want a dry acidic mead, I would not want it to finish completely.

I'd taste it, and see if the residual sweetness is in good balance with the acidity. If you want it drier, you can check pH which is probably dropping well below 4, and maybe add som FAN.

/Fredrik
 

Fredrik
Senior Member
Username: Fredrik

Post Number: 3514
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 213.114.44.230
Posted on Saturday, December 16, 2006 - 06:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think if it ends up too dry, some mead makers add honey in increments and let it ferment until the yeast gives up comptely from fatigue, just to get the correct residual sweetness in there. What would be appropriate would depend on hte acidity I guess, and I can't guess.

/Fredrik

(Message edited by fredrik on December 16, 2006)
 

Bob Wall
Advanced Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 600
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 24.99.80.253
Posted on Saturday, December 16, 2006 - 07:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Freddie.

All I was looking for was a "ballpark" O.G. to get an idea where I am at with it. Like I said, it already tastes great. What I did not mention is I already get a significant alcohol warmth, and it is still sweet. I can let it ferment a bit more and I don't think I will lose much sweetness.

I will let it sit in secondary another month or two before racking it again.

600th post! Woo Hoo!

(Message edited by BrewDudeBob on December 17, 2006)
Give a man a beer and he'll waste an hour. Teach a man to brew and he'll waste a lifetime.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 6068
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.224.220
Posted on Saturday, December 16, 2006 - 02:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Predicting sweet mead fermentations is tricky indeed (the yeast is the major variable), but assuming everything goes well I'd say you can expect it to finish about 1.025. Your value of 1.030 is not out of the ballpark by any means. Rouse the yeast sediment and give it at least a month more.

(Message edited by BillPierce on December 16, 2006)
 

Josh Johnson
Member
Username: Msujdog

Post Number: 115
Registered: 07-2003
Posted From: 167.73.112.8
Posted on Saturday, December 16, 2006 - 11:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My advice with meads from practical experience is that when you think your mead is completely done and you haven't seen any activity in quite awhile, wait one more month before bottling.
 

Sean Richens
Intermediate Member
Username: Sean

Post Number: 352
Registered: 04-2001
Posted From: 204.112.139.135
Posted on Saturday, December 16, 2006 - 11:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

No need to hurry, with the residual sugar you're going to have you want to be sure the yeast won't wake up on a warm spring morning or something.

It's a good time to sit back and consider your next steps: whether or not to fine, add sulphite, adjust the sweetness upwards, and so on.
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 2330
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 167.4.1.41
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 09:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bob, I get ~1.13 with recipator, similar to frederik... 1.030 is pretty darn good, but if you leave it in primary, and even swirl it once in awhile, I'd also bet it'll get to 1.025 or lower as BP mentions. Taste it once a week, then bottle when it gets to where YOU like it!
 

Bob Wall
Advanced Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 601
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 139.76.128.71
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 12:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Do any of you lager your meads to knock out the yeast and clarify?
Give a man a beer and he'll waste an hour. Teach a man to brew and he'll waste a lifetime.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 6082
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.224.220
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 02:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There's no need to "lager" mead, which may in fact negatively affect flavor. Clarity almost always takes care of itself over time, which is definitely a virtue with mead.
 

Andrew Bales
Intermediate Member
Username: Bales

Post Number: 404
Registered: 10-2002
Posted From: 65.28.53.99
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 02:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yeah I "lager" mine a year before bottling usually, if you mean set it in the wine cellar and let it age.

I have a 2 bottled at 6 months this year and 1 at a year that is total haze at the moment. Got some sparkliod for that one. It is just yellow. Dark honeys tend to clear much faster.

That sweet mead yeast, from what I read, tends to drop out high and not finish well.

Mostly they will clear in 6-12 months on their own. never have fined one before. Gelatin would be a no-no, removes too much stuff from the mead.

Sean has the right idea, wait until you can read thru the carboy, then decide on wether to cap or cork this batch (to add that potasuim sorbate to stop fermention or not). I have meads that conttinue onward until the second year, carbonating more in the bottle. Not a good idea for corks unless you like to wait up in the night. But I add sugar and champange yeast and then cap it in beer bottles, hoping for carbonation (that usually doesn't come).

Making 2 batches next week with the Schramm method of yeast feeding nutrients at timed intervals to increase turn around time.

http://www.brewboard.com/index.php?showtopic=60156

Yeah its the green board. So shoot me! They have a mead section I post on. ;)
 

Bob Wall
Advanced Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 608
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 24.99.80.253
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 07:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Andrew,

When I say "lager" I mean under near freezing conditions. Anything else to me is simply "aging". But that is my opinion, and I am not trying to split hairs.

I have the Schramm book, The Compleat Meadmaker. I read enough to make a slightly modified version of his Sweet Show Mead. It has been in secondary five days now, and I can see it is already beginning to clarify. I have an obvoius stratification of slightly cloudy on the bottom and very clear on the top. The yeast is slowly falling out of suspension and I anticipate racking again in another few weeks depending on the rate of clarification.

I did not do an OG reading as I mixed the must in a carboy and did not want to use a turkey baster to get a sample, but I get a significant alcohol warmth and a noticeable sweetness. It tasted very much like Redstone Meadery's Sweet Mead.

I know I need to RTFM, but do most people do a tertiary? Or is it unnecessary? I think I will be comfortable doing it with this batch and let it age a few more months. I am not really worried about it drying out. It would have to dry alot to make any difference. Or so I would imagine.

(Message edited by BrewDudeBob on December 21, 2006)
Give a man a beer and he'll waste an hour. Teach a man to brew and he'll waste a lifetime.
 

Andrew Bales
Intermediate Member
Username: Bales

Post Number: 406
Registered: 10-2002
Posted From: 65.28.53.99
Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 12:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I usually transfer each season, but not sure if its needed.

I would not truelly lager it.
 

Andrew Bales
Intermediate Member
Username: Bales

Post Number: 411
Registered: 10-2002
Posted From: 65.28.53.99
Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 03:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you keep it in the carboy, transfering on seasons, it will restart in the summer when it gets warm (usually - my do) and drop a few more points. Bill is right saying you could see 1.025.

This is why if you cork those in wine bottles you need to knock the yeast down and out with whatever that stuff is wine people use.

I got mead number 11# that will not clear at 13 months and is going on again, at 1.010 on Primie Cuvee (red star champange of sorts) and I plan to sparkoloid that dude this weekend so I can wine bottle it a month later with that stuff (I forget what it is) that knocks the yeast down.

Mead 12# cleared in 9 months on 3 transfers and is bottled. But it was going again at month 9, just a ring of bubbles. But I wanted this to carb so that was good.

Mead 13#, wildflower honey, cleared in 6 months and was 1.010 and crystal clear. Never seen a mead one could really read through. Dark ones are supposedlly like that becuase they have more minerals they clear faster and really drop the yeast and gravity quick.

Guess I will find out. Plan to make 10g of mead this next week using dark honey.
 

Connie
Advanced Member
Username: Connie

Post Number: 904
Registered: 10-2000
Posted From: 24.98.76.59
Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 04:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

camden tablet?
 

Bob Wall
Advanced Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 620
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 71.204.15.75
Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 08:57 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Just peeked in on my batch. It is pretty darn clear. Can virtually "read through it."

One oddity to report.

I have it in a 6.5 gallon carboy and as carboys go, the 5 & 6.5 gallon carboys have slight rises in their bottoms whereas the highest point of the bottom is the center of the carboy. Right? Right. Well, what I just saw, was a small yeast cake about the size of an old silver dollar smack-dab in the middle of the carboy.

WTF???

Why would all the yeast fall out and settle on the highest point of the bottom of the carboy???

This one defies any explanation I can conjure.

Little help?
Give a man a beer and he'll waste an hour. Teach a man to brew and he'll waste a lifetime.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 6123
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.224.220
Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 01:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

One of the explanations given for the raised "punt" in the bottom of a champagne bottle is that it aids in collecting any yeast sediment left after most of it has been removed by freezing.
 

dhacker
Advanced Member
Username: Dhacker

Post Number: 702
Registered: 11-2002
Posted From: 65.4.202.159
Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 01:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did you at anytime swirl the carboy, stir it with a racking cane or otherwise do something to create a whirlpool effect?
 

Bob Wall
Advanced Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 621
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 139.76.128.71
Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 07:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Did you at anytime swirl the carboy, stir it with a racking cane or otherwise do something to create a whirlpool effect?"

nope
Give a man a beer and he'll waste an hour. Teach a man to brew and he'll waste a lifetime.