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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Asheville, NC USA
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    8

    Default First Sweet Mead

    This is going to be my First Sweet Mead
    Water for one gallon
    3lbs of Orange Blossom Honey
    2 Tablespoons of Acid Blend
    1 Teaspoon Nutrients
    2 Campdon Tablet
    Teaspoon Tannin
    1 Package of Lavin EC-1118

    Yeast Starter
    Cup of sugar
    Cup of Honey
    3 Cups o water
    1/8 Teaspoon Nutrients

    Yeast starter started off quite nicely with lots of bubbles, pitched starter after 24hr and so far not much action, hopefully by tomorrow.

    IMG_1659.jpg
    IMG_1662.jpg

  2. #2

    Default Re: First Sweet Mead

    What was your original specific gravity?
    What is the alcohol tolerance of EC-1118?
    Why campden and at what point in time was it added relative to the yeast?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Asheville, NC USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: First Sweet Mead

    Sorry, I dont know the Specific Gravity but I do have a hydrometer on order for the next try.

    EC-1118 is ust what I had at the time.
    http://www.homebrewers.com/product/3...8-5-grams.html
    The Campden was per the Recipe, to kill any bad yeast added 24hrs before the yeast was added.
    http://scorpius.spaceports.com/~goodwine/mead.htm

    Remember this is my first try and I am still learning so It’s going to be a loooong 6 to 12 months.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,754

    Default Re: First Sweet Mead

    I haven't made a mead but I made small boards batch of cyser that is fantastic. A pound of honey and organic apple juice to make a half gallon... using EC-1118.

    The fermentation was very slow and at cool / low temps in my attic this past winter. It's sweet with nice apple and honey flavors, and a very respectful alcohol level.

    I'll need to do a small amount of mead in the Fall/Winter when it's cool again. I prefer a slow fermentation. I have recently started to bottle some keeved cider that I started in late November.
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Asheville, NC USA
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    Default Re: First Sweet Mead

    Thanks BeeCurious, you just gave me an idea.

    Simple Cyser
    from More Homebrew Favorites, by Lutzen & Stevens



    Ingredients:




    •1 Gallon Apple Juice, organic


    •2 lb Clover Honey


    •3 Cloves


    •2 Sticks Cinnamon


    •Yeast of choice (Use a much smaller amount, appropriate for one gallon)


    •Yeast nutrient of choice (Same rule as above, use in moderation!)


    Remove enough juice from the jug to allow for the addition of honey. Place the jug in warm water, and increase temperature to 150 degrees F. Pour honey into jug, using a funnel if needed. It can help to warm up the honey in warm water before pouring. Hold the temperature of the must at 150 degrees for about 5 minutes, then cool to 80 degrees or below.
    Add the yeast nutrient and the yeast, and ferment at room temperature. Fermentation should slow after about three weeks. At six weeks, rack into a second jug in which you have placed the cloves and cinnamon (It does not say whole or crushed, but I would assume crushed?) Continue to rack every few weeks, whenever a layer of sediment appears on the bottom of the jug.
    Bottle when the cyser clears.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,754

    Default Re: First Sweet Mead

    I would assume that the spices are whole... but I would prefer the simple tastes of the apple and honey.

    I start by pouring some juice in a half liter water bottle and setting it aside.

    I gently warmed a small quantity of apple juice in a sterilized pan with the honey while a quarter pack of yeast is bathed in about an ounce of water to wake it up. I stir some juice into the yeast/water and pour it all back into the jug. The honey and juice in the pan will only need to be warmed slightly to get the honey into solution. Then add that to the jug. Top off with the reserved juice as required and add your airlock.

    I haven't used any yeast nutrient.

    The keeving process for making cider removes nutrients to slow and limit the fermentation.
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Asheville, NC USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: First Sweet Mead

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    I would assume that the spices are whole... but I would prefer the simple tastes of the apple and honey.

    I start by pouring some juice in a half liter water bottle and setting it aside.

    I gently warmed a small quantity of apple juice in a sterilized pan with the honey while a quarter pack of yeast is bathed in about an ounce of water to wake it up. I stir some juice into the yeast/water and pour it all back into the jug. The honey and juice in the pan will only need to be warmed slightly to get the honey into solution. Then add that to the jug. Top off with the reserved juice as required and add your airlock.

    I haven't used any yeast nutrient.

    The keeving process for making cider removes nutrients to slow and limit the fermentation.
    Thanks for the reply, sounds like a project for this weekend.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,264

    Default Re: First Sweet Mead

    Using that yeast, I don't think it is going to end up sweet mead. I be it turns out fairly hot and dry. If it does, no worries, just keep the air lock filled and it might be getting good for next Christmas or the one after that it will be awesome! If you want a sweet mead, may I suggest using Lavlin 71B-1122 I think it is. It finishes in a few months.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Jefferson Co., WV, USA
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: First Sweet Mead

    For us we got bees so we could not only grow our own fruit but make mead from our own honey. Get a notebook to go with your hydrometer and record your gravities along the way so you dont have to guess if its done. You can always use a strong yeast like EC and let it go dry then backsweeten with some honey and let it clear. I think adding some honey at the end to backsweeten it makes for a better honey taste in the end. Good luck, WVMJ
    Meadmaking with WVMJ at Meads and Elderberry Winemaking

  10. #10

    Default Re: First Sweet Mead

    Following a recipe that another has provided can help with success. But, if aiming for a sweet mead, there is some important science to follow. A sweet mead is sweet because the yeast gives out and stops fermenting available sugars while there are still sugars in the wort. These then make it taste sweet, as opposed to dry where all the fermentables are made into alcohol and Co2.

    EC 1118 has an 18% alcohol tolerance per Schramm. This is a very high amount of alcohol. In order to make a sweet mead, honey must be added above this 18% level, lets say a 19 or 20% potential alcohol level in the starter.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Asheville, NC USA
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    8

    Default Re: First Sweet Mead

    After Fermentation has ceased, is it recommended to add something like “Potassium Metabisulfite” so that when I add more honey the Fermentation does not start back?
    Thanks to all for your Help!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,754

    Default Re: First Sweet Mead

    I cold crash it.

    And while I haven't done so yet, I will add some potassium sorbate so I can share my cyser. For now, it is cold, and "on call" in our fridge.
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,046

    Default Re: First Sweet Mead

    The typical regimen is to sulfite and then add the sorbate stabilizer. As Vance and Nursebee also said, I prefer to use recipe design and yeast strain selection so that it finishes where you aimed it.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Asheville, NC USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: First Sweet Mead

    Going back to the drawing board
    Which of the Yeasts listed would be best for a Sweet Mead?
    WLP720
    ACT4184
    Cote des Blancs
    Pasteur Champagne
    Also what SG should I be looking for?
    Thanks again for all the help given

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,046

    Default Re: First Sweet Mead

    Any of them and none of them . Please take a look at the stickied thread Introduction to Meadmaking for a primer on how to calculate gravities (even starting gravity without a hydrometer) and yeast strain alcohol tolerance to end up with desired sweetness/dryness. It will clear up most of these questions and is am important "next step" for those interested in recipe development. After that, there are the flavors and other considerations. I personally would not prefer a 19% sweet mead; the ethanolic character would detract (to me) from the sweetness. So the champagne strains I only use for dry meads. Actually, I make few panty-looseners at all and enjoy my meads at 12-14% most of the time. Strains like Lalvin's 71-B is a consistent performer in this range. D-47 and RC-212 are other go-to strains for me, along with some White Labs. But you'll need to check references from the yeast producer or places like Jack Keller's Winemaking pages for each yeast's tolerance and characteristics.

    And by "back to the drawing board" I hope you mean for your next batch?
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Asheville, NC USA
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    8

    Default Re: First Sweet Mead

    And by "back to the drawing board" I hope you mean for your next batch?[/QUOTE]

    Yes Sir, another batch.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Asheville, NC USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: First Sweet Mead

    So today I decided to rack, and I also now have a hydrometer which gave my a 12% 1.09 reading, Does this sound correct???
    One thing for sure it tastes GOOD!
    Have not started my second batch yet, but will soon.

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