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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,838

    Default Vintage Le Grande Salvage

    I have threatened to do this for two years. I am soaking my cappings and will get them as free of honey as six gallons of water will get them. If the specific gravity is below 1.130, I will rinse sticky buckets until it is to that Original gravity and add a little honey if necessary to get it there. I will warm the water to about 100 degrees F and strain off the wax and when it cools to the seventies, pitch (add) a KIV-1116 starter I have revving up now. I will add a tsp of yeast nutrient and one of energizer. I will areate the devil out of it and put it in a dark spot of honor in my basement where it stays reliably about 68 degrees. I will areate it daily and when the SG Has dropped about .040 I will add another tsp of yeast nutrient and energizer. Tuesday we are leaving for ten days to babysit while my daughter and her husband go elk hunting with crooked things and sharp sticks. Upon my return, I will rack it onto about twenty pounds of peaches I have skinned, pitted and halved, in another brewing bucket and let that work for another ten days before racking it into a carboy for bulk aging. Doesn't that sound like a better plan than just throwing that sticky water away?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,838

    Default Re: Vintage Le Grande Salvage

    Well, failure to prepare for plan has resulted in a setback. KIV-1116 is I believe a heavy needer of nutrient and the location of my dap and yeast nutrient and yeast energizer are unknown. The pathetic brew shop we have might not even have any and aren't open til Monday afternoon--maybe--its that kind of place. I am thinking a pound of raisens and I'll boil up some bread yeast as that will help. Since this is a reinactment of our ancestral metholds I already added half a pound of bee pollen. I guess for better or worse it is on its way. There certainly was enough wild yeast on the pollen and in the honey, but the legions of KIV I loosed should beat down the compettition. I chose not to camden tablet it or heat it. My sticky salvage operation only resulted in an OG of 1.120. Since my brewing bucket is perilously full already, I guess that is what I will start at. That should leave the yeast some room to work more when I add the peaches and I can backsweeten after I bulk age.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Papaikou, Hawaii, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: Vintage Le Grande Salvage

    I am new to all of this and just about to start my first batch of mead but just want to heartily support (and raise a glass to) your efforts!

    I hope you will keep us posted.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,838

    Default Re: Vintage Le Grande Salvage

    It is great fun and the best advice is have patience with the mead. If you want an instant drink, make beer. Mead takes time and improves hugely with age. Remember that when you taste your product and it is less than delicious. A batch normally needs at least six months before being judged. I have one a year old that needs a couple more I am told.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,838

    Default Re: Vintage Le Grande Salvage

    My salvage project could not have worked out any better so far. I planned it to work dry before it reached its Alcohol tolerance so the yeast could still have a little fun with the peaches. It is at .992 which is quite dry. In two days I will rack it onto the peaches and let the yeasties eat peaches for about ten days to two weeks and then rack off again for aging.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,838

    Default Re: Vintage Le Grande Salvage

    I racked onto frozen peaches last night. I don't care if I inhibit yeast metabolism I guess. I figure by the mead calculators it is between 15 and 16% ABV and that is more than enough to leach the sweet and flavor out of some fine O Henry peaches obtained on a trip west. The color of the krausen (gunk at the top) reflects the pollen I added I guess. The mead has not cleared much and is pretty lurid yellow/gold also. So far i see nothing but upside to saving the honey that just gets burned or washed off capping wax. I have more cappings and I guess I will be utilizing that source too! I certainly hope this all turns out gift quality as I will never be able to drink it all nor have the desire.

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