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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    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
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    Great Falls Montana
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    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
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    Great Falls Montana
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    3,515

    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
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    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    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
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    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    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.

  7. #7
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    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: Vintage Le Grande Salvage

    I took the mead off the peaches today. I don't think the peaches gave their all. I should have waited a day or two more but I want to clean up my extractor, sticky storage tank and cappings. It has a wondeful peach smell and the peach taste is there though it is pretty dry. I think it is going to be good stuff. The next batch goes on wild plums in a couple weeks. Then all my equipment will be full of mead and i will be faced with household moral delimna's.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: Vintage Le Grande Salvage

    I had more cappings and scraps and did another batch. Using the cappings does result in more than a film of real waxy sticky stuff on top of the must that is a pain when checking SG. I added about half a pound of pollen and I really like the taste that imparts. I used Lavlin d-47 with this run and it is really slow working at 66 degrees. I started out with a gravity of 1.120 and it came down to 1.010 which means the yeast went to about 15.5% ABV. It is only supposed to go to 14%. I have about forty pounds of wild plums in the freezer that I am going to try to take the seeds and skins away from. Then I will rack on to the pulp and juice. hopefully it will ferment a little more and not end up too sweet. In a year or so I will be able to throw a tasting party. I should have batches of tart cherry, plum, peach, a cyser and a traditional all ready to drink hopefully. So much honey, so few carboys.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: Vintage Le Grande Salvage

    My second run of cappings and bucket washings was completed with D47 yeast and it was a slow process! That yeast need to be in cool temps to do a good job but fermentations are slower at 64 than in the low 70's. Slow is not bad I guess. It is working out well. I just racked off the wild plums and have five gallons of that still chugging along. I have two more gallons I put on more pie cherries and this yeast is making a better tasting mead than the KIV so far. In a year I will know more. A year ago I was wondering if this could be done and now I know it works well. The only downside is I have fine wax particles floating on top of several carboys now. Any move to skim it seems to make it explode downward into the mead. I guess it will just add authenticity to my production.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: Vintage Le Grande Salvage

    Starting a couple more batches of mead before the mazing season is damaged by solar excess (summer). I had to taste my September vintages and I can say I am really happy with the peach. I would serve it right now to anyone who appreciates a fairly dry wine. The plum is still mellowing and wil need sweetening I think. The cherry from the d-47 batch is diminished by the fact I only have three gallons of it! The six gallons of an earlier batch of cherry was made with a KIV1116 and is still a tad on the hot side but coming along nicely. Looks like I need to bottle to empty some carboys in the next two weeks.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    central mn
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: Vintage Le Grande Salvage

    put some pectic enzyme in with the fruit a hour or so before adding yeast , you will get more juice

  12. #12
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    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: Vintage Le Grande Salvage

    Do you know why? Good to know, I will try it. Now I am working on Bochet's with my melter honey.

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