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First attempt at Mead

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Nitasch

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This weekend I bottled my first batch (Australian Chardonnay from kit) and racked the Red Zin into the secondary, and decided to try my hand at Mead.

I know this is not a heavy mead forum, but I thought I would run the recipe by you all and see what you all think.

I researched mead making well before I decided to make wine, and came up with this recipe, which technically is a Metheglyn.

18 lbs Clover Honey
4 Gallons water
2 teaspoons yeast nutrient
2 teaspoons yeast energizer
2 packets Lalvin EC1118 champaigne yeast
1 teaspoon tannn
3 2" sticks cinnamon simmered in one cup water for 30 minutes (sticks discarded before adding)
3 oz pure vanilla extract

It started perking nicely within five hours, and has a surprising molassas scent to it...smells fantastic thus far.

I am anticipating (hoping for) a rich sweeter wine with just a touch of cinnamon..... thinking it will be done in time to bottle and hand out for Christmas, with instructions to let age for a couple months before trying.
 
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Nitasch

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Forgot to add this little factoid, the beginning SG reading at 72 degrees was 1.140, which was about where I thought it would be...
 

Luc

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First welcome at the forum.
You are right, this is not a mead-based forum.
Nevertheless we try to help where we can.

1140 is high in any book. So the yeast might
have trouble with starting fermentation.
Most likely this will work out as a sweet high alcohol mead.

Has it started already ????

Luc
 

Nitasch

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Thank you Luc,

I started it on Saturday evening, and it started perking off gases about five hours later. I checked on it Sunday and there was a bubble rising in the airlock every two seconds, this AM, it is perking one almost every second.

I used the Champaigne yeast since it was going to have a high alchohol content in hopes that it would keep working in that environment longer than a typical wine yeast.

I have tried dry meads before, and like them, but wanted to come up with a more sweet outcome for gifting around Christmas time. :)
 

Wade E

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I would actually add more nutrient at an sg of 1.050. Meads are notorious for having enough nutrients and stalling.
 

Nitasch

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Thank you again Wade!

I will check it at the 6 or 7 day mark, or when it stops being as active, and do just that!
 

Malkore

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I'll add that tannin is not exactly required. You'll find a lot of mazers like myself have never added tannins to any of their meads.
I don't do acid blend either, but that 'need' is dependant on what you're making and if it has enough acid on its own.
And both of these ingredients really depend on what the final mead tastes like. Tannins may help or hurt the mead. Acid may or may not be needed to balance the flavor.

The sister site www-dot-homebrewtalk-dot-com has a section for mead makers and quite a few contributors. And if you like mead making, I highly recommend Ken Schramm's The Compleat Meadmaker...worth every penny and his yeast profiles are VERY helpful.
 

Nitasch

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Thank you Malkore!

I went back and forth on the tannnin to be honest with you. Most of the recipes I considered had tannin along with the acid blend and pectic acid. I cut out the acids since I wanted a sweeter outcome, but was pressed by the local brew supplier to at least include some tannin.

I have Ken Schramms book on order as I type.

I will check out the sister site and cross my fingers on this batch. ;)
 

Nitasch

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Well, here we are over two weeks out, this batch was actively fermenting with the assistance of adding nutrients, and racked to the secondary over one week ago at an sg of 1.010....

The airlock activity is vigourous still, and my hydrometer dropped like a rock three days ago..so I have no idea what the real sg is....

I plan on racking it tonight, even though there is very little sediment...but I am afraid that introducing more oxygen will perk the yeast up....and this batch will end up dry as a bone (actually I think it is regardless)

Think I have rocket fuel brewing? Can I halt fermentation?
 

Wade E

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It really should be quitting around now unless that yeast goes beyond its tolerance. You really should have gone with a slightly weaker yeast strain for this and a lower sg also. EC1118 has an abv tolerance of 18% and Ive seen it go beyond that a few times but usually it dies off around 17%.
 
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