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Mead: Tips for a Predictable Fermentation By: Harold Gulbransen Mead : Honey Wine : Ambrosia Nectar of the Gods.

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Presentation on theme: "Mead: Tips for a Predictable Fermentation By: Harold Gulbransen Mead : Honey Wine : Ambrosia Nectar of the Gods."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mead: Tips for a Predictable Fermentation By: Harold Gulbransen Mead : Honey Wine : Ambrosia Nectar of the Gods

2 BJCP website defines various types of mead Melomel [fruit] Cyser [apples] Pyment [melomel using grapes] Metheglin [herbs &spices] Braggot or Bracket [malted grains]

3 When entering a Mead in competition one MUST specify : Strengths – Sack, Standard or Hydromel Sweetness – dry, semi-sweet, sweet Carbonation – still, petillant, sparkling

4 Mead Tasting #1 1/3 = Buckwheat Honey Mead w/ fresh ginger [1 oz.] – 28.6 Brix [1.115 OG] – approx 16 lbs. of Honey – 3.5 gallons water – 3 tsp nutrient, 2 tsp energizer 2 tsp DAP – Red Star Pasteur Red – 20 gms – Brewed on July 8, 2006 – finished /3 = Buckwheat Honey Mead w/ dried Lavender [30 gms] – 25 Brix [1.100 OG] – 4 gallons water – Brewed December

5 Making Mead [5 gallons] “Must” = Honey + Water [carbon filtered or bottled] + Nutrients + Oxygen + Yeast Equipment – similar to extract brewing plus a “mix stir” for agitating must Heat or No-Heat [All equipment must be sanitized carefully]

6 Yeasts my favorites are: Lalvin 71B-1122 (Narbonne) Red Star Pasteur Red (Davis 904) Red Star Montrachet Red Star Cote des Blanc (Davis 750) Lalvin Rhone 4600 (Cote du Rhone) Lalvin RC212 (Burgundy)

7 Day 0 4 gallons water [chlorine free] 15 – 18 lbs of Honey [semi-sweet / sweet mead] approx – OG [dissolve using “mix-stir” and an electric drill] Nutrients – provide a source of free amino nitrogen [FAN], carbon, phosphate & sulfate – 1 gm DAP [diammonium phosphate] =1/4tsp – 0.5 gm Fermaid K [Lallemand’s micronutrient blend] = 1/8 tsp Oxygenate thoroughly 2 pkgs [10 gms] Yeast rehydrated [104 F water gms of Go-Ferm] – Go-Ferm by Lallemand is an organic nutrient, gms of Go-Ferm/gm of yeast pH – keep this above 3.8 [preferably 4.0 – 4.2]

8 Day 1 Stir mead with “mix-stir” Check pH

9 Day 2, 4 & 6 Stir mead with “mix-stir” Add 0.5 gms DAP & 0.25 gms Fermaid K Check pH – if too low, buffer with KOH or CaCO 3 [add 0.5 tsp at a time and check pH again]

10 Day 3, 5 & 7 Stir mead with “mix-stir” Check pH

11 Mead Tasting #2 Miller’s Wildflower Honey – 28 Brix – no heat technique – 1 dried Chipotle – 1 gm Szechuan Green Pepper – 1.5 gms Chinese Chilis [2 peppers] – Brewed April 4, 2009 On May 1, 2009 – – racked On May 30, 2010 – racked sweetend w/ 14 oz honey & added 1 oz toasted French Oak Fined on July 24, Sparkaloid

12 Adding Fruit &/or Spices If adding fruit, consider adding a day or two after must is actively fermenting [checking pH as fruit can be acidic] Spices can be added anytime [e.g. Day 0, then taste after 6 months and add more if needed – less is more!!]

13 Acid Balancing When fermentation is complete, rack and after months, perform an acid balance test. Acid Balancing Kits can be purchased at Homebrew stores and require some “titration skills” I prefer to balance my meads to slightly lower than dessert wines [sweeter]

14 JoAnne told Me I had to talk about my screw-ups!! Don’t add acid to the “must”, it can drop the pH too much causing the fermentation to stop Don’t add too much honey [> 1.170] as the mead will finish too sweet. 100 gravity points is about max. Mild berries often disappoint [e.g. strawberries, blueberries] Chipotle Chilis is TOO much – Really!! Adding too much nutrient results in a minerally flavor If it’s not great in 12 months – WAIT

15 Changes that made my Meads Better Carbonating a sweet mead – carbonic acid balances the sweetness Subtle use of spices Use Honey w/ character [Citrus, Buckwheat, Macadamia, Tupelo] Wildflower is boring Acid Balancing after 12 months

16 Special Thanks to Kris England [St. Paul Homebrewers] for an excellent Mead presentation at the 2008 AHA conference in Cincinnati

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