Wednesday, September 12, 2012

First Mead Ever

I thought it would be a while before I got around to making a mead.  For the last year, I've heard about how it takes a year to ferment and even longer to taste good.  Since then, I came across the idea of a "Staggered Nutrient Addition" which is a newer concept in home mead making.  I believe I came by this on Basic Brewing Radio.  I found Fermax yeast nutrient at my LHBS, Homebrew HQ.  One of the guys there said it's "specially formulated" for mead.

For my staggered nutrient addition, I decided to cut my additions into quarters.  The recipe I have calls for 2 tsp per gallon, so that means 4 additions of 1/2 tsp each.  I've opted for an addition at pitching (day 1), day 2, day 3, and day 7 to give the yeast a little finishing kick.  There are just as many suggestions about when and how much nutrient to add as there are mead makers.  I may change my additions for my next batch but so far it seems to be doing well.

After several recent clogged airlocks and crazy blow-offs, I cautiously backed my recipe down to around 3/4 of a gallon.  So far, the fermentation has produced very little krausen so I probably could have pulled off a full gallon.  My target was 1.100, but after adding 3 containers of honey I was at 1.095, so I decided to not open another.

First Mead

2.25 lbs "Organic Grade A" Honey, Kroger brand
2/3 gallon purified bottled water

1/2 tsp Fermax 9/4/12
1/2 tsp Fermax 9/5/12
1/2 tsp Fermax 9/6/12
1/2 tsp Fermax 9/9/12

1 packet Lalvin 71b-1122
OG 1.095

Started 9/4/12
Honey via Texas Aggieland Brew Club from Kroger
Local water has a musty taste - algae bloom?
Aerated day 1 and 2 after nutrient additions (heavy shaking)
Added fourth nutrient addition early since yeast was starting to flocculate already

Bottled 10/26/12
Bottled directly from primary
4 bottles dosed with 10g of honey each
4 bottles kept still, no honey added

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