A simple recipe for a demijohn of Dry Mead

Discussion in 'Coffee, Kombucha & Mead Forum' started by JDWALES, Dec 1, 2018.

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  1. Dec 1, 2018 #1

    JDWALES

    JDWALES

    JDWALES

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    I wonder if anyone can help? I'm looking to brew a demijohn of Dry Mead using supermarket honey. Contributions gratefully received. JD Wales
     
  2. Dec 1, 2018 #2

    Chippy_Tea

    Chippy_Tea

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    @ScottE75 may be able to help as he posted this recently -

    My latest mead was a dry one, I only used 3lb of ASDAs honey (£3.94), 1 1/2 tsp youngs nutrient and young's dessert/ high alcohol yeast (my favourite). Took 10 days to ferment from SG 1.092 (lower than my target) and fermented to SG 0.995 giving an ABV 13%. I prefer sweet mead, but it wasn't bad dry. I find mead clears itself 90% of the time, but I made a sweet mead with Rowse honey, and it wouldn't clear until I bottled it aheadbutt sod's law!
     
  3. Dec 1, 2018 #3

    JDWALES

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    Thanks for the recipe Chippy, I'll give it a try.

    One more question: For a sweet Mead, how much sugar do you add?
     
  4. Dec 1, 2018 #4

    Chippy_Tea

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    I haven't a clue i don't make it but i have given @ScottE75 a nudge so with luck he should answer next time he logs in.
     
  5. Dec 1, 2018 #5

    phillc

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    Look at the attenuation and alcohol tolerance of the yeast you're using. If you add enough honey initially, creating a high starting gravity, with the right yeast you will be left with residual sugar. A yeast with a lower alcohol tolerance or not very high attenuation won't consume all the sugars from the honey, leaving you with a final gravity higher than 1000.

    Something like Safale S-04 dry yeast has an alcohol tolerance of 10% ABV and max attenuation of 75%. This should leave you with a reasonably sweet mead.

    Alternatively you could add a non-fermentable sugar like maltodextrin and use a yeast like CBC-1 for a higher alcohol end product.
     
  6. Dec 1, 2018 #6

    Ajhutch

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    I wouldn’t personally use a beer yeast for a Mead. In particular I wouldn’t rely on beer yeast attenuation statistics which are estimates for a standard wort, whereas honey is only simple sugars suspended in water so should ferment out fully unless stopped using a stabiliser or you hit the alcohol tolerance.

    The mead yeast from crossmyloof has performed well for me, they say the alcohol tolerance is pretty high especially if you add the honey in stages so with proper nutrition it should give you a dry Mead from 3-4 pounds of honey in a DJ. I’m a 3 pound per DJ man myself as I don’t like it too strong.

    I’ve made a few different meads and found that even when they ferment to dryness, there is still a sweet flavour from the honey and this tends to develop over time with some aging in the bottle. It’s also simpler to make a dry mead as you don’t need to think about either stabilising early or adding honey after stabilising so I would recommend it for a first attempt. Good luck.
     
  7. Dec 2, 2018 #7

    Zephyr259

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    S-o4 can make quite a tasty mead it turns out. My 2nd low abv mead used it. 3 jars of tesco orange blossom honey made up to 5L gave 1.060 OG, I stopped the fermentationat 1.007 to leave it just barely off dry at 7% abv.

    As said above, ignore attenuation figures when making mead, they are only relevant in wort. For mead it's alcohol tolerance that's important, to make a sweet mead you either need to start at an OG which will give alcohol equal to the yeast's tollerance and a bit extra. As an example my recent batch was aimed for semi-sweet at 14%, so I started at 1.128 and it ended at 1.022 which gives 13.9%, yeast was tolerant to 14% so it's stopped leaving 22pts behind.

    Other option is to add honey to hit a target abv assuming it'll ferment out to 1.000, then once complete you stabilise with potassium sorbate and metabisulfite (campden tablet) which lets you add more honey to get to your desired sweetness without the yeast re-starting.

    An option which I'm going to use in the next batch is a BOMM (Bray's One Month Mead) which uses a belgian yeast and nutrients to ferment a dry 10% mead that is good much quicker. The nutrients are hard to get in the UK but can be found on ebay (I can find the link if you want).

    Good luck.
     
    gregd likes this.
  8. Dec 2, 2018 #8

    ScottE75

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    If I use 4lb of honey for a sweet mead it is normally SG 1.125. I know Young's Dessert / High alcohol yeast has a tolerance of about 14% ABV, which normally leaves it sweet. My advice is to find a yeast you like, find it's tolerance and plan your mead from there.
    My logic is that there is 350g of sugars per 1lb of your average honey. 4lb of honey is about 1400g of sugars which would give you a finished mead of 16.3% ABV. The yeast I use has a tolerance of 14% ABV, so in theory, you are left with 180g of sugar, so the end SG should be 1.020 which is a medium to sweet mead.
     
  9. Dec 4, 2018 #9

    JDWALES

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    Thank you all for sharing your knowledge and experience. I appreciate your support.
     

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