Sweet and Dry batches, how are my OGs?

Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:34 am

First my recipe/process:
I brewed up some mead over the weekend, 4 gallon boil with 19 (roughly) pounds of locally produced honey (my aunt keeps bees, actually). Honey added with the water at about 120 deg F, stirred and heated up to 180, turned off the heat cooled it down; topping off to 6 gal. Once cooled, i racked into two carboys, further topping off so that I had 3 gallons of must at a roughly 3lbs:1gal ratio for a sweet mead, and 5 gallons of must at a roughly 2lbs:1gal ratio for a dry mead. I used White Labs sweet mead and champagne yeast vials respectively.

Once I was finished topping off the carboys I took OG readings and got 1.068 for dry and 1.108 for sweet, measured at roughly 70 deg F. Can anyone tell me if these are right? From other reading it looks like I'm relatively in range; the sweet sdie is right on point and the dry side is a bit low. If this is the case, should I add some extra honey or will I just get an extra dry finished product? What FG should I be looking for?
-PFC Kragaad, Abacus 'Brewing Company'

Fermenter - PBW
Aging - Sweet Mead, Dry Mead, Saison, Cider 1, Cider 2, Vanilla Bourbon RIS
Cellar - Cherry Porter, Pale (Cascade), IPA, Belgian Pale, Irish Stout
Next - 3 Pales (Citra, Amarillo, Experimental 342)
AbacusBrewingCo
 
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Re: Sweet and Dry batches, how are my OGs?

Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:42 am

Not sure about the sweet mead yeast from white labs but for us, at Moonlight Meadery, both of those wines would finish dry using the Lalvin 71B. The lighter of the two will for sure be dry but not enough experience to know about the other one. Best of luck.

Chris Killinger
Fermentation Specialist
Moonlight Meadery
603-216-2162
The time is near the mission clear,
Its later than you think, before you slip
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NHBrewer
 
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Re: Sweet and Dry batches, how are my OGs?

Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:09 pm

NHBrewer wrote:Not sure about the sweet mead yeast from white labs but for us, at Moonlight Meadery, both of those wines would finish dry using the Lalvin 71B. The lighter of the two will for sure be dry but not enough experience to know about the other one. Best of luck.

Chris Killinger
Fermentation Specialist
Moonlight Meadery
603-216-2162



thanks for the input, it's really cool to hear directly from a moonlight guy; besides easy access to honey (see above), hearing about you guys on the session was a big reason i wanted to try making my own.

the two carboys (after a little under a week) have cleared up a lot, but the 2:1 'dry' batch much more than the 3:1 'sweet' batch. i plan to age them both for about 9 months after racking them into secondary, but i'm looking forward to a taste in another week or two when i check gravity. any advice for either batch?
-PFC Kragaad, Abacus 'Brewing Company'

Fermenter - PBW
Aging - Sweet Mead, Dry Mead, Saison, Cider 1, Cider 2, Vanilla Bourbon RIS
Cellar - Cherry Porter, Pale (Cascade), IPA, Belgian Pale, Irish Stout
Next - 3 Pales (Citra, Amarillo, Experimental 342)
AbacusBrewingCo
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:54 am

Re: Sweet and Dry batches, how are my OGs?

Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:19 pm

Update:
After a couple weeks my fermentations got stuck, White Labs' 'Sweet Mead' yeast apparently conks out at a fairly low abv, and even the 'Dry Mead' yeast didn't get as far as I wanted. Added some nutrient, some heat (71 deg F rather than ambient 66-ish), and 2 days ago I repitched Red Star Champagne yeast, and now they both are moving along.

The Dry batch dropped from being stuck at 1.035 now it's down to 1.012 and not finished (i'm hoping for 0.990 or only a little higher). The Sweet batch was stuck all the way up at 1.052 and is now down to 1.026 and that one i'm looking for close to 1.010, maybe 1.012. Both tasted ok, but I'm counting on the aging process to bring out a lot more flavor than I've got so far.
-PFC Kragaad, Abacus 'Brewing Company'

Fermenter - PBW
Aging - Sweet Mead, Dry Mead, Saison, Cider 1, Cider 2, Vanilla Bourbon RIS
Cellar - Cherry Porter, Pale (Cascade), IPA, Belgian Pale, Irish Stout
Next - 3 Pales (Citra, Amarillo, Experimental 342)
AbacusBrewingCo
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:54 am

Re: Sweet and Dry batches, how are my OGs?

Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:53 pm

Understandably, probably no one cares, but today (12/19) I checked gravity on both batches again, after repitching champagne yeast on 12/10. The sweet is down to 1.011 for a 13% abv and the dry is down to 1.002 for an 8.75% abv and seems that both are done fermenting. I'd like the dry to get below 1.000, but i'll settle for 1.002, I expect to rack these very soon and move them to long-term aging (going to give them probably 10 months of age before bottling)
-PFC Kragaad, Abacus 'Brewing Company'

Fermenter - PBW
Aging - Sweet Mead, Dry Mead, Saison, Cider 1, Cider 2, Vanilla Bourbon RIS
Cellar - Cherry Porter, Pale (Cascade), IPA, Belgian Pale, Irish Stout
Next - 3 Pales (Citra, Amarillo, Experimental 342)
AbacusBrewingCo
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:54 am

Re: Sweet and Dry batches, how are my OGs?

Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:23 am

Sounds like things are going well for you. You may get a few more points of attenuation by aging them on the lees for an extended period of time. Keep it up and good luck in the future.

Chris
The time is near the mission clear,
Its later than you think, before you slip
into the night you'll want something to drink.
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NHBrewer
 
Posts: 276
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Location: Alton New Hampshire USA

Re: Sweet and Dry batches, how are my OGs?

Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:22 am

alas, it is now racked off of the majority of the yeast, so only what is still in suspension is left, but maybe I will get a little more attenuation from that. I plan to age both batches (and the cider I'm making) for a good long time, probably 8-10 months.

I know the cider I'm doing will need to be racked a few times through that time, how about the mead? Should I rack the mead batches every couple months the same as the cider?
-PFC Kragaad, Abacus 'Brewing Company'

Fermenter - PBW
Aging - Sweet Mead, Dry Mead, Saison, Cider 1, Cider 2, Vanilla Bourbon RIS
Cellar - Cherry Porter, Pale (Cascade), IPA, Belgian Pale, Irish Stout
Next - 3 Pales (Citra, Amarillo, Experimental 342)
AbacusBrewingCo
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:54 am

Re: Sweet and Dry batches, how are my OGs?

Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:55 am

How many times you rack depends on the clarity you want in the final product and whether you plan to filter or not. The more you rack the clearer you should be able to get it without filtration. As long as you have the majority of the yeast out of there autolysis should not be a huge concern.

Chris
The time is near the mission clear,
Its later than you think, before you slip
into the night you'll want something to drink.
User avatar
NHBrewer
 
Posts: 276
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:51 am
Location: Alton New Hampshire USA

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