Confusion on making Melomel

Discussion in 'Products of the Hive' started by Versipelis, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. Versipelis

    Versipelis New Member

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    So strawberry season is just around the corner here in FL and I want to make a Strawberry/Raisin Melomel . Before I dive into it, I'd like to clear up some things in case I got them wrong.

    1) I'm considering a champagne yeast around 18% abv tolerance EC-1118. Will that make it too "dry"

    2) After I pitch my yeast, do I let it stand in a pot for 10 days, all-the-while "punching the cap" 3 times daily, before I move it to a carbonyl?

    3) When making a Melomel, do yeast still need yeast nutrient + o.j. for added acid? I'm getting conflicting info from the book. I plan on adding Pectic enzyme for added clarity.

    Any helpful pointers would be greatly appreciated, as I don't want to screw this up.
     
  2. Walt B

    Walt B New Member

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    Sorry, can't help. Never tried my hand at Mead.

    Walt
     

  3. LazyBkpr

    LazyBkpr New Member

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    1; I have and do use Lalvin EC-1118 for mead and wines, it works well, but has a slightly higher tolerance for alcohol than some other wine yeasts.. but of course, thats why i use it...


    2; During Primary fermentation, ten days to two weeks.. punch the cap down as stated.. Be careful what you use for a primary fermenter.. A metal or aluminum pot may transfer tastes that are disagreeable.. I try to use a food grade bucket, or barrel as my primary fermenting pail. Oxygenation helps as well, a good paint mixer on an electric drill is handy.. Keep it covered with a cloth to keep bugs and mice etc out, its never fun to spend all that time and money, only to find that a couple mice have been fermenting in there as well.

    3; Honey does not have a lot to offer yeast, so I recommend nutrient as well as energizer if you have it. If you are using enough strawberries they may make up for the lack of nutrients.

    tips;
    My first batch of mead tasted like ROCKET FUEL even a year after I made it.. I fermented it in the pantry, which was usually about 80 degrees.. keep your fermenting pail wherever you MUST to keep the temp int he low 70's.
    If you do not like your wine DRY, then make sure the fermenting process has stopped. Add Potasium Sorbate (See note below) and sweeten to taste.. Rack to another Carboy when sweetening and put an airlock on it. Watch it, and let it age in the Carboy if possible. No further fermentation should take place.. If you cant let it age in the carboy for six months, ,wait at least a couple weeks, watching foro fermentation to restart.. So long as it does NOT re start, you can bottle and age..
    If fermentation re starts, your going to either blow corks across the room, or have broken bottles.

    You might try making some wines, grape, blueberry, Strawberry etc before spending a lot of money on honey, or USING a lot of honey to make mead/melomel. Get good with the wine, and then step up to using honey instead of fruit juices. Mead has a tendency to wear a persons patience thin while they wait.. I have drank my mead at 5 months, but it sure tasted better at 2 years! Wine, I can usually drink after two to three months!

    Note on Potassium Sorbate;

    Simply put potassium sorbate is used to prevent spoilage by yeasts and molds in a finished wine. It does this by rendering these micro-organisms unable to reproduce.

    It is added to wines that have completed fermentation to prevent spoilage but also to prevent further fermentation of sugars added after fermentation such as when you back sweeten a wine.
     
  4. Versipelis

    Versipelis New Member

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    Man, I really appreciate you taking the time to give a few pointers. I had no idea that warmer temperatures (during fermentation) = hotter mead. I sure don't want it to taste like rocket fuel. Like everything, I'm sure I'll get better with experience. I mixed up a cranberry must today, hopefully, with a little luck it will be tolerable.
     
  5. LazyBkpr

    LazyBkpr New Member

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    With a little care and following instructions well, it should be tolerable. In fact the NORM is tolerable, the fun part is taking your meads from tolerable to desirable!! :grin: