• PATRONS: Did you know we've a chat function for you now? Look to the bottom of the screen, you can chat, set up rooms, talk to each other individually or in groups! Click 'Chat' at the right side of the chat window to open the chat up.
  • Love Gotmead and want to see it grow? Then consider supporting the site and becoming a Patron! If you're logged in, click on your username to the right of the menu to see how as little as $30/year can get you access to the patron areas and the patron Facebook group and to support Gotmead!
  • We now have a Patron-exclusive Facebook group! Patrons my join at The Gotmead Patron Group. You MUST answer the questions, providing your Patron membership, when you request to join so I can verify your Patron membership. If the questions aren't answered, the request will be turned down.

A couple of newbie questions

Etowah Meadery - Drink Unique
African Bronze Honey - 50% off for GotMead members

Skropi

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Apr 5, 2020
64
0
6
I am about to start my mead brewing adventure, and I have a couple questions that I can't find an answer in the forum.
First of all, I have no temp control, and no way to get it easily. Now, when I brew my favourite ale, this is no problem, as the yeast I am using (Mangrove jack's Bavarian wheat), ferments my favourite flavour profile at around 25-30°C.
With mead I am not sure though. Is there a yeast that can ferment nicely at such temperatures? The yeast I got, Mangrove Jack's M05 mead yeast, says that it has a range of 15-30°C, but I am not sure.

The second question is about headspace in secondary. A large headspace is unavoidable for me, so, is it possible to just transfer to secondary, stabilize, backsweeten, and just bottle the mead, allowing the brew to age in the bottles?
Alternatively, is it possible to just use paraffin oil like our fellow wine makers use?
 

rb2112br

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Mar 27, 2018
110
1
18
K1V is a good yeast with a high upper temp limit (95° F I believe). Your temps are at the upper limit of the M05 yeast, and if the temp range you posted is the ambient temp range, the temp in your fermentation vessel will be a couple degrees higher. If possible, I believe you want the fermentation temp to be at the mid temp range of the yeast or lower.

The only problem I can see with bottling right after stabilizing and back sweetening is you are not giving the mead time to clear. If this is for personal consumption only, that may not be a problem. You will likely end up with a slightly hazy mead with some sediment at the bottom of the bottle. I don't know that there is any major affect on the taste, but the presentation may be lacking. Again, if it's for your own personal consumption, that may not matter.
 

Medsen Fey

Fuselier since 2007
Premium Patron
K1V and D21 are both good at least up to about 30C.
If you brew with them at a temp above that please post up some details and the results you get. The only complaint I have is that both are relatively high ABV strains and I want to brew something good a lower ABV levels without having to stabilize and backsweeten. I need a yeast that will tolerate the heat but still give up the ghost below 14% ABV.

I am preparing to run another test of a few yeast are there are some good candidate out there. In the last few years, someone discovered all the Kveik strains that the Norwegians have been hiding in their barns - damned selfish Vikings! White Labs has a couple and Omega Yeast produce a couple including one called "HotHead" which might fit the bill. There are also several Belgian ale strains, and French Saison strains that may work, but the negative to most of these are they tend to be big ester producers. There are darned few choices for a clean fermenting, lower-ABV, heat-tolerant yeast. If anyone knows one, please share.

With regards to you head-space issue, you probably don't want to bottle cloudy mead. A big pile of yeast can leave you with off-flavors, and excessive yeastiness. If you can't get a smaller carboy, there are several possible solutions outlined in some of these threads (and you can find more if you do a bit of searching).
Topping Off
Novel Idea for Topping Up
Topping Up - A Novel Idea
Inert Gas Blanket - Urban Legend?


I hope that helps.
Medsen
 

4give

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Jan 1, 2018
284
2
18
Montrose, CO
I'll defer to Medsen's experience as he's made way more mead than I have, but Scott Labs says D21 has a top range of 27.8C. I agree with Medsen about the yeast flavors and possible reductive off-flavors if you have too much yeast in the bottles for too long. My wife has a yeast sensitive palate, so she doesn't enjoy tasting the mead through it's journey to the bottle as much as I do, but she's a great test subject for if I have any 'yeasty-ness' in the mead. How well everything settles, and how you rack will impact how much sediment you get.

rb2112br has an excellent point about ambient temp vs. fermentation temp. I've seen my must go 6 degrees F over ambient temp during fermentation.

It's a bit more work, but if you can put your fermentation bucket in a larger one, you may be able to use cold water and a towell to cover the fermenting bucket to keep it cooler as well. You just want to make sure you don't put the yeast on an extreme temperature yo-yo.

Here's Scott Labs 2019 free handbook that lists all of their yeast temp ranges.
https://scottlab.com/content/files/Documents/Handbooks/FermentationHandbook2019.pdf
 

Medsen Fey

Fuselier since 2007
Premium Patron
It is good to remember that the published temperature ranges refer to the temperatures that the mead can operate in, but it does not mean that they yeast will produced drinkable mead in that entire range. There are many yeast such as Montrachet, Uvaferm 43 and others that can become a Fusel nightmare at room temp despite what their temperature range may state in the documents. Had similar issue with D47 before Lallemand went back and lowered the temperature range in their brochures.

K1V and D21 showed the best of the yeast I tested in the HotMead Yeast Test years ago (which can be seen in the Patron's Brewlogs), and over time, I've had both of them perform well in environments up to 30C.

I suspect that Tokay yeast and Sacharromyces Boulardii (Florastor) can also function well at high temp, but their ABV tolerance is also high.
 

Squatchy

Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Nov 3, 2014
5,162
13
38
Denver
Just arbitrarily pick a yeast gives you less than a 30% chance of picking something that will work well with your mead. I would first post a tasting notes of your honey or a name for the varietal if it is a single source. Matching yeast to honey is foremost usually when picking a strain with secondarily considering the adjuncts and style of mead you want to produce.
I don't know why you just don't make a little bit bigger batch than what you will age your mead in so you can top it off once it's finished.

I usually pick my ABV. Run it dry and then stabilize and backsweeten. I have never found one who could tell the difference even though many say they can.

If you want to listen to a podcast series you can get modern science using the most modern adjuncts as well if you go to the gotmead podcast and start on 9/5/17

I would rather learn the science and craft/process over just making mead by recipes. Most on the web are junk recipes anyways. Once you roll through the podcast, you will then be able to decipher an old recipe and apply modern protocols to it so it works for you. And better yet you won't need a recipe
 

Medsen Fey

Fuselier since 2007
Premium Patron
There is another yeast strain that might work in the heat - Wyeast 3735PC Biere de Garde. It is supposedly a low to moderate ester producer with an ABV tolerance of 12% and a temp range up to 29C. Unfortunately it seems to be a seasonal, special edition yeast and no one I've seen has it in stock. If anyone knows where some is to be found, please let us know. That one would be worth testing in the heat.
 

Skropi

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Apr 5, 2020
64
0
6
I will write more when I get home, but you mentioned Mangrove Jack's Bavarian Wheat yeast, which I was about to talk about. It ferments a weisse ale perfectly at summer temps here in Athens....If you ever drank a Schneider, then you know exactly what that yeast is capable of, as it is almost the same strain. I've never drank mead, so I don't know if the esters it produces are favoured in mead, but it does make an extremely good weisse beer in any temperature you decide to use it, with no off flavours.
 

Skropi

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Apr 5, 2020
64
0
6
Oh, it does make a very aggressive fermentation, so headspace is really important. I will use it for sure in a small batch. In fact, I will make three small batches, using K1v, Mangrove Jack's M05, and mangrove jack's Bavarian wheat, with no temp control, and I'll post the results. Fermentation temps will be at around 27-30°, and it will be just a small experiment.
 

Skropi

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Apr 5, 2020
64
0
6
I think that part of my headspace troubles may be a misunderstanding in my part. It is just that I thought that back sweetening was done in the demijohn, which I find it a bit troublesome, having such a narrow opening, making stirring impossible.
So to get the process right. I am fermenting a, let's say, 20lt batch in a 32lt bucket. After fermentation is done, I transfer to another similar bucket, stabilise, and then backsweeten. Being in a bucket makes it easy. Then, after back sweetening, I rack to a suitable, smaller, demijohn, and leave it age. Is that correct?
By the way, the honey I'll be using is orange flower honey, as I got 26kg very very cheaply. It should be here by Sunday, so the first batch with mangrove Jack M05 should be ready on Sunday. I also just ordered a 5 pack of K1v!
 

Skropi

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Apr 5, 2020
64
0
6
Your technique with the two buckets should work fine.

Please let us know what the highest ABV you get with that Mangrove Jack's strain as you make meads.
You mean with the M05, the Bavarian wheat, or both?.😁 First results will be with the M05, and I will post the whole log. Keep in mind that I am addicted to the fermentation process in general. I keep the fermentation buckets in my room as I love the smell, and I am known to drink and enjoy half fermented stuff 🤣
 

Skropi

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Apr 5, 2020
64
0
6
The Bavarian wheat strain is the one I'm most interested in. I'd like to know if it will push beyond the stated ABV.
It's a deal. When the honey gets to me, I'll shoot for 11% abv and see what happens!
 

Skropi

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Apr 5, 2020
64
0
6
Just an update. I firmly believe that Mangrove Jack's M05 is the same strain as K1V. They share the same profile, even the temperatures at which they produce floral esters. They are known to repackage yeast, so that wouldn't surprise me. In any case, I'll test them both.
 

Skropi

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Apr 5, 2020
64
0
6
It will be simple matter to test it. When my K1v arrives, I'll make two identical batches, with only the yeast being the variable. I certainly do hope it is the same yeast, or the M05 is better, as I can find it locally!
 

Medsen Fey

Fuselier since 2007
Premium Patron
I don't think you'll be able to confirm it based on batches you do at home. It would require a lab to do the DNA testing. By confirming it, I was suggesting doing a little internet sleuthing to see if that is the case, or by contacting the manufacturer to ask them. Sorry for not being clear.
 

Medsen Fey

Fuselier since 2007
Premium Patron
follow-up. From Mangrove Jack's site regarding M05:

A high ester-producing strain conferring fresh, floral esters, especially when fermented cool. This yeast has high alcohol tolerance and ferments well over a wide temperature range. This strain has low to medium nitrogen requirements. The mead strain is a wine yeast, so it isn't really recommend for use in beer. The M05 has a neutral killer status. This means that this yeast does not produce a toxin nor is affected by toxins from other strains. This means it can be used alongside other strains of yeast.


K1-V is a killer strain. I think this means that M05 is not the same strain as K1-V. That doesn't mean it won't be a great strain for meads.
 
Etowah Meadery - Drink Unique
African Bronze Honey - 50% off for GotMead members