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When to maze and what?

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Dmntd

NewBee
Registered Member
Apr 18, 2005
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I've been thinking about this for more then a month now, since the summer heat started.

Are there times of year when it's better to make or not to make types of mead, based on what room temp is?

It seems, cooler temps make for slower fermentation's. Other then off flavors what are the down sides to making mead when it's 80° plus?

Would it be better to make Braggot's, stout's and things like hard lemonade and soda in the warmer summer months, and mead in the cooler seasons, say late fall through early spring?

What are the up sides to cooler & slower fermentations?

Anthony
 

byathread

NewBee
Registered Member
Mar 8, 2005
644
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Boulder County, CO
I believe a cooler, slower fermentation would (theoretically at least) preserve more of the aromatics in mead. Warmer temps cause more of these volatiles to blow off during vigorous primary.

As summer temps make it impossible to keep my apartment lower than the upper 70s, my brewing practices have adapted by focusing on brewing Belgian beers (wits, trippels, saisons, etc) as several Belgian yeast strains are well-suited to higher temp fermentations. Luckily, temps are still reasonable enough to brew meads of good quality. But again, Lalvin recommends temps in the upper 60s as ideal for certain strains like ICV-D47.

The rule of thumb in my house is to ferment in the coolest possible area of the house and to take all precautions to lower temp. This includes, but is not limited to, keeping carboys in shallow pans of water, wrapping in wet towels, fans all for evaporative cooling. With very little effort (soaking a towel a couple of times a day) you can lower temps 10 degrees or more.

I monitor the temps of all my carboys, but don't yet have enough data to make any generalizations.

sorry if that doesn't answer your original question, but there's my 2 cents. ;)
Kirk
 

Oskaar

Got Mead Partner
Administrator
Dec 26, 2004
7,874
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The OC
I generally don't do much meadmaking during the summer since I'd be running the A/C 24-7 to keep things at a reasonable temp.

Another thing about certain yeasts is that they do produce heat, some more than others, and in many cases with that heat they also produce H2S and SO2. It's a good idea to monitor your temperature during fermentation to manage it if it starts to rise into the zone where it will produce unwanted characters and flavors. The Lallemand website is a great resource for researching the yeasties so you know what to expect and how to manage your yeast.

Bottom line, if you're making mead during the summer, proper temperature management of your primary, and timely nutrient additions, aeration and racking are all extremely important. It is also very important to know as much about the yeast you are using and what the nuances of that particular yeast are.

Cheers,

Oskaar
 
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Etowah Meadery - Drink Unique