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Author Topic: Which Yeast for Mead?  (Read 12564 times)

Offline troy@uk

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Which Yeast for Mead?
« on: July 15, 2010, 11:32:37 pm »
I would like to try my hand at my first batch of Mead, but, of course I have a few questions.  I would like to make a few small batches using different local honeys.  I am thinking of using a 1 gal. jar for the primary and I can get some 96 oz. Juice jars for the secondary.
  I can scale down the recipes easy enough, but how much yeast should I pitch for 1 gal batches and will there be krausen like with beer or do I need to leave head space? 
  I would like to start in the middle with a semi-sweet batch.  What types of yeast do you recommend for this?
  I have read the other forums and some web sites, so I think I have an idea about how I will handle a nutriant schedule, but could use some advice on a good educational book that I can read after my first batch.  I find it easier to understand the book if I have already tried to do something.
Now there are fields where Troy once stood....  OVID

Offline beerrat

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Re: Which Yeast for Mead?
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2010, 10:32:49 am »
Strongly recommend Kenn Schramm's - The Compleat Meadmaker.  And listening ot him on the Jamil Show

I like sweet or semi-sweet meads, so have used the following yeasts:
RedStar Pastuer Red
RedStar Montradet
Wyeast 4184 Sweet Mead Yeast

Given you are doing 1 gallon, I'd use the whole package.  I double up or make a starter for 4+gallons.

Offline alikocho

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Re: Which Yeast for Mead?
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2010, 02:19:51 pm »
I agree with using a whole packet of dried yeast for a gallon, and it seems like you're already on the nutrient kick.  I tend to use Lalvin's yeast - KV 116 (Montpellier) is a great simple mead yeast which will outcompete other bugs, but it has a very high alcohol tolerance (18%?) so is likely to give you a dry mead unless you use a lot of honey.  The Lalvin Narbonne (forget the number) makes a good mead.

Ken Schram's books is great, and has plenty of info. There's also some advice on mead in Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher and in the back of Charlie Papazian's Complete Joy of Homebrewing.
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Which Yeast for Mead?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2010, 05:54:52 pm »
Take a look at the Mead Study Guide on the BJCP web site There is a section on process (ch. 12). The procedures in there are best current practices, and have updates since The Compleat Meadmaker was published.

Key points: no boil, staggered nutrient additions, yeast handling.  If making a melomel, use fruit in the primary.

If you do things properly, you will have a krauesen. Not as big or as long lasting as on beer, but you will have one. Melomels can blow off; use a bucket with a lid, just like the old days.
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Offline abraxas

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Re: Which Yeast for Mead?
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2010, 08:27:24 pm »

Offline The Professor

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Re: Which Yeast for Mead?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2010, 11:04:07 pm »
It's been addressed in other threads, but I'll repeat here that my favorite yeast for mead is the Tokaji (aka Tokay) variety.
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Offline ullarsskald1989

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Re: Which Yeast for Mead?
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2010, 09:41:12 am »
The Wyeast smack packs (4184 - sweet, 4632 - dry) work good, too.

The other choices already given, I've likely used them all in the past 27 years.

I mostly use Red Star Pasteur red wine, Montrachet, or Pasteur Champagne dried yeasts.

When making Braggot (Honey and Malted Barley) I like to use Danstar Nottingham dried ale yeast.

In all these years, I haven't found a good dried mead yeast.  When I first saw them about 20 - 25 years ago, they were imported once a year from Germany; never quite sure of getting fresh or properly stored sachets..
Today is a good day; to learn, to do, to love, to be...

(Ale - 1974, Wine - 1975, Mead - 1983)

Steven P Robinson, AHA Member #175298