Author Topic: Fermentation Temperature for Mead  (Read 9008 times)

Offline dmtaylor

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Fermentation Temperature for Mead
« on: February 14, 2011, 05:34:28 AM »
I've just made a simple mead with the Wyeast 4184 Sweet Mead yeast.  It is currently at 70 F.  I have made good meads at 70 F in the past; however, now I'm ready to make REALLY GOOD mead that would please even the conneisseurs.  So my question is:

What is the RIGHT temperature to ferment mead using the 4184 sweet mead yeast?

Thanks,
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Fermentation Temperature for Mead
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2011, 08:00:19 PM »
No mead experts around here, eh?  Oh well, she seems to be fermenting well at 69 F.  Probably will be fine, huh?
Dave

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Offline dano14041

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Re: Fermentation Temperature for Mead
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2011, 08:21:14 PM »
Dang, I was hoping someone had answered your question.  :-\
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jaybeerman

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Re: Fermentation Temperature for Mead
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2011, 10:45:55 PM »
I've not used this strain in a mead, BUT you're smack in the middle of the temp range that wyeast provides.  You'll be fine.  I see that it is described as having a "rich fruity profile that compliments fruit mead, " so @ 70f I bet you'll still have a pretty fruity profile.  I think a lot of folks opt for wine yeast over the mead yeast so that's an option (next time) if you don't think this batch qualifies as "really good."  Cheers, j

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Fermentation Temperature for Mead
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2011, 11:54:11 PM »
I had originally decided not to post that I have no experience with this yeast, but now I feel like I have to.

I have no experience with this yeast ;D
Tom Schmidlin

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Fermentation Temperature for Mead
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2011, 04:36:18 AM »
What's the deal with meadmakers not using "mead yeast" but always opting for wine yeast??  I've used only the mead yeasts thus far and have been very happy with the results.  So maybe I, a mead novice, can teach the mead "experts" a thing or two!?  Either that, or I'm too uneducated to know what good mead tastes like... though I am a BJCP judge, and I did sleep at a HoJo last night.
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)

Offline dbarber

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Re: Fermentation Temperature for Mead
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2011, 07:08:58 AM »
I've only used the sweet mead yeast on ciders.  From what I have heard this yeast is finicky and doesn't always produce consistent results. 
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Fermentation Temperature for Mead
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2011, 09:50:45 AM »
I really don't like sweet mead so I never used the sweet mead yeast (Except once). I like really dry mead so I use champaign yeast cause it will chew through the sugars to the bone. I have never tried a dry mead yeast though so I can't really speak. temp wise I have always just gone with ambient temps so around 70.
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jaybeerman

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Re: Fermentation Temperature for Mead
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2011, 05:12:20 PM »
What's the deal with meadmakers not using "mead yeast" but always opting for wine yeast??  I've used only the mead yeasts thus far and have been very happy with the results.  So maybe I, a mead novice, can teach the mead "experts" a thing or two!?  Either that, or I'm too uneducated to know what good mead tastes like... though I am a BJCP judge, and I did sleep at a HoJo last night.

Next time try a batch with wine yeast and decide for yourself.  Personally I hated the dry mead yeast and wouldn't want the character of the sweet mead (obviously your palate may differ).  I'll let you know when i make another batch of mead; I would happily trade a bottle.  Cheers, j

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Fermentation Temperature for Mead
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2011, 09:08:48 PM »
The last time I used the sweet mead yeast (this was like 5 years ago), it finished at 1.004 -- hardly "sweet".  I agree that the dry mead yeast probably finishes far too dry.
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)

Offline jeffy

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Re: Fermentation Temperature for Mead
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2011, 05:23:12 AM »
I used a big slurry of Thames Valley ale yeast in my batch of key lime melomel from December.  I kinda like how it tastes and it seems to have finished at 1.010 from an OG of 1.090 (I don't have my notes in front of me).  Hopefully I can get it to clear.  I put a two step Isinglass treatment in it Sunday, but it may have some pectin haze.
Anyway, I use ale yeast in a lot of meads (mostly braggots, though) and ferment them at the appropriate temp for the yeast.
I used Montrochet in a varietal mead last year and followed pretty much the same temp schedule - low 60F.  Even after that it took a while before the heat of the alcohol subsided.
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Offline stlaleman

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Re: Fermentation Temperature for Mead
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2011, 07:33:51 AM »
The problem is.......I have never made a really good mead from this yeast. Have made some "really good" meads from wine yeasts, but this one has let me down majorly.

Offline jeffy

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Re: Fermentation Temperature for Mead
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2011, 10:03:26 AM »
The problem is.......I have never made a really good mead from this yeast. Have made some "really good" meads from wine yeasts, but this one has let me down majorly.

Which yeast?
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline stlaleman

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Re: Fermentation Temperature for Mead
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2011, 10:21:26 AM »
Some of my favorites are D-47,71B-1122, and EC-1118. The first two for fruit melomels, the latter for cysers (I like them dry and sparkling) and straight meads (back sweeten here).

jaybeerman

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Re: Fermentation Temperature for Mead
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2011, 10:51:10 AM »
The last time I used the sweet mead yeast (this was like 5 years ago), it finished at 1.004 -- hardly "sweet".  I agree that the dry mead yeast probably finishes far too dry.

What was your SG in that mead?  A FG of 1.004 - 1.001 is perfect in my book.  I just didn't like the flavor profile of the dry mead yeast.  IMO mead fg just can't be compaired with beer fg and therefore dry is a relative term.  cheers, j

Anyway, I use ale yeast in a lot of meads (mostly braggots, though) and ferment them at the appropriate temp for the yeast.
I used Montrochet in a varietal mead last year and followed pretty much the same temp schedule - low 60F.  Even after that it took a while before the heat of the alcohol subsided.

I agree ale yeast seems to be the best fit for braggots though I plan to do some wine yeast/braggot experiments later this year.  What was the ester profile in the mead fermented with wine yeast at low 60sF?  What were your overall thoughts on the mead?  cheers, j