hist-brewing: Re: hist-brewing-digest V1 #351 -Reply

Tue Jul 6 16:30:43 PDT 1999

Al writes,

>I disagreed with Nathi on this too... I believe that you don't want too
quick a ferment because it will generate too much heat and thus produce
excessive higher alcohols.  Cool and slow.  I used one package of
rehydrated dry yeast for 4 gallons of mead.  My mead won a ribbon after
only 7 months.  Hotter, more vigorous ferments require far longer aging to
 lose that roughness from higher alcohols.  I had a pyment that tasted like
lighter fluid for two years!  Now, it's nectar.  (Oh... pyment is fermented
grape juice and honey.)

I personally have never tried to slow down my fermentation process to
make better mead.  However, maybe there is a lot of merit to this.  If I
recall, a lot of the old recipes call for smaller quantities of yeast then I
would normally use, corresponding with Al's one packet philosophy. 
And although most of my meads are good within a year, I have one
braggot (malt and honey) that still seems harsh after 2.5 years.  That
particular braggot happened to ferment so vagariously that I lost about
3/4 gallon in blow off.  Just one data point, but it seems to correspond.

This whole philosophy of slowing down the ferment seems very
counterintuitive to me, but there is evidence showing it may be a good
idea.  It seems like there should be more to it then temperature since I
ferment at about 60 degrees and even with a vigorous ferment the mead
seems to stay below 65 or so.  What are others thoughts on this
subject?  Does anyone else have data points to add to this?  Has anyone
seen any historic literature pointing to the idea of intentionally slowing the

I personnaly aim to experment with fermentatiuon vigour soon (slightly
different then I wrote in private Al)


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