hist-brewing: Slow Ferment, what is fast, and nutrients

Cindy Renfrow renfrow at skylands.net
Wed Jul 7 18:19:21 PDT 1999

<snip>  Before I would jump up and
>say, with out a doubt it would be #1, but what if I was wrong and I never
>realized I could make better mead with #2.  That is what Al claims.  I am
>sure  both methods make excellent meads, but I am interested in making
>the best mead I can.  So, I hope that is more clear and again I ask, does
>anyone else have information to support this?  And Al, let me know if I am
>misunderstanding your process at all.

<shrug> I've always added just one packet, when brewing or baking, despite
what the instructions may say.  Adding more yeast to my bread makes it rise
very quickly, with a yeasty flavor & large amount of gas bubbles.  Adding a
little yeast, & allowing the dough to rise in a cool spot produces a
nicer-flavored loaf with a denser crumb. Likewise, a faster ferment to my
brew gives it an off flavor.

>I personally am planning an experiment to test some of these ideas as
>soon as I get some empty 1 gallon fermenters and a couple of gallons of
>honey.  One thing that I would like to do though is try this with a more
>period kind of nutrient than Fermax.  What kind of yeast nutrients were
>used pre 1600?  I feel reasonably period using malt as a nutrient
>(although I use extract in my meads to save doing a mash, I feel
>comfortable with this since it is the same ingredient, just using a modern
>time saver), but what else can people suggest so I can add more
>variables to my experement?

Raisins are the only thing I can think of at the moment.


Cindy Renfrow
renfrow at skylands.net
Author & Publisher of "Take a Thousand Eggs or More, A Collection of 15th
Century Recipes" and "A Sip Through Time, A Collection of Old Brewing

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