hist-brewing: mead ferment times, temperature, nutrients, pH, and more (long)

Mills, Scott Scott.Mills at COMPAQ.com
Fri Jul 9 08:26:35 PDT 1999

> Don't worry about the length.  It was quite concise and 
> better defined what
> we're talking about than the previous posts.  I particularly 
> appreciated the
> part about using a malt starter for nutrients (and tannins, I 
> assume) and
> buffering with calcium carbonate.  I'll have to get some.  
> Where should I
> look?  Or will it be somewhere in that cabinet of chemicals 
> at my local
> homebrew store?
> Thanks,
> Mongo

No real tannins from the malt starter just some balance to the nutrient mix.

I would not want to add my tannins early on anyway.  Once again this is just
a personal preference.  For several reasons, I prefer to add my tannins (if
at all) to the secondary.  This gives me the opportunity to taste a mostly
fermented product and decide IF I want to add any tannins, etc to balance
the sweetness.  Also, if you are adding something like a Earl Grey
(bergamot) tea where you are not just going for tannins but for the flavor
of a particular herb or spice, I feel that you keep more of the aroma and
flavors of this addition if added after the vigorous ferment.  Lastly, I
worry that the tannins (tannic acid) will raise the pH.

When racking your mead to the secondary it is a good time to evaluate what
you will do with the next step.  During a primary ferment I almost always
just have a straight, traditional, honey and water mead.  If when I prepare
for the secondary I take a sample and discover that it have lost too much
honey flavor and aroma to be a really good traditional mead then I may
decide to rack it into a 6 gal carboy with a gallon of fruit puree, or add
some spices or a spice tea.  If it is drier than I want then I might
consider adding some more honey.  If it needs balance then I might add a bit
of tannin.

I will follow with a second post discussing my thoughts on the ART of the
brewer, meadmaker, or winemaker as opposed to the SCIENCE involved in the

Calcium Carbonate = Precipitated Chalk. All homebrew should carry it and it
costs almost nothing.



Scott Mills	 
Engineering Problem Management	 
Industry Standard Server Division	 
Scott.Mills at Compaq.Com <mailto:Scott.Mills at Compaq.Com> 	 
AKA Ld Eadric Anstapa

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