Sunday, November 8, 2009

Refined Tommy's Twleve-and-a-Half

This batch is almost the same as the previous batch of Tommy's Twelve-and-a-Half, but it will eliminate some of the mistakes in that batch, namely...
  • I will appropriately use DAP instead of inappropriately using Fermaid K.
  • I will use campden tablets to precisely and definitively stop fermentation (instead of attempting to cold crash and inappropriately using Potassium Sorbate and Potassium Metabisulfite to stop fermentation0.
  • I will use the liquid, two-part clarifying agent *correctly* this time.
  • I will not bottle until the mead is perfectly clarified.
I am also thinking about drying it out a little more (and thus raising the ABV). If all works according to plan this time, I will have a base recipe that I can...
  • Use a higher-quality honey in
  • Use as a base recipe for future batches
2 packets of Lavlin EC-1118
Fermaid K
15 lbs of honey
4 gallons of water (approximately)
Clarification agent (not sure which yet).
Campden Tablets
Potassium Sorbate

Rehydrating the Yeast
1. Raise 6 oz of water to 110 degrees F.
2. Add 4 tsp of Go-Ferm and stir.
3. When temp has decresed to 104 degrees F, add 10 grams (2 pkt.) of yeast and stir.
4. After 15 minutes, add to must (must temp = 75-80 degrees F).
5. Aerate.

Making the Must
1. Put 15 lbs of honey in carboy
2. Top off to 5 gallons with distilled water
3. Power stir until there is no stratification of honey
4. Rehydrate Yeast (see above)
5. Pitch yeast solution
6. Add 1 tsp of Fermaid K
7. Power stir / aerate
8. Add bung and airlock

11-08-2009 @ 11PM
Made must, pitched yeast.
Must temp = 76 degrees F.
Yeast solution = 76 degrees F.
OG = 1.119
Maximum ABV = 15.88%

11-09-2009 @ 8PM
1 perk every 5 seconds.
Added 5 tsp of DAP (1 tsp per gallon)
Aerated (It fizzed over! I've *GOT* to remember to try to diffuse the CO2 before power-aerating!)

11-12-2009 @ 6:30AM
Aerated it. AND IT FIZZED OVER AGAIN -- DESPITE ME TAPPING ON THE CARBOY TO DIFFUSE THE CO2! (I've got to post on the forums for a solution to this! I've probably wasted a bottle of mead!)

11-12-2009 @ 9:00PM
Perking at 3 second intervals.
SG = 1.076
Temp = 76
ABV = 5.8%
This is right on track with the previous batch, except the ABV is slightly higher. I attribute this to using DAP instead of Fermaid K.

11-15-2009 @ 6PM
1 perk every 6 seconds.
SG = 1.068
Temp = 72
ABV = 6.95%
Added 5 tsp of DAP. Stirred. Aerated.
Put it in the sink to aerate. It *almost* fizzed over, but I just took it slowly.
Moved it upstairs where the temperature is about one or two degrees warmer.

Perk Interval: 3-4 seconds.

Perk Interval: 2 seconds.
The DAP really made a big change.
After the same amount of time on the last batch, I was at about 9-10% ABV. I'm estimating that this batch is outpacing the last one. I'll need to check it tonight to make sure it doesn't pass my target of 12-14%.
Temp = 80
SG = 1.056
ABV = 8.04%
It's not as far along as I thought it would be. But that's fine. It still has a good healthy fermentation going on.

11-19-2009 @9:30PM
1 Perk every 2-1/2 seconds
Temp = 78.5
SG = 1.043
ABV = 10.17

11-21-2009 @10:50AM
1 Perk every 2-1/2 seconds
Temp = 79.5
SG = 1.032
ABV = 11.6
Tasting Really Good.

11-22-2009 @10:30PM
1 Perk every 4 seconds
Temp = 79
SG = 1.026
ABV = 12.4%

11-23-2009 @6:15AM
Added 6 Campden tablets (to kill yeast)
Added 1.5 tsp of Potassium Sorbate (to stop further fermentation)

11-23-2009 @6:00PM
1 perk every two or three minutes.
Started cold crashing (dropping temp down to about 34 degrees)

11-26-2009 @7AM
Removed from fridge to let it return to room temperature.
@11:15AM Added packet 1 of 2-part liquid fining agent.
@12:45PM Added packet 2.

It has clarified noticeably, but it still has a way to go. The first packet specified waiting for an hour before adding the second packet. But the second packet didn't really specify how long clarification might take. There is a lot of sediment now in the bottom of the carboy. I think I'll wait another day or two to see how it does.

12-1-2009 @6:00AM
It has clarified quite a bit. I'll have to pour some into a wine glass when I get home from work to see just how clarified it is, but it's probably getting close to bottling time. I'd at least like to have a bottle by the 12th to bring to a brew party.
EDIT: My friends at the brew party thought it was good.

Crystal clear. Bottled it. Very delicious.