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Day 93 Pitching the Yeast on the Mead

Pineapple Mango Melomel. ready for yeast.

Pineapple Mango Melomel. ready for yeast.

Smacked the yeast pack earlier this morning. It swelled appropriately. At about 11:15 a.m., I gave the yeast pack a shake and sanitized it and my equipment.

Ready to pitch.

Ready to pitch.

I used my refractometer and measured the OG at 1.110. (The must was a little thick and I didn’t want to waste any, since it’s just a one gallon batch, so I used the refractometer instead of the hydrometer.) I gave the must a stir, added the yeast and stirred again.

Wyeast 4184 Sweet Mead Yeast.

Wyeast 4184 Sweet Mead Yeast.

From the little bit of juice on the spoon, this stuff is very sweet and tasty…but a lot of that sweet is destined to become alcohol! This is going to be a long process, but it’s off to a good start.

Pole Vault Pale Ale update: the airlock has slowed. I haven’t timed it, but it has definitely not got the steady heartbeat anymore…probably 2 or 3 per minute.

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Day 92 Starting Pineapple Mango Mead (Melomel)

Pineapple Mango Melomel ingredients

Pineapple Mango Melomel ingredients

There were some big pineapples on sale at my local store and I already had a couple of mangos at home that were on sale, so…time for Pineapple Mango Mead! Or melomel, I guess. I think most fruit meads are called melomels. Some die-hards can get really technical, but I think that’s right. Anyway, I grabbed the pineapple and a 3 lb bottle of clover honey and checked out. The pineapple was $3 and the honey was $8.

So, this morning I juiced the fruit with my little countertop juice extractor and added the pulp back to the juice. I see no reason to waste the pulp, it was practically creamy. I did peel the fruit first, so it should all be good.

Pineapple juice and pulp.

Pineapple juice and pulp.

Prepping mango.

Prepping mango.

I had put together a tentative recipe and adjusted to reality as I went along. The pineapple and two mangoes yielded about 2 quarts. Then I added 1 campden tablet, crushed, 1 teaspoon of yeast nutrient and 1 teaspoon of pectic enzyme. Next, I mixed the honey with equal parts hot water to dissolve and added that to the juice and came up to one gallon.

In the 2 gallon primary fermentation bucket, mixed well.

In the 2 gallon primary fermentation bucket, mixed well.

Equal parts clover honey and hot Culligan water.

Equal parts clover honey and hot Culligan water.

I decided to add another 48 oz hot water to allow for some of the loss in racking. Mixed well, snapped on lid and added airlock. This mixture will sit 24 hours .

About a gallon and a quarter in the bucket. Tomorrow: check the FG and pitch the yeast!

About a gallon and a quarter in the bucket. Tomorrow: check the FG and pitch the yeast!

Tomorrow, I will pitch the yeast. I bought a “smack pack” of  Wyeast’s Sweet Mead Yeast. I will check the FG just before I do the yeast. After that process is started, it will likely take several weeks in primary. Then another couple of months or longer to be in a secondary phase where there is as little headroom as possible…in a carboy, I guess. Finally, it will be bottled and I’ll likely hide it away another year to age. I’m thinking Fall of 2016 is a good target.

Update on the Pole Vault Pale Ale that I brewed for my first all-grain Brew in a Bag project: It started bubbling away on the next day sometime and continues at a good rapid heartbeat-like pace.

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