Raspberry Blossom Mead Making and Fermenting

So I made the recipe at big brew. And as some of you may know, notes at big brew can easily be forgotten. Here are the notes I took.

Gravity: 8.7 brix (1.035) – so I hit my gravity, huzzah.
pH: 3.75 – so I was wrong that the pH would be a little low, also huzzah since that’s less work.

Then the real work of brewing mead was upon me. That’s the stirring and addition of nutrients. I stir twice a day. This gives me a chance to take a gravity, as well as to smell for off-flavors developing. I test the gravity to know when to add the rest of the nutrients at the 1/3 sugar break.

During fermentation on day 3 with gravity around 1.017 I noticed a light stench of hydrogen sulfide (H2S). That’s pretty close to 50% sugar break (this will probably go to 0.998 gravity), so I had a decision to make. Do I add organic and inorganic nutrients (since I ran out of Fermaid O) or do I just add yeast hulls. This is on the very edge of where it is OK to add nutrients, especially inorganic nutrients.

I decided to do a little of both, add a touch of nutrients (30ppm) as well as some Reduless (Scott Laboratories, MoreWine) which is yeast hulls infused with copper. Copper being able to help rid your mead of H2S products and some byproducts. And I really dislike the flavor of even a little bit of mercaptan.

So day 3 I added 4g Reduless and 8g of Fermaid K. If you don’t have Reduless, the Fermaid K by itself would probably be fine, and if the H2S didn’t got away then a touch of yeast hulls would probably be enough. I just wanted the copper infusion to hopefully eliminate any mercaptan formation.

Just 10 minutes later after adding and stirring, the H2S aroma was pretty much gone. And a day later all is still smelling fine.

When I do this recipe again I’ll bump the nutrients up to 200 ppm YAN.

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