Ask the Meadmaker – Everything’s Jake

In which Ricky the Meadmaker answers questions about oxidation during de-gassing, using a beer yeast to stop fermentation at a lower ABV, changes to sugars caused by heating, and more!
Further Reading:
OED
Making Craft Mead at Home in Less Than Three Weeks
Mead Varieties

We were going to shoot this episode with Jake cleaning in the background which is why it's all a mess like this but apparently, he is camera shy, and also not in age-appropriate clothing. And also Kelly said no.

Welcome to Ask the Meadmaker, where I, Ricky the Meadmaker, answer your questions about mead making, mead drinking, mead brewing, and really any question you're willing to send me.

Alright everyone, I have gotten a lot of questions about other Ricky. Word of the Week Ricky. Where is he? What is he doing? Is he backpacking across Europe? They changed the way that Premier does titles and it got really hard to just make a title with a word in it. And it seemed frustrating and he quit in disgust. I don't think it was really filling that deep and abiding need of being overly pedantic for him. So, my guess is that he's somewhere in Europe telling people he works for the OED.

Our next question comes from Usagi Spoon, and Usagi Spoon wants to know if you can use beer yeast to have a lower alcohol content mead, since it won't ferment all the sugar out. If you have more sugar that would push it past its alcohol tolerance. And the answer is absolutely. And a lot of people do it that way.

Anthony wants to know the best way to degas mead in a glass carboy. And the answer is there are lots of ways to do it. I'm the toe on the bottom and shake it by the neck kind of guy. But there are like, paint whips you can use. And those are amazing and they work really fast. And if you want a still mead, they're really the only way to go. But Anthony expressed the concern that lots and lots and lots of people have which is I don't want to oxidize it. It's CO2 that you are pushing out. The neck is this big [RICKY MAKES A CIRCLE WITH HIS THUMB AND FOREFINGER] around. You're not going to be introducing oxygen into it. Anything you're doing to degas is going to create a layer of CO2 on top. It is not the thing that's going to mess up your mead.

Frederick is making a bochet with apple juice and it appears from the email, which had a lot of typos in it, that he is cooking the honey and the apple juice together to caramelize them, which I don't know if it'll work, but he seems happy with the results. But his thought was that the cooked sugars won't ferment. And the answer to that is possibly not. Certain sugars in other forms are not fermentable by Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Which is why molasses doesn't ferment out completely, even though it's sugars, the yeast just can't get at it. So, it is possible, given what you're doing at home that you have created sugars that yeast can't eat.

Our last question this week comes from Jeff, who thinks for some reason that the show will be more popular if I answer questions like who's your favorite Lord of the Rings character. And I don't know if that will make the show more popular. And I don't know why he thinks it would make the show more popular.
But the answer is, I don't have one. I love them all so much, Sam is so devoted. I love Gimley's resolve, I want to be like Aragorn. So, I don't really have one. But by not answering the question, I think it's really going to act as a hook for people. So, you're probably right, Jeff. Now we’re going to have like a million views because I almost answered the question “Who is my favorite Lord of the Rings character?”

Anyway, that was our last question this week. Keep sending them and I'll get to them as soon as possible. Cheers.

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