Racked this one and checked the 101 mead tonight.
I’m unreasonably happy about the peach mead. It’s very light, tastes and smells like the fantastic peaches my friend contributed. Most of the honey is gone, though, so that leaves me with the decision of whether or not to backsweeten. I’ll let it go another 1-2 months to see what happens.
Here’s the log:
7/30/16: Initial batch started. 6 gallons of plain honey mead, 16lbs honey, Lalvin 71B-1122 yeast. OG: 1.110
9/5: Racked, and put into secondary. 1 gallon went into plain honey, and the other five gallons? A friend of mine from work scored some absolutely sick peaches. We’re talking fresh, ripe, you want to eat until you almost fucking puke peaches. So we de-pitted them, split them up, and put about 15lbs into the mead. At least I think it was 15 lbs. I didn’t have a kitchen scale, but it was around 2 plastic grocery bags if I remember right. Minus the ones I ate because, well, peaches.
9/30: Racked again, taking it off the peaches. Made peaches into a cobbler for a bonfire.
Halloween: Threw myself, the mead, and my dogs into a U-haul and moved to Washington. It turns out Wyoming to Washington in a Uhaul doesn’t bother mead if you wrap them in a dozen U-haul blankets and make sure the headspace is minimal (good idea regardless).
4/23, today: racked again after neglecting it for a bit. It’s not a bad thing to leave mead aging out in carboys, so flat out ignoring it for 5 months was perfectly fine.
A few notes on this mead. As it turns out, you can put your fermented peaches when you take them out of the mead, into a cobbler, and eat it. And the yeast, 71B, is excellent with fruit. The initial opinions I read about it said never let it sit on a yeast cake (lees), because that can impart flavors. That wasn’t my experience with it, but to be safe, especially if I’m using it for a plain honey mead, I’ll rack it more often. The peach mead did sit on some lees, and I have zero off flavors from it. Other reports I’ve read say it’s very tolerant and user-friendly, and sitting on lees won’t hurt your brew. I’m putting this down to your mileage may vary, and will say that this is rapidly becoming my go-to yeast.
I like low maintenance, what can I say?
As for the 101 mead, it’s happily fermenting away in primary. I fed it on day 2 and the yeast are still working away. It smells great, and is clean.
Now to enjoy some Ethiopian mead I picked up at the farmer’s market.