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Somewhere I remember a mention that a "more-modern" technique in brewing meads involves a regular schedule of adding yeast nutrients while in the primary. I was never able to find the reference again and have so far been unable to find another source.

I know honey itself does not contain the ideal amounts of nutrients for the yeast (ignoring and fruit, spices, or other items I may also add to the must). When should I add yeast nutrients and how much to add?

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Check the Jamil show on Mead, on thebrewingnetwork.com you'll have to listen to a good portion of the show, but it's quite interesting if you're into Meads. Basic Brewing Radio also has some informative mead shows. –  baka Jan 20 '12 at 2:28
    
baka: thank you! Much appreciated. I am not familiar with that website but will have a look. –  mummey Jan 20 '12 at 4:05
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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Here is a link to a document written by Steve Piatz who was the AHA mead maker of the year a few years ago. The method is often referred to as the staggered nutrient addition method. The types of nutrients typically used are Yeast Energizer which contains diammonium phosphate(DAP) and fermaid K or Nutriferm Advance which are similar nutrient blends. The nutrients are added in equal amounts spanning 4 days and you also stir the must to off gas the co2 and to aerate to improve yeast health. I have been using this method for about 5 years and my meads are usually drinkable within a few months.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CCgQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ahaconference.org%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2Fpresentations%2F2010%2FMead_Maker_of_the_Year_Panel.pdf&ei=xNMdT_fiEJGGsAKm0vnPBQ&usg=AFQjCNGNSAzv61StB4JE0fBWoKAOlFW1jQ

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Thanks Denny - That presentation is bit more technical but also has a bunch of good information. –  Northern Brewer Chris Jan 23 '12 at 22:16
    
You both are awesome! Thank you. –  mummey Jan 23 '12 at 22:41
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I first saw this method in The Compleat MeadMaker by Ken Schramm. It seems northern-brewer-chris also uses a method that's similar. Ever since I read this, I've been practicing it and I've never looked back. I can finish a clean (not hot) mead fermentation in 6-8 weeks now instead of the accepted, ambiguous "months". I still spend a good bit of time aging and clearing but I have total confidence in the "staggered nutrient addition" method.

Following an exact schedule is not crucial. I think what really matters is that the nutrient addition is scheduled across a period of time instead of all at once.

Pick up a copy of the Compleat Meadmaker. He goes through a better explanation in the book than I've given here. In my opinion, it's the best reference out there (though I welcome new information).

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