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Smiddy1488 12-12-2012 04:47 PM

A few questions
 
Hey guys,

Well it's safe to say I'm a massive noobie when it comes to brewing, and only recently purchased my equipment and ingredients to start making some blackberry mead.

Basically I have used a mixed lot of instructions and reading up too much have saw certain things that get me quite worried that my fermentation will not occur.

Here are the steps I took:

I sterilized ALL equipment and then begun boiling my ingredient... (don't laugh) haha
I used Ribena because my friend has used it before, and apparently it's a perfect mix of sugar water and berries? :S lol.
So I boiled the diluted ribena (9 1l cartons) one at a time, and after I'd add one, I'd add 1 425g jar of honey and any honey left in my jars i'd add a tiny bit of boiling water, shake it about and then pour the rest in to my fermentation barrel.

I continued this process until honey and ribena was all together mixing as I went along to ensure the honey was dissolved.

After this I cleaned my barrel thoroughly and then added some chopped raisins (only around three handfuls) because apparently the flavor is nicer? lol

I then waited for my ribena to cool (it took a really long time) and waited until it was warm to the touch but not boiling or too hot to touch and added my yeast nutrient (according to the instructions 1 teaspoon per galon and I had just over 2 so I used 2 and a tiny bit).

I then sprinkled evenly almost 3 packets of wilkinson plus' 5gram wine yeast as one packet would ferment 4.5l~ and I had around 11l of honey and mead in the barrel.

I then added my airlock and bung to my barrel and tightly sealed it, added some vodka to the airlock and covered my barrel with a t-shirt.

What I'm worried about is (I started fermenting around 21 hours ago) I cannot see any visible bubbles coming out of my airlock.

I think I may have killed the yeast if this isn't happening after 24 hours?

I have a gap of air in my barrel (it's a 5 gallon barrel but I only have 11 liters in it) but it does not get disturbed and a lot of people are saying never leave a gap of air.

A lot of places say mix the yeast in stirring it whereas some just say sprinkle it on top

One thing I'm thinking is I may be worrying too much, and that the bubbles won't appear because it has a big gap to fill with carbon dioxide before the bubbles can be pushed through the top?

Some websites say mix it every two days some say only mix it once half way through fermentation

Any help, tips or re-assurance would be greatly appreciated.

scottv 12-12-2012 05:03 PM

I am also a noob. But I think when they talk about air space is in bulk aging. I have a six gallon bucket and only 4 gallons in it. Rest to be added during first racking.

Have to be real careful with the temp of the must or yeast dies off. You might have done that.

scottv 12-12-2012 05:13 PM

Did you use nutrients or energizes ?

Smiddy1488 12-12-2012 05:16 PM

yeah it says teaspoon per gallon so I added 2 and a bit (nutrients)

Smiddy1488 12-12-2012 05:22 PM

Ahh I just looked closely at my barrel and I can see bubbles and hear it fizz :D

scottv 12-12-2012 05:24 PM

Mine started hard fermenting about 12 hours in. I have read it can take up to 48 hours. Do you know the must temp when you added the yeast. Also I've read boiling or heating can be really bad.

Smiddy1488 12-12-2012 05:34 PM

Boiling ribena to kill the preservatives off if there were any is ok apparently as long as you wait for it to fully cool. I didn't take a temperature stupidly, but it is defiantly doing something as I can hear it fizzing in the barrel

Smiddy1488 12-12-2012 09:14 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Smiddy1488 (Post 4675620)
Boiling ribena to kill the preservatives off if there were any is ok apparently as long as you wait for it to fully cool. I didn't take a temperature stupidly, but it is defiantly doing something as I can hear it fizzing in the barrel

I panic far too much I can hear it fizzing away my cap is on tight as hell and ive filled my airlock this much (see picture) but its still not moving and i can kinda smell the yeasty smell

Attachment 88211

scottv 12-12-2012 09:48 PM

That is one serious airlock. Mine is just a 3 peace. To be honest mine right now has a strong alcohol smell which I think will weaken once I rack and add fruit.

Smiddy1488 12-12-2012 09:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scottv (Post 4676546)
That is one serious airlock. Mine is just a 3 peace. To be honest mine right now has a strong alcohol smell which I think will weaken once I rack and add fruit.

Mm so you think it'll take its time before pushing through you think?


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