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-   -   First batch of Mead (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/first-batch-mead-14054/)

Cregar 09-25-2006 02:30 AM

First batch of Mead
 
Well I brewed my first batch of Mead tonight. It didn't go to bad, everything timed out pretty good except for cooling the must. I had almost forgot about cooling it before adding the yeast. The yeast sat for approx. 10 minutes after I mixed it up per instruction on the package. I ran out of ice and was only able to get the temp. of the must down to approx. 78 - 80 degrees. My damn digital thermometer decided not to work when I started brewing, so I am guessing about the temp, I was able to put my hands around the brew pot and it didn't feel to warm.

So I poured the must into my 1 gallon carboy, added 1/2 tsp of yeast nutrient then added the yeast. I also added some more water to bring the batch to a gallon . I am hoping that brought the temp down alittle more. Put my sanitized bung and 3 piece airlock into the carboy and put it into a small cooler I have, and added a couple of frozen bottles of water to help keep the temp to around 75 degrees.

I poured some of the must into my Hydrometer Test jar and did a Hydrometer test. Checking the temp. (with my broken thermometer) said the temp was at 83 degrees and the Hydrometer reading was OG (Original Gravity) 1.140. So using the Hydrometer Temperature Correction script on The Recipator website, I came up with a OG of 1.143. I hope that is correct :-)

I will check the batch tomorrow to see if it is fermenting. wish me luck.

PS I need to get a new thermometer :-)

So... is that a good OG for Mead? and will I have a problem not pitching my yeast right away? Also.. I am using a 3 piece airlock, will I have any problems with blowoff, should I use a blowoff tube?

EvilTOJ 09-25-2006 04:31 AM

Meads and wines don't explosively ferment like beer does. When I started my batch of mead it made these weird yeast bubbles on the surface but never to the point of needing a blowoff tube. Also, did you shake the unholy crap out of that must before you added the yeast? For an OG that high the yeast will need lots and LOTS of oxygen and yeast. What kind of yeast are you using?

Pitching right away is just fine, but it'd start showing signs of fermenting faster if you'd made a starter with applejuice.

Also, your potential ABV is going to be 19.3%, so you're definitely going to have a sweet mead there.

Cregar 09-25-2006 05:09 AM

Thanks for the reply eviltwinofjoni...

I shook the hell out of the bottle for about 3 or 4 minutes and then added a yeast nutient and then the yeast. I used Lalvin EC-1118 Champagne Yeast.

Mmmm sweet mead :)

here is the recipe I used (modified a bit)

Still of the Night Mead - (1 gallon batch)

Ingredients:

1/2 tsp. acid blend - (Didn't use)
1/4 tsp. gypsum - (Didn't use)
3.5 lbs. honey (clover or wildflower)
1/2 tsp. Fermax or other yeast nutrient
Lalvin EC-1118 Champagne Yeast

Cregar 09-25-2006 02:10 PM

Update on mead...
 
I checked the progress this morning on my Mead and noticed a few small bubbles, so I am getting a small amount of fermentation. The problem is... the (2) frozen 20 oz bottles of water I put in the cooler with the carboy took the temp down to 62 degrees. A little to cold for a good fermentation. So now I have to get the carboy back up to around 75 degrees... Hope that doesn't cause problems with the Mead.

Well, lesson learned... Glad to know that I can keep a 1 gallon carboy cooled below 70 degrees. I will have to see what (1) 20 oz frozen bottle will do, if I'm lucky it will keep it around the perfect temp and I will just have to exchange it out each day with a fresh frozen bottle.

gauthierk 09-26-2006 03:58 PM

The OG of my first mead that I'm working on was very close to yours. I use an aquarium pump and two steril stones for getting some O2 in there. Even using a starter with my smack pack fermentation took it's time getting started. That was that was over three weeks ago and I still have airlock activity. The mead is a longer process than the beer in the primary, and an even longer time in the secondary. I did sneak a taste of it in the transfer from primary to secondary and I am VERY happy with the results...

Cregar 09-26-2006 06:57 PM

Hey gauthierk,

How active was your fermentation... I have timed my at between 8 - 10 large bubbles a minute. Does that sound right or is it a little slow?

Also... how long did you keep it in primary before transfering to secondary?

I am planning on tranfering in about 2 weeks.

skou 09-29-2006 06:41 AM

Creger, everything looks just fine. Your bubble rate is OK, and expect it to keep bubbling at that rate for quite a while.

Plan on racking after 3 to 4 weeks, but that isn't all that critical.

There as an old friend of Jeff's, who is a long-time meadmaker, show up at work Saturday. I picked his brain for a while. He said, rack it once, then throw it in the closet and forget it for a few months. Just check on the bubbler, and make sure it still has water in it. He said not to even worry about temps, just leave it alone.

He also brought in a 7 year old bottle, and that tasted GOOD!!

steve

Cregar 09-29-2006 02:34 PM

Very cool steve... thanks for the help here & at the store last weekend. I will hopefully be in next Sat or Sun to get so more stuff :)

Have a great weekend

okwildfire 09-29-2006 05:33 PM

well ill have to keep an eye on this thread..been wanting to do a mead for a looonnnnggggg time now lol good luck!

skou 09-30-2006 06:03 AM

Guys, (and gals) mead is just about the easiest product to ferment. It also needs a LOT less equipment.

Let's figure this out, what equipment do you need, for a typical 5 gallon batch.

A 2 gallon pot, IF you heat up your honey/water mix. ($20)(if you don't have one already.)

A 5 gallon carboy, with airlock and bung cork. ($30)

Some Iodophor. ($5)

A Wine Thief, and a hydrometer/flask. (If you worry about SG.) ($15)

Bottles.

Beer? Well, that would be $100 or more for all glass.

steve


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