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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > First Mead
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Old 02-23-2006, 12:29 AM   #1
SirLlama
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Default First Mead

I just started fermenting my first ever batch of mead (or first ever batch of anything for that matter). I'm doing this in my dorm room closet in a $5 wal-mart trash can. The ingredients that I used are 3 gallons of water, 7.5 gallons ordinary grocery store honey, yeast nutrient, and a packet of Nottingham ale yeast. I washed and sanitized the trash can before starting, and dissolved 2 1/2 campden tablets into the honey/water mixture and allowed it to vent before adding the started yeast. It's been 4 days now since the yeast was added, and the brew is emitting a pungent sour odor the likes of which I have not found described anywhere on the internet. It isn't really a bad odor, it's just much more powerful than I would have expected. I have a big plastic bag securely duct taped around the bucket to collect gas and prevent the smell from getting through, but it's somehow finding its way through against my wishes. My roommate hates the smell and probably wants to kill me ;p Looking into the bucket I can see about half an inch of brownish foam on the top which seems to suggest the yeast didnt completely croak, so my question is whether or not this smell is normal and if I can expect it to go away at some point in the fermentation. Right now it's not smelling like something I ever want to drink!

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Old 02-23-2006, 12:34 AM   #2
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I might also mention that the odor being released is strong enough to slightly penetrate both the bag and a closet door

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Old 02-23-2006, 01:49 AM   #3
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So, you're using a trash can and a garbage bag taped onto it? You have no airlock? Sounds like a serious contamination risk, maybe thats your foul odor

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Old 02-23-2006, 01:55 AM   #4
SirLlama
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Yeah, I know that it's kind of a weak setup, but the smell started a couple hours after I threw in the yeast. It is also the only smell that has come out of the bucket thus far. For these reasons I was guessing that the smell was not caused by contamination.

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Old 02-23-2006, 08:35 AM   #5
brandonj
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Well for one the campden tablets are not needed. Honey is fairly sterile until you dilute it, an odd property it has. The trashcan and trashbag are not going to help you much as the gas will escape no matter what you do. In all honesty a carboy is not that expensive. I picked up mine for $12. My brewing was done in a glass 1 gallon apple juice jar with a balloon with a pin hole in it as an airlock. In any case mead can have some odd smells depending upon the honey. I'll have to warn that it won't probably be much good till a year or so of aging. If you want a quick mead I'd point you to Joe's Ancient Orange It's a starting point for many new mazers and it is ready to drink in two months.

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Primary 1: AIR (no 5 gal carboy's left to rack to *cry* must buy more!)
Primary 2: AIR
Primary 3: 1 gal Joe's Ancient Orange Mead Start 2/10/06
Primary 4 1 gal Cyser OG 1.105 start 2/11/06
Primary 5 1 gal Maple Mead
Secondary 1: 5 gal Cider OG 1.085 Start 2/4/06
Secondary 2: 5 gal Mead Grav 1.032 Start 2/2/06
Secondary 3: 1 gal Cider
Secondary 4: 1 gal spiced Cider start 2/11/06

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Old 02-23-2006, 03:45 PM   #6
SirLlama
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Okay, thanks for the input. I was actually thinking of getting a carboy and an airlock because a friend of mine pointed out the existence of a brewing store one town over.

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Old 02-23-2006, 03:55 PM   #7
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A good idea, some basic equipment will make your life a lot easier when brewing.

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Primary 1: AIR (no 5 gal carboy's left to rack to *cry* must buy more!)
Primary 2: AIR
Primary 3: 1 gal Joe's Ancient Orange Mead Start 2/10/06
Primary 4 1 gal Cyser OG 1.105 start 2/11/06
Primary 5 1 gal Maple Mead
Secondary 1: 5 gal Cider OG 1.085 Start 2/4/06
Secondary 2: 5 gal Mead Grav 1.032 Start 2/2/06
Secondary 3: 1 gal Cider
Secondary 4: 1 gal spiced Cider start 2/11/06

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