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Old 05-28-2006, 09:04 PM   #1
sailman
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Default first mead in the fermentor

Well today we finally kicked off our first mead...when i got back into brewing, mead was definately one of the things i wanted to make..

we made a traditional mead...now its a matter of wait and see...pretty much followed the recipe out of the homebrew "bible" for a traditional mead..

15 lbs of honey (15 min boil)
gypsum
acid blend
yeast nutrient
high alcohol yeast nutrient
irish moss
Wyeast 3184 sweet mead yeast - date: 19 Apr 06


any and all suggestions are welcome..

got a good beginning specific gravity right on the money of 1.12..

now to sit back and just wait patiently. Once fermentation begins we will take some pics and share.

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Old 05-28-2006, 10:46 PM   #2
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Well, you've got a long wait ahead, but sound like it will work out nicely. You might want to go to http://www.oregonbrewcrew.com/ and download the Great Mead Experiment. That compared six yeasts. Most of the ferments took 10-11 months and ended up near 1.000.

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Old 05-29-2006, 10:14 PM   #3
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ok here are some pics...its been almost 24 hours.. we are seeing little to no activity in the fermentor lock...we aerated the must really good when we poured in the carboy before pitching the yeast.. any advice on if this is normal.. should we be seeing more activity? also being pretty new to this.. what is the white stuff on top?

the temperature is at about 74-76 in the fermentation room and the yeast states between 60-75...do you think that this is cool enough or should we think about moving it somewhere cooler?

i know lots of questions but just looking to do it right.. takes too long to screw it up!


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Old 05-29-2006, 10:29 PM   #4
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I usually ferment my meads at about 72F.

At 15 lbs of honey it's going to take months to ferment and mellow out.

My last Barkshack Ginger Mead was done in a month or so and the FG was 0.996!

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Old 05-30-2006, 09:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailman
Well today we finally kicked off our first mead...when i got back into brewing, mead was definately one of the things i wanted to make..

we made a traditional mead...now its a matter of wait and see...pretty much followed the recipe out of the homebrew "bible" for a traditional mead..

15 lbs of honey
gypsum
acid blend
yeast nutrient
high alcohol yeast nutrient
irish moss
sweet mead yeast


any and all suggestions are welcome..

got a good beginning specific gravity right on the money of 1.12..

now to sit back and just wait patiently. Once fermentation begins we will take some pics and share.
I'm glad you took the plunge and have started a mead!

You haven't listed what you did with the honey or what type of yeast (i.e. dried or liquid) it was before you got them in the carboy so i'll take a rough stab at your queries.

You mentioned it hasn't started any activity yet. It will, the high OG might be making it difficult for the yeast to get a grip straight away or it may have been a liquid type that may have been better with a starter. Either way if it was a decent quality and in date yeast don't worry it'll take off. The 'white foam' (and it looks like it's foam to me and not waxy scum from not skimming the honey when heated) is probably the start of the 'krausen' in beer terms.

Looking good, and remember your own words:-

"now to sit back and just wait patiently"........
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Old 05-30-2006, 11:21 PM   #6
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More activity today. About 18 bubbles a minute. The stuff on the top has seperated and is now more like the head on a beer (kinda like foam)...

i know this is going to take a long time to ferment and clear.. we are thinking about 2-3 months for fermenation and about 6-8 mos to clear and mellow...what do you guys think?

i think it will definately be worth it!

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Old 06-05-2006, 01:08 AM   #7
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well tried some mead from Whole Foods tonight.. let me just say it tasted like grape wine.. im truly hoping that maybe it was just some nasty mead.. please tell me it doesnt taste like that..

what i bought was .. The Royal Table's Own Sweet Mead by Desi's Dew LLC in Rougemont, NC

was really looking forward to drinking it....at the beer festival Beerluvngrl fell in love with the Redstone Meadery's Blackberry Nectar.. we were hoping that at least the sweet mead would be good.. needless to say it sucked..

did i just get some sorry mead?

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Old 06-05-2006, 12:31 PM   #8
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All the meads I have had tasted like honey, not grapes. Especially sweet mead should have a definite honey taste, and be quite sweet. It will also depend greatly on the type of honey used, because there are alot of different honeys out there and some can vary drastically.

Also, some mead in stores add fruits, grapes, or even wines from what I have seen to their mead. I've had a blackberry mead which tasted "thick" but was good. I had a mead once that tasted very rough. It was definately honey tasting, but really really rough. In fact, I couldn't believe it was from an actual winery, it tasted like bad homebrew.

I used to get this brand that had bees and flowers on the inside of the label so that you could see it through the bottle...I think it was from Oliver Winery. Might have been called Camelot mead or King Arthur's mead or something along those lines. It was pretty good stuff. Kind of an average mead, a little on the sweet side. If you can find that, then try it and you will have an idea what mead should roughly taste, look, smell, and feel like.

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Old 06-05-2006, 10:47 PM   #9
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thanks keln.. we also bought some blackberry mead and plan on trying that..

now a couple questions:
1 week into fermenting.. im seeing about 5-6 bubbles per minute.. is that about right or should i be worried about stuck/slow fermentation?

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Old 06-06-2006, 09:33 AM   #10
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Well, my mead started out slow too. In fact, first couple of days it didn't do anything. From what I understand, these more traditional meads will do this because we aren't using yeast starters, and the conditions are just a little difficult for yeast to get kicking. So the yeast is fighting for territory on the sugars the whole time and so the fermenting is slow.

The way I look at it though, if you are getting 1 bubble per 30 secs, it's an active fermentation. If you are getting 1 every fifteen, then you are in good shape I'd say. I'm no expert, that's just what people told me when I was worrying about the same thing.

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