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Old 04-20-2012, 05:02 AM   #1
matrim
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Default First time - Help and opinions

I've never tasted mead, but really want to... so here I am.

Since my mead has been in primary since 4.3.12 I know its a tad late to get useful input on my methods, however I am still curious, as my mead may be a bit unorthodox (maybe not, I'm a noob.)

Blackberry oat mead:

Simmer 7 cups water and 2 cups toasted oats for 1 hour and add 200 grams of corn sugar. (adapted from a cider recipe by Daze.)

Heated a gallon of bottled water to 115 degrees F, mixed in 3 pounds local honey and .5 tsp malic acid.

Took off the heat and added .25 gallon cool bottled water. (gravity - 1.072)

I then strained the oat milk into the honey mixture, mixed, and added stage one nutrients (DAP and yeast superfood)

When it reached 75 degrees I pitched half a packet of Nottingham yeast.

I aerated then added the sanitized airlock.

Added stage two nutrients on 4.5.12

On 4.8.12 I noticed a slight sulfur smell so I splash racked onto stage three nutrients. (smells better now.)

I plan on racking at 1.000 and adding blackberries.

Then a whole lot of aging.

I am wondering what I did wrong - if anything.

Also, what is the best way to add the blackberries - in terms of avoiding contamination and preserving the fresh blackberry taste?

Thanks everyone! Sorry for the long post.

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Old 04-20-2012, 03:29 PM   #2
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First 7 days or so, it is very important to aerate, aerate, aerate..those yeasties need that oxygen, and degasses your must. Once you get up to 2/3 sugar break stop with the aeration and start with the airlock.

Freeze your blackberries, then thaw, put them in a mesh bag and crush them with your hands to release the juice...you may want to add some pectic enzyme as well, helps greatly with clearing the fruit meads/melomels.

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Old 04-20-2012, 11:40 PM   #3
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So, I only aerated that one time. Did I screw the pooch by not doing it a bunch and not degassing? Might it still be drinkable?

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Old 04-20-2012, 11:41 PM   #4
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Also, should I take that to mean I do not need to soak the blackberries in vodka, or boil them to avoid contamination?

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Old 04-21-2012, 02:41 AM   #5
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No, you didn't screw the pooch by only aerating once...any flavors that were imparted (if any) will age out. You don't have to boil the blackberries or soak in vodka; just freeze, thaw and crush them a little bit before adding them to the must. Aerating makes the yeasties happy and degasses things a lot better than letting it escape through the airlock, but you didn't kill your batch by not doing it.

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Old 04-21-2012, 02:44 AM   #6
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Oh yeah, forgot; if you are still noticing that rotten egg sulfur smell at all drop a sanitized penny in the must for a few days. Don't ask me why, but copper takes care of it.

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Old 04-22-2012, 08:57 AM   #7
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Thanks a lot Meadrol! Very helpful information, and I like the penny idea.

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Old 04-22-2012, 11:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matrim View Post
Thanks a lot Meadrol! Very helpful information, and I like the penny idea.
Wow, not that I didn't trust you, but I had to go google that suggestion. Other folks have used it to remove the farts.

I remember when I first started brewing beer about 12 years ago, I forgot to boil the water for use with my priming sugar during bottling. Each sip had you looking in the bottom of the bottle for the penny.
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:41 AM   #9
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So I racked onto a muslin bag full of thawed crushed blackberries at about 1.000

I didn't think they would add enough sugar to start the fermentation again, but alas my naivety foils me yet again. Anyways, it is now blowing out the airlock.

Should I re-rack it to a larger carboy and wait out the tertiary fermentation?

Also, I tasted the mead and it's quite a bit dryer than I was initially going for. Should I just let the aging do its job or can I add a bit of some sort of sugar? I was thinking light malliard syrup - or should I stick with honey?

sorry for the hodgepodge of questions.

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Old 05-11-2012, 11:53 AM   #10
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I'd definitely stick with the honey, you have a lot going on already with oats, corn sugar, acid, blackberries, honey....adding a 5th sugar source isn't really necessary, backsweetening with the supposed base is always best. adding more different ingredients and you'll be closing in more on a blackberry oat wine sweetened with honey rather than a mead/meteglin/melomel hybrid flavored with oats and blackberries.

Wait until you have some stable hydrometer readings rack it off of everything and let it relax a bit, might even need another racking after that depending on your sediment level, let it claer up then slowly backsweeten to the gravity/sweetness level you want.
give everything some time to work before adding to it, slow the steps down.

Curious question, why the corn sugar upfront and not more honey? just to add another fermentable?

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