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-   -   First-timer - procedure check! (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/first-timer-procedure-check-339606/)

Hagroth 07-04-2012 11:27 PM

First-timer - procedure check!
 
Hey,

I'm going to try my best at it tomorrow. Here's my plan, please check so I've gotten it all right:

Recipe, 9,5 litres total:
7,5 litres of tap water
4 kg of locally produced honey, unknown/mixed plant origin
Wyeast Nutrient Blend: The amount listed on the package - for 9,5 litres that'd be about 1 gram (according to the instructions, 2,2 grams is enough for 19 litres).
Wyeast Sweet Mead Yeast: The amount listed on the package - for 9,5 litres that'd be about one half package (according to the package, one complete package is enough for six gallons = 22,8 litres).

Step 1, sanitizing using Star San: I'll just clean a large bucket or a bathtub or something with PBW and then fill it with water with the admixture of Star San listed on the packaging. Then I'll submerge the equipment I'm going to use in this bath and let it stay there for 1-2 minutes according to instructions. The fermenting buckets might be a bit harder to clean so I'll just take some of the water + Star San solution, fill the fermenting buckets with it, wait for 1-2 minutes and then simply pour it out without rinsing.

Step 2: I'll just pour 7.5 litres of lukewarm (room temperature) tap water (the tap water in Sweden is good) into the fermenting bucket.

Step 3: I'll heat the honey up by putting its bucket in a sink with hot water (the honey is still in its bucket) until the honey is perfectly liquid.

Step 4: I'll just pour all the honey into the water in the fermenting bucket, using some lukewarm honey to get the last scraps of it out of the honey buckets.

Step 5: I'll now prepare the nutrient: "Dissolve Wyeast Nutrient in warm water. Add solution to kettle 10-15 minutes prior to end of boil." This would only be 1 gram of nutrient.

Step 6: I'll now pour the nutrient solution right into the must in the fermenting bucket.

Step 7: I'll now prepare the yeast according to instructions - basically just crack open the inner bag, shake it and let it swell. Then after a few hours, as listed on the package, I'll just pour it right into the must in the fermenting bucket.

Step 8: Now I'll just stir the must for more than five minutes.

Step 9: Finally, I'll put the lid on, put the airlock on there, and put it all away in my basement (dark and a little cooler than room temperature) and wait for a couple of weeks.

Step 10: If it stops processing, I'll check the alcohol in there by extracting some of it through the tap of the fermenting bucket and check the readings. If it's not at the tolerated level yet, I might pour in some more honey or nutrient? If I'm happy with how it tastes, I'll just rack it over to my glass carboy and put it away for maturing.

Is that how you do it? Very grateful for feedback!

By the way, does anyone have any experience of the Wyeast mead yeast? Apparently, you have to sort of crack open the inner bag, shake it and let it swell. Then you pour it directly into the must.

roadymi 07-05-2012 01:01 AM

You seem to have a good uinderstanding of the process. I would recommend you study the "Staggered Nutrient Addition" also known as SNA. There is a sticky about it on the top of this section. Show patience and enjoy the process. I'm not familiar with that yeast but I always pitch the entire package once I open it.

A generic spray bottle filled with a starsan mixture is invaluable. It is nice to be able to give a quick spray to anything you feel necessary.

Goofynewfie 07-05-2012 02:13 AM

If my conversion is correct you are going to use approx 9lbs of honey in 2 gallons of water. Most recipes use about 3lbs/gallon. IMO your recipe will come out to be too sweet,almost to the point of being undrinkable. you may want to either decrease the honey or add more water

Illuveatar 07-05-2012 04:44 AM

9.5 liters works out to ~2.53 gallons and 4 Kg is 8.8 pounds so this recipe will have just under 3.5lbs per gallon. It'll be sweet but I don't think that's out of the normal range.

Goofynewfie 07-05-2012 04:54 AM

9.5 liters including the honey. the recipe itself only lists 7 and a half liters of water which is 2 gallons

Hagroth 07-05-2012 08:43 AM

Damnit, double post, sorry!

Hagroth 07-05-2012 08:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by roadymi (Post 4225745)
I would recommend you study the "Staggered Nutrient Addition" also known as SNA. There is a sticky about it on the top of this section.

A generic spray bottle filled with a starsan mixture is invaluable. It is nice to be able to give a quick spray to anything you feel necessary.

Thank you, I'll check it out! :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Goofynewfie (Post 4226149)
9.5 liters including the honey. the recipe itself only lists 7 and a half liters of water which is 2 gallons

We need a definition here - is it supposed to be like 3lbs/(gallons of water) or 3lbs/(gallons of resulting must)? I'm supposing it'd be the former, that'd be my bad (I accidentally defined it as the latter), so if we correct that, that means I currently have 4 kg/7,57 litres = 8.8lbs/2 gallons = 4.4 lbs/gallon, not 4 kg/9,5 litres = 3.5lbs/gallon. So 4.4 lbs/gallon might be a little bit much I suppose, and since it'd be easier to add honey than take it away, I guess I'll decrease the amount of initial honey admixture to about 3 lbs/(gallon of water), which means I'll have to use a total of 6lbs of honey = 2.7 kg. Does that make sense?
(Nevermind the above paragraph, I'll be aiming at 3.6 lbs/(gallons of resulting must), which means I'm sticking at about 4 kg of honey = 4 kg/(9.5 litres of resulting must) = 3.52lbs/(gallon of resulting must)).

Will my method of checking gravity and the current status - extracting a little bit of it from the tap of the bucket - work? Or do you have any better suggestions? My fermenting buckets aren't transparent so you can't put a floating meter in there unfortunately. Maybe I could open the lid and put my sanitized meter in there anyway? Or should the lid stay closed at all costs? Also, how do you recommend I check the sugar levels, using the hydrometer on the extracted sample?

I might also check the PH value according to this page, probably when I get home after one week of fermenting: http://www.stormthecastle.com/mead/c...-your-mead.htm
But if you approve of my method of extracting a small sample from the tap of the bucket and then measuring that, I'll do it that way instead and then use the PH meter and hydrometer on that sample.

About the SNA:
Like I said, I'll be gone for the first week. Is there any risk that my must will reach its fermenting mid-point or that the sugar levels will have been depleted below 50% within a week?

Oh, and one more thing! I'd need to check the gravity before I start so that I can measure the resulting amount of alcohol, right? What kinds of measurements should I do before starting the fermenting process?

Goofynewfie 07-05-2012 09:11 AM

I apologize, I had a brain fart. Your original calculations are right and you were doing it the correct way. For some reason I read what you wrote but mentally I pictured it all wrong

Hagroth 07-05-2012 09:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Goofynewfie (Post 4226277)
I apologize, I had a brain fart. Your original calculations are right and you were doing it the correct way. For some reason I read what you wrote but mentally I pictured it all wrong

Wait, I believe you were right? "9.5 liters including the honey. the recipe itself only lists 7 and a half liters of water which is 2 gallons" That is perfectly correct, unless I was right in the first place and the honey admixture is supposed to be lbs/(gallons of resulting must) INSTEAD of lbs/(gallons of water).

Goofynewfie 07-05-2012 09:23 AM

You were right the first time. For some reason I didnt even think about the total volume. Sad part is I just made 2 batches over the weekend and did the correct volumes. It is lbs/( gallons of resulting must)


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