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Old 07-19-2009, 05:23 PM   #1
childrenofsodom
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Default Help for First Time Brewer

My friend and I are going to try to make our first batch of strawberry mead. We zero experience with alcohol making, and would like to start with a very basic recipe. We're working off of this recipe: 1 Gallon of Spring Water (room temperature, do not get refrigerated)
3 pounds of honey – pure unprocessed
1 bag of balloons big enough to stretch over the mouth of the spring water jug
1 package of Fleishmann’s Yeast
1 box of raisins
1 Orange

We're scrapping the raisins and orange, and replacing it with strawberry and some lemon juice. We need to know, given how much honey and water we are using, how much yeast we need (in ounces) and how much strawberry/lemon juice we need. Thanks guys.

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Old 07-19-2009, 07:18 PM   #2
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ive seen this recipie too and also want to try it. however the strawberry and lemon juice might be too acidic and make the fermentation stick, or stop all together. the rasins are there for yeast nutrients to give them a boost,
if you go with the strawberry-lemon route you might want to pick up some yeast nutrients online just for insurance

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Old 07-19-2009, 07:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by childrenofsodom View Post

We're scrapping the raisins and orange, and replacing it with strawberry and some lemon juice. We need to know, given how much honey and water we are using, how much yeast we need (in ounces) and how much strawberry/lemon juice we need. Thanks guys.
For a 1 gallon batch, I would use the 3 lbs of honey, about 4 to 6 oz of pureed strawberries and about a 1/4 of a lemon worth of lemon juice. You don't want it to taste tart. The lemon juice acts as a catalyst and breaks down the sugar in the honey from a di-sacharide to their respective mono-sacharides.

I would mix everything with a half gallon of water and then add it to the fermenter. Fill the fermenter with additional water to the level you want it at and mix well. Be sure to leave head room for the foam/bubbling.

DO NOT use a balloon to capture the CO2, unless you want it to dissolve back into the mead and carbonate it. This much CO2 will overpower the yeast and they could die prematurely. This is a mead, not a wine. If you were going to make a "balloon wine" then I'd say go for it!! You want to be able to age the mead for at least 6 months. During this time the yeast will help clean up the free-radical sugars that are floating around and help mix the flavors together. I would suggest racking to a second fermenter to clear out a lot of the sediment that will be at the bottom, after about 2 months of fermentation time, and then let the secondary fermentation go for at least 6 months.

For an airlock, I would suggest buying a rubber stopper and a 3-piece airlock. The whole thing should cost no more than 2 or 3 dollars.
You can get them here... Beer Making and Home Brewing Supplies | MoreBeer

Good luck with that!
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Old 07-19-2009, 10:33 PM   #4
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Okay, I'll keep the raisins in.

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Old 07-20-2009, 12:25 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by jakpumpkin View Post

DO NOT use a balloon to capture the CO2, unless you want it to dissolve back into the mead and carbonate it.


Good luck with that!
It says to poke a hole in the balloon to let the gas escape. Wouldn't that prevent it from dissolving back into the mead?
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Old 07-20-2009, 12:29 AM   #6
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My opinion is that honey is expensive. It costs about $2 to get an airlock and stopper. I'd buy a $.79 package of wine yeast, too. I'd use glass, too, not the water jug because those are oxygen permeable, but that's not as important if you're not aging it long term.

For cheap wines (like Welch's), using ballons and Fleischman's isn't really a problem because you'd be drinking it in a month or two, but something with expensive ingredients, I'd spent the less than $3 and do it right.

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Old 07-20-2009, 01:58 AM   #7
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Okay, I am ordering a 1 gallon glass jug from the above store, plus a 3 piece airlock, stopper, 10 g of Go-Ferm, and 5g of Dry Wine Yeast (Montrachet)....but I NEED to know.....

I am using the above recipe (1 gallon water, 3 lbs honey) how much yeast and nutrients do I need to use? Exact amounts, please. It calls for a 'pack', but I'm not buying from the same company so they may be different.

Thanks again.

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Old 07-20-2009, 11:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by childrenofsodom View Post
Okay, I am ordering a 1 gallon glass jug from the above store, plus a 3 piece airlock, stopper, 10 g of Go-Ferm, and 5g of Dry Wine Yeast (Montrachet)....but I NEED to know.....

I am using the above recipe (1 gallon water, 3 lbs honey) how much yeast and nutrients do I need to use? Exact amounts, please. It calls for a 'pack', but I'm not buying from the same company so they may be different.

Thanks again.
Use the whole 5g packet of yeast; follow the directions on the packages for the go ferm. Regards, GF.
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Old 07-20-2009, 01:46 PM   #9
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Yeah a 'pack' can be used for one gallon or the usual 5 gallon batch. The nutrients should say a specified amount on the bags when you get them in the mail. I have go-ferm and fermaid k on the way also.

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Old 07-20-2009, 10:29 PM   #10
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different brands of yeast nutrient and energizer have different dosings. without knowing what you are buying, nobody can tell you exactly how much to use.

However, typical dosing is .5 to 1tsp per gallon of must.

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