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Old 04-22-2011, 07:03 AM   #1
Mead-muncher
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Default How long under controlled temperatures?

I'm all very new to this, and I live in a very hot country, so I would like to ask how long the mead brew needs to stay under controlled temperatures?

I plan to get a cheap fridge/freezer and modify it with a external thermostat to get things at the right temperature, but it would be good if I could remove it from the cool environment. Can it be stored at an ambient temperature of around 28-32 degrees after racking to a secondary, or do I need to keep it cooler for longer? When can I expose it to warmer temperatures (if at all!?!)

Secondly, is there an "idiots guide" anywhere on the basic principles of making wine/mead/beer? There is a lot of good info on the interweb but it would be great if there was a step-by-step guide for simpletons like me

Thanks in advance, and I will keep you all updated on my progress when I kick off and get my hands wet

Regards,
Mead Muncher



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Old 04-22-2011, 08:15 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Mead-muncher View Post
I'm all very new to this, and I live in a very hot country, so I would like to ask how long the mead brew needs to stay under controlled temperatures?

I plan to get a cheap fridge/freezer and modify it with a external thermostat to get things at the right temperature, but it would be good if I could remove it from the cool environment. Can it be stored at an ambient temperature of around 28-32 degrees after racking to a secondary, or do I need to keep it cooler for longer? When can I expose it to warmer temperatures (if at all!?!)

Secondly, is there an "idiots guide" anywhere on the basic principles of making wine/mead/beer? There is a lot of good info on the interweb but it would be great if there was a step-by-step guide for simpletons like me

Thanks in advance, and I will keep you all updated on my progress when I kick off and get my hands wet

Regards,
Mead Muncher
There's various guides out there, though how comprehensive they are would depend. As there is a lot of guidance etc, but not really a standardised method as it depends on where you are, as to what you can get materials-wise and the knock on to the method used.

Selecting the yeast will depend on what you want to actually make, the expected fermentation temperatures, other ingredients, etc etc etc......

For "low temp" fermentations, the low temp bit varies as to what the yeast can actually do. Some yeasts do well at lower temps, but invariably the lower temp can mean that it takes longer to ferment. A lot of people will just use an air conditioned room to maintain 70's F (lower 20's C) etc.

Plus the "storing" of meads ? Well, if you think about it or just check it out, traditional wine cellars seem to be good for storage in the 50's F, but it does seem like it's about stability as well as lower than normal temps....

If you're gonna ferment at lower temps, then it's probable that it will be better to maintain that temp i.e. the ferment has finished and a good chilling too, can often assist with the clearing of the mead etc.

That probably doesn't answer your question clearly, but it's about the best I can think of right now.......

regards

fatbloke


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Old 04-22-2011, 10:05 AM   #3
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I'm still new to this aswell and I find going through these forums and asking stupid questions is the best way to learn

Failing that it you look at the got mead site there's a good guide for beginners

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Old 04-22-2011, 12:22 PM   #4
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The three types of yeast I'm starting out with are;

1. Lalvin 71B-1122
2. Lalvin EC-1118
3. K1-V1116

I have researched these (after I ordered them - lol) and it seems I got lucky on two of them, seems they are "ok" upto 30c which is about right, I figure with a dark room and a few fans I can keep the ambient temp to around/just below that - I don't wanna aircon a room 24/7 for 2-3 months if I can get away with it, lest the missus loses her rag and throws me out she's not so happy with me buying a fridge to convert, so if I can find one the right size/money I am good to go! I will test with just plain water in the carboys in the dark room with fans and check the temp of the liquid to be sure.

I'm guessing once it's bottled there is less pressure to keep it at these cooler temperatures (cool, dark room with fans should be enough) - or am I wrong? As I'm quite sure once I've got my first three carboys bottled out I will be keen to get the next batch going, so I will want the fridge back

Another question, based on the yeasts I am getting, and considering I would like to make one 'standard' mead, one 'fruit' mead and one cider (maybe flavored with fruit, maybe not) which yeast would be best for which brew? I've got access to a fairly cheap, endless supply of '100%' fruit juices with no artificial preservatives, no added sugars and no added colorings (I presume the juices will have natural preservatives, is that an issue?) I quite fancy the idea of a cherry (juice) mead for the fruit one
/edit: the fruit juices are made from concentrate, is that a problem?

Sorry if these are silly questions, you would think a Land Lords son would have a better idea about alcohol

Regards,
Mead muncher

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Old 04-22-2011, 04:46 PM   #5
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The most critical time for temperature control is during the early part of fermentation (say up to the 1/2 way point). After that time the temp is not as critical.

For storing and aging, cool is good. It allows slow steady aging and proper maturation. Temps in the 30+ C range really aren't good. Your mead will tend to take on a Sherry or "Madeira wine" character as oxidation damage can happen much quicker at high temperature. It will be much more damaging to fruit meads - if you stick to traditional meads they will do better in high temperature storage. Sweet wines will be at risk for spoilage as the warmer temps encourage spoilage bacteria (and yeast), so dry batches tend to keep better in the heat.

If you have to ferment at 30C all I can say is good luck. The only yeast I have seen produce drinkable results at that level are K1V, and D21, and if you have to keep them stored long-term at that temp, I'm not sure what you'll get.

Medsen

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Old 04-23-2011, 08:45 AM   #6
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Well "her in-doors" has allowed me to buy a wine fridge instead of messing around with thermostats and domestic fridges, so I have a controlled environment for brewing 72bottle wine cooler with a max temperature of 25degrees. I reckon I can get 6-8 one gallon bottles in there comfortably, the shelves come out so there's plenty of room and I can use it to age the brew once bottled.

I also bought 3 plastic 5 gallon carboys complete with taps and a whole bunch of natural spring water. I will use the high temp tolerant yeast for those and probably use them for the cider brew I plan to make.

Now just to source some juice and I'm good to go!

So my remaining question (for now) is - will juice made from concentrate be ok, or do I need to source some 100% natural juice? The concentrate stuff I found is preservative free, no added sugar or coloring.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to educate a newbie

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Old 04-23-2011, 08:56 AM   #7
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i wouldn't worry to much about using high temp yeast. just ferment it under 20c....as long as the power doesn't go out



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