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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Mead experiment possibly jacked up....
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:44 PM   #1
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Default Mead experiment possibly jacked up....

Greetings, i'm a new brewer, mead lover and running into a few issues. Could use some advice.

My first foray into mead making was basically a 4x 1gal batches altering 2 variables at a time (yeast and honey):

1)
4lbs orange blossom raw honey
Lavlin D47
SG=1.122

2)
3lbs orange blossom raw honey
Lavlin D47
SG=1.090

3)
4lbs raw clover honey
Lavlin EC-1118
SG=1.120

4)
3lbs raw clover honey
Lavlin EC-1118
SG=1.100

Must was sanatized with 1 crushed campden tablet per bucket and then 36 hours before pitching.

1 tblspn acid blend, yeast energizer and yeast nutrient added to all after gravity reading. No ph reading taken (waiting for my instrument to get here still)

Yeast were hydrated per instructions for 15min. No starters made.

Real minimal aeration with a spatula

Buckets were left around 65 degrees, blocked from light.


Issues!
After 5 days only #2 has airlock activity.

Interesting note.... when I inverted all the plastic pails to sanatize with EZ clean, only one that didn't leak slightly was #2.

Could they all be rocking, but the CO2 escaping out the bucket seal? Is this a huge issue? When to a pitch again? If i tested now, what gravity am I looking for?

Thanks for the help!

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Old 05-01-2013, 08:52 PM   #2
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They are likely all going fine and there is just a bucket seal issue. When you go to check the gravity, as long as it's lower than what it was when you started, you're in business.

Im assuming you are using 2 or 5 gallon buckets? Make sure to rack to 1 gallon carboys to avoid exposing them to too much air as the buckets have a lot more head space than carboys; which can lead to oxidation.

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Old 05-01-2013, 11:44 PM   #3
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Yep, 2 gal pails. The lids came (from Northern Brewer) with one of those removable, tear off straps.... presumably used to open the bucket once the original filler was done. Well I tried desperately to lock and then remove the lids without removing this amount of lid plastic, but being wet amd cold my hands were getting destroyed.... had to for my own sanity reasons. #2 bucket came from a local guy with a different design.

I was planning to leave it in there 30 days primary but I'm kind of worried knowing it's not truly sealed....

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Old 05-02-2013, 02:42 AM   #4
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Just keep an eye on the gravity, and once its really closed to finished, within 10 PTA or so, rack it into carboys and let the last 10 pts add some co2 to replace the air in the carboys

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Old 05-02-2013, 02:44 AM   #5
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copy that, thank you

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Old 05-02-2013, 09:18 AM   #6
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Ok the gravity readings are in:

Batches after 8 days in primary fermenter

1) 1.122 -> 1.08

2) 1.09 -> 1.015

3) 1.120 -> 1.05

4) 1.10 -> 1.02


Seems like the not bubbling was definitely my crappy bucket lids. All smelled great and extremely gassy.

#1 kind of concerns me in that it dropped only 1/2 the gravity points than the others did in the same time frame. Being the impatient bastard I am.....I preped a D47 starter and pitched it with 1/2 teaspoon nutrient and energizer. Then I stirred the heck out of it. Holy hell did it degass, almost out the top of the bucket!

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Old 05-03-2013, 02:49 AM   #7
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if you are worried about the seal on the buckets , wrap some tape around where the lid meets the bucket. That should get you though till you rack. Sounds like you are on the right track. Good luck.

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Old 05-03-2013, 03:48 AM   #8
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Good idea, i'll try that.

I used to live in Buffalo....like 94'-02'. Good times. Miss the food

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Old 05-19-2013, 07:45 AM   #9
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All look great and are in secondaries.

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Old 05-19-2013, 08:13 AM   #10
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When you mentioned about not seeing much in the way of bubbling at the airlocks etc and working out about crappy bucket seals....

Well if you think about it, the other use of an airlock apart from providing a vent for the gas, but also a visual indicator of what's going on.......

In practice, if there is a bit of a leak at the seal, that's less of an issue because CO2 is a heavier than air gas so as its formed it displaces the oxygen/air and then blankets the must. So it's less of a problem as you can get away with opening the buckets to take gravity readings etc to make sure about passing the 1/3rd point and when to close it up and let it finish and so on.

You can then usually just let it finish and it too start clearing (translucent HDPE bucket usually allow you to shine a light through them to see the build up of the sediment layer......)

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