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Old 01-11-2011, 06:08 PM   #1
WoodNeck
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Default Mead Kit Instruction Specifics (pray for snow)

I have a great looking semi-sweet mead kit from Northern Brewer ready for tomorrow.... that is if we get that big snowstorm they are calling for in New England.

This will be my first venture away from beer brewing, but I have been drinking heavily from the HBT information jug for the last week about meads.

Here come the questions.
My kit instructions say -2 weeks in primary
-2 months in secondary
-2 weeks bottle conditioning (minimum, of course)
1) Is there any benefit to leaving the mead in primary for longer than instructed? I ask because I do this with my beer when instructions recommend a short time in primary.

2) I read that some folks rack into "tertiary" etc. vessels. As in, racking off the lees in the secondary into another vessel. Hoping for comments on personal results from this and if there is much benefit from the effort.

3) When stirring in the yeast nutrients at the nutrient adding intervals, am I stirring lightly just to mix the nutrients, or should this be a good hard long whipping? i.e Is there any other effect I'm trying to have other than mixing in the nutrients.

Thanks in advance.
I'm really looking forward to making this mead. I have beehives coming in the spring and would like to have some mead making skills developed before I toss my hard earned honey into a batch.

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Old 01-11-2011, 06:52 PM   #2
GinKings
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1) Mead fermentations can be slow. See how the fermentation is going. Two weeks may not be long enough. Two months in secondary may be enough for a decent mead, but mead benefits from extended aging, so you may want to extend that if you have the patience.

2) Check to see if you are getting a layer of sediment in the secondary. I would think you should rack it at least one additional time. I typically rack my meads at least three times, but I also don't bottle for a year or more. I feel I get better clarity and less sediment in the bottle with multiple rackings.

3) The nutrients don't need much of a stir, but I do whip my meads for the first 5 days or so with a lees stirrer on a drill. You can also do it with a spoon. I do it approx. every other day, but I have heard of people doing it as much as three times a day. You are trying to get the CO2 out and get more oxygen in for better yeast health. Just be careful because it can foam up quickly.

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Old 01-11-2011, 07:20 PM   #3
WoodNeck
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Thanks GK,

I hear you.
My beer has been sitting on the trub longer during primary to let yeast run its course, as recommended here. I guess the same logic could benefit mead.
...And there is plenty of time to think things over dealing with mead.

I like clarity, I'll follow your recommendations on multiple racking. I just got another couple 5 gal carboys for long term storage. Your method of aging before bottling makes sense to me. It's going to be tough to wait.

A wait like that could make a tortoise shout.

oh..they can, they just don't often have a reason.

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