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Old 12-26-2011, 10:54 PM   #1
cameronwoolery
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Default Mead problems please help!!!

I NEED HELP!!

Ok. About a month ago I started my Mead. I got the recipe from a local brewers supply store. The recipe they provided with the ingredients says it is a 5gal batch. HOWEVER, when I followed the directions word for word, my fermenter had about 6gal in it. I then had issues with the yeast, when I was getting no airlock action for 3 days, and had to buy more and add it. My OG was 1.1. for about 10 days I was getting a really good reaction from my airlock. It seemed like a normal fermentation to me. Today (one month later) I transfered my Mead to the secondary. I took a sample of the mead to test again, but now I am getting nothing. It is reading all zero, as if there is no alcohol in it at all.

When I test tasted the sample, I can definitely taste some alcohol, and my wife agrees. It even smells like there is alcohol in it.

Does anyone have any idea what is going on?

Key points I think may be the problem:
1. Too much water?
2. When I added the second Mead yeast, it did something funky?
3. My hydrometer looks fine, but could be broken?

If anyone has any idea what is going on, or if anything is wrong at all, please reply. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated!!

::cheers::



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Old 12-26-2011, 10:57 PM   #2
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Your hydrometer obviously recorded the changes- if it was 1.100 when it started and is .990 now, then you're completely done with fermentation and now it's time to let it age a bit, clear and condition.

When you look at your hydrometer, 1.000 is the SG of water. I don't think there is a 0 on there, but the lines above 1.000 would be .990-1.000.



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Old 12-26-2011, 11:03 PM   #3
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The hydrometer works this way: OG-SG/7.4 so you have ca 13.5% of alcohol in your mead. In other words: your starting value (original gravity) is 1.100 and you finished at 0 (final gravity, FG), so there's a 100 difference. 100/7.4. Some use different formulas, though - but that works for me.

Without nutrition, honey can be hard to ferment - and don't trust the airlock. Even if it's not bubbling, it's still fermenting.

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Old 12-27-2011, 12:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronwoolery View Post
I NEED HELP!!

Ok. About a month ago I started my Mead. I got the recipe from a local brewers supply store. The recipe they provided with the ingredients says it is a 5gal batch. HOWEVER, when I followed the directions word for word, my fermenter had about 6gal in it. .....
not uncommon. the recipe is really meant for a brewing bucket/barrel rather than in a carboy. as you go down in volume, especially when racking, you end up with 5 gal in the secondary (carboy).
when fermenting in carboy, each time you rack the volume gets less and you end up with head space problems.
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:56 AM   #5
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Could the larger volume be due to adding the honey to 5 gallons of water rather than adding water and honey TO 5 gallons? Sounds like you used about 15 lbs of honey, which has a volume of about 1.25 gallons. Adding 5 gallons water would give you 6+ gallons. Adding water TO 5 gallons would give you 5 gallons.

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Old 12-27-2011, 01:20 AM   #6
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good point. depends a lot on how the recipe reads.

cameronwoolery......any chance you can post the recipe please?

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Old 12-27-2011, 05:45 PM   #7
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Absolutely,

I knew the honey added about a gallon of volume. I was just worried when it said a 5gal batch, and so far even after tranfering to my secondary, I am still at approximately 6gal.

Thank you Onihige, from what you said, I can now tell that I have been reading my hydrometer wrong. What you said makes sense in this and every batch I have done now. I should learn to read instructions more. LOL

Recipe:
SIMPLE 5 GALLON RECIPE
To begin place 2 gallons of R/O water (vending machine water) in a 4 gallon pot. Add honey and while stirring, heat to 170 degrees. As the Must comes to temprature, you will see the impurities surface in the form of a whitish brown froth. Using a spoon you will want to skim this off and discard. When you reach 170 degrees, turn off the heat, finish skimming, add the contents of pack #1 (I believe this was 1tsp Irish Moss, and 1tsp Gypsum) and let steep for 5 minutes. Please note that you do not want heat over 170 degrees so as to preserve the aroma and body of the honey. With 3 gallons of COLD water already in your fermenter, add the Must and mix well. When your Must has cooled to 80 degrees or cooler, sprinkle yeast on top and let her pop! Ferment for 21-30 days in primary. At this time you will want to transfer it into a second fermenter. Ferment until it is clear, 60-120 days. When your Mead clears, crush the tablets in pack #2 (3 camden Tablets) and add to fermenter and gently stir. Let set for 24 hours, add Clairo KC to fermenter and stir gently to mix. Reattach air lock and bottle in 4 days.

That was the recipe as written word for word. With the honey i gor what they refer to as the Mead Complete kit. This contained 2tsp Meadsters Acid Blend, 1tsp Irish Moss, 1tsp Gypsum, 1tsp Stale Hops Servomyces, and 3 Camden Tablets. I assume the contents of pack one was everything that was not the 3 Camden Tablets, because there were only two packs of items, the tablets being seperate.

If this gives anyone else a clearer idea, awesome. As you can see, they don't mention that the honey will add volume. Therefore, if you follow the instuctions, you will end up with 6+ gallons as we discussed earlier.

Thank you everyone for your help, and with the equation I have learned here I am going to go retest my Mead right now!!!

CHEERS!

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Old 12-27-2011, 08:00 PM   #8
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just leave any extra in a small bottle either with loose lid or balloon on top. that gives you something to top up with.

by the look of the recipe its a crap recipe. most of those things are bad/old techniques.

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Old 12-27-2011, 10:52 PM   #9
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I felt the same way about the recipe. I felt it was horribly written and didn't offer any OG readings to base mine off of.

What do you mean "to top up with"?

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Old 12-27-2011, 11:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronwoolery View Post
I felt the same way about the recipe. I felt it was horribly written and didn't offer any OG readings to base mine off of.

What do you mean "to top up with"?
When you rack the mead (siphon) to a new carboy to get it off of the sediment, you lose a bit of the volume. You use something- water, mead, wine, juice, to "top up" so that you don't have any headspace. Having extra mead on hand means you just pour some of that in the carboy to reduce the headspace.


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