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Old 01-04-2011, 07:30 PM   #1
jakel
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Default Mead Questions?

This is my first post on this site, I have been a long time lurker. I have brewed mostly ciders up until this last Saturday, when I decided to brew my first mead!! My whole strategy with this mead is to age it until next NYE and then enjoy it with friends. I was hoping you all could answer a few questions I have about this batch I made. I made five gallons. I basd it off the "Costco recipe" in the mead recipe section, but different quantities:

12 lbs clove honey.
3 lbs mixed local fresh berries. (Ive read its not enough, but was lacking funds for more)
yeast nut.
Yeast energizer
Wyeast dry mead yeast, then some cote de blancs.... i will get to that below.
pectic enzyme

So heres my question. After I mixed all this goodness above and pitched the wyeast mix in, I let it sit until next morning. When I checked on it, nothing no activity. So I decided to wait another day. Next morning nothing, no activity. So I went to work and came home to check it and very little activity. SO in my noob panic I pitched in a little bit of Cote de Blancs in and the next morning, bubbling fury. SO what will i expect, from the two dfferent yeasts?

Also, when i was preparing the must I heat up the honey in a gallon of water to make it pourable and so it woud mix well. Once heated and watery I poured it into the carboy. I think that was a mistake because it took forever to cool down. But I smacked the yeast pack 1 hr prior to that. So I had to put the carboy outside for 4 hrs to let it cool down. after 4 hrs it was mostly cool except for the bottom, where all the honey settled and was warm to the touch. I pitched the yeast into the carboy. Was this ok for the mead yeast?

I know this a long post, sorry about my noobness. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Jake

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Old 01-04-2011, 07:36 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jakel View Post
yeast nut.
Is this the result of showing them yeast porn?

Seriously, though, you will be fine with the two different yeasts and allowing the honey mixture to sit and cool for a while. No issues there.

What worries me is when you talk about the honey settling on the bottom. No where did you mention shaking the carboy to fully dissolve the honey mixture. Now it may be all fine and good in the end, but you usually want the honey fully dissolved in the must prior to pitching the yeast.

Other than that, let us know how it turns out!
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:41 PM   #3
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What worries me is when you talk about the honey settling on the bottom. No where did you mention shaking the carboy to fully dissolve the honey mixture. Now it may be all fine and good in the end, but you usually want the honey fully dissolved in the must prior to pitching the yeast.

Damn.... I knew I forgot something. Would shaking up the carboy now with the active yeast hurt the yeast? Or should I use a stir stick?
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:54 PM   #4
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Stir stick if you have one.

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Old 01-05-2011, 03:18 AM   #5
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Shaking up your must really well before pitching yeast makes sure your honey is well mixed AND oxygenates the must which the yeast need.

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Old 01-05-2011, 03:23 AM   #6
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I cold mix all of the time without dissolving the honey. Osmosis is a cool thing; that honey will mix with the water in a day or so....

For aeration/oxygen, I rely most on the action I get with the funnel when adding the liquid.

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Old 01-05-2011, 04:28 AM   #7
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not bad for a first go.

suggest in the future not heating the honey. it blows off the aromas and you really want that in the bottle, not your kitchen. Honey doesn't need to be heated. it's naturally antibiotic and antiseptic. Stir stick is a great suggestion to get mixed. For the future, use a bit of warm water to help with the mixing or heat the berries a bit....Just not the honey.

Suggest using liquid yeast and DAP and GoFerm as nutrients. Honey doesn't have a lot of nutrients, so using a dry yeast with no nutrients can result in stuck fermentation and/or really long fermentation times. If you prepare the yeast in advance with nutrients, they have a running start and you'll overwhelm any wild yeast. No need for sulfites.

Good luck!

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Old 01-05-2011, 07:00 AM   #8
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Thank you all for your responses! I was thinking after primary fermentation, I would add more berries in the second fermention carboy (to make up for the small amount of them in the primary, 3lbs.) The question is how much? Should I also add campden tablets to the secondary carboy to stop fermentation or should I ferment it all the way out? I am planning on a nice still finished product. BTW it is bubbling once a second, but smells nice not like rhino farts from cider.

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Old 01-05-2011, 09:33 AM   #9
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Alot of times airation and mixing are my culprits

question glass or plastic car boy?

If its plastic next time get a whisk [dont go to mao mart go to a store with more variety] , chuck that sob in a drill, and airate the crap out of it if you shake it.

If you doing 5 gals what i did was find a whisk that almost fit a squezed it togather a bit till it did fit easily. Now dont worry if you break a prong on it, its for airating, not mixing. Then i pulled up the handle [coil wrapped kind] found a rod that fit cut it over a foot or so and silver soldered it in and silver soldered the oposing end. A soldering gun and solder can be had at lowes for about 10 bucks. The rod 4 bucks. and the whisk for 5 or so bucks. and you have the gear to make a few more when this ones worn out.

To use it put the whisk at the very top of the must and run the drill as fast as it will go. If you do this right in my meads atleast it foams up, Then submerge the whisk barely under water this will stir in the air bubbles


I had a stuck batch of JAO that I just couldnt seem to get to ferment and this helped its going like a rocket now. you can even smell the ferment downstairs.

BTW you guys have no intro section? Well i guess this is a Hi im the new guy then First Post of many woot woot
found the intro section my mistake

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Old 01-05-2011, 04:47 PM   #10
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My suggestion is to stir with your stir stick well. This will add the oxygen you need. I wouldn't worry about the two yeasts, it will just add a little more character, not much. And one yeast might out pace and crowd out the other yeast. For Nutrients, I would not worry. Reason, Fruit berries have tons of nutrients. My suggestion would be to wait until your mead clears a bit and apears to stop fermenting, then hit it up with some Potasium Sorbate to stop the fermentation, wait a week, THEN add your fruit. If you have a brew bucket put it all in there fruit is hard to get out of a carboy, you can always rack back to the carboy later to clear. While on fruit or oaking use a brew bucket. But as I was saying, adding the fruit, and I would add more honey, put prior to adding it, mix some potasium sorbate in with the fruit as well as some pectin enzyme to break apart the berries. The Sorbate is to make sure you have just added flavor and not simply more fermentables as for mulitberry, especially if you have used raspberries will ferment dry. AND TART. Keep some sweetness and stop the yeast.

My experiences with Raspberry Mead I am doing has taught me this. I am sure some of the other Mead experts will agree..Potasium Sorbate and Pectin Enzyme are your friends and vastly improves your brew if used at the right times.

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