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Old 02-08-2013, 03:37 PM   #1
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Default Must covered or uncovered?

My girl wanted to make mead so I went out and got her everything for her project. Today she started her two gallon batch, but the little book says to leave the must in the pot for 24hrs then pitch yeast? This just doesn't seem right to me, shouldn't it be in the carboy with an airlock on it? Im a beer brewer and I would never leave wort in the kettle overnight. Shouldn't cool down asap then pitch yeast and slap an airlock on it? What do you guys think?

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Old 02-09-2013, 01:18 AM   #2
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Pitch the yeast as soon as it is cool, just like beer.

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Old 02-09-2013, 01:21 AM   #3
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That's an old-world wine technique. roadkill611 is right on. Treat it just like beer. When it's ready, pitch and slap on an airlock.

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Old 02-09-2013, 01:24 AM   #4
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I mix my honey with about equal parts hot filtered tap water to create a homogeneous solution, then top up to the correct volume with cold filtered tap water, shake to aerate, then sprinkle my yeast on top without mixing it in and let it sit with a clean cloth covering it for about 12-24 hours until the yeast is looking lovely and bubbly. Then I swirl in the yeast and recover with the cloth for the majority of the fermentation. When the fermentation is beginning to slow (4-8 days) I'll swap out for the airlock.

Definitely a different method than I do for my beers

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Old 02-09-2013, 01:51 AM   #5
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It sounds like the recipe is not a good one- the "pot" is a clue. You don't normally heat/boil honey.

I think your recipe is suspect. You can definitely start a mead in a bucket with just a towel covering it- but you don't have it hot, and you just pitch the yeast in it.

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Old 02-10-2013, 02:15 AM   #6
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Book says to leave the must in the pot for 24hrs then pitch yeast....

Q: This just doesn't seem right to me, shouldn't it be in the carboy with an airlock on it?
A: You will come across two schools of thought. Those who slap an airlock on the must from the start and those who do not. I personally just cover the opening of my primary bucket with its lid or a cloth and when the original gravity has dropped by 2/3 or 8-10 days later, whichever comes first, I then transfer to carboy and attach airlock. I choose this method due to yeast being aerobic and anaerobic during fermentation. This also allows me ease of access for stirring, testing, manipulating fruit, etc.

Q: Shouldn't cool down asap then pitch yeast and slap an airlock on it?
A. Follow the directions of your yeast when it comes to pitching, some are formulated to just be sprinkled on the top and others are meant to use a starter. As far as wait time, if you added pectic enzyme/k-meta to the must you should wait at least 12 hours before pitching your yeast. And you really should have your must within the temp range of the yeast you have chosen, but remember the must temperature typically increases by 8F when ferment is in progress.

Just remember that brewing beer and fermenting wine/mead are very different. Assuming the 'pot' you are using is a large stockpot or such for the primary phase, just do not use an aluminum pot for fermentation, stainless steel is fine.

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