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Old 05-07-2006, 12:52 PM   #1
Keln
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Default My first mead

I followed advice and started with Joe's Orange Ancient recipe. I made the batch a couple hours after I made a batch of chardonnay from an old kit I had. The chardonnay is bubbling like mad, now 16hrs later. The mead, which I was under the impression would fizz and foam alot, is bubbling....but not that much. It's more of a slow process like the merlot I made last time. Is that ok? Or should it be going nuts by now?

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Old 05-08-2006, 03:18 PM   #2
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Honey usually doesn't have a lot of the nutrients yeast needs to really get going, so your firment will definitely take a lot longer than regular wine. Just be patient, keep it safe and it'll all be worth it in the end.

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Old 05-08-2006, 07:06 PM   #3
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Mine's been in the primary for about a week now. I was planning on giving it a month, then racking to a secondary for 2 months, then a tertiary for another month before bottling. Is this schedule OK, or is it too fast or slow?

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Old 05-08-2006, 09:36 PM   #4
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I suggest not sticking to any particular schedule, just let it be until it is "ready" to be racked to secondary - when most of the fermentation is done, say one blip every 30 seconds or so.

I made the mistake of racking my traditional mead too early to secondary, thinking that it was on the yeast cake too long (after 6 weeks). It was blipping once every 17 seconds at that point. When I racked it, it was down to one blip every 3 MINUTES! I have come to find out that it was because I removed most of the yeast in the racking process. Now I need to repitch. The funny thing is that there really wasn't that much sediment after all!

To reiterate, don't rack until it is ready - one blip every 30 sec or so. Tertiary may or may not be necessary depending on clearing/sediment/etc. Just My $0.02.

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Old 05-09-2006, 03:11 AM   #5
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Nooooo! I want mead now! Oh, I guess I can buy some....

Came home from work and the foam had foamed to uber foaminess. I guess it had really kicked it up over the day and teh wife was complaining about the smell...so I know it was working from my earlier wine making experiments. So now, per recipe instructions, with the foam seemingly done, I added water to fill up the gallon carboy (with a lil space of course). At first (like the first hour or so) it seemed like I stalled the fermentation or something. But eventually it started bubbling up and looks more like the chardonnay I am making right now. The bubbling has increased dramatically over the last three hours, except the foaming has pretty much stopped happening like before. I'm not sure what that all means, but it looks like it's active whatever it's up to. The odor is very very pleasant I think ( teh wife thinks differently). A honeyed-citrus odor with a hint of cinnamon. I like how this is going so far. Much different from that pungent sour odor I got from previous wines. This is the first brew I have ever done that I haven't questioned whether or not I could ever drink such a thing with such an odor. Well, it's only been a few days so far. The chardonnay, like my last batch of merlot, stinks to high heaven...

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Old 05-10-2006, 02:23 AM   #6
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Woah...

The mead, now 4 days later, is fizzling almost. It's bliping like once every 5-7 secs, and you can see alot of visible bubbling...you can hear it actually. Sounds like when you open a soda can and listen to it fizzling inside.

And I was worried about stalling....hah! I think it had been too acidic or something. Adding water really energized it.

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Old 05-16-2006, 01:10 AM   #7
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Ok, so my Joe's Ancient Orange is about on it's 9th or 10th day and following a quite active few days, the bubbling has slowed to one per 20 secs in the airlock. Is this normal? I thought it would decrease much more gradually than that. It was around 1 blip per 10-12 secs yesterday I think? Now suddenly it has slowed.

How long does this Joe's stuff normally take to clear? Should I wait until fruit drops or is it better to bottle as soon as the liquid looks clear? What should I use to strain the liquid? I have a racking cane, but I think there is too much orange pulp and whatnot suspended in liquid for that to work, unless everything drops to the bottom. Cover the bottling tube with cloth? If so, what kind should I or should I not use?

Oh, and the top of the liquid looks kinda scummy. Will that drop as well? It's just foam and spice particles looks like, but it's floating with the fruit on top of the liquid. Everything still smells good and has good color, so there's nothing obviously wrong that I can see.

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Old 05-24-2006, 03:47 AM   #8
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I'm making the same mead. Made it on Feb. 28th. Has been clear for a week or so now, and I moved the fermenter tonight in preparation of bottling tomorrow night. Haven't seen a bubble in a few weeks now that I think about it. Going to follow Joe's directions and not rack to secondary, but go straight to bottles. A few questions though for those that have made this mead. After I rack it off into bottles, how long do I wait before drinking it? Is it ready to drink now, or do I bottle condition for a few months? And what are the best bottles to use? Resealable Grolsh, wine, or regular 12oz beer bottles?

Keln - Mine was completely clear in roughly 2 months as the directions state. Mine's been going for almost 3, but it's still scummy on top. I'm guessing that's normal.

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Old 06-02-2006, 07:44 PM   #9
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So it looks like my mead is starting to clear already (looks like, not too sure). I'm thinking I will leave it in at least another month before bottling just to stick to recipie.

I am wondering though about bottling. I noticed Joe's recipie doesn't call for any kind of finings or anything, and I was curious if not adding any preservatives of any kind will prevent this mead from lasting a long time in the bottle. Am I only counting on the alcohol and the acidity from the oranges to prevent possible spoilage, or should I add something before bottling?

I am only making a gallon, so I don't think it will last long in the bottle ( ) but then I might save one of the bottles to see what it's like after a year or two of aging.


And what is the best storage practice for mead anyways?

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Old 06-02-2006, 07:52 PM   #10
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The alcohol is the preservative...

Unless you are corking the best storage is standing upright.

Most meads are ready to drink at bottling time, depending on the spices used.

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