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Old 09-17-2013, 07:03 AM   #1
wstrong
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Default Need some mead advice

So first off, I'm a beginner to brewing all together. My friend and I decided to brew some mead for the first time. I'm just tripping out about if this is a yeast raft, infection, or devil reincarnate? by the way, we are about 1 week into primary fermentation; I know we have a long way to go, no illusions here. Any tips and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks



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Old 09-17-2013, 07:32 AM   #2
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In my opinion, that looks exactly how it is supposed to. what kinds of tips are you looking for?

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Old 09-17-2013, 07:47 AM   #3
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nothing, my buddy was just tripping me out about the growths around the fruits. That was my main concern, though I do have some questions about re racking. Since most of the fruit material is floating surface/sub surface during the first month, but drops towards the bottom at some point, if there is still some fruit particles floating around when I re-rack it, is there a way to effectively strain the excess from the siphon hose such as cheese cloth attached to the end of the siphon hose in the 2nd carboy. Or should i just use an additive to clear it in the re-rack? thanks for the reply by the way trev.

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Old 09-17-2013, 11:54 AM   #4
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no problem, I know there are people who filter on here but i just re rack until it is clear. it usually takes about 2 racks to get it all the way clear. be patient with it. I dont really see any growths around the fruit, looks like krausen to me. hope this helps!

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Old 09-17-2013, 04:34 PM   #5
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Seems to be just yeast going over the fruits and eating it.

You can open the carboy and gently push down the fruits too. (Making sure to sanitize what will be used to punch down the cap)

Would say, rack when the fruits drop. Will be very clear and most sediment will be in the bottom making it easier to rack.

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Old 09-17-2013, 06:46 PM   #6
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Well your brew looks like JAO ?

If so, then you're not supposed to rack it. Just leave it until the fruit has sunk.

While Joe says that's not necessary to wait for the fruit to drop, yeast sediment settles on any floating fruit, so if you then touch the fruit with a siphon hose or racking cane, you'd find that the sediment comes back into suspension clouding it back up again.

Again that's presuming its JAO and you've used bread yeast, you'll find that when time does come to rack it, you'll have to move the fermenter to where you intend conducting the racking at least 24 hours before because it will come back into suspension if it thinks you've given it a suspicious look !

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Old 09-17-2013, 11:48 PM   #7
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True that. I'm convinced bread yeast goes back in suspension purely out of spite. True flocculation only occurs in an autoclave set to 10,000 rpm......running for 3 days.

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Old 09-18-2013, 06:22 AM   #8
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Ok, so we took what seems like a spin-off of the JAO recipe. we used 13 lbs. of honey, cloves, cinnamon, vanilla beans, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and English cider yeast. We made a mash when we boiled the honey and then strained it. Once we transferred it to the carboy, we added more raspberries and oranges. We took off the top for a few minutes today to use a sanitized glass rod to poke around a bit, but as of now, most everything resurfaced. So we will let it be till we are ready to rack once the fruit starts dropping or depending on patience. I've heard anything from a month to 2 months in primary before fruit drops or starts to settle at the bottom. I can totally understand the spite thing. And as for transferring the carboy, i may just throw it on a mountain board, you know the fat tires and such so theres less shaking.

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Old 09-18-2013, 09:37 AM   #9
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Well the only things to consider then (having used cider yeast which will likely flocculate better than bread yeast), are that it will likely be a better marker of "finished" when all the fruit drops and you will have removed the hazard of disturbing yeast sediment on the fruit.

Additionally, you should likely read up about JAO and what happens when people change the bread yeast for a wine yeast......

The only cider yeast I've used will go to 14% ABV. The batches tend to go dry enough so that the flavour is focused on the bitterness from the orange pith.

A true JAO measures abour 1.135 or so before pitch and 1.025/1.035 after ferment is finished and fruit dropped. The residual sugars balance the pithy bitterness just nicely.

Wine yeasts tend to get the last bit of available sugars and thats why its not a good "dry" recipe.

Hence if you find the cider yeast does the same, then you'll likely have to stabilise and back sweeten. .....

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