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Old 08-20-2012, 08:54 PM   #1
GhettoDickens
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Default No boil and no campden tablets: problem?

Admittedly, I rushed into my first 1-gal batch of mead. Here was the process:

-I made 4 cups of blood orange tea and cooled it in the fridge (overnight).
-Sanitized EVERYTHING...like crazy. I am a homebrewer originally
-Combined the honey, cold tea (none of the loose tea) and some water in the glass jug and shook like crazy
-Topped off with water, added nutrients
-Re-hydrated yeast
-Aerate with "washing machine" method 2-3 times a day
-Added energizer (on recommendation of LHBS) on day 3 after degassing

I am reading around now, and it looks like if you do no-boils, campden tablets are recommended to kill any of the wild yeast. Well....I didn't boil AND I didn't use the tablets. It bubbled just fine, and the energizer gave it an extra kick.

Should I be okay? Normally I don't get worked up too much, but since I plan to age this for a few months, I want to make sure I am not waiting on something that is potentially "tainted."

What are your thoughts almighty meadmakers?

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Old 08-20-2012, 08:58 PM   #2
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Wild yeast is more of a concern in fruit, not honey.

I cold mix honey/water all of time without campden and haven't had an issue.

I would think the risk from tea that was boiled or steeped pretty hot and then cooled would be low.

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Old 08-20-2012, 09:26 PM   #3
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Yea, from what I gathered on the interwebs, I wasn't overly concerned. But the tea...there isn't a lot about tea and mead out there, so I didn't know if there was something risky about that.

Thanks for replying!!

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Old 08-20-2012, 10:11 PM   #4
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You are perfectly fine. I do not boil honey or use campden tablets. Honey starts off fine. Yes you do get some wild yeasts but those strains are not as active as a normal wine yeast and the wine yeast will out compete the other strains easily. Now when I back sweeten with honey I do use some potasium sorbate so that I don't get wild yeast in my mead after it's done fermenting and settled on the yeast of choice.


As far as fruit, I have seen many people use campden. Here's my take, if you are putting the fruit in the secondary the solution is around 8-10 ABV already. That should be fine to sterilize the nasties from "tainting" your mead. If the fruit is in the primary the yeast will do it's job first. Unless you use already bad juice, soured or some such you will be fine.

Just sterilize your equipment, all equipment that touches the mead or additions to the mead and you will be fine.

Matrix

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Old 08-20-2012, 10:21 PM   #5
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All this "backsweetening" talk is making me nervous!

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Old 08-20-2012, 10:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GhettoDickens View Post
All this "backsweetening" talk is making me nervous!
Don't let it bother you. Depending on your yeast 18 pounds is fine for getting a sweet mead. There are many recipies that call for 18 pounds and have no backsweetening. Personally, I like it sweeter than most so I start off with 12 pounds, let it ferment dry and then stop the yeast, and "Backsweeten" or rather just add more honey about 4-6 pounds to give it more sweetness. For me this saves honey, otherwise I would put 20 pounds in with the yeast I use and it will have enough residual sweetness to make it sweet.

12-16 pounds with no backsweetening will make a dry to medium sweet mead, depending on the yeast.

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Old 08-20-2012, 10:53 PM   #7
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I'm doing a 1 gal batch with 3 lbs of honey...I want it semi-sweet (more on the dry side). Maybe I'll save backsweetening for my next batch. Thanks for responding!

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Old 08-21-2012, 02:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GhettoDickens View Post
I'm doing a 1 gal batch with 3 lbs of honey...I want it semi-sweet (more on the dry side). Maybe I'll save backsweetening for my next batch. Thanks for responding!
With that amount of honey in a 1 gal, you should go to about what you want.

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Old 08-24-2012, 02:54 PM   #9
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Did your ferment fail to start? If not, then don't worry about it!

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