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Old 06-23-2013, 07:44 PM   #1
vetusstimulus
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Default Noob cherry mead,

I have just made my first mead, cherry mead,
I have just checked the air lock and it is now only slightly fermenting, very slightly, it's an hour old, I am wondering if this is just air escaping after the mixture was shaken?
I used a cheep wine yeast and on closer inspection I have noticed it is 1 year out of date, !
Is this going to fail to produce alcohol?



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Old 06-23-2013, 08:00 PM   #2
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What was the OG (or at least, how much honey did you use and what was the overall volume of mead) and basic recipe? Is there any identification on the yeast (strain, etc.)? Did you rehydrate the yeast or just pitch it dry? Did you use any nutrient addition?

If you have a higher gravity must, an out-of date yeast, and you pitched dry without nutrient, you have created some difficult conditions for fermentation...not to say it won't ferment, but it will have more of a difficult time. You will very likely make mead, but I suspect this is going to take a while to ferment and then age out given the starting conditions.

Regardless of any other details though, I would doubt that you have any real fermentation an hour after pitching yeast



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Old 06-23-2013, 08:20 PM   #3
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1 gallon in total ,,,, about 3lb honey and I activated the yeast in a small bowl prior to adding to must, is smelled a little acrid and had a sort of gritty sediment,

I have not used many Cheryl as I plan to add another load in a couple of weeks. I am guessing I used 250 Gramm.

I did use bottled spring water,

The yeast is tesco yeast, it's called wine yeast super compound, for fast fermenting, high alcohol and good clearing,,,,,, apparently ,,,,,,

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Old 06-24-2013, 01:05 AM   #4
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3 lbs per gallon is pretty standard in terms of starting gravity. There are a lot of variables when it comes to healthy fermentation; I don't know anything about that yeast brand, from what I could tell on a quick Google was that it's a UK thing? Related to a supermarket chain that also has it's own brand of bread yeast as well?

I think in your case, time will tell what will happen, but if you don't start to see any real activity in 1-2 days, I'd consider repitching with a fresher yeast source, and perhaps something that's more "tried and true" for mead making. I assume you're in the UK, so perhaps some of the other UK brewers can chime in here?

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Old 06-24-2013, 03:25 AM   #5
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Nah, the super wine yeast compound thing suggests that even if it was branded as Tescos, it'll just be repackaged/labelled.

Youngs or Ritchies use that product name type......

Half a pound or so of fruit though ? Not nearly enough generally.

Be thinking in the 1 kilo or so area......and not until its finished its ferment (get a hydrometer if you haven't already got one).

What kind of fermenter ? Cos if you've used a standard 1 gallon demi-john then you'll likely need to be giving it a good stir morning and evening for at least the first 5 to 7 days to prevent excessive foaming/eruption.......

It should produce alcohol, just depends on what you do with the batch as to how good it'll taste. Getting it wrong could easily give you a batch that tastes a bit like cough medicine (I don't like using cherries....irrespective of what our "western bretheren" say).

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Old 06-24-2013, 07:10 AM   #6
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A kilo, in a1 gallon Demy', I was thinking more like 1 lb in total, if I pita kilo in there it will be full of fruit, lol

Also stir it every day for five days? I thought I should be keeping the air off it.

I guess that's why I am a noob to all this..

Had a look this morning and its bubbling away nicely ,

Also there seems to be a lot of bits hanging about in there, sort of crystals , is this the honey?

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Old 06-24-2013, 04:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vetusstimulus View Post
A kilo, in a1 gallon Demy', I was thinking more like 1 lb in total, if I pita kilo in there it will be full of fruit, lol

Also stir it every day for five days? I thought I should be keeping the air off it.

I guess that's why I am a noob to all this..

Had a look this morning and its bubbling away nicely ,

Also there seems to be a lot of bits hanging about in there, sort of crystals , is this the honey?
The stirring thing ? Yeast needs air/oxygen in early stages for colony development. Once the gravity hits the 1/3rd stage drop from the start gravity, then you airlock it off to finish. The stirring also brings any sediment back into suspension so the dissolved CO2 can attach and come out as gaseous CO2/bubbles.

Fruit batches are best started in a bucket as they can easily foam up into eruption/fountain. Which is why a 1 gallon DJ isn't the best primary container - a bucket makes it easier to manage overflows of foam.

If you do a search for gotmead forums, their left side yellow dialogue box has a link to the "NewBee" guide which explains/answers most of the new mead makers questions.

Once that batch is racked off the fruit and sediment, you'll likely have room for the extra fruit - just stabilise it first (in the guide) as you wouldn't want it to referment.
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:54 PM   #8
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Ok in a secondary now and beginning to clear very well, I can tast the cherrys but its a bit nasty otherwise.. Will this improve with clarity and age,

You may have noticed my other post about hab mead....

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Old 07-21-2013, 08:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vetusstimulus View Post
Ok in a secondary now and beginning to clear very well, I can tast the cherrys but its a bit nasty otherwise.. Will this improve with clarity and age,

You may have noticed my other post about hab mead....
Ha ha! Welcome to the world of mead making.......

When they've fermented dry, they are often hideous tasting when young. Plus you're likely unfamiliar with a fermented fruit taste i.e. the fruit taste with none of the original sugars as they've been replaced with alcohol. It's the error in thinking when people decide on using X as a flavouring. They're most likely think of the taste (especially fruit) that they enjoy in its original form.......

So you can either try and change the taste (alluding to how much fruit etc I mentioned above) or just continue to clear it, then age it......for at least 6 months, probably a year or more. It will change out of all proportion.


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