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Old 01-21-2014, 12:55 AM   #1
Paul_F
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Default So - any errors in this batch of mead I just started that I can fix early?

Just started my second ever batch of mead (first was a JAOM, now bottle aging).
My goal is a fairly mildly flavored, fairly balanced between "dry" and "sweet" mead.

So here's what's in the Carboy now;

3 Gallon Batch:
2.3 quarts Snowberry Honey (approximately 6.7 lbs, my scale is broken, I just learned! So I had to go by volume - and I overshot a little.)
9 Earl Grey Tea pouches (non "string and tag" tea bags, english style)
2 sticks Cinammon (about 3" long each)
Zest of 1 Orange

Put zest, cinnamon, and tea in 3 gallon carboy
Mix honey and warmed water (about a gallon) in plastic bucket.
Stir to mix/aearate.
Checked Specific Gravity: 1.080

Rack into Carboy.
Bung and shake the bejeezes out of it to aerate.

Added 1/2 Tsp of Fermaid K
Added 1 -1/2 Tsp of generic "Yeast Nutrient"
Shake some more.

Warmed a cup and a half (ish) of must to 104 degrees, added Lalvin K1-V1116 (1 packet). Wait 15 minutes. Got a little foaming, so the yeasties went in alive.
Added must/yeast back into carboy - shake some more.
Airlock.

My plan is to add another 1/2 tsp FermaidK / 1-1/2 Tsp "Yeast Nutrient" when I see signs of fermenting.
Shake to aerate/degas every day.

After fermenting seems "finished", I will rack and add an as yet undecided amount of medium toast oak chunks, and leave for 3 weeks. Then Rack again.
Haven't decided on Camden/Sorbate and backsweeten or not yet... might.

So... the big question;
Anyone see anything terribly screwed up that I can still fix? :-)

pauls-mead-no2.jpg  
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:30 AM   #2
Complete_Amateur
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Hi Paul,

Sounds like an interesting recipe.

As for mistakes, yeast should be rehydrated in warmed, preferably sterile water rather than must/wort etc., as doing so can stall or even prevent activity. That is supposed to be a particularly hardy strain, but if you have a slow start, you may know why.

If so, my money would be on re-pitching the same yeast, but rehydrated with water.

I usually boil some water, and then bring it down to temperature before rehydrating (or take it from my tea kettle which has been recently boiled), to ensure sterility.

Keep us posted.

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Old 01-22-2014, 01:36 PM   #3
Paul_F
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Well, despite my little misunderstanding of must vs water for the yeast, they seem to have survived OK... Got a pretty good fizz going.
Thinking I'll pitch the rest of the nutrient tomorrow.

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Old 01-22-2014, 08:48 PM   #4
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I think it sounds great. This will be a super great recipe to compare to JAOM since they are similar.

I will mention that you may not have enough headspace for when the yeast go into full action after a day or two. Take a 1 liter or 2 liter bottle and siphon off about a litter and put that in the fridge with the cap on loose. After about 5 or 6 days when the mead calms down you should be able to add that back to the mead.

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Old 01-22-2014, 10:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
Well, despite my little misunderstanding of must vs water for the yeast, they seem to have survived OK... Got a pretty good fizz going.
Thinking I'll pitch the rest of the nutrient tomorrow.

Great, then it sounds like it won't be an issue for you. I have had some pretty rough starts from pitching problems, so it stuck out to me. In fact, that yeast is supposed to demonstrate high-tolerance for a number of factors, including low-nutrient must, which means the added nutrient may not be needed.
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:28 AM   #6
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Sorry for the delayed reply.. Life interferes with my hobbies at times!

I've held off on the nutrient feeding, as it's still got a very healthy fizz going..
I did think of siphoning some off, but think i'm going to chance it.. As I'm foolhardy and reckless. Arpolis will get a full court "I told you so" if this proves disasterous. :-)

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