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Old 06-09-2013, 06:28 PM   #1
LittleHippieMama
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Default Started my 1st Mead batch today



1 gallon raw local honey from my CSA, I think it is mostly clover but not specified
4 gallons spring water
9 tea bags, just basic black
cup of raisins
pack of Lalvin KI-V 1116 yeast

I brought 1 gallon water to a boil and threw in the tea and raisins, let it come back to a boil then shut it off. I warmed the honey in a pan of warm water. Fished out the tea bags when it was cooled off a bit, added the honey and stirred it like crazy. I poured that into my primary bucket, then added in the rest of the water, stirred like crazy, then pitched yeast. The potential alcohol was about 10%, SG 1.078 .
I am waiting for the bubbling to begin

When I rack to secondary, I plan to split it into gallon batches and add fruits.
Will post more
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Old 06-10-2013, 02:04 AM   #2
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Solid recipe and a good yeast to boot. Try and keep fermenting temps as cool as you can once the fermentation picks up. That yeast and mead in general does not want to be in the hottest place in the home and no brew belts or anything. When 1116 is fermented cool it really accentuates the floral aspects of honey.

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Old 06-10-2013, 02:51 AM   #3
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Ignore "potential alcohol" scales on hydrometers. Mis-leading and creates confusion.

Gravity numbers are likely the easiest way to monitor the progress of the ferment, you got a start gravity so the numbers can only drop.

Yeast nutrients aren't mentioned. You'll likely need some as just the raisins won't, probably, be enough.

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Old 06-10-2013, 04:14 AM   #4
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I did not add any nutrient, I was hoping the raisins and tea would suffice, but I have an energizer and a nutrient, they have pretty similar ingredients but one has urea added. I can add some in.

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Old 06-10-2013, 04:32 AM   #5
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Adding proper yeast nutrients always helps with mead. 1116 is a good yeast for low nutrient musts and your mead will ferment out all the way I am sure without the nutrients but they can only help you. I like to add 1 tsp yeast nutrient per gallon and 1/2 tsp per gallon yeast energizer.

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Old 06-10-2013, 01:55 PM   #6
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It is still not bubbling after about 18 hours, so I pried the top off of the bucket this morning. It smelled divine, all yeasty and sweet, almost like a fresh baked loaf of raisin bread. I added energizer and nutrient, which started to fizz and foam on contact. I hit it with my stick blender to get some air in it, and then sealed it back up, and moved the bucket out of the kitchen, to a cooler room. I would take it to the basement but it is too heavy for me. I will get someone to move it down there before summer heat gets here. Thanks for the advice

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Old 06-10-2013, 02:42 PM   #7
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Yea if it fizzed up when you added the nutrients then fermentation is going on. Mead is not a super active fermenter and watching the bubbles on an airlock is a poor determiner of how the fermentation is going. Watching the gravity with a hydrometer is the best way to know it is going. You should be on your way towards some golden nectar in the coming months.

The only other thing to take count on is that your yeast will ferment this dry to below 1.000 on the hydrometer. After 1st or second racking off sediment once the stuff is really clear you may want to give it a taste and if you want it sweeter you will need to stabilize this with sulfites and sorbate to prevent further fermentation and add honey to the desired sweetness. When aging a mead over a year also understand that it seems to get sweeter in taste with age. So sweetening it to just under what you like and then aging in bottles or bulk it will be where you like it 12 - 18 months of total age.

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Old 06-11-2013, 03:05 AM   #8
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It began bubbling merrily through the airlock this evening, so all is well.

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Old 06-14-2013, 01:56 AM   #9
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Mead Day +5
The bubbling in the air lock had slowed down quite a bit today. I open up the bucket and took a gravity, it is at 1.000. I could hear it fizzing still so it is still working. I stirred it with my stick blender a bit, added a teaspoon of nutrient, stirred with a paddle some, then sealed it back up. It immediately started bubbling merrily again. I am a total novice with the SG readings..I thought it would take weeks to get to 1.000, and that it would be near the end of fermenting (primary). Is it OK?
words of advice appreciated
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:15 AM   #10
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1.000 is pretty dry as is. There is probably very little sugar left over by now if much at all. Some people like to rack now to take it from the bucket into a carboy so you reduce the surface area of mead hitting O2. I have never fermented with a bucket so would have to confer with what others say. When I just use a carboy from start to finish I let the mead finish fermenting and have at least 90% of all the sediment drop out of suspension before I rack the first time.

Since this fermented quickly you just had a nice healthy ferment. Some meads that do not have attention to nutrients, degassing, aeration... Can take weeks to finish. My first mead took nearly a month to finish if I remember right. It did not turn out as a good mead.

Rack any time soon and you will be in the step of letting the mead clear. Rack as many times as needed ever 30 - 60 days till clear. Then if you want to back sweeten or add fruits you can do that then.

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