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Old 01-09-2008, 01:53 PM   #1
JustMrWill
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Default What the heck Mead

I think that is what I am going to call my first mead...because that is how I decided to make it.

I debated as to what I wanted to make for about a week and finally just said "what the heck" and did it last night with just Honey, water, yeast and nutrients.

Here is what I did...

12 lbs clover honey (Berkley and Jensen brand - $5.99/3lbs)
3 gallons bottled water
1 pack wine yeast (can't remember the name...have it written at home)

-hydrated yeast in 1 cup warm water
-I warmed up the honey in a hot water bath
-I warmed up 1 gallon of water to about 100 degrees
-added 6 lbs honey and stirred until completely mixed (didn't take long sing everything was warm)
-put 2/3 of that in 6.5 gal carboy
-added more water and honey to pot
-stirred
-repeated above until I had all 3 gallons of water and 12 lbs of honey in carboy
-mixed 3 tsp nutrients and 1 cup of warm water
-added nutrients to carboy
-put stopper in carboy and shaked for about 5 min
-took hydrometer reading - 1.113
-pitched yeast when must temp was at 95* and shook for another 5 or so minutes
***accidently pushed stopper into carboy
Re-stoppered with another stopper and installed airlock.

Any comments? Suggestions?

Will the stopper in the must mess anything up?

Should I do anything else or just let it do its thing?

I am planning on checking the SG in a few weeks...what should I be looking for a FG?

I want a sweet mead/not dry and non-carbonated. Once it is done fermenting, should I use something to inhibit re-start and add more honey?

-Thanks in advace.

-Will

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Old 01-10-2008, 12:03 AM   #2
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I take it, that since over 30 people have viewed this and not a single person has commented, I did everything perfectly?

-JMW

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Old 01-10-2008, 12:27 AM   #3
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Well, you did it right! I can't answer your questions, though. Without knowing what kind of yeast, I have no idea what your FG may be. I'm guessing that if you used wine yeast, it'll finish dry. You can sweeten it if you'd like, after fermentation is completely over and you've stabilized the mead. You wouldn't add more honey until after that though- all you'd do if you add more before it's finished is boost the ABV. It's going to be pretty "hot" for a while as it is, I sure wouldn't boost it any more!

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Old 01-10-2008, 01:17 AM   #4
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Mead takes a long time, so be paitent. the stopper shouldnt hurt a thing, as long as it was clean. looking at your recipie, yup its mead. I wouldnt mess with it, let them yeastees do their thing, when the bubbling stops and it clears up, bottle it and enjoy.

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Old 01-10-2008, 02:28 AM   #5
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Ok...I located the yeast packet (wife tossed it...don't know why she would think that an empty torn packet would be trash though).

It is says on the packet:

LALVIN EC-1118
Saccharomyces bayanus
Product of Canada
5g

It is what Steve at Walpole gave me when I told him I was looking ofr a sweet mead yeast.

-JMW

ps - thanks for the replies.

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Old 01-10-2008, 02:30 AM   #6
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Well, it;s not a sweet mead yeast. But it'll work well, and take it dry. You can just sweeten it back later (like in 2 years) when it's done.

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Old 01-10-2008, 02:38 AM   #7
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I was hopping for something to drink in the 4 to 6 month range...I don't think I can wait 2 years....atleast not to sample it.

This morning, there was a 2 inch thick foam on top. When I got home from work...foam is all gone and the airlock is bubbling away happily (about 1 burp per second).

I'll be buying a 3 gallon carboy to rack this too in a few weeks and then bulk condition for a few months. After that, I will bottle in various sizes (500 ml to 1/2 gallon) and sample occasionally.

Any opinions on whether I should add more nutrients and when?

Should I shake to re-aerate or just leave it be?

Does mead "skunk"? Should I cover the carboy with a towel (when I am not gazing longingly at it).

Thanks

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Old 01-10-2008, 04:29 AM   #8
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keep it in a darker area. interior closets work great. it doesn't skunk like beer does (which is due to the hop oils oxidizing) but large doses of UV light isn't good for anything.

did you add yeast energizer (DAP/diammonium phosphate) or just nutrients? cuz mead really needs nitrogen and most 'nutrients' are just vitamins.

don't rack it until its finished in primary. taking it off the yeast prematurely can cause a stuck fermentation. you shrink the yeast colony significantly and now have a higher alcohol environment inhibiting the yeast in suspension from doing much, especially since your original nutrients were consumed by the original colony.

mead is very much a patient man's liquid ambrosia. i have bottles that are almost 9 years old.

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Old 01-10-2008, 01:33 PM   #9
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Thanks.

It is hard being patient! That is why I am stocking up right now, so I can let stuff condition longer.

I wrapped it in a towel to minimize the light exposure. It is still burping away steadily. I only have the nutrients...Steve at Walpole said it was all I needed. I am going to Blackstone soon and will hopefully get a little more info there.

Went and checked my (first) lager that I brewed at the same time...wow it it going hard! Getting 3-4 bubble splirts every second (chest freezer is at 53*)

Thanks for the help.

Feel free to make any suggestions etc.

-JMW

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Old 01-23-2008, 02:12 PM   #10
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Default 2 weeks in...

Update...

It's been 2 weeks and it is still bubbling away (1 burp/sec). I have a heating pad next to it to help keep it warm when the temps drop. I try to keep it in the upper 60's and when it goes over 72* turn off the pad...I accidently let to get up to 76* one day...I hope that won't adversely affect it.

I bought a 3 gallon carboy to rack this to...I am still contemplating adding blueberries when I rack...still on the fence.

Should I keep it at the same temp for conditioning? after bottling?

-Will

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