Hey all, first post and first brew here so I was hoping for some advice from the experienced
So, with a prayer to the Norse gods for mercy I have decided to make a mead for my first brew ever!.
Here's what I have so far:
3/06/09- Started must with
: Lalvin 71b 1122 (14% etOH) potential, Go-ferm starter, Yeast Nurtrient (would have used fermaid-K but all my brew shop had was this)
: 12lbs local clover honey 2.6 lbs orange blossom 14.6 lbs total
1 small box of raisins for just for kicks and aroma (read something about helping the yeast by providing more nutrients)
: 1.1 ish
Purified Spring water to make exactly five gallons
No boil on honey, vigorous aeration for 15 mins, pitched yeast after starting with go-ferm, more aeration etc.
Put all ingredients/pitched yeast in 6.5 gal plastic bucket carboy with lid and one-piece airlock
my intent is to rack onto raspberries in once primary is done into the secondary (dont want fermented raspberries, going for flavor)
So, heres the progress so far:
14 hours (3/7/09) 1 bubble (1 piece airlock every 13 seconds)
3/8/09 1 bubble every 3 seconds (fairly vigorous?)
3/11/09 removed lid, gentle stir, no residue present smells great
03/14/09 slowed to once every 7 seconds light aeration
3/17/09 checked the SG currently at 1.06
Today (3/22) one bubble every 6 or 7 seconds
So, with that established, my questions are as follows:
1. Since I am planning on racking onto the raspberries when/how should I use the pectic enzyme? Add it to the must before racking? Directly to the puree? Dilute puree with water? I have no clue :P. FYI I was thinking about using the Oregon raspberry puree anyone have any luck with it, how much should I add?
2. I have a 6 1/2 glass carboy. I heard I am not supposed to leave any headspace during secondary to prevent oxygen from entering the must. I have heard raspberries can cause a lot of foam though, and since I am doing this in my parent's basement (med school student and broke :P) so I dont think I can do a blow-off. When should I be worried about minimizing head space and oxygen, should I be worried?
3. The fermentation seems a little slow... 1.1 to 1.06 after 11 days... am I ok? When should I rack onto raspberries? I know that typically it is ideal to wait until SG stops dropping, but should I leave the yeast somewhat active and re-rack? Note: I am in Colorado so it does get a little cold hence why i picked a lalvin for wider temp tolerance, might be the fact that my basement is cooler (wrapped the carboy in a towel).
Thanks! I will be sure to post pictures and keep you all updated once I rack to glass...