I'm finally getting to making some more mead/honey wine and had some questions.
I plan to make at least two one gallon batches. One will be with strawberries and one with heather tips (or maybe just plain honey). I'll probably pitch tomorrow.
1) I remembered I'm leaving town in 11 days for over a week. That I'm guessing won't be enough time to be ready to rack onto fruit. If I pitch the yeast tomorrow, it'll be three weeks before I get back. Do I risk that being too late? I'd read somewhere that you want to rack to the fruit when fermentation is slow but not stopped entirely.
: Ok, stumbled on a post in another thread that suggests my time frame is fine. I should still have fermentation going on after three weeks.
2) Particularly since these are small batches, is topping off with some more honey/water after racking a good idea? Or just water? It won't be an issue for primary to secondary on the strawberry one as I'll need room for the fruit.
3) Heather tips - Found a recipe talking about adding them to the boil. I hadn't planned on doing a boil and I see just using warm/hot water is the preferred method here. Should I put heather tips in primary or secondary? Any clue what quantity to use?
4) Do I need a must bag for the fruit? The heather tips?
I made my yeast starter yesterday to revive my four months beyond the best by date White Labs sweet mead yeast. It had me worried as overnight there was no noticeable activity, but when I got home this evening it was definitely going. Obvious because I didn't have a fermentation lock that fits on old beer bomber, so I stuck a balloon on it.