Ok, I picked up a melomel kit from Midwest during my last brew day, but the kit has been sitting downstairs in the box ever since.
I did have them swap out the champagne yeast for Red Star's "Cotes des Blancs"(Active Dry Wine Yeast), and I purchased a 2nd packet of yeast as well. I also picked up 5 pounds of frozen peaches from the Grocery store to make a peach melomel with.
So my plan of attack for one of the coming weekends is:
1.) Heat 1 gallon of water to a 190-195.
2.) Remove from heat and mix in honey
3.) Return pot to heat and bring up to 190-195 for 20 min to pasteurize.
4.) Cool in an ice bath.
5.) Add peaches to my 6 gallon carboy.
6.) add cooled must to carboy
7.) top off carboy with water to bring volume up to 5 gallons.
8.) Soak hand in star-san, put sanitized hand over the top of the carboy. Shake carboy as violently as possible to mix top off water with the must and to aerate the must so the yeasties have plenty of oxygen to do their thing.
9.) Pitch the yeast.
10.) Insert airlock, or maybe blowoff tube??, and stick in the closet for about a month.
11.) Once my hydrometer readings are steady, rack to secondary(5 gallon carboy) and top off with water so there is only about an inch or 2 of head space between the mead and the airlock.
12.) Back in the closet for 4-6 months.
- Does anyone see any problems with my plan?
- I'm a beer brewer, and usually when using dry yeast for beer, rather than making a starter I just pitch 2 packets of yeast since dry yeast is so cheap. Would this be a good idea for mead or should I just pitch the 1 packet?
- Can I use carbonation tablets for making sparkling mead? I want to bottle half my batch in wine bottles and I want to bottle the other half in beer bottles to make sparkling mead.
- Guessing I can just use my normal hydrometer I use for me beer for mead as well?
- Blowoff tube or airlock for primary? And if a blowoff tube is needed, should I leave it on for the whole month of primary, or replace it with an airlock after the initial vigorous fermentation is over?
- What is degaussing? I've seen references to it but am not sure what exactly it is, and if it's something I need to worry about for my first mead?
Thank you for any tips or advice in advance!