A few questions
Well it's safe to say I'm a massive noobie when it comes to brewing, and only recently purchased my equipment and ingredients to start making some blackberry mead.
Basically I have used a mixed lot of instructions and reading up too much have saw certain things that get me quite worried that my fermentation will not occur.
Here are the steps I took:
I sterilized ALL equipment and then begun boiling my ingredient... (don't laugh) haha
I used Ribena because my friend has used it before, and apparently it's a perfect mix of sugar water and berries? :S lol.
So I boiled the diluted ribena (9 1l cartons) one at a time, and after I'd add one, I'd add 1 425g jar of honey and any honey left in my jars i'd add a tiny bit of boiling water, shake it about and then pour the rest in to my fermentation barrel.
I continued this process until honey and ribena was all together mixing as I went along to ensure the honey was dissolved.
After this I cleaned my barrel thoroughly and then added some chopped raisins (only around three handfuls) because apparently the flavor is nicer? lol
I then waited for my ribena to cool (it took a really long time) and waited until it was warm to the touch but not boiling or too hot to touch and added my yeast nutrient (according to the instructions 1 teaspoon per galon and I had just over 2 so I used 2 and a tiny bit).
I then sprinkled evenly almost 3 packets of wilkinson plus' 5gram wine yeast as one packet would ferment 4.5l~ and I had around 11l of honey and mead in the barrel.
I then added my airlock and bung to my barrel and tightly sealed it, added some vodka to the airlock and covered my barrel with a t-shirt.
What I'm worried about is (I started fermenting around 21 hours ago) I cannot see any visible bubbles coming out of my airlock.
I think I may have killed the yeast if this isn't happening after 24 hours?
I have a gap of air in my barrel (it's a 5 gallon barrel but I only have 11 liters in it) but it does not get disturbed and a lot of people are saying never leave a gap of air.
A lot of places say mix the yeast in stirring it whereas some just say sprinkle it on top
One thing I'm thinking is I may be worrying too much, and that the bubbles won't appear because it has a big gap to fill with carbon dioxide before the bubbles can be pushed through the top?
Some websites say mix it every two days some say only mix it once half way through fermentation
Any help, tips or re-assurance would be greatly appreciated.