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Old 12-26-2012, 10:43 PM   #11
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So when I get the mixer should I try to mix up the honey again, or am I running a chance of oxidation now that it's fermenting?


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Old 12-27-2012, 05:38 AM   #12
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That shouldn't be to big of a problem at this stage. Your fermentation should still be producing a fair amount of co2. Since that's heavier then air if you stir it up without tipping the bottle to much you should be mostly mixing in the co2 layer on top of the must with the must. Probably not enough oxygen to be noticeable.

The stirring is also a good idea for your brew anyway. Lots of dissolved co2 should come out of solution. Co2 isn't good for yeast, so in a nutrient poor solution like mead it's best to remove it if it's reasonable to do so. I can't remember where anymore, but I read an article indicating that most commercial meaderies degass continually while the mead is fermenting.


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Old 12-27-2012, 06:34 AM   #13
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That shouldn't be to big of a problem at this stage. Your fermentation should still be producing a fair amount of co2. Since that's heavier then air if you stir it up without tipping the bottle to much you should be mostly mixing in the co2 layer on top of the must with the must. Probably not enough oxygen to be noticeable.

The stirring is also a good idea for your brew anyway. Lots of dissolved co2 should come out of solution. Co2 isn't good for yeast, so in a nutrient poor solution like mead it's best to remove it if it's reasonable to do so. I can't remember where anymore, but I read an article indicating that most commercial meaderies degass continually while the mead is fermenting.
Ok, sounds good! Thanks!
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:46 PM   #14
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I followed fatblokes advice, I added yeast nutrient (and energizer since it'd been a few days). I used a drill mixer on slow speed and mixed up the separated honey and nutrient, then a couple days later I added more nutrient. It really worked, the must is going nuts with fermentation now. Thanks fatbloke for the advice, I think you saved my mead!
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:50 PM   #15
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I followed fatblokes advice, I added yeast nutrient (and energizer since it'd been a few days). I used a drill mixer on slow speed and mixed up the separated honey and nutrient, then a couple days later I added more nutrient. It really worked, the must is going nuts with fermentation now. Thanks fatbloke for the advice, I think you saved my mead!
Nah, just pointed you in the right direction in a timely fashion......

Beer makers have good understanding of the various bits of the process but what with beers being more likely to experience problems (low alcohol levels so no preservative effect and residual parts of ingredients that are sensitive to oxidation, hops, malt, etc etc).

Yet they often don't quite "get" the seemingly more laid back approach that honey allows us to take.

So it certainly wasn't saving a batch, just a little suggestion to prevent possible problems......

Keep us informed how it gets on, especially as you seem to be managing well with that bloody awful sweet mead yeast.......
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:29 PM   #16
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Keep us informed how it gets on, especially as you seem to be managing well with that bloody awful sweet mead yeast.......
Absolutely, will do!
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:40 PM   #17
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Beer makers have good understanding of the various bits of the process

Yet they often don't quite "get" the seemingly more laid back approach that honey allows us to take.
Having done both (about a dozen batches of beer, 1 and 1/2 batches of mead---a medium-sweet one that's been in bottles for 6 months and a dry one that's a couple months into fermentation/bulk conditioning), I find it pretty amazing how different the processes are considering how much the same they are.

With the beer, there is a ton of fiddly business---brew day is a long affair with tons of sanitizing and cooking. For mead, it's simple. I do a heating but no-boil method, and it takes something like an hour start to finish, including clean-up.

However, I worry a lot less about the fermentation on the beer. Once it's pitched, I keep an eye on it for clogged blow-off hoses, but it's pretty much going to take care of itself. For the mead, however, I follow the staggered nutrient methods and it involves quite a bit of work over the first 2-3 days.

For the mead, it seems there's less to worry about with oxidation and so on, but there's also less to hide behind in the end. The hops and malt flavors in the beer give you some margin for error. For the mead, I shoot for pretty delicate flavors (no metheglins or any of that business), so getting a clean fermentation is pretty important.

Anyway, I find it pretty fascinating. Maybe I'm just weird, though.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:18 PM   #18
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Zeg, how does a staggers nutrient schedule create a lot of work? Are you starting your mead in a bucket or carboy? In a bucket you just measure a little nutrient, open the bucket and stir it in, you should be stirring anyway so it shouldnt be too much extra effort for something that really makes a big difference. You shouldnt need to heat your honey at all unless its crystalized, and even then a drill stirrer puts even the crystalized honey right into suspension. Good luck with your half mead WVMJ
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:47 PM   #19
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Compared to beer, where you don't have to do anything post-pitch, it's more effort checking the gravity, aerating, and adding nutrient. [Something] > [Nothing]

Re: heat, there are enough opinions on this that I pretty much ignore claims as to whether method X is better than Y. As far as I can tell, there's really no evidence that heating vs no heating is better, they're just different. Some people prefer one way, some the other. The heat helps the honey dissolve more quickly, and that's good enough reason for me.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:34 AM   #20
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Zeg, its interesting the differences in mindsets from beermaking and winemaking. I made a batch of Boch a long time ago, too much work up front, boiling and timing everything. With winemaking I put in a couple hours easy work up front to get the must ready, fruit squished etc. and enjoy spending a few minutes each day for a week stirring up the must and measuring the SG to see how its going. The great thing about making wine and mead is that once its in a carboy I can leave it there for months, its actually better if I pretty much forget about it except for topping off the airlocks. Beer guys get all their work done up front early while winemakers stretch it out slowly over time. Still, stirring a little and dumping in a teaspoon of nutrient not a lot of work. The honey heating thing was a suggestion, the bees put in a lot of work to make the honey, each variety tastes and smells different, just heating it enough to dissolve it is not nearly as bad as boiling it so sorry if I offended. WVMJ


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