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Forsaken1323

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[2 posts combined -mod]

So I started my first batch of mead and decided to go with 1 gallon...

I didn't look into anything but now that I'm 3 weeks in I figured it should be getting close to done. But like a cocky noob I didn't look into it much and don't have any equipment to check anything. Is there a way to do so without anything? If not, can someone point me to a decent website to get the equipment needed and more yeast and yeast nutrients and all the stuff needed to continue making it?

Is burping every 15-20 seconds a strong indication that im still a ways off or if there was a way of knowing. Without extra equipment?
 
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IslandLizard

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Welcome to HBT!

Moderator's note: I combined your 2 posts into this one, to make it clearer what you're doing and asking.

Is burping every 15-20 seconds a strong indication that im still a ways off
Yes, as long as there are new bubbles appearing in your airlock, it's fermenting.

But if you don't see bubbles, that doesn't mean it's done. It may very well still be fermenting, either very slowly (most fermentations slow down toward the end) or possibly when there a (small) leak around the lid or airlock, where the CO2 is escaping through, rather than through the airlock.

One tell tale that fermentation has finished, is when the mead is clearing. You should let it clear for a few weeks, before transferring (racking or bottling).
 

CKuhns

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I would strongly encourage you to get a hydrometer and use it. Bubbles in the air lock is not a reliable indication of fermentation.
 

IslandLizard

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Brewer's Elite Hydrometer & Test

Probably just personal preference, but I'd be looking for a much more plain looking hydrometer...

I would look for one having an all white paper scale (no color bands). It makes it easier to read. Also, select one with as wide a spacing between the smaller (sub)markings of .002 as possible.

You only need SG and Brix scales. However, most will also incorporate a "potential alcohol" scale, which is not very useful.
The longer the scale between 0.990 and 1.160, the better. Even 1/2" longer can make a big difference in readability between the smaller .002 submarkings to derive at a .001 precision reading.

I picked one up at my local homebrew store for $10-12. Comes in a plastic tube for protection.
If there are removable stoppers on each end of the storage tube, tape one down, permanently! If not taped down, it will drop out, hydrometer and all, unexpectedly, at some point in the near future. Guaranteed!

Hydrometers are very fragile, you need to handle them with respect, gently, at all times. They tend to roll, so never lie one down on a table or countertop, or other flat surface, without a towel underneath. Do not shake them off to dry, they'll break. Dry them carefully, using a soft towel.
 

TkmLinus

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Does it take 6 months or is that just your preference @TkmLinus
I find in wine and mead that(in general) there are going to be unwanted/undesirable flavors when young. It may be harsh, bitter, too dry, lacking flavor, alcohol too hot aka "rocket fuel taste", etc. These flavors take time to mellow out. I have bottled earlier than 6 months and each time the mead/wine needed more time and always got better after several months. Since I have enough fermenters that it doesn't restrict me if I have one tied up for 6 months, I just let it bulk age so that I start with a better tasting product in the bottle. Also, at 6 months I can be quite certain the yeast is done and most everything will have settled.
 

Kyzaboy89

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Yes it's possible and easy enough to make mead that's drinkable and tastes good while young (2-6 months old) and all it takes is careful monitoring and care. It does get better with age as this allows everything to mellow stress out and flavors to come together but once you've got things figured out you can make mead in a number of styles that's tasty and ready to go once it clears.
 

Kyzaboy89

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Taken care of 'during' fermentation, this is when stress and off flavors can develop at any time based on temperature, lack of nutrients or any number of silly things. Once you get the hang of a clean healthy fermentation, the rest is simple. Get some sanitizer and mix it in a spray bottle which makes things easier in my opinion. Get a hydrometer with specific gravity and brix, not a proof and trall hydrometer, that's for liquor and ethanol. Whatever recipe style or nutrition schedule you decide to try just stick with it a few (2-5) batches before making big changes to your practice. Repetition can reveal mistakes that teach you quicker than anything, take any information with a grain of salt and if you don't like the advice offered try your hand at something you want to do and write everything down. Nothing worse than making a great mead and realizing you didn't write down some critical information lol. Alot of helpful experience around here but feel free to go off the beaten path, cheers and good luck.
 
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Forsaken1323

Forsaken1323

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Thanks for the advice... I have been taking notes on what I have been doing and plan to continue to do so... and found out I have a brewery near by and plan on going and picking up the hydrometer and some better yeast and nutrients as well as sanitizer and anything anyone one else suggests as far as necessities go for now and later on upgrading to bigger setups
 

Dan O

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So more or less if taken care of once it clears up it can be ready to drink?
Short answer is yes......but, it doesn't have to be clear to be enjoyable. Clarity, for me, is for the people I gift it to, for the people you want to present it to. Cloudy won't hurt you & will still taste great, but, as @Kyzaboy89 has stated, flavors will come together a lot more & things that were stressed have a chance to relax if given time to age a bit.
 

CKuhns

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Im not sure if it has been said so apologize in advance.

Lower ABV 8% or less with the strategies mentioned above tend to be drinkable much sooner. 4 to 6 weeks.

I have had great success wit this recipe and technique.


Modified it to this but it takes some specialized equipment.
 
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