Any tips for my first batch of mead?

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Logan V

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Hi my name is Logan, I am a new member and I am currently in the fermenting process with my first batch of mead(3 flavors). I followed recipes for all 3, and was wondering if there were any helpful tips or tricks I could get my hands on. For instance I have been hearing and reading lots about stirring the mead during fermentation, but I have no idea the frequency to do that at.

My equipment: 3 glass gallon carboys with airlocks.
Flavors: blackberry clove cinnamon, apple cinnamon, and a spiced citrus(used lots of orange zest avoiding the rind)
Yeast: D-47 lalvin

Notes: first day fermentation very aggressive it seems. Blackberries bloated too far up and clogged airlock. Had to remove airlock and replace with spare, stirred the blackberry mead.
 

CKuhns

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Welcome to the forum, sounds like uou jumped right in! Nicely done.

WOW, there is a pretty broad and varied response to your question. "if there were any helpful tips or tricks I could get my hands on"

1st - Read everything you can. Search the forums and ask folks who "have been there done that".
Get a copy of Ken Schrams book. The Compleat Meadmaker : Home Production of Honey Wine From Your First Batch to Award-winning Fruit and Herb Variations: Schramm, Ken: 8601200435610: Amazon.com: Books

2nd
- A staggered nutruent protocol is recommended. Look up TOSNA 2.0 or 3.0.
- Stiring / introducing a little air is important to kerp the yeast healthy enough to bud and reproduce early in the process, do not stir past 1/3 to 1/2 sugar break.
- pH is important. Target 3.4 to 4.6 at the start of fermentation (24 to 48 hours after yeast pitch) as it will drop during your ferment and could stress your yeast. (Adjust to raise it with Sodium Bicarbonate or Potasium Carbonate.)
- Temperature is important target mid to low range of your yeast tolerance ( low and slow is almost always better) stay as consistent as you can in your temp target range.

Good luck, enjoy the hobby. (Addiction) :cool:
 

Murph4231

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Lesson learned. In order to do primary fermentation on fruit you need sufficient head space for krausen that brings fruit mass up with it. I don't add fruit untill primary fermentation is almost finished. I then transfer to a sanitized secondary fermenter on top of prepared fruit. Fermentation will take off again with less vigor than that of the primary fermentation. This method retains more fruit aromas and flavors in the finished product. Yeast needs staggered nutrients additions to perform optimally. How long has yours been fermenting?
 
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Logan V

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Lesson learned. In order to do primary fermentation on fruit you need sufficient head space for krausen that brings fruit mass up with it. I don't add fruit untill primary fermentation is almost finished. I then transfer to a sanitized secondary fermenter on top of prepared fruit. Fermentation will take off again with less vigor than that of the primary fermentation. This method retains more fruit aromas and flavors in the finished product. Yeast needs staggered nutrients additions to perform optimally. How long has yours been fermenting?
it has been fermenting for a little over a day and a half
 
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Logan V

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Welcome to the forum, sounds like uou jumped right in! Nicely done.

WOW, there is a pretty broad and varied response to your question. "if there were any helpful tips or tricks I could get my hands on"

1st - Read everything you can. Search the forums and ask folks who "have been there done that".
Get a copy of Ken Schrams book. The Compleat Meadmaker : Home Production of Honey Wine From Your First Batch to Award-winning Fruit and Herb Variations: Schramm, Ken: 8601200435610: Amazon.com: Books

2nd
- A staggered nutruent protocol is recommended. Look up TOSNA 2.0 or 3.0.
- Stiring / introducing a little air is important to kerp the yeast healthy enough to bud and reproduce early in the process, do not stir past 1/3 to 1/2 sugar break.
- pH is important. Target 3.4 to 4.6 at the start of fermentation (24 to 48 hours after yeast pitch) as it will drop during your ferment and could stress your yeast. (Adjust to raise it with Sodium Bicarbonate or Potasium Carbonate.)
- Temperature is important target mid to low range of your yeast tolerance ( low and slow is almost always better) stay as consistent as you can in your temp target range.

Good luck, enjoy the hobby. (Addiction) :cool:
Thank you I will definitely look into all of this more!
 

Murph4231

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Push the fruit down at least daily until it remains in suspension. Be sure to use a sanitized utensil and stir gently. This should only be done a few times. Doing this plus adding nutrients as CKuhns mentioned will help too. Yeast needs nutrients to thrive.
 
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Logan V

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Push the fruit down at least daily until it remains in suspension. Be sure to use a sanitized utensil and stir gently. This should only be done a few times. Doing this plus adding nutrients as CKuhns mentioned will help too. Yeast needs nutrients to thrive.
I have pushed my fruit down and alot of the black berry has sunk to the bottom, I try not to open the carboy too much. I usually stir 1-2 times to aerate, bc I read this was a way to keep the yeast healthy. Is there any specific yeast nutrient that is best for d-47 or does it not really matter? And can how should I go about adding it?
 

AzOr

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Sounds like you’re on a good path. My only recommendation would be to ferment in plastic buckets w lids (and a hole for air locks).
That way you don’t have to worry about; clogged air locks, mead explosions, dealing w fruit, etc.
Once it’s close to terminal gravity, transfer w a auto-siphon into glass Carboys.

I actually overshoot my volume by 12 or 16 oz so I don’t have to worry about having too much headspace in my glass.
Also makes stirring/degassing much easier.
 

Murph4231

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I like D47 for melomels and I use Urea and Diammonium Phosphate Nutrient. If fermentation stops prematurely yeast energizer will help get it restarted. Simply follow the directions on the package for quantities. I like to dissolve it in a small amount of warm water prior to adding to the mead.
 
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Logan V

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Sounds like you’re on a good path. My only recommendation would be to ferment in plastic buckets w lids (and a hole for air locks).
That way you don’t have to worry about; clogged air locks, mead explosions, dealing w fruit, etc.
Once it’s close to terminal gravity, transfer w a auto-siphon into glass Carboys.

I actually overshoot my volume by 12 or 16 oz so I don’t have to worry about having too much headspace in my glass.
Also makes stirring/degassing much easier.
Do you mean use an auto siphon to transfer it off the fruit, or for my final transfer once it's done fermenting?
 

jkuhl

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Fermaid-O or Fermaid-K
Some use GoFerm

I've been happy with using GoFerm when rehydrating the yeast. It can cut down the lag phase significantly. I made a caramel apple bochet like 2 hours ago, rehydrated 71B with GoFerm before I pitched it, and it's already bubbling.
 

AzOr

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Do you mean use an auto siphon to transfer it off the fruit, or for my final transfer once it's done fermenting?
Both. If using fruit, there's no reason to transfer until it hits terminal gravity. Often, I'll keep my mead (or cider) in the plastic bucket for a month or so until I transfer to glass. This helps to keep the trub out of the glass. Make sure your plastic fermenter has a good seal.
 

madscientist451

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I am currently in the fermenting process with my first batch of mead(3 flavors).
Don't get discouraged if the your first batches don't come out all that great, but your small batch approach is great for trying things out and not worrying too much if you have to dump a bad batch.
Many pro mead makers make a base mead and add fruit and other flavor components later on, you might want to try that in the future.
I would recommend The Mead House podcast, search for mead episodes of the Basic Brewing podcast and look for "Ricky the meadmaker" videos on you tube or on the website for Groenfell meadery.
Get a small scale (about $20) for weighing your nutrient additions.
 

MostlyMetal

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After a week or so, I like to lightly swirl my meads. It helps de gas while it's fermenting (don't vigorously shake, just swirl). Also one thing I've learned being new as well is to resist the urge to tinker and do something with your meads. Patience is key. I look at my meads every day and want to dive in but have to tell myself to let them do their job! Patience and time are the hardest aspects to master of this hobby IMO.
 

apisgallus

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Probably going to stir the mix here, Mead tips. Keep it simple for the first few brews, Honey, yeast and nutrients (with a little tea and citrus peel). I have settled on EC-1118 and K1V-1116 (sic) as yeasts. I have brewed with and without TOSNA. Tosna brews have not cleared as well. No one seems to know why. I dialled back nutrient addirion to Go-ferm and 1 addition of fermaid O . will let you know. Man-made-mead, Doin the most and City steading are well produced videos and my go to. Hope this helps
 

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