Maybe it's too much honey

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SilverReverie

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I'm making my first batch of mead in a plastic jug with holes poked into the lid and a balloon stretched and taped with holes in the top to be sure it's a good seal, just to give you an idea with what I'm working with. Anyway, I made this fermentation 3 days ago and it's going strong, the jug is pretty bloated, there's plenty of bubbles and the balloon is erect with gases, I added a stick of cinnamon, maybe half a cup of raisins (I heard the yeast needed something to eat that wasn't just sugar) and two cloves. My issue is that I am just learning that 4.5 lbs may have been too much honey because of the gravity point, but the fermentation seems to be going well and I don't want to re-pitch this early in but will if that'd be best. I'm just not sure. Oh and the yeast I used was premium baker's yeast coz I'm in rural Nebraska and didn't feel like ordering alcohol yeast since I heard it'll be just fine for a first brew.
Advice?
 

Dan O

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Firstly, welcome to the forums & the most addictive hobby on the planet😂. Firstly, get yourself a hydrometer. They're a valuable part of the hobby & a tool you don't want to be without.
As to the amount of honey, yes, 4.5 pounds is a LOT. Raisins are more for a little flavor & mouthfeel, they actually do almost nothing for nutrients.
If you're really interested in the hobby, try giving this a read


For help with learning how to use a hydrometer properly try here



JAOM, (Joe's ancient orange mead) is a great recipe to start out with & it's super simple & damn tasty!


It's a fun ride, but, you need to learn patients & good sanitization practices. Do a lot of reading both here in these forums and @gotmead.com. You can learn a LOT!
Hope this helps.
Happy meading 😎
 
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SilverReverie

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Firstly, welcome to the forums & the most addictive hobby on the planet😂. Firstly, get yourself a hydrometer. They're a valuable part of the hobby & a tool you don't want to be without.
As to the amount of honey, yes, 4.5 pounds is a LOT. Raisins are more for a little flavor & mouthfeel, they actually do almost nothing for nutrients.
If you're really interested in the hobby, try giving this a read


For help with learning how to use a hydrometer properly try here



JAOM, (Joe's ancient orange mead) is a great recipe to start out with & it's super simple & damn tasty!


It's a fun ride, but, you need to learn patients & good sanitization practices. Do a lot of reading both here in these forums and @gotmead.com. You can learn a LOT!
Hope this helps.
Happy meading 😎
Thank you so much, there is a lot of information to sift through, I might end up halving what I have so the fermentation doesn't get stuck, that JOAM sounds delicious thank you for recommending it.
 

Dan O

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I hope it helps. Yes, it's a lot of information, but, if you really want to learn more about the hobby, worth every second of reading.
 

madscientist451

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My issue is that I am just learning that 4.5 lbs may have been too much honey because of the gravity point, but the fermentation seems to be going well and I don't want to re-pitch this early in but will if that'd be best. I'm just not sure.
Get another jug and divide what you have now, then bring the water level in both jugs up to 3 quarts, so you'll have a total of 1 and 1/2 gallons for 4.5 lbs honey and you'll have some headspace at the top of the jug. Boil some of your bread yeast in water and add that as a nutrient, its not the best nutrient, but itsbetter than nothing. De-gassing the mead and adding nutrient will make your mead much better and you'll be able to drink it much sooner.
Before you make another batch you need to get some sanitizer such as Star-san, a bucket to keep the sanitizer in, some yeast nutrient like Fermaid-O and some wine yeast. You can use a plastic bucket for primary fermentation and then transfer to glass jugs to let it age before bottling. An auto siphon is really nice to have and as someone mentioned, get a hydrometer. Look on your local craigslist or FB marketplace for used brewing/winemaking stuff, but everything above new would be about $50 or so.
Here's a podcast where a guy who wins lots of awards describes his mead in a bucket method:
The interview starts about 56 mins in if you want to skip forward to it.
 

Mr.Zymergy

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I'm making my first batch of mead in a plastic jug with holes poked into the lid and a balloon stretched and taped with holes in the top to be sure it's a good seal, just to give you an idea with what I'm working with. Anyway, I made this fermentation 3 days ago and it's going strong, the jug is pretty bloated, there's plenty of bubbles and the balloon is erect with gases, I added a stick of cinnamon, maybe half a cup of raisins (I heard the yeast needed something to eat that wasn't just sugar) and two cloves. My issue is that I am just learning that 4.5 lbs may have been too much honey because of the gravity point, but the fermentation seems to be going well and I don't want to re-pitch this early in but will if that'd be best. I'm just not sure. Oh and the yeast I used was premium baker's yeast coz I'm in rural Nebraska and didn't feel like ordering alcohol yeast since I heard it'll be just fine for a first brew.
Advice?
 

Mr.Zymergy

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[/QUOTE]
All right I'm not sure where to post this it's my first post and after reading your story about too much honey, then reading Dan O's link about mead techniques.. Well, have I got a story for you guys and as questioned above, what does anybody have to say about this.
Valentine's day 2/14/21
Okay this is a total experiment we had some berries from 2011,12 & 13 in the freezer probably 3/4 of them were blackberries and some strawberries. We squeezed out all the juice and got about a gallon then we've also got raisins in our Y2K survival kit that were completely sealed and never used and those raisins are each like little cubes of sugar ! We ground up four cups of those I'm adding 4 lb of blackberry honey 2 lb of clover honey for a total of 6 lb of honey. I'm putting in four pounds of corn sugar because I had it !
I put in 5 crushed Camden tablets 4 oz of acid blend 3 oz of pectic enzyme and 1 oz of wine tannin. I boiled up 4 gallons of spring water for about 10 minutes, I took it off the boil, let it cool for a bit till it got down to maybe 130° or so then poured everything I mentioned above into the 1 gallon of juice, kept enough just to do a hydrometer measurement which came in at 1100. We took a sip of the concoction and I gotta tell ya, this stuff tasted amazing, I was tempted to pour it in a glass of ice with some vodka and just call it done ! But I didn't, I put the 5 gallons my closet to settle in until tomorrow at about 2:00 in the afternoon (24hrs).
2/15/21:
At about 2:00 I boiled a little bit of spring water put in two and a half teaspoons of yeast nutrient and added two packets of champagne yeast, let it sit for about a half hour, then poured it into the batch of juice & stirred it up, siphoned it all into a glass carboy ! It came out to 5 gallons on the nose put a plug and a hose in it stuck it in the closet next to a batch of garlic beer.. (yep...'Garlic beer' !!!)(more on that later).
2/21/21 It's bubbling away, not like a batch of beer, in my beer batches it's always like a wild storm inside of a bottle, this is different there's tiny fine bubbles coming up from everywhere as it ferments, the fermentation process has been constant since it began nearly a week ago, it will be interesting to see how long it goes.
2/28/21
Fermentation is still going on but intensity has backed off quite a bit.. It's still making bubbles in my blow off tube setup (a tube from the carboy to a plastic 1 gallon milk jug about 2/3 full of water), it sounded like a little boat motor at first, now I get a bubble about every second or so. I'm going to keep a close eye on it as the fermentation slows to near nothing, then I'll rack it into another carboy and let it settle. Not sure how long to age it ? I'll just give it a taste test every so often. Not sure if I should try to carbonate it when I do bottle or just put it in and treat it like wine ? Not too sure what the hell I got going on here LOL ! One thing is for certain it's been a big experiment and it's been pretty dang entertaining.
 

bernardsmith

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Here's the thing. If something works, then it works but if something works once it may not work consistently and unless you really understand what you are doing you may be like the rank amateur who picks up a driver and scores a hole in one in the 9th hole but whose total score is 300 for a par 64 course. I wonder how many holes in one Tiger Woods scored and how much he made playing professional golf.
Wine (and mead is a wine) is all about balance and balance is all about the relationships among, ABV, acidity, tannins, flavor and perceived sweetness. Fermentations that behave like a rocket are likely to blow off aromatics and flavors. Fast fermentations tend to stress yeast and stressed yeast know how to stress the wine maker through their production of volatile alcohols and compounds like hydrogen sulfide. But as I say, if what you do works for you then it works for you.
 

madscientist451

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I put in 5 crushed Camden tablets 4 oz of acid blend 3 oz of pectic enzyme and 1 oz of wine tannin.

Not too sure what the hell I got going on here LOL ! One thing is for certain it's been a big experiment and it's been pretty dang entertaining.
[/QUOTE]


Acid blend is usually added by the teaspoon, which is like .10 of an ounce? 4 oz of acid blend and 1 oz of wine tannin seems like way too much, but I suppose its best to just see how it comes out. Good luck with your experiment!
:inbottle:
 

Mr.Zymergy

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I put in 5 crushed Camden tablets 4 oz of acid blend 3 oz of pectic enzyme and 1 oz of wine tannin.

Not too sure what the hell I got going on here LOL ! One thing is for certain it's been a big experiment and it's been pretty dang entertaining.

Acid blend is usually added by the teaspoon, which is like .10 of an ounce? 4 oz of acid blend and 1 oz of wine tannin seems like way too much, but I suppose its best to just see how it comes out. Good luck with your experiment!
:inbottle:
[/QUOTE]
I got that portion of the mix from another site so I guess we'll see what goes. PS there are 3 teaspoons in a Tablespoon and 2 Tablespoons in an ounce making a teaspoon .16 of an ounce
 
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