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plate

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Well my back story is I have been interested in Home Brewing for a while now and just recently decided to jump in.

I am getting married next year and thought it would be fun to brew my own honey wine to serve at the wedding.

I did a little reading (hind sight not enough) made up my first 5gal batch of honey wine last Sunday 12th.

used 5 star to sanitize all equipment
brought 4 gal spring water up to 160/f
added 15 lbs pure raw unpasteurized honey
kept at temp for 10mins placed in ice bath to 70/f
added WPL720 yeast poured to fermentor topped off to 5gal mark
kept at 68-70/f

Took my first SG today 1.074 at 70/f

Smelled nice clean and sweet, taste was crisp sweet, noticed co2 suspended in mead ( was removed for the SG reading)

I understand process was not 100% comments welcomed
 

malkore

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read up on 'staggered nutrient additions'. honey is poor food for yeast health. sugar...yes..nutrients...completely lacking.

you really want to get some yeast energizer and yeast nutrient in there...whether its generic or 'the good stuff' like GoFerm and Fermaid-K (or whatever its called).

degassing the CO2 buildup will also benefit the mead, but might exceed your equipment right now.
 

RedCabbage

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Has it been bubbling through the airlock? If my internal calculator is correct that would have started around 1.080 so I daresay fermentation is going on but to only drop to 1.074 in ten days is fairly slow in my limited experience. This is probably due to the lack of nutrients.

If you weren't on a time limit I think it would be fine if you just left it, but if you are going to be drinking it in a year it's probably a good idea to add nutrients to allow as much clearing and aging time as possible. There are a few tricks for hurrying things along in these pages (like staggered nutrients, aerating and degassing as mentioned).
 

fatbloke

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Hum? well good effort for getting it to ferment in the first place.

Those "sweet mead" liquid yeasts are finicky as hell and IMO, a total PITA.

I've stopped using them as you can get a better product (that's easier to manage) with a dry yeast (EC-1118, K1V-1116, D21, 71B, etc etc) than even the "dry mead" liquid yeast which at least, is straight forward to manage.

I'd be thinking along the lines of nutrient here, because so far, it's being done like a "Show" mead. Ferments done with no nutrient are long, torturous and even more problematic.

Even something like yeast hulls or a teaspoon of bread yeast boiled in half pint of water, then cooled before adding would help some......

regards

fatbloke
 

malkore

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in a pinch, raisins can be used as yeast nutrient source...problem is many rasins have added sugar coatings, or are sulfited/sorbated which can mess with yeast activity.

i agree that the slow fermentation that mead is known for is largely due to the lack of nutrients. I've had a mead fully ferment in 12 days with 71B yeast, staggering nutrients, and degassing the primary. it also tasted better after racking at 4 weeks, than any other 1 month old batch I've done. it'll be totally ready for drinking in just a few months, not a year +

Only took me 15 years of making mead to learn this stuff and put it to use :)
 
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Thank you for all the comments I took some advice added some nutrients, its a super food hybrid superfood/dat/supervit mix (all I had access to on short notice).

No activity in the airlock will take another sg on sunday.

on the up side I also have a 1 gallon bottle of ginger mead that was started at the same time, after adding the nutrient to the mix there is renewed airlock activity and visible bubbles so at least something is happening.

Will update on Sunday, happy holidays to all
 
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plate

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Update:

26 dec 10
SG 1.054
SG was taken at 70/f
Added 1/2 tbs of nutrient mixed and transferred to cartboy, airlock bubbling
keeping mix at 68-70/F
I figure this is at the lower end of the temp scale for this yeast and fermentation will go for a bit and at a slower rate, at least the SG is still dropping so we have activity.

PS happy Christmas....!
 
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plate

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Update
1/17/11
Temp 60/f
Sg 1.004

nice aroma slight alcohol in smell in the nose, taste is crisp and dry with just a hint of honey after taste, has a way to go for clearing but I think its still fermenting some.
 

jguy898

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in a pinch, raisins can be used as yeast nutrient source...problem is many rasins have added sugar coatings, or are sulfited/sorbated which can mess with yeast activity.

i agree that the slow fermentation that mead is known for is largely due to the lack of nutrients. I've had a mead fully ferment in 12 days with 71B yeast, staggering nutrients, and degassing the primary. it also tasted better after racking at 4 weeks, than any other 1 month old batch I've done. it'll be totally ready for drinking in just a few months, not a year +

Only took me 15 years of making mead to learn this stuff and put it to use :)

Malkore, I am going to be starting a new batch in about a week and my question for you is did you use Hightest's Nutrient Addition Schedule, or one of your own? I Think I'm going to use the 'Sticky' NAS, just wondering what yours was.

Jonas
 
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plate

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01/28/11
SG 1.00 @ 60degf

So looks as though the fermentation has finished up, mead has started to clear.
taste good nice and dry with some mild sweet honey undertones, going to rack to secondary and let sit til June then bottle for one month till wedding.

next time I plan a no boil with OG of 1.100

Thank you for all the comments and suggestions
 
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