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Don "Ho"

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It was time to rack my first batch. So I got everything together and started. Well the first problem was trying to get it out of the primary. No matter what I tried, the flow wouldnt start. So I took off the racking cane, put the clear flexible tube into the pail and started it the old fashion way. Got a hydrometer reading (1.040) and a couple of good taste.

Was pretty dry and I guess you guys call it hot. Allot of alcohol taste. As I was going to have to fill up the carboy, I decided to add some more honey as I was looking for a sweeter taste.

Well I added 5# of goldenrod and water. Then capped the thing and shut the door. Did I add too much honey? Quite honestly, I thought I was only adding 1#, as this is all new.

Also, whats the easiest way to get the mead out of the primary? I know there has got to be a better way!!?

Don "Ho"
 

sirsloop

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for real... autosiphon FTW!

1.040 should have been quite sweet! Adding more sugar will not make it sweeter unless you add enough sugars so that they yeast kill themselves in the alcohol they create.
 

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sirsloop said:
for real... autosiphon FTW!

1.040 should have been quite sweet! Adding more sugar will not make it sweeter unless you add enough sugars so that they yeast kill themselves in the alcohol they create.
Or you could add a non-fermentable sugar like lactose. Some people swear by splenda as well...

Or you could let it complete it's fermentation and then backsweeten with more honey....

If it's got a hot alchohol taste, it might just need to mellow out for awhile...
 

iamjonsharp

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You need to give at least some info about your recipe.

And a mead at 1.040 should be very sweet, not dry.
 
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Don "Ho"

Don "Ho"

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"fermteck autosiphon".. Thanks, I will get one here quick.

This is my recipe:
6 pounds of Honey
3 tbs Acid Blend
3 tsp yeast Nutrient
1 tbs Citric Acid
2 Campden Tablets
Cuvee Wine Yeast
SG: 1.0822 (1.0824 after temp adjustment).

Still cant read the hydrometer correctly. I should have said that it measured @ 1.0040 at the racking.

I guess I should also say that there was no activity in the air lock since 01/25/08.

I am real new at this so give a poor slob a break !!.. lol!

Don "Ho"
 

Revvy

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6 pounds of Honey to how many gallons of water?

Also...I don't think you're supposed to add any campden's tabs till you want to kill the fermentation...I've never used them, but I thought you added them when you were done with fermentation and ready to bottle as a stabilizer...

I'm a n00b to winemaking myself...

Wikipedia said:
Campden tablets
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Campden tablets (potassium or sodium metabisulfite) are a sulphur based product that is used primarily in wine, cider and beer making to kill certain bacteria and to inhibit the growth of most wild yeast: this product is also used to eliminate both free chlorine, and the more stable form, chloramine, from water solutions (i.e., drinking water from municipal sources). Campden tablets allow the amateur brewer to easily measure small quantities of sodium metabisulfite, so it can be used to protect against wild yeast and bacteria without affecting flavour.

Typical use is one crushed Campden tablet per gallon of must or wort. This dosage contributes 67 ppm sulfur dioxide to the wort but the level of active sulfur dioxide diminishes rapidly as it reacts with chlorine and chloramine, and with aldehydes (particularly in wine). Therefore, the concentration of free sulfur dioxide is greatly diminished by the time the beer or wine is consumed. However, when used only for the purpose of dechlorinating tap water before brewing, 1 tablet will effectively treat 20 gallons of water.

Campden tablets are also used towards the end of the fermentation process to halt the ferment before all the available sugars are converted by the yeast, hence controlling the amount of residual sweetness in the final product. This balancing between sweet, dry and tart flavors is part of the artistry of wine and cider making.

Campden tablets typically weigh 0.44 g each and 10 of these are equivalent to one level teaspoon of sodium metabisulfite.
Don't panic...we'll get this straigtened out...

*edit* I pmned "sirsloop" about the campdens and asked him to take a look at your recipe...
 

sirsloop

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Campden is used a day before pitching yeast to help kill off bacteria and wild yeast in the must. As long as you wait like a day before you pitch your yeast its fine. If you add campden and yeast at the same time you are effectively killing your yeast that you just pitched. On the other side, campden is used to kill most of the yeast still in the must after racking to stop additional fermentation so you can back sweeten. You also need to add potassium sorbate to prevent the yeast that survive the campden from reproducing. Its that 1-2 punch that stops the yeast from doing any meaningful fermentation.

I personally don't use campden pre-fermentation. I mix warm water and honey together and pitch when its cool. Some people boil, others use campden on the must a day before pitching, and some like me just pitch and let the yeast fight for the right to


If the hydrometer read 1.004 then it would be quite dry. After you added the 5# of honey, was it too sweet or just right? Did you add anything else like potassium sorbate and/or campden along with the additional 5 pound of goldenrod? If not the remaining yeast will continue to metabolize the additional sugars you added, and you'll end up back at 1.004 ;)
 
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Don "Ho"

Don "Ho"

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I added 3 crushed campdem to the mixture. I heated a pan of water to about 150 and put the bottle of honey in that for about 3 minutes to thin it up. I then just poured it directly into the carboy.

Not knowing, I didnt shake it or stir it up and it looks like it is all at the bottom of the carboy. Should I shake it up and/or stir it up some and take another measurement?

I do have some potassium sorbate , should I add that also.

Thanks everyone for the help

Don "Ho"
 

sirsloop

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You're talking the second addition right? If you want, put a racking cane in there and GENTLY stir it taking care not to splash it around or anything. Take a sample after its mixed and see if its the correct sweetness. If it is, add .5 tsp potassium sorbate per gallon and it will prevent future fermentation. If its way to sweet you'll probably need to add some more yeast tomorrow and let it ferment down again. This time add a little honey at a time until you reach your desired sweetness, re-add campden and the potassium sorbate to stop fermentation.
 

malkore

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ok, you put campden in recently? this would stop fermentation, so you'd need to pitch a new round of yeast, or nothing's gonna happen.

1.040 is NOT finished...that would have been too sweet even for me. 1.020 and above is considered a very sweet dessert mead.

There's a lot going on in this post...we may need you to do one concise post with the timeline and the things that were done to this batch, with measurements.
 

Revvy

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malkore said:
ok, you put campden in recently? this would stop fermentation, so you'd need to pitch a new round of yeast, or nothing's gonna happen.

1.040 is NOT finished...that would have been too sweet even for me. 1.020 and above is considered a very sweet dessert mead.

There's a lot going on in this post...we may need you to do one concise post with the timeline and the things that were done to this batch, with measurements.
Actually I got the impression he added the campden's when he mixed up the must. That's why I was afraid he killed it before fermentation...

I'm gonna re-read his posts.
 
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