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JustMrWill

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I think that is what I am going to call my first mead...because that is how I decided to make it.

I debated as to what I wanted to make for about a week and finally just said "what the heck" and did it last night with just Honey, water, yeast and nutrients.

Here is what I did...

12 lbs clover honey (Berkley and Jensen brand - $5.99/3lbs)
3 gallons bottled water
1 pack wine yeast (can't remember the name...have it written at home)

-hydrated yeast in 1 cup warm water
-I warmed up the honey in a hot water bath
-I warmed up 1 gallon of water to about 100 degrees
-added 6 lbs honey and stirred until completely mixed (didn't take long sing everything was warm)
-put 2/3 of that in 6.5 gal carboy
-added more water and honey to pot
-stirred
-repeated above until I had all 3 gallons of water and 12 lbs of honey in carboy
-mixed 3 tsp nutrients and 1 cup of warm water
-added nutrients to carboy
-put stopper in carboy and shaked for about 5 min
-took hydrometer reading - 1.113
-pitched yeast when must temp was at 95* and shook for another 5 or so minutes
***accidently pushed stopper into carboy :(
Re-stoppered with another stopper and installed airlock.

Any comments? Suggestions?

Will the stopper in the must mess anything up?

Should I do anything else or just let it do its thing?

I am planning on checking the SG in a few weeks...what should I be looking for a FG?

I want a sweet mead/not dry and non-carbonated. Once it is done fermenting, should I use something to inhibit re-start and add more honey?

-Thanks in advace.

-Will
 
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JustMrWill

JustMrWill

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I take it, that since over 30 people have viewed this and not a single person has commented, I did everything perfectly? :ban:

-JMW
 

Yooper

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Well, you did it right! I can't answer your questions, though. Without knowing what kind of yeast, I have no idea what your FG may be. I'm guessing that if you used wine yeast, it'll finish dry. You can sweeten it if you'd like, after fermentation is completely over and you've stabilized the mead. You wouldn't add more honey until after that though- all you'd do if you add more before it's finished is boost the ABV. It's going to be pretty "hot" for a while as it is, I sure wouldn't boost it any more!
 

monsterbronc

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Mead takes a long time, so be paitent. the stopper shouldnt hurt a thing, as long as it was clean. looking at your recipie, yup its mead. I wouldnt mess with it, let them yeastees do their thing, when the bubbling stops and it clears up, bottle it and enjoy.
 
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JustMrWill

JustMrWill

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Ok...I located the yeast packet (wife tossed it...don't know why she would think that an empty torn packet would be trash though).

It is says on the packet:

LALVIN EC-1118
Saccharomyces bayanus
Product of Canada
5g

It is what Steve at Walpole gave me when I told him I was looking ofr a sweet mead yeast.

-JMW

ps - thanks for the replies.
 
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JustMrWill

JustMrWill

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I was hopping for something to drink in the 4 to 6 month range...I don't think I can wait 2 years....atleast not to sample it.

This morning, there was a 2 inch thick foam on top. When I got home from work...foam is all gone and the airlock is bubbling away happily (about 1 burp per second).

I'll be buying a 3 gallon carboy to rack this too in a few weeks and then bulk condition for a few months. After that, I will bottle in various sizes (500 ml to 1/2 gallon) and sample occasionally.

Any opinions on whether I should add more nutrients and when?

Should I shake to re-aerate or just leave it be?

Does mead "skunk"? Should I cover the carboy with a towel (when I am not gazing longingly at it).

Thanks
 

malkore

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keep it in a darker area. interior closets work great. it doesn't skunk like beer does (which is due to the hop oils oxidizing) but large doses of UV light isn't good for anything.

did you add yeast energizer (DAP/diammonium phosphate) or just nutrients? cuz mead really needs nitrogen and most 'nutrients' are just vitamins.

don't rack it until its finished in primary. taking it off the yeast prematurely can cause a stuck fermentation. you shrink the yeast colony significantly and now have a higher alcohol environment inhibiting the yeast in suspension from doing much, especially since your original nutrients were consumed by the original colony.

mead is very much a patient man's liquid ambrosia. i have bottles that are almost 9 years old.
 
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JustMrWill

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Thanks.

It is hard being patient! That is why I am stocking up right now, so I can let stuff condition longer.

I wrapped it in a towel to minimize the light exposure. It is still burping away steadily. I only have the nutrients...Steve at Walpole said it was all I needed. I am going to Blackstone soon and will hopefully get a little more info there.

Went and checked my (first) lager that I brewed at the same time...wow it it going hard! Getting 3-4 bubble splirts every second (chest freezer is at 53*)

Thanks for the help.

Feel free to make any suggestions etc.

-JMW
 
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JustMrWill

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Update...

It's been 2 weeks and it is still bubbling away (1 burp/sec). I have a heating pad next to it to help keep it warm when the temps drop. I try to keep it in the upper 60's and when it goes over 72* turn off the pad...I accidently let to get up to 76* one day...I hope that won't adversely affect it.

I bought a 3 gallon carboy to rack this to...I am still contemplating adding blueberries when I rack...still on the fence.

Should I keep it at the same temp for conditioning? after bottling?

-Will
 

DUCCCC

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I've had my first mead going in a carboy since 12/28/07.

I used 15lbs of clover honey and topped my 5 gallon carboy up with bottled spring water. I also had an OG of 1.113. I only used 2 tsps of nutrient. I didn't heat the water at all, and i ran hot tap water over the honey bottles to warm it up enough to pour only, no boiling whatsoever. I used Lalvin D 47, a wine yeast like yours. Mine's still bubbling at about a bubble every 5-6 seconds. If it's still going this well at one month I intend to wait another month to do the first racking.

I think it's going to be quite a while, like a year or more, until we have a decent mead with this recipe. Using the wine yeast is going to really ferment out all the sugar in the mead, so it's going to be real dry, and with the high sugar levels we had we will be looking at 15-17% ABV, so there's a real good chance that there's going to be some "hot" flavors early on that will need time to settle down. Of course, this is all based on what I've read, not from experience, as this is my first batch as well.
 

Nerro

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If it really is UV that damages the mead then putting it in a glass carboy will solve all troubles. Glass is not transparent to UV.

Are moist cellars good for fermenting? Or are they too cold and too moldy for it? Can Rum in the airlock get infected?
 

sirsloop

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IDK about glass not being UV transparent. Unless its coated, it will absolutely allow UV to pass through. How do you think people get trucker arm while driving?

The moisture level in the room should not effect aging in glass at all. The bottle is sealed. Rum in the airlock I suppose *could* get mold on it, but most likely the alcohol content will kill off anything trying to live in there. As long as its at least in the 50's your yeast should eat up bottling sugars and ferment. Just keep the stuff out of direct sunilight.
 
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JustMrWill

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update:

SG stable at 1.006 for a few days...so I racked to a 3 gallon carboy. I have about a 1/2 gallon left over..I guess I didn't take in account the volume of the honey..l..oh well. I put a airlock on just to be sure...don't want any explosions.

I took a sip from the hydrometer tube...and I was not happy. I am currently sic as a dog so I am REALLY hoping it is my taste buds that are bad..not the mead...it sorta tasted like a citrus cold medication :(

Well.. I guess I will just have to wait and see...will probably sneak a sample in a week or so once this cold is gone.

-Will
 
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JustMrWill

JustMrWill

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One more thing... I was able to retrieve the stopper without ruining it or the carboy...

As the gravity dropped..it sank...


Hmm...I wonder if the rubber from the stopper might be the cause of the taste...

Nothing I can do about it now....

-Will
 
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JustMrWill said:
Hmm...I wonder if the robber form the stopper might be the cause of the taste...
-Will
Are you using an off white...Gum Stopper from a brew store, or did you go to the hardware store and get a black, hard Rubber stopper?
I tried the black...Glad it was on a $3.00 bottle of vodka that I accidently steped on the lid to. That black Rubber imparts a smell like nothing I've ever been around. It even makes water bad...add alcohol, and you are in for a burnt tire taste that you'll never forget.
 
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JustMrWill

JustMrWill

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It was the white one from brew shop...

Update....still clearing...boy this is taking a long time to get "clear enough to read a paper through"

I have to get my stuff together for the leap year mead...I only need the yeast and that will be a quick stop on the way home to get.

-Will
 

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I think you just need to be patient with your mead. That recipe didn't have any thing to hide any flaws in the mead. It will take some time before it starts to mellow out and taste good. The quick meads can be drank early because they use lots of additives and a a sweet taste to hide the green flavors. A dry traditional mead is much less forgiving.
At least that is what I'm hoping because I havn't cared for most of my meads so far.:D
But the oldest one is less than 6months. The only thing I liked early was my cyser using fresh cider.
 
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JustMrWill

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UPDATE:

Still not clear. I can see VERY tiny bubbles surfacing along the glass. I think I am just going to "forget about" this for a year or so an check on it again then. :cool:

I am gonna have to get more carboys it I am going to make any more multi-year aging beverages. The sacrifices I make for my hobbies. :cool:

-JMW
 
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JustMrWill

JustMrWill

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UPDATE:

I finally bottled this. I tried one bottle and it is still VERY VERY STRONG. It will definitely need to age a lot longer. I should find some commercial meads or get a smple from a "known good" source. This is my first mead and I really don't know what to expect. If it is going to be like what I just tasted...I might have to give up the mead dream.

-Will
 

gratus fermentatio

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I've had mead that took 2 years before it was drinkable, I'd say just tuck it away & wait; sample it about 6 months from now & again a year from now. Mead does take a long time. Regards, GF.
 

monsterbronc

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UPDATE:

I finally bottled this. I tried one bottle and it is still VERY VERY STRONG. It will definitely need to age a lot longer. I should find some commercial meads or get a smple from a "known good" source. This is my first mead and I really don't know what to expect. If it is going to be like what I just tasted...I might have to give up the mead dream.

-Will
commercial mead tends to be stale and or harsh.

mead does tend to be strong, and you used my personal favorite yeast for a REALLY dry, high APV mead I have a batch that is just raw honey, water, and nutrient, and it took a good 6 monthes in the bottle before it was drinkable, and I used a bottle on Yule to make an Awesome roast goose.
after a few monthes it actually has an almost overripe orangy sweetness that compliments the dry whithout actually being sweet, its strange on the taste buds, but very good. Nasty served warm or mulled, more like aquanet hairspray. best chilled, the colder the better.

if you still have some around, I bet its really yummy stuff by now.
 

WIP

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If you want a quicker "mead" try JAOM (search it)
 

By-Tor

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UPDATE:

I finally bottled this. I tried one bottle and it is still VERY VERY STRONG. It will definitely need to age a lot longer. I should find some commercial meads or get a smple from a "known good" source. This is my first mead and I really don't know what to expect. If it is going to be like what I just tasted...I might have to give up the mead dream.

-Will
Hey what happened with this batch?
 

Urkelbot

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He brewed it like 6 years ago. He may be drinking it beyond the grave at this point.......
 
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