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Chimerix
11-23-2006, 06:47 PM
Aloha all!

As I read vcarious posts, people keep mentioning that fermenting must should be protected from light. Not that different from brewing beer, but the admonition there is usually that it be protected from direct sunlight.

My first 5-gallon batch o' mead is bubbling away in my kitchen, next to the coffeemaker. It is out of the way of direct sunlight, but is exposed to ample amounts of reflected ambient light (plus the 75 watt overhead bulb on occasion).

Will my mead be ok? Or am I brewing a skunky disaster?

Mahalo,
Tom

Dan McFeeley
11-23-2006, 07:00 PM
It won't go skunky on you, since that's a characteristic of beer when exposed to light, and not wine or mead.

Yeasties in general like the dark, and the ambient temperature can affect the flavor profile of the final product, depending on yeast strain.

I'm guessing you live in an apartment and don't have use of a basement or crawlspace? Any chance you can tuck the carboy away in a closet?

ucflumberjack
11-23-2006, 08:59 PM
i just throw a towel or blanket over the top of mine. midwestsupplies.com sells decorative carboy covers if you want to waste the money....i just go with the towel...

WRATHWILDE
11-23-2006, 09:12 PM
I use old, dark colored, T-shirts... they fit perfect - the neck provides the hole for the top of the carboy, and if you want to hide the sleeves just tuck them in.

:cheers:
Wrathwilde

kace069
11-24-2006, 01:41 AM
I use the towel method also.

Rhianni
11-24-2006, 05:46 PM
I'm guessing you live in an apartment and don't have use of a basement or crawlspace? Any chance you can tuck the carboy away in a closet?


Thats exactly what I do. Apartment. Let it ferment in the front closet. Keeps it out of the way and is nice and dark

Chimerix
11-26-2006, 03:33 AM
Actually, I do live in a house. It is just too small a house for me, my boo, our cat, and all our various crap. The only "reassignable" storage area I have is on top of the kitchen cabinets. While I can easily see storing bottles of mead up there to age, I have no intention of standing on an 8-foot ladder and hoisting a full 5-gallon carboy over my head!

Sounds like the t-shirt may be the most pragmatic short-term solution.

I'm curious, tho... if I don't have to worry about skunk brew, why do I need to worry about light? I'd like to think my yeastie beasties are happy (they LOOK happy), but if they aren't, so what? What characteristics will their state of mind impart to the mead's flavor?

Eh! Steve
11-26-2006, 03:20 PM
First, let me preface my response by saying that I am also a mead newbee. As such, I don't know how important it is that your must be kept in the dark.

I have been using the towel method, but I was in my local homebrew shop the other day and saw another interesting method. They had a couple of batches brewing in the store. They had cut holes, for the necks of the carboys, in the bottoms of those brown paper grocery bags. They then placed the bags upside down over the tops of the carboys. It looked like a pretty good solution.

Rhianni
11-27-2006, 12:01 AM
I'm curious, tho... if I don't have to worry about skunk brew, why do I need to worry about light? I'd like to think my yeastie beasties are happy (they LOOK happy), but if they aren't, so what? What characteristics will their state of mind impart to the mead's flavor?


For a regular old batch of mead you are gonna drink I dont think leaving it in the open will matter too much. However keep in mind that yeast go through a slight evolutionary changes in their enviornment. At least hundreds of generations of single celled organizims living and reproducing in their enviornment. Any and all factors will change the yeast and how it functions. The taste should be different at some level if left out in the light. If it is enough of a flavor difference to matter I cant say. I have never tried leaving a batch in the primary left out in the light.

Dahole
11-30-2006, 02:02 AM
They had a couple of batches brewing in the store. They had cut holes, for the necks of the carboys, in the bottoms of those brown paper grocery bags. They then placed the bags upside down over the tops of the carboys. It looked like a pretty good solution.


I put myself in the Newbee group also but I started a batch of JAO last friday and I didn't have a good place to put a 6 gal Car in the dark so I came up with the paper bag idea also. It is working well (I think)

Chimerix
11-30-2006, 03:51 PM
Well, my carboy is now dressed in one of my "hardware store" shirts. I peek in on it about twice a day... I can't see as well, tho, so I can't tell if my yeasties have improved in temperament.

The fermentation is going noticeably slower, but there are a couple of other variables to consider. First, it was just into week 2 when I dressed the must. Second, the temperature has finally started to fall a bit. We had to break out blankets last night... the low last night was around 70!!! BRRRRRR!!! Man was not meant for such beastly cold weather!

Leonora
11-30-2006, 06:41 PM
I dress my carboys in old sweaters. Visitors to my studio kitchen get a real chuckle!

It got down to -10 last night here! Too scary cold.

Leonora