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bjswift
08-06-2007, 12:52 PM
Hi! First time brewer, first time mead drinker, and first time poster! I have a one gallon batch, which has been fermenting for just over two weeks now in a 2 gallon bucket. The airlock blurbs a bubble about every minute, slowed down from every 10-15 seconds a week ago. When do I rack it into a 1gallon jug? I am anxious to transfer it, because I also want to taste it to see how it turned out. Is it possible to taste it when I rack it for the first time, into a secondary?

Here is the recipe I used, nothing in particular, and very plain.
1gallon water (actually about two cups less than 1 gallon)
2lbs honey (clover honey)
lime peel (just green part, no white part or pulp)
Champagne Yeast
Yeast Nutrient

I boiled the water, turned down heat and added honey, making sure to stir often, and not letting it to boil again.
Added lime peels
Cooled in an ice bath
Added 1tsp yeast nutrient
Added 3/4 pack champagne yeast (re-hydrated from warm tap water)


So, again, the bubbles have slowed down to about 45-50 seconds per bubble, and I am getting anxious to rack so I can start another batch (probably following a recipe of some sort). I also want to taste the mead to assure myself I am not waiting all of this time for un-drinkable crap...

So, is it okay to rack now, or should I wait? And if and when I do rack it, do I put a sample in a glass or bottle, chill and taste, or just taste it?

I've only drank mead cold, never warm, so would I know if it was bad from a taste this early?

Thanks!

Brandon.

Dan McFeeley
08-06-2007, 01:18 PM
Hi! First time brewer, first time mead drinker, and first time poster! I have a one gallon batch, which has been fermenting for just over two weeks now in a 2 gallon bucket. The airlock blurbs a bubble about every minute, slowed down from every 10-15 seconds a week ago. When do I rack it into a 1gallon jug? I am anxious to transfer it, because I also want to taste it to see how it turned out. Is it possible to taste it when I rack it for the first time, into a secondary?

Here is the recipe I used, nothing in particular, and very plain.
1gallon water (actually about two cups less than 1 gallon)
2lbs honey (clover honey)
lime peel (just green part, no white part or pulp)
Champagne Yeast
Yeast Nutrient

I boiled the water, turned down heat and added honey, making sure to stir often, and not letting it to boil again.
Added lime peels
Cooled in an ice bath
Added 1tsp yeast nutrient
Added 3/4 pack champagne yeast (re-hydrated from warm tap water)


So, again, the bubbles have slowed down to about 45-50 seconds per bubble, and I am getting anxious to rack so I can start another batch (probably following a recipe of some sort). I also want to taste the mead to assure myself I am not waiting all of this time for un-drinkable crap...

So, is it okay to rack now, or should I wait? And if and when I do rack it, do I put a sample in a glass or bottle, chill and taste, or just taste it?

I've only drank mead cold, never warm, so would I know if it was bad from a taste this early?

Hello Brandon, and welcome to the forums!

It's best to wait until the mead stops bubbling altogether, then wait a bit longer. You can rack to another carboy once it's settled and cleared, and check the gravity at racking with a hydrometer, although, with a one gallon batch it'll be hard to find a smaller size container, which you'll need after racking off sediment and using approx. 100 ml for the hydrometer tube.

This seems to be a low gravity mead, from your recipe which included 2 lb.s of honey to the gallon. The starting gravity was probably around 1.070, and the vigor of the champagn yeast will probably leave a bone dry and austere tasting mead. It may take a lot of aging to bring up to tastiness.

Since you're fermenting in a two gallon bucket, it might be an idea to add another pound or 1 1/2 pounds of honey, then rack to glass once the fermentation settles. One gallon carboys are easy to find -- just check your local store for jug wine, dispose of the contents as you see fit and there's your carboy. ;D

bjswift
08-06-2007, 01:30 PM
I have one gallon jugs ready and waiting to be a secondary. So adding honey at this point is not a problem? I was thinking about adding more honey after fermentation, because I did not want to risk contaminating the mead by opening the bucket lid, and adding stuff while it is fermenting.. Could I add the honey right before I rack it, or maybe a day or two before I rack it into the jug?

I'm just anxious to taste the mead, so I can assure myself it will be worth making larger batches (once I get a good 1 gallon batch made, I'm going to move up to 5gallons).

Thanks for your quick reply!

wayneb
08-06-2007, 01:57 PM
I have one gallon jugs ready and waiting to be a secondary. So adding honey at this point is not a problem? I was thinking about adding more honey after fermentation, because I did not want to risk contaminating the mead by opening the bucket lid, and adding stuff while it is fermenting.. Could I add the honey right before I rack it, or maybe a day or two before I rack it into the jug?

I'm just anxious to taste the mead, so I can assure myself it will be worth making larger batches (once I get a good 1 gallon batch made, I'm going to move up to 5gallons).

Thanks for your quick reply!


There is generally little chance that you would introduce something to spoil the batch by adding additional honey into a vigorous ongoing fermentation. Just make sure to follow good sanitation procedures, don't let anything that hasn't been sanitized touch the mead during the addition, and you'll be fine. As far as the new honey harboring anything that might be detrimental to the mead -- the ongoing fermentation has already established a low pH, high alcohol environment that would deter most spoilage organisms from taking hold, so just add your new honey, mix it in well, sit back and let the fermentation proceed apace.

Now as far as tasting goes, you can taste the mead at any time during fermentation and aging. Just be aware that these early tastes will usually not be anything like the final finished, aged mead. Mead takes time in the bottle to develop; in general expect changes to be going on for 3-6 months after bottling, and for high alcohol and/or very dry meads, for significantly longer than that.

SO... if you're looking to make a determination about whether or not your first batch will taste like *#@% when it is ready... you'll just have to wait until it's ready. Mead teaches us all patience, but the result is almost always worth waiting for! :toothy10:

bjswift
08-06-2007, 03:10 PM
Okay, great information! I will go ahead and add another pound or so, and continue to wait until the fermentation stops (or I get bored counting while waiting for bubbles).

Now my only problem is this: Since I have a gallon (or more since I used just under a gallon of water) and 2lbs + 1lb honey, that is more than a gallon (my glass jug will be full and I will have extra), where do I put the left over? Should I just conduct experiments with the left over, such as taste it, or keep it in its own bottle, and risk glass grenade?

I guess the other option would be to dump what doesn't fit into a jug.. :)

wayneb
08-06-2007, 03:47 PM
I keep a small collection of 1 gal and 1/2 gal glass jugs around (not to mention dozens of stoppers and airlocks) for just such contingencies! :laughing7: