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View Full Version : What should I do next? (First Batch Question)



colbycurtis
04-07-2008, 12:14 AM
OK Another newbie question. Maybe I'm just getting impatient to try this stuff but heres the background before the question.

My first ever 1 gallon batch was started March 09 2008. I used 3 pounds of honey. One orange and 25 raisins. I did not heat anything except honey for easy pouring. At the time I did not even own a Hydrometer so I did not get a OG read. I used Flieshmans bread yeast cuz hey it was my first ever batch.

It started off with a balloon over the bottle because owned no airlocks. I could see tons of bubbles for at least 15 days. On 24 March the baloon seems to be getting softer so since I owned some supplies now I racked it to a one gallon carboy and added a "S" air lock. Bubbles were very slow at this point maybe one every couple minutes. so on 28 March I tried to kickstart it with about 4 ounces of honey. It started bubbling again within an hour and went for about 24 hours. By 30 March I wasn't seeing any bubbles so I racked it again. Now maybe I see a bubble every ten minutes or so. On April 5th I decided since I own a hydrometer now I would take a reading. 1.020

So here is my question. What next? It hasn't cleared enough to read through but it is a nice gold color and I can just see the shadow of my hand through the bottle. I would like it to clear and get it bottled for storage so I can free up the carboy. I've been watching it for the last few days and it doesn't seem to be clearing anymore. Should I refrigerate for a week? Also someone said flieshmans yeast is hard to kill. Even though I hardly ever see a bubble now should I add 1/4 teaspoon of potasium sorbate I have that now as well? Maybe I just need more patience but if its ok to try to push this along I would like to. I just don't want to bottle it until I get it clear. That is the right thing to do correct?

wildaho
04-07-2008, 02:20 AM
I'm quoting somebody here but I can't remember who (Medsen?). Anyways, it one of the truest truisms ever spoken about mead. "Patience is the hardest ingredient in mead". And you will never find it in any recipe! (my addition).

Don't do anything until you can give us some specific gravity readings. A hydrometer is your best friend,

SEROIUSLY!

Don't rely on bubble counts or time frames, they mean nothing. Knowledge of your yeast, your starting point and you hydrometer will help us help you.

Mead definitely doesn't happen overnight. Don't freak out about a change that happens over a day two. Mead takes weeks/months/years to properly age. A change today doesn't mean anything. Does that change last over several days? Well, then we have something to talk about.

Don't get in a rush. Relax. Have a homebrew!

Wade

gbobeck
04-07-2008, 03:21 AM
So here is my question. What next?


The best thing at this time would be to leave it alone for awhile. Let it sit and it will clear nicely on its own.

Time is one of the most important (as well as unlisted) ingredients in mead.

Launcelot
04-07-2008, 03:57 AM
IF you are looking to see it drop clear, I would say pop it in the fridge for a week or so (yeah, that long) again, patience is key.

Getting the temperature down won't kill the yeast that are there, but my understanding is that they will go dormant and that it will expedite getting it to clear.

My first batch never went clear, and got drank because it just tasted so darn good. (I held out 2 bottles which I still have, and they still are not clear).

Every batch since then has dropped clear, but I have also fed the poor lil yeasties well enough to make em happy.

I wouldn't drop the PS in just yet, but I don't see any problem with adding it to the fridge.

In any case you may want to give it a taste and see what your tongue tells you.

--L

wildaho
04-07-2008, 04:21 AM
Before you even THINK about cold crashing this, tell us where you are on the gravity slope! You are less than a month into this batch. Be patient. Mead DOES NOT happen over night! Clearing can take months and many rackings to happen. Finings can help but, damn! give your yeasts some time to work first! Make sure the fermentation is done before you think about throwing it into the fridge or fining.

I just racked my Big Chub (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=412&topic=6560.msg54052#msg54052) over to secondary tonight after three weeks in primary and that's only a beer at 9.35%. Don't get in a rush! The Big Chub needs at least another 3 months of aging but I'm patient. (I hope! It was dangerously quaffable during the tasting phase tonight.)

Wolfie
04-07-2008, 03:50 PM
:icon_study: According to my handy HT Mead Calculator:

3 lb honey + water to 1 gallon = [SG 1.106, + 4 oz honey] = OG 1.112

at 1.020 you should have ~ 12 % abv, pretty respectable for bread yeast, I would not expect it to go a lot farther.

Congratulations, by my calculations you finished a successful fermentation.

Now waiting for clearing is the game. If there is a large yeast cake on the bottom of your fermenter already than you may want to rack to a fresh 1 gallon jug and let it continue to settle. If you want there are fining agents such as sparkaloid and SuperKleer (careful, this one will cause allergic response to those allergic to shellfish!) that will help it drop pretty darn clear in a week or so.

As a forwarning, any mead calculator is an estimation and is not a good replacement for good hydrometer readings. As Wildaho said "A hydrometer is your best friend, SEROIUSLY!", seriously, it is.

Best of luck in all you endeavor!

/wolfie

colbycurtis
04-08-2008, 01:33 AM
Thanks Wolfie thats pretty neat stuff with the calculator I haven't figured out how to use it yet. I think I will put it in the fridge in a few days if I don't see any more clearing then after a week in the frige I will add 1/4 teaspoon K-Sorbate and bottle. I did taste it and it tastes like 12% :) pretty potent. Had a fizz to it and warmed the throat. Tasted pretty good but I want to see how much better after it is bottled for 6 months. If anyone wants to send me a message with some directions on how to use that calculator I would appreciate it.

butterlily5
04-09-2008, 10:51 PM
Careful. As was stated before, cold crashing will not kill the yeasties, and if it's still fuzzy now, you may bottle yourself some mead-bombs! For real and for true, you need to be patient!

colbycurtis
04-10-2008, 02:19 AM
I plan on 7 days cold crash then 1/4 teaspoon K-sorbate then two more days cold crash then bottle and store for few months. Sound like a good plan?

Oskaar
04-10-2008, 04:19 AM
Almost.

You'll need to use Sulfite in order to make the K sorbate effective. The sulfite dosage will be pH dependent and the K sorbate will be dependent on the level of sulfite and the pH.

What's the exact recipe and how old is this mead?

Cheers,

Oskaar

colbycurtis
04-10-2008, 12:49 PM
1 Gallon of Spring Water (room temperature, do not get refrigerated)
3 pounds of honey – pure unprocessed
1 bag of balloons big enough to stretch over the mouth of the spring water jug
1 package of Fleishmann’s Yeast
25 raisins
1 Orange

I started it on 9 March. On 24 March I added 4 ounces more honey. On 28 March it only would bubble about every 5 minutes. By 5 April it stopped bubbling. and Has a FG of 1.030. Never got a OG didn't own a hydrometer at the time. I have racked it and it is clearing but not see through yet.

Oskaar; So what kind of sulfite do I need or is there only one? I don't have a way to check ph yet what do I need to buy for that? Whats the relationship of sulfite to ph to K-Sorbate?


P.S. Yes I will do a search and see if I can find it but if it's a easy question to answer I'll keep looking here :)

P.S.S. Yes I know I am being impatient but this is my first batch and I have never even tasted Mead yet! So I don't even know the difference between dry and sweet. I have more batches behind this one and one 5 gallon batch those are better recipes with better yeast etc.. I do believe the yeast has pewtered out on this one gallon and would like to get something bottled and I have some friends who all want to taste this stuff. They understand it gets better with age also but none of us have even tasted mead yet and I'm 43 years old :) Time is not on my side and patience is not a virtue right now LOL.

Anyone want to mail me a bottle of the good stuff? I'll pay postage :)

Medsen Fey
04-10-2008, 04:29 PM
As a substitute, you might try some commercial meads while you are waiting on yours to clear. There are some truly good ones out there. Rabbit's foot meadery makes some, and if you search the site here you can find recommendations for others.

If you don't have a store that sells mead anywhere nearby (or even if you do) Honeywine.com (http://www.honeywine.com/index.php) has a nice selection and can deliver to at least 30 states (I'm not sure where you are).
Congratulations on finding Honeywine.com, the main place on the Internet that a person can order commercial mead from meaderies all over the world! Due to current shipping laws we process orders for mead that can be shipped to over 30 states!

AK;AZ;CA;CO;CT;DC;FL;GA;HI;ID;IL;IN;IA;LA;MI;MN;MO ;NE;NV;NH;NM;NY;

NC;ND;OH;OR;SC;TX;VT;VA;WA;WV;WI;WY



Sipping good mead while you wait increases patience substantially.

Enjoy!
Medsen