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View Full Version : Introductions. And a Few questions from a first timer.



Endo
08-11-2008, 10:55 AM
Greetings Everyone, My name is Endo. I'm from Northeastern Us. ive read around the forums here and ive found alot of usefull information, thank you guys for all the hard work. Ive tried meads in the past and loved them, mostley the stuff you get at Ren Fests and whatnot. I wanted to try some really good meads, and everything i read lead me back to, the best mead is the one you make yourself. I was directed to JAO recipe and found that very appealing. so as of yesterday i set out and made my own batch.

12lbs clover honey (pastuerized, not boiled)
4.5 gallons filtered water
3 oranges and 4 clementines
125 plain raisions
4 cinn sticks
4 cloves
1/2cup 100% pure vermont syrup
2 packages of HODGSON MILL active dry yeast
air temp 72

i know you guys are not a fan of the 5g water jugs, but i didnt want to make too big of an investment, for a first run.
so i heated 2 gal of water and 6lbs of honey, constantly stirring, to 165-170. started yeast in warm honey water. skimmed some of the scum that came up. (anything dark) placed the first 2 gal in to the jug with all the fruit and and shook vigorosly for 5 min or so, while the other 2 gallons of water came up to temp. added honey and the syrup. and added to jug. left jug in sink with icewater 4 hours and monitored temp, when at 110 pitched yeast. put the top on,and poked an airhole, and then covered with papertowel and elastic band. (airlock on its way for delivery today) let sit for another 5 hours, checked, no foam? lots of settling out on bottom. but very light fermentation.
thinking i may have messed up the yeast, i added 1 more tbl spoon of the dry yeast to the must. checked again this morning. i can still hear it pissing air out, but still no foam, or bubbles, and still seems like its very slowly fermenting, nothing like described in everything else i read. the only thing i didnt do the first day was cover it. but it was in the dark all night. should i be doing something else?? or just waiting?
thanks guys, im glad i found this place and hopefully, ill get to become a fixture here.

;D
Endo

ucflumberjack
08-11-2008, 12:00 PM
Welcome!!!!

The syrup wont add much flavor. You shouldn't have heated it at all. (at least you dont need to) You deffinately shouldn't have added the yeast until the temp was down to 70 or 80 degrees. 110 is for a starter(actually i thought it was 100?). For this recipe the 5 galon water jug should be fine, just keep it covered and away from light. You might consider waiting until the temp is down to 70 or 80 and then sprinkling in some more yeast and shaking more. The higher temp of the must(must is unfermented mead) the lower its ability to hold oxygen, at 110 its ability is pretty low compared to its ability at 70 or 80.

Endo
08-11-2008, 02:20 PM
crap, i had a feeling it was still too hot. well its still going, which is good i guess.. maybe i should get a nice big wooden spoon and stir everything up and get some more oxygen into it.?

vahan
08-11-2008, 03:04 PM
Welcome!

It's nice to have some fellow Northeastern's here. We can envy those who live in CA, OR together.

My best bit of advice it to read the newbee guide cover to cover. If I had done so I would have avoided my geyser lees stirrer mishap that happened this morning. My other bit of advice to to keep it simple. I've made some really good meads by using simple, fresh local honey, cider, fruit...etc.

Enjoy,
vahan

Yo momma
08-11-2008, 04:42 PM
Also, wooden spoon, not good in my opinion. A wooden spoon can hold, even in the cleanest enviroment, bacteria detremental to your mead. A good lees stirrer or a plastic spoon would be a better choice. Other than that I'd say your on the right track for a good mead.

Endo
08-11-2008, 06:41 PM
i knew about the wooden spoon, dont know why i typed that.. but ill get a plastic one.. stir it up real good b4 i put the airlock on it. thanks for the advise. everyone. nice to meet you guys.

Endo
08-12-2008, 10:13 AM
morning everyone, so im getting a bit stressed, the airlock and bung arrived yesterday and was sterilized and installed. now here comes the concern, the airlock itself is not bubbling, however there is fizzing going on inside the container, little bubbles, almost like its carbonated, but no bubbles whatso ever from the airlock. if i squeeze the container a bit, it will make a bubble, but nothing else, im thinking maybe i have a small airleak? the bung was a bit small so i had to cut the original cap in the center to fit the bung in. looks pretty sealed to me. right now im at a loss, do i just let it go and see what happens? i dont have anything to aerate it with so i was thinking of sterilizing another container and just pouring 1/2 the mix into that one and shaking the shit out of it, then adding it back in. my other option was to toss a camden tab in and let it sit for 24 hours and try repitching it with regular fleishmans. or should i just bite my tongue and just let it go... i mean there are bubbles..but nothing even close to what i have read about from all your guys recipes and videos on mead making ive been watching.. suggestions?

Thanks
Endo

Yo momma
08-12-2008, 05:19 PM
Well as of right now I would tell you to go buy a hydrometer. This is your best freind when fermentation is slow or stalled and/or a leak is happening and you cannot tell if anything is going on. (all that in one breath :laughing7: )

Anyways this tool tells you if your yeast is eating the sugar. It tells you the sugar content in your must. You use this a few times and you can tell either your must is not fermenting or it's eating like gangbusters. They are relatively cheap and are mead/wine makers best freinds.

As far as what's happining, I would say be patient and buy a hydrometer. when you get one sign another post for further instruction or use the search tool up top to see how one is used. Did you read the newbee guide yet?

Endo
08-13-2008, 05:19 PM
i have read the newbie guide front to back 2x. ;) im sure i do have a leak somewhere in my top. i checked it last night when i got home and again this morning.. there is definitly fermentation going on, as there a bubbles coming up on the sides, like fizzy soda. it just doesnt seem nearly as vigorous as most of you guys describe. its probably the yeast i used.

as for the hydrometer i bought one yesterday and it should be here end of the week or so.. maybe monday next week. i also ordered some lauvin 1118 and some other cyser yeast. along with some yeast nutrients for future endevours, and a auto siphon and tube. and a few more stoppers. im about 50 percent confident in this first batch and will probably be more this next time around.
thanks for the response and ill get back with some news when i figure it out.

thanks
Endo

wayneb
08-13-2008, 05:51 PM
Endo, actually you are probably getting exactly what you should expect from a fermenting must at this point in the process. When the fermentation vessel is not well sealed more CO2 can escape from the solution than when it is stoppered up and airlocked, and so the equilibrium release of bubbles is no more than a slow percolation. All you'll usually hear is a mild fizzing sound. So the bottom line is you have nothing to worry about at the moment, as long as those bubbles continue and the must continues to smell good. :cheers:

Again, as others have noted, the only really reliable quantitative measures of progress are by measuring specific gravity with a hydrometer, or by measuring the sugar content using a refractometer. You'll be glad that you ordered your hydrometer once you start to use it regularly.

Welcome to the obsess... er, I mean, the hobby! ;)

Endo
08-21-2008, 11:09 AM
well its been a few days now.. and i still have a very very tiny leak, that is preventing the airlock from working. on the upside.. there are still little bubbles. not real vigorus but its still going. this is defintly going to turn into an obsession.thanks for stoppin in everyone.

i also started a 1 gal batch of cyser,
1 gal kirkland applejuice.
1 cup of maple syrup
1tsp of yeast nutes
handfull raisons
1 cinnimon stick
1 package of EC-1118 Champagne

that one was fermenting furiously till yesterday, its calmed a bit but everything is chuggin along.

one ? though anyone know what size stoppers will fit in those 1 gallon wine jugs? the universal ones i bought are just a hair too big.. so i have to order a few smaller ones..

wayneb
08-21-2008, 12:00 PM
If they are a "standard" gallon glass jug, then a #6 stopper will work.

Endo
08-25-2008, 01:24 PM
so the obsession continues. yesterday started a cyser! whoo hoo

4gal applejuice
6# honey
2 packs raisons
2 cinn sticks
pitched with wyeast cider pack
topped with 1 qt water to top off.
sg 1.085 ish. b4 adding 1more# honey.
:toothy10: according to the table.. it should end up a dry cider?