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View Full Version : The first Mead well its a Melomel



cam07ds
09-03-2008, 05:18 PM
Hello all.
Well I'm the new guy today. I have just started my first batch. Well its been in the primary now for about 8 days. Fermentation has slowed to under one "bubble" about every minute. The initial Brix was 28.60 I have not really noticed any smells or problems yet I will take a couple of brix checks before racking. My recipe is below. I will keep posting as we go. The recipe should look familiar to most if you use Northern Brewer. How long should the inital ferment take. I just want to know as I also brew beers mostly ale and these are relatively fast.
Thanks for taking a look.

# 5 pounds of Wildflower Honey
# 2 cans of Oregon Raspberry Puree
# 4 sachets of Curt & Kathy's Nutrient Blend
# 1 vial of Go-Ferm rehydration nutrient(12g), packed in a sterile 30 ml vial.
# 2 packets of yeast: Lalvin 71B-1122 “Narbonne”
# 1 sachet of Pectic Enzyme

Cheers all relax and have a glass of mead. I do however its from a local meadery.
Steve

Yo momma
09-03-2008, 09:01 PM
What size batch? I am guessing about 2 gallons, right. If you didn't heat up your fruit, then your pectic enzyme is not needed. It won't hurt but is not needed. Most of my main ferments take 4-7 days but they can go longer onsome batches due to temp variation and yeast type. I have had some trickle along for a couple of weeks but it is rare. If you could post the way your handling your mead from start to now it would be better for us to give you help if you need it.
ie-how did you mix your must-what was your temp-starting gravity..........

Medsen Fey
09-03-2008, 09:17 PM
If the fruit puree has been pasteurized (I think they may be), you really want to use the pectinase.

oh, and let me not forget,

Welcome to the forums cam07ds!

cam07ds
09-03-2008, 10:00 PM
Here is some more information on the batch. The must has been fermenting for 9 days now. I did not boil or pasteurize.
Its 5 gal batch. Initial Brix was 28.8 starting temp 81. I aerated the must with O2 every 24 hours for the first 3 days and added a nutrient blend package
Tonight I have 12.0 Brix and temp of 72. PH is 3.52 but I don't have a start PH just got the PH meter this week.
I'm going to hold of on the rack until tomorrow night just to compare brix.

Tonight taste from the thief was not to bad and I know it will get better if I don't make any mistakes. The brew house is in the basement and the carboys are covered most of the time. I'm using all glass no plastic.

As far as the handling. I have been using One Step to sanitize and PBW to clean. I used Eldorado spring water.

Thanks for the welcome!
Steve

Medsen Fey
09-03-2008, 10:32 PM
Tonight taste from the thief was not to bad and I know it will get better if I don't make any mistakes.


Don't sweat it! Even if you make mistakes it will get much better with time. Mead is very good about correcting for our errors.

When it comes to racking, as a general rule I would say wait until it finishes in the primary then rack. Usually this is about 2-3 weeks. You might want to swirl it gently each day at least once or twice to keep all the yeast up in the suspension so they can do their thing and take it to completion. You're not going to want to leave it sitting on the lees for any extended time with this yeast, but you should be okay to let it finish.

akueck
09-04-2008, 03:26 PM
Tonight taste from the thief was not to bad and I know it will get better if I don't make any mistakes.


Don't sweat it! Even if you make mistakes it will get much better with time. Mead is very good about correcting for our errors.

When it comes to racking, as a general rule I would say wait until it finishes in the primary then rack. Usually this is about 2-3 weeks. You might want to swirl it gently each day at least once or twice to keep all the yeast up in the suspension so they can do their thing and take it to completion. You're not going to want to leave it sitting on the lees for any extended time with this yeast, but you should be okay to let it finish.


I agree, it's too early to rack right now. Wait for the gravity/Brix to stop dropping before racking.

cam07ds
09-04-2008, 04:58 PM
I know its to early for this batch yet but how or what is the recommended way to sweeten a mead?

wayneb
09-04-2008, 05:37 PM
I use more of the honey that I used in the original batch. But I make sure that the mead is stabilized before I backsweeten.

cam07ds
09-04-2008, 05:40 PM
I use more of the honey that I used in the original batch. But I make sure that the mead is stabilized before I backsweeten.

Thanks that is what I thought just wanted to make sure I understood the correct way to sweeten.
Steve

cam07ds
09-08-2008, 02:27 PM
I have managed to stay out of the Mead but just tested the brix over the last 3 days. The readings have been the same now for the last 3 days.

Current Brix 11.80. Temp at 70 to 72 degrees and the ph has remained the same also at 3.50. The mead has cleared well and I think we might rack to the secondary and add the fruit this weekend. It still has a "yeasty" smell and flavor that is not unpleasant had will hopefully decrease as I get it off the lees and in with the fruit.
Have a great day every one.
Steve

Medsen Fey
09-08-2008, 04:06 PM
You may want to think about swirling the carboy to get the yeast back up in suspension if you haven't been doing it and letting the yeast do more before you rack. Having gone from 28 to 12 Brix, the yeast have not finished their job yet. If you rack over to the fruit, the oxygenation and nutrients from the fruit may get it going strong again, but there is the risk that things could stall if you rack a fermentation that is slowing down.

Let us know how it turns out.

Medsen

cam07ds
09-09-2008, 04:53 PM
Medsen
Thanks for the information. I will try to swirl the carboy and see if I can kick up the fermentation. I will post more as I go.
Steve

cam07ds
09-16-2008, 12:04 PM
Well here is where are at as of last night. I pulled a thief full and here are my readings. Brix 11.2 PH reading was messed up forgot to pull the cover off of the meter then I tasted the sample. The mead smells good very Raspberry and it's semi-sweet still so I think I'm heading the right direction. Just going to leave it as is for at least a few months with occasional checking maybe next time I will get a PH reading if I pay more attention.
Steve

cam07ds
10-09-2008, 10:05 AM
Ok I racked off the Raspberry Lees last night. Its been over 30 days now. Purged my carboy with C02 and racked across. This one had cleared very well and will probably clear more now. Brix is steady at 11.2 ph is down slightly to 3.66 temp is steady between 68-70 deg. Its very dry so I will probably back sweeten slightly after the next rack and then long term storage. I think this mead will age out very well and I'm happy with where its at right now.
Steve

Medsen Fey
10-09-2008, 10:59 AM
Are you confident that your hydrometer reading of 11.2 is correct. It is hard for me to imagine that something with a Brix of 11.2 tastes dry, even with all the raspberry acidity?

cam07ds
10-09-2008, 02:26 PM
Madsen
I'm sure that is where we are at 11.2 or at least to my eyes. Maybe my refractometer is needing a calibration. Could be my explanation of the taste also but I think this one will be good in the long run.
thanks
Steve

Medsen Fey
10-09-2008, 02:56 PM
Madsen
Maybe my refractometer is needing a calibration.


Ahh, I think I understand now. I was under the mistaken impression you were using a hydrometer. When using a refractometer, the alcohol causes a reading error that produces a number higher than the gravity as measured by a hydrometer.

There are calculators and spreadsheets that can do the calculations necessary to correct for this refraction error to give you an accurate answer for the gravity of your must. You can see one such calculator HERE. (http://onebeer.net/refractometer.shtml)

If you plug in the starting Brix 28.6 and the final Brix at 11.2, the real gravity of your mead is 0.996 (or pretty close to it) which is bone dry, as your taste buds are telling you. So yes, your mead is done, and good for racking. I apologize for my confusion.

Congratulations!

Medsen

cam07ds
10-09-2008, 05:21 PM
Madsen
Thanks again for looking over my shoulder on this one. That is a great link and has been saved. I might have to back sweeten this one just a little but I think that can also wait. Its hands off for now.
Steve

cam07ds
10-22-2008, 02:04 PM
Well I tested this one again post racking. Still very dry but the flavor has changed and mellowed since the racking. Here are my readings from last night.
10/21/2008 Brix 11.2 Ph 3.75 temp 70. This has a great scent and should only get better.
Thanks
Steve

buildmark
10-22-2008, 03:08 PM
What size were the rasberry purees? my brew shop has different sizes and this sounds like a good one to try.

cam07ds
10-22-2008, 05:25 PM
What size were the rasberry purees? my brew shop has different sizes and this sounds like a good one to try.


The cans were each 49oz and I used 2 of them, they left a great color smell and flavor. If you try it let me know how it turns out as this was my first Mead.
Cheers
Steve

buildmark
10-23-2008, 03:38 PM
I need to empty a container first, which will be soon. I think I will try a 1 gallon batch first. I like raspberry, but I like to do small quantities for 1st batches.

cam07ds
12-23-2008, 12:49 PM
Racked this one again on 12/7/08 and I will be darned if it did not start fermentation again. I had back sweetened slightly with 3 lbs Wildflower honey but had racked once with that addition. So this was a little strange. The taste is much better now the heat is dying down and the flavor of the Raspberries is showing through. About 6 more months and maybe we can bottle this one.
Steve