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Dmichels
12-28-2008, 10:47 PM
Just looking for a few comments on this It is my understanding that pure mead, honey and water needs a yeast nutriant While a cyser or melomel has enough "food" for the yeast. I am a keep it simple type of brewer. Not too much science. I do not own a hydrometer, My way is when it clears its done. I am not knocking the hi tech but to me it is too much work. People have made mead wine and beer for hundreds of years without the extras. Can I throw together some batches from what I have without woring about acid content or yeast nutriant? How about some half "turned" cider and honey mix together and letting it go?

osluder
12-28-2008, 11:05 PM
If you haven't done so already, you might check out the Natural Mead Making (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=141) forum.

wildaho
12-29-2008, 12:23 AM
Going all natural is all well and good but I think you'll find that a little work up front makes for a much better tasting mead in considerably shorter time.

Do you honestly think that ancient man wouldn't be using today's techniques if they knew about them? Time was even more important to them. They had to survive and didn't have time to mess with things. Even though that "thing" gave them much pleasure and helped them relax and forget about survival for a while.

The long ferments that mead is infamous for are due to lack of nutrients, aeration and fermentation management in general. Those long ferments lead to stressed yeast and hence rocket fuel and other flavors that take FOR-F*&$ing EVER to age out.

While cysers and melomels due indeed add some nutrients to the party, you will still have better, more drinkable results sooner with some additional nutrient additions and aeration.

The difference can be dramatic. Instead of months, your ferment can be done in a week or two. And instead of years of aging before it is drinkable, it can be weeks or months instead.

I don't know. If I'm going to invest in the cost of 15-20lbs of honey, it's worth it to me spend a measly 5 minutes per day for a week or two to make sure that the $40-$80 bucks I threw in the bucket is going to be rewarded.

I mean seriously. How much work is it to take a reading, add nutrients if called for and aerate or swirl gently for a couple of minutes? 5 minutes out of your obviously busy life.

If you are going to do ANY type of fermention, be it beer, wine, or mead, a hydrometer is your best friend. They cost less than $10 and can save you lots of headache and dissapointment. You'll know if you have a problem and if you do, we can help you here.

If you have a recipe that calls for an acid addition up front, or irish moss or boiling, run away! It's an old recipe developed in the times when beer brewers were trying to adapt their techniques to mead. Time has proven that these are not needed. Science and hi tech march on!

If that is too much work though, you can always buy a commercial mead, wine or beer instead. There is even less work involved and you can drink it right away.

wayneb
12-30-2008, 02:33 PM
...They had to survive and didn't have time to mess with things. Even though that "thing" gave them much pleasure and helped them relax and forget about survival for a while.



Gimme dat, gimme dat, gimme gimme gimme dat, gimme dat thing, gimme dat...

Sorry, I couldn't resist! ;D


Seriously for a moment, I agree with Wildaho without reservation. I've had my share of mead samples done "the olde fashioned way" that smelled and tasted enough like paint thinner, or had the consistency and sweetness of pancake syrup, that I would not potentially waste the cost of ingredients of a batch trusting it to a completely unmonitored or nutrient-starved fermentation.

Of course we're all free to make mead however we want -- and some of the completely wild experiments that I've tasted over the past 30 years were pretty good. However, getting similar results consistently from successive batches was always just beyond the grasp of those guys....

Vino
12-30-2008, 03:19 PM
JAO is a simple and proven recipe that doesn't require the "extra's"...speaking from experience (I know I'm still a NOOB!)...I recently made my 6th batch of mead, Christmas day I racked it (only 4 weeks old), it has completed fermentation and tastes FANTASTIC according to the wife...it was the first mead I made using proper yeast rehydration, SNA, and daily aeration until the 1/3 sugar break.

IMO, none of this would have been possible without the aid of a temperature gauge, hydrometer, and pH meter (not to mention the fine people here on Gotmead.com)...and I am confident that I can duplicate the recipe, which is of major importance to me.

BTW, I'm a longtime beer brewer and I can't imagine making beer without a hydrometer and pH meter/test strips.

osluder
12-30-2008, 03:42 PM
BTW, I'm a longtime beer brewer and I can't imagine making beer without a hydrometer and pH meter/test strips.

I agree 100% about the hydrometer for beermaking, but measuring pH strikes me as important in only all-grain brewing. Having said that, I am starting to understand the importance of pH management for mead. So many things to unlearn. :)

Vino
12-30-2008, 03:56 PM
but measuring pH strikes me as important in only all-grain brewing.

Exactly...I only measure pH when brewing an all-grain recipe...which is about 80% of my brews these days.

ndbrewlady
12-30-2008, 05:52 PM
Have a wine brewer here that doesn't use a hydrometer, I have named his wine everwine, it is so strong:eek:, not stuff to drink for just a casual night. It is kinda nice to know how potent your beer/wine/mead is.:)

wildaho
12-30-2008, 07:47 PM
Gimme dat, gimme dat, gimme gimme gimme dat, gimme dat thing, gimme dat...


Oh yeah? Well a good "Ooga Chaka, ooga ooga ooga chaka" right back at ya! Since you got the first song stuck in my head, I thought I'd return the favor with a song from the same time frame.;D;D:eek:

sandman
12-30-2008, 08:49 PM
"Papappapapapapa oomamaomao papa oomaomao dededit..."

Sorry, I had to do it. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! :D

WRATHWILDE
12-30-2008, 10:03 PM
I am not knocking the hi tech but to me it is too much work.

People were going #2 thousands of years before toilet paper, the manufacturing of said paper is hi-tech, and using it is more work than not. It may just be me... but that little extra work going hi-tech is definitely worth it.

Using the proper nutrients, stirring and looking after the ferment for a week or two is about the same amount of effort as wiping your ass for two weeks. But if you can't be bothered to do more than throw yeast in whatever you're fermenting... why are you here? You can, of course, throw together batches from whatever you have on hand...

Will it be drinkable? Maybe.
Will it be good? Flip a coin.
Will it be great? About as often as you can hit the bulls-eye on a dart board at 15 yards.

It looks like you've got your ways set, and it seems like you think there is no point for you to better yourself, your techniques or your brews... in which case You have all the info you need, if it's got available sugar throw some yeast in and you're done. Personally it's not the way to I'd do things... even if I were to do a show mead with no nutrients, I'd still be measuring my starting gravity and tailoring it to my yeast.

There is nothing we can do to help your ferments along without detailed info, a hydrometer reading chief among them. So, Yes, you can throw things together but without a little time and effort on your part giving us detailed information... there is very little we can help you with if things go wrong.


Cheers,
Wrathwilde

Corcis
01-01-2009, 05:30 AM
Here's my quick, short story:

10 gallons, ~$90 honey. Used beer brewing methods. No readings, no stirrer, used heat, didn't aerate, didn't give nutrients. I don't think it's done yet. STUCK. Nearly a hundred bucks of honey and yeast, stuck. Big, fat, freaking waste of time.

Did a batch of JAO. Simple, easy, less than 30min to do.

Then a batch of Cranberry Cyser, 1 gallon. I could've used a stirrer and scale - they would've helped a lot. But, less than an hour prep on the must itself (cutting up cranberries took longer). Then, for three or four days, I capped and shook, took a hydrometer reading and put it back. Less than ten minutes of work. Added some more nutrients, put it back and left it. Eventually I racked it. It looks wonderful and is aging sur lie now til June. But it's done fermenting, I think. At less than two weeks. It'll be worth it.

Medsen Fey
01-01-2009, 12:50 PM
I am a keep it simple type of brewer. Not too much science. I do not own a hydrometer, My way is when it clears its done. I am not knocking the hi tech but to me it is too much work.

Hi Dmichels,

Some folk are great cooks who can grab whatever ingredients are at hand and whip up something tasty without even using a recipe. Great mead can be made the same way, so if you have the skill to do that, you are among the blessed few. Even for the best, however, reproducing a great batch may require following a recipe.

For the rest of us, the science helps us to be able to consistently repeat a batch which is really nice when you get a great result. It also helps us make adjustments to salvage things when they don't go as expected. It does add a bit of work, but for me, the reward is worth it.

Happy New Year!
Medsen

Dmichels
01-01-2009, 01:30 PM
Ok I will get a hydrometer I can see know why I need one. I only ferment in glass, Can I take a reading dirrectly with a sanitized hydrometer? I am worried about increacing air space with pulling samles from multiple readings. I guess I could back gas with CO2 just don't want to cause oxidation.
Thanks for all the help
Happy New year
Dave

valhallaorbust
01-01-2009, 02:25 PM
I mean seriously. How much work is it to take a reading, add nutrients if called for and aerate or swirl gently for a couple of minutes? 5 minutes out of your obviously busy life.

If you are going to do ANY type of fermention, be it beer, wine, or mead, a hydrometer is your best friend. They cost less than $10 and can save you lots of headache and dissapointment. You'll know if you have a problem and if you do, we can help you here.

If you have a recipe that calls for an acid addition up front, or irish moss or boiling, run away! It's an old recipe developed in the times when beer brewers were trying to adapt their techniques to mead. Time has proven that these are not needed. Science and hi tech march on!



just wondering but where is a good spot to look on using different types of nutrients, i bought some from a brew shop but i have no idea when to use it or what types to use. what

Kee
01-01-2009, 02:34 PM
just wondering but where is a good spot to look on using different types of nutrients...

Start with a search on Nutrients by Oskaar. The other mentors have usually added their two cents to those threads. You can use them as a jumping off point. If you haven't already, Oskaar in a Nutshell is also a good thread to read too.

osluder
01-01-2009, 02:54 PM
Ok I will get a hydrometer I can see know why I need one.

Many on the forums use a brix refractometer (just needs a few drops of must) and then calculate the specific gravity (http://onebeer.net/refractometer.shtml). I usually thieve a couple ounces at a time to taste too strictly for quality assurance purposes of course. ;D


I am worried about increacing air space with pulling samles from multiple readings. I guess I could back gas with CO2 just don't want to cause oxidation.

As long as there is active fermentation, it will produce enough CO2 where this should not be a problem especially in a carboy.