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View Full Version : I think I might have an issue with my mead



soupninja
03-05-2009, 03:39 AM
First heres my recipe

8# clover honey with a little star thistle mixed in from the local brew shop
3 Gallons of water (bottled spring ozarka)
1 package of red star pastuer champagne yeast
40oz of crushed raspberries
1/2 tea of yeast nutrient

Method:
1. Cleaned thoroughly with soup and hot water and then hit it with "one step" cleaner(though I did rinse) on all equipment

2. Brought water in a stock pot up to below simmering.
3. Added all honey, added crushed raspberries, added nutrient
4. Brought the temp up to about 180'degrees
6. Cooled in an ice bath and stirred it around real well to airrate the must
7. at about 80 degrees I put my yeast in from a yeast starter(this starter was covered the entire time)
8. I then siphoned into the primary and gave it a shake or too for luck and put the air lock on.

After 4 days I racked it off the pulp and its still bubbling about once every one or two seconds. total amount of days in the carboy would be about 6 give or take a few hours

Heres my current issue.

1. There are little whitish/off whitish things floating around in there, theres alot, some are sitting on the bottom of the carboy some are floating up to the surface with the bubbles there is some foam on top as well. They are shaped like tiny little pellets(i mean tiny) almost dry yeast size..like from out of the package. Some are bigger though.

Im thinking that this might be globs of yeast? I have made this recipe before except in a five gallon format and I dont remember this happening...then again it was about 3 years ago that I made it.

2nd issue. I took a taste to see if anything was just really off....the only bad taste I get is a very strong alcohol taste..hard to explain...maybe like how ethenol or lighter fluid smells?..yet not quite..


And yet one more question....if I dont have any problems should I go ahead and kill the yeast off? I mean this stuff is getting pretty potent and Id like to leave some sweetness too it... or should I let it run its course and then re-sweeten after its done?

jt852
03-05-2009, 04:40 AM
1. There are little whitish/off whitish things floating around in there, theres alot, some are sitting on the bottom of the carboy some are floating up to the surface with the bubbles there is some foam on top as well. They are shaped like tiny little pellets(i mean tiny) almost dry yeast size..like from out of the package. Some are bigger though.

Im thinking that this might be globs of yeast? I have made this recipe before except in a five gallon format and I dont remember this happening...then again it was about 3 years ago that I made it.

Could possibly be the seeds of the raspberries. They're about the size you describe, though they're usually stained pink by the juices of the raspberries. The mead would have a tendency to leach that color out though.

Shanecb
03-05-2009, 04:40 AM
And yet one more question....if I dont have any problems should I go ahead and kill the yeast off? I mean this stuff is getting pretty potent and Id like to leave some sweetness too it... or should I let it run its course and then re-sweeten after its done?

Since it's still a pretty active fermentation (if you're getting a couple of blips every second) killing the yeast off isn't really an option. From what I've read, the only way you would be able to do it is microfiltration to remove all of the yeast, which your average home winemaker doesn't really have. There's no reliable way to stop an active fermentation. I would let it run it's course, stabilize, and then backsweeten to your liking.

Oskaar
03-05-2009, 04:51 AM
Hello soupninja,

Welcome to Got Mead?

Questions before answers:

1. How did you make the starter? Please be specific.

2. What was your original gravity?

3. What is your current gravity?

4. What is your current pH?

5. Is the recipe you listed specific, detailed and complete? I'm not seeing any pectinase (you nuked your fruit so you set the pectin when you heated your must, and it will not clear without pectinase or another clearing agent)

6. What was your expected end product (sweet, fruity, dry, etc.)?

This will help us help you.

Cheers, Oskaar

soupninja
03-05-2009, 08:45 AM
The starter. I used a small 6oz glass cup. I used the same water that I used for the must in it,and warmed it up in the microwave till it read about 80 degrees.
I then put 3tbl of honey in the glass stirred it, as well as a very small pinch..half a pinch if you will of yeast nutrient. I then poured the room temp dry yeast over the top of the water, and let it set for about 30 min covered with a paper towel while I started the must. After that 30 min I stirred it up to break up the clumps on top and covered it again until the must was cool enough to add it to it.

I didnt know about cooking the fruit would do that....hmmm and Im not sure what pectinase is. But I cleared the last batch with a clearing agent from the brew store I dont remember what its called but I remember it being derived from shell fish.

And unfortuantly I did not take any of the readings your asking for.
Which in hindsight I know I should have done I guess I got a little over confident because the last one I made came out well and I did not take the readings with that one either. This is somthing I will do from now on in further batches. Although I can get some PH strips and take a test on it.

my expected outcome was semi/sweet and fruity, im not sure if I will get there now..???

Also I dont think it would be the seeds because when I raked it I strained it through a cheese cloth.


ohh and thanks for the welcome

Medsen Fey
03-05-2009, 10:43 AM
Welcome to GotMead? soupninja!

One more question - What temperature are you keeping it?



my expected outcome was semi/sweet and fruity, im not sure if I will get there now..???

Be of stout heart! As long as your batch hasn't spoiled (it it certainly doesn't sound like it), you can make adjustments to get to your goal. It looks to me like your best bet is to let it finish fermenting, and let it settle and clear. Then you can rack it, and stabilize it with the combination potassium sorbate and metabisulfite. At that point you can add more honey to sweeten it to the level you like it best and if you find you want it more "fruity" taste, you can add a bit more.

There are a lot of steps in your technique that you may want to revisit after doing some reading. I recommend you take a look at the NewBee Guide (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=108&Itemid=14). Using the hydrometer is definitely number one.

You definitely want to add some pectic enzyme (pectinase) to prevent a haze from forming. Since your fermentation is well underway, you should use twice the amount recommended on the package. This is available in most homebrew stores and online.

The off-whitish stuff likely is some yeast that gets trapped by surface tension on top and not something to be overly concerned about. Gentle swirling will usually take care of them.

It is quite common for new meads to have a harsh alcohol character. If your fermentation temperature is high - generally 70s or above, you tend to get a lot more of this harshness. It improves with aging.

Medsen

soupninja
03-06-2009, 01:08 AM
I guess Im just going to have to wait and see and just monitor it. The floaters after another inspection look more like..couscous and theres a very fine layer underneith that. But I dont smell anything off or taste anything other than hints of raspberry and the harshness that seems to go away after aging...soo...hopefully Everything is alright and im just going a bit nuts.

And yeah I will be reading the newb guide thanks