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shmoab
11-04-2009, 12:34 AM
After four years of talking about it, and drinking other's mead, I finally did it.
I started a batch last night. A friend of mine turned me on to this so I followed a little of his instructions and some of the newbee guide.

I sterilized completely. Did the boil method with 12lbs of honey, added the nutrients and acid blend during the boil. Everything went fine. My first mistake was not letting the wort cool down enough before adding the yeast. I thought I might have killed it but hoped for the best. This evening after I got home I noticed this

http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n109/shmoab/1103092104.jpg

The yeast is alive but my second mistake is clearly visible. I filled it too high. Any advice to solve this problem?

Thanks!

buzzerj
11-04-2009, 12:51 AM
Welcome to Gotmead shmoab! Please read the Newbee guide if you haven't. First thing I'd do is clean up the mess you made. That's just downright untidy. Changes I would have made to your scheme is not to boil the honey, as you lose much of the goodness the honey brings. Also I wouldn't boil nutrients as that denatures their proteins and cripples their activity. Third I would refrain in using acid blend until the end of the fermentation, just before bottling. Use acid blend to taste if it's needed at all. Sometimes a big hurdle for a good fermentation is too acidic an environment for the yeast and adding acid blend only promotes a too acidic environment when the yeast needs to do the most work. Irrespective of your heating the yeast, they appear to have survived. The nutrients left still did a job. Yes you did fill the carboy up a bit much. Clean up the mess and carry on. Look at it this way, you're learning more this way. Share with us more about all your ingredients and your process and you'll learn even more. I think with 12 lbs of honey and depending on the yeast you are using, you'll end up with a dry mead result. Is that what you wished for? BTW Welcome again!

Buzzer

shmoab
11-04-2009, 01:42 AM
Thanks for the reply.
Made sure and cleaned right away lest I start an ant colony.
Good pointers. I'll surely use them on my next batch. Especially the no boil method. It didn't feel right when I plopped all that honey into boiling water.
I had no real plan with this initial batch other than I wanted to make some mead. Though, had I know a little more, I'd of made it sweeter. Funny, I thought I added too much honey. haha
Should I just leave it alone, only changing the water in the breather, for now or drain some out?

Medsen Fey
11-04-2009, 12:46 PM
That's a classic example of a Mead Eruption Accident!

You could have it recur when you swirl or stir it if you don't take some out. I'd rack out 1-2 liters and put it in another container to ferment. If you don't have any other container you can use a 2 liter soda bottle that has been sanitized. Obviously that works best if you have a stopper and airlock that will fit, but even if you don't, you can release the pressure 2-3 times a day and have it ferment okay in the PET bottle.

You'll want to rack that back into the secondary at the time you rack the main batch so you'll have less topping up to do.

Antifoam drops are a good idea when fermenting in a glass carboy. I'd also consider getting a large bucket.

And Welcome to GotMead!

Medsen

shmoab
11-07-2009, 10:06 PM
Any recipe suggestions for a few 1 gal batches? I figured I'd try some other, smaller, methods. I have 12lbs of Raspberry honey and 12lbs of blackberry honey.


Another noob question. When you use the no boil method is it ok to put the honey in warm/hot water to ease the mixing process?


Thanks!

akueck
11-07-2009, 10:36 PM
Another noob question. When you use the no boil method is it ok to put the honey in warm/hot water to ease the mixing process?

Yes! This is very commonly done. General consensus seems to say that heating the honey up to about 90-100 F to get it flowing is not particularly harmful. The bees keep it about that temperature so you have to figure it's a safe place to be. Personally I am just too lazy to do even that, for which I am then rewarded by having a sore arm from stirring.

Check out the recipe section on the main site. There are several recipes for "quick meads" that are mostly scaled to one gallon. You can also find a recipe you like and scale it down from 5 (or 10, or X) to 1 gallon. I might recommend trying a cyser (apple mead), they are very tasty and in my experience finish quickly. Popular recipes include the Dangerous Cyser, 4-week Quick Cyser, Cinnful Cyser, and the more complicated Fall's Bounty Cyser from Compleat Meadmaker.

shmoab
11-08-2009, 01:32 AM
Where is your opinion on the importance of the hydrometer? I see a lot of you use it but everybody I know, personally, doesn't.
Who/where is a good source for honey in the Phoenix area? Right now I pay $50 for 12lbs and the only choices are raspberry, starthistle and blueberry.
Does the webmaster of stormthecastle post here? I sure enjoy his clips on youtube.

Take care!

akueck
11-08-2009, 02:26 AM
Hydrometers are darn useful. You can certainly make mead without one, but you'll make mead much more consistently with one. Troubleshooting is also a lot easier when you can measure the SG.

wildaho
11-08-2009, 05:54 AM
I'll go a step further and say that a hydrometer is the most useful tool you can buy to help your fermentation adventures.

With a hydrometer, you can gauge so many different factors in your fermenation's health, speed and kinetics. With a hydrometer, you know if you've hit a problem. And you can usually (with the help of the search tool here on the forum) find a way around it.

Yes, you CAN brew without a hydrometer. Don't bother counting bubbles though. A leaky seal will through you off every time. A hydrometer is your BEST insight on what your yeast are doing. It's only $15 bucks or less. It will be your best friend.

AToE
11-08-2009, 03:08 PM
They also drastically reduce the danger of creating bottle bombs (which is not a figure of speach by the way, bomb means bomb. Thanksfully haven't had the issue myself!).

Medsen Fey
11-08-2009, 03:28 PM
Fermenting with out a hydrometer is like flying blindfolded. It is easy to do, but may give you some unpleasant outcomes. This thread (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14440) discusses the subject more.

shmoab
11-09-2009, 01:19 PM
Does anybody know where I can find the steps for the steps for the "Nectar of the Goddess" Valhalla Vanilla Metheglin? They're not listed in the recipe section nor does it indicate it's for patrons only.

wayneb
11-09-2009, 01:36 PM
shmoab, since you are new to Gotmead you may not be aware that "cross posting," or asking the same question in two or more threads here, is frowned on. It becomes a problem both for the folks who are answering (we do get tired of repeating ourselves), and for tracking complete answers to questions (it is difficult enough to find stuff in the archives without having to combine the responses provided in two or more threads to get the complete picture). So, in the future, ask your question once and you can be sure that we'll do our best to provide you with as much information as we can in our answers.

That said, I now recommend that you follow Oskaar's suggestion in the other thread where you asked about this recipe.

shmoab
11-10-2009, 12:53 AM
That's hilarious. Believe me, it wasn't intentional. I thought I posted it in this thread, but for some reason it was deleted.

And, yes, I'm well aware of the annoyance of cross posting.

wayneb
11-10-2009, 01:07 AM
No worries! Forum gremlins must be at work again! ;D

Oskaar
11-10-2009, 08:25 AM
That's hilarious. Believe me, it wasn't intentional. I thought I posted it in this thread, but for some reason it was deleted.

And, yes, I'm well aware of the annoyance of cross posting.

Nope, no gremlins just an Oskaar.

I moved your original post off of a thread that had died down and was mostly about tallow honey, although cotton honey was in the OP's message.

cheers,

Oskaar

shmoab
11-12-2009, 12:29 AM
If a recipe calls for 20g of hops would that also mean 20g of saaz pellet hops?

wayneb
11-12-2009, 12:39 AM
Pellet hops are closely equivalent to whole dry hops in bittering. You might get more aroma from the whole hops, but in general use the same weight of pellets as you would whole.

shmoab
11-12-2009, 02:22 AM
How long will yeast keep after it's been re-hydrated? I just made two 1 gallon jugs of must. I used one packet of Lalvin EC1118, added water but didn't add it to the first jug for approximately 25 minutes. On the second jug it was a little longer, since I still had to make the wort, about 45 minutes. Then during clean up I glanced at the packet and read the complete instructions (I stopped the first time after I got the gist of mixing it), how not to keep it in the activation medium too long.

Oh yeah another question. Would two teaspoons of nutrient hurt if it only calls for one? I couldn't remember if I added one to a batch so I added one just in case.

Thanks guys!

Oskaar
11-12-2009, 03:54 AM
As long as you are under 30-40 min (40 is really pushing it) according to Lalvin/Lallemand you will be OK. Ideally I don't go past 30. Doing so will stress the yeast since by that time they've consumed the rehydration bionutrients that are part of the ADY package.

cheers,

Oskaar

wildoates
11-12-2009, 04:14 AM
They really are little microscopic pigs, aren't they?

shmoab
11-12-2009, 03:13 PM
Just checked. They're both fermenting fine.

Just bought a hydrometer. What's the best way to use it? Plop it in the fermenter or extract some out?

wayneb
11-12-2009, 03:54 PM
I generally remove some using a long tube called a wine thief, and measure the gravity of a column of the must in the storage tube that the hydrometer comes in. I'll also check pH using a small amount of the same sample.

That way, after the measurements if there is any remaining I have a sample all set for tasting! ;D

shmoab
11-20-2009, 01:58 AM
I recently made a 6gal batch of JAO. I've been following the rules to a T. I am curious though. Has anybody done things here and there to improve or help it along? I have the urge to punch down the fruit to move it around a bit.

fatbloke
11-20-2009, 04:23 AM
Just checked. They're both fermenting fine.

Just bought a hydrometer. What's the best way to use it? Plop it in the fermenter or extract some out?
well it depends on how anal or maybe hygienic you want to be.....

Some will use a wine thief, others a syphon tube (some frown on that as basic syphons need to be sucked with the mouth to start - others buy an auto syphon etc), some (me) have a turkey baster that's dedicated to winemaking....

Yes, you can, of course, put the sanitised hydrometer straight into the fermenter, but DJ's/carboys can make it hard to take a reading properly and it can be difficult to get it back out of them as well.


I recently made a 6gal batch of JAO. I've been following the rules to a T. I am curious though. Has anybody done things here and there to improve or help it along? I have the urge to punch down the fruit to move it around a bit.
If it's your first batch then I'd suggest that you follow the instructions to the letter..... that way you've got a benchmark to work to.

I make most of my meads in 1 gallon batches anyway, so there's no cost issue in making the original recipe or variations of it. That way, once you achieve the flavour you enjoy most, you can then scale it up......

regards

fatbloke

shmoab
11-25-2009, 02:04 AM
I think I have an impending stall or I'm worrying too much.
I'm only getting one bubble every 30 seconds out of the airlock.

3lbs blackberry honey
1 inch of Madagascar vanilla been
1 tsp nutrient
1/2 tsp acid
1/2 packet (est) Lalvin EC-118

This was a no-boil method. I pitched yeast that had been activated for 25 mins. I don't think that's the problem, though, because my other gallon batch is still going strong and it had the other half of the packet, after 45 mins of activation.
Maybe it could be the vanilla bean. All I did with that was take it out jar, cut it up and throw it in the must. I probably should have washed it.

Opinions?

wildaho
11-25-2009, 02:40 AM
Don't rely on bubble count for a reliable measure of how well your fermentation is progressing. A hydrometer is your best friend! If you can tell us your starting gravity and your current gravity, we can offer you better advice.

Also, do you have a means for measuring the pH of your must? The addition of acid blend up front like this may have driven your pH too low (below 3.2). Most people here agree that acid additions up front are unnecessary and can easily lead to a stuck fermentation. Add acid in secondary only after fermentation is complete. And then taste things first. You might find that you don't really need it all.

So: get us some gravity readings and a pH reading as well (if possible)

:cheers:
Wade

shmoab
11-25-2009, 03:03 AM
Unfortunately, I didn't get a reading when I made it.
The reading I just took was 1.080. The taste is just awful. I couldn't do more than a sip and that was pushing it. It really made me want to puke. The smell is fine, though.

Medsen Fey
11-25-2009, 10:27 AM
Was that awful taste just because it is sickeningly sweet, or was there another problem? Fermenting mead often tastes nasty. How old is this batch that is stalling?

What temperature are you maintaining for the fermentation? Cold slows things way down.

Wildaho's point about the acid is a good one. If you can check the pH it may be very helpful. EC-1118 can often work in a very acidic environment but it slows down dramatically and takes a long time to get going.

shmoab
11-25-2009, 01:21 PM
It was not a sweet taste at all, reminded me of stomach acid without the burn. Nasty I know.
It's been maintained at 75-80 degrees.

Medsen Fey
11-25-2009, 01:28 PM
75-80 is very warm to keep a fermenting mead. It will produce a real foul tasting mead full of fusel alcohols and medicinal phenolic character that will take years to mellow. In any cases, unless you had some high temperature spike that damaged the yeast, the temp is not the cause for your slow fermentation.

The acidity suggests pH problems. Again, how long has this been fermenting?

shmoab
11-25-2009, 02:55 PM
That's as low as I can get it right now. I don't think it gets below 75 degrees in Phoenix. Hell, I had to use the A/C two days ago. lol
I pitched the yeast 14 days ago.

Medsen Fey
11-26-2009, 01:23 PM
You can use a water bath and a T-shirt to make a swamp cooler that will lower the temp quite effectively in a desert climate. There is a chart (http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/home/heating_cooling/evaporative.html) that outlines the temperature effect (scroll down that page).

If you cannot control the temp - yeast selection becomes important. K1V may be a better choice. In the Patron's area there is a high temperature fermentation comparion called the HotMead Yeast Test (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12645&highlight=hotmead+yeast+test) that you might find interesting if you plan on fermenting at these temps.

shmoab
12-01-2009, 02:20 AM
Do you think adding nutrient will get the yeast going or should I just write this batch off?

Medsen Fey
12-01-2009, 10:23 AM
If you were to write off every batch of mead that tastes harsh during fermentation, you may never get any. I would see if I could get it to finish. You can add a bit more nutrient, but I don't think that is your problem - EC-1118 is capable of fermenting with few nutrients. Your last gravity reading was 1.080 on 11/25/09

What is the current gravity?
How many days has this been fermenting?
Any luck borrowing a pH meter (or getting some strips)?

shmoab
12-02-2009, 12:10 AM
Thanks, Medsen. I'll get some strips and post the results.

On another note. Are the benefits of the patron membership worth the money? I know it's only $25 but I've become frugal in these hard-economic-times. ;) Does it offer anything I can't already find in the open forums?

wayneb
12-02-2009, 12:18 AM
On another note. Are the benefits of the patron membership worth the money? I know it's only $25 but I've become frugal in these hard-economic-times. ;) Does it offer anything I can't already find in the open forums?

I think so, but as always YMMV. If you become a Patron you will have access to all the recipes on the site (the best ones are available only to Patrons), and as well you'll be able to read the Patrons forums, which often include far more technical detail than can be found in the general access threads (including some analysis and data directly from Ken Schramm). I'd say that if you want to get more serious about your meadmaking, it is a small investment to make for a great return. And you help Vicky to keep the site up, since she supports this place entirely out of pocket, with the exception of a small amount from advertising and the Patron subscriptions.

Medsen Fey
12-02-2009, 10:44 AM
What is the current gravity?
How many days has this been fermenting?


Shmoab, it would be really helpful to see where the gravity is now.


On another note. Are the benefits of the patron membership worth the money? I know it's only $25 but I've become frugal in these hard-economic-times.

My opinion may be skewed, but I don't think you can invest $25 in any better way if you want to improve your mead making. Oskaar's recipes alone are worth the price. Wayneb's brewlogs, likewise. There is a wealth of information there that could easily easily fill a huge book, and it costs less than a gallon of honey. It is the best $25 I've spent on mead.

AToE
12-02-2009, 01:19 PM
I personally consider the 25$ fee a two-birds-with-one-stone type payment. If you want seriously good looking recipes, they're in there. Even if you don't use them, the ideas and understanding I've gained just from reading them over and over are great to have. Like Medsen said as well, reading the brewlogs of people who really have a rock solid grasp on fermentation managment is also great.

Secondly, even before I went into the patrons section, this website had saved me a lot of money and frustration. Without the mead calculator and newbee guide and basic help in the non-patron forums from the mead mentors, I would have probably ended up with stalled meads and bottle bombs. So that 25$ helps pay for this entire website, and in my case has already paid for itself five or six fold in honey I didn't waste, without even considering the content in the patrons area.

How's that for an "un"-biased plug?!;)

shmoab
12-08-2009, 02:51 AM
Shmoab, it would be really helpful to see where the gravity is now.



It has been fermenting 28 days. The SG is 1.006 and the PH is 3.6. The fermentation has all but stopped in both my 1 gal. batches. They have a similar taste, not sweet at all, even though they were prepared differently.
The temp. has been ~65 degrees for about 10 days.


I just checked my first batch. It's 1.020, ph 3.4 and tastes and looks great. Cheered me up after those stalls.

Can someone recommend a mead making book?

AToE
12-08-2009, 04:16 AM
Yup, The Complete Mead Maker by a prominant member here, Ken Schramm.:)

Medsen Fey
12-08-2009, 10:13 AM
It has been fermenting 28 days. The SG is 1.006 and the PH is 3.6.

If this is the batch with EC-1118, keep watching it. The gravity should continue to slowly drop down to below 1.000.

shmoab
12-11-2009, 01:13 AM
Concerning my first batch.

SG 1.014.

Would it be dishonest to my mead if I racked some out, a bottle or two, for Christmas toast? If not. Should I rack it now?

AToE
12-11-2009, 02:50 AM
EC1118 and anything above near-dry is a recipe for bombs if bottled without adding stabilizing chemicals. I can't really say how your mead is tasting, but generally anything under 2 months is "passable" at best, terrible more likely.

The explosion issue is a bigger one than taste at this point, but yes, you are likely to give people a seriously flawed impression of mead by drinking it this early.

Patience is tough, I know. I have a 5 month old mead I'd really been hoping would be ready for xmas this year, but it isn't - and I just have to accept that family will have to wait to taste my new hobby.:(


...also, you say 1.014... but earlier you say 1.006 which is lower! I may be confused...

EDIT: wait, reading back through your posts I'm confused, are you talking about the JAO you made with bakers yeast? If so, wait for someone else to tell you if it's safe, and ignore me - I know nothing about that recipe but I know that yeast is less likely to blow up bottles. If it's the EC1118 recipe then my advice is ok!

shmoab
12-12-2009, 01:03 AM
EC1118 and anything above near-dry is a recipe for bombs if bottled without adding stabilizing chemicals. I can't really say how your mead is tasting, but generally anything under 2 months is "passable" at best, terrible more likely.

The explosion issue is a bigger one than taste at this point, but yes, you are likely to give people a seriously flawed impression of mead by drinking it this early.

Patience is tough, I know. I have a 5 month old mead I'd really been hoping would be ready for xmas this year, but it isn't - and I just have to accept that family will have to wait to taste my new hobby.:(


...also, you say 1.014... but earlier you say 1.006 which is lower! I may be confused...

EDIT: wait, reading back through your posts I'm confused, are you talking about the JAO you made with bakers yeast? If so, wait for someone else to tell you if it's safe, and ignore me - I know nothing about that recipe but I know that yeast is less likely to blow up bottles. If it's the EC1118 recipe then my advice is ok!

My first batch is 1.014. My two 1 gallon batches are 1.006. I haven't even checked my JAO batch.
But, yes, wait. Got ya. I knew I started it late for Christmastime. Oh well. Scratch that, I know what to do. Buy a bottle of mead and pour it into a mason jar. lol j/k

shmoab
12-12-2009, 08:52 PM
What is the best way to add just honey into fermenting must?

Step 8 on this recipe. http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_rapidrecipe&page=viewrecipe&recipe_id=238&Itemid=459

Thanks!

Dan McFeeley
12-13-2009, 01:03 PM
Two ways -- just add the honey directly, then stir vigorously with a long handled, sanitized, plastic spoon. It takes a bit of effort, but it'll work.

You can also dilute the honey with water, just enough to make it less viscous, then add and stir with the sanitized long handled spoon.

--

shmoab
12-13-2009, 11:22 PM
If you were to write off every batch of mead that tastes harsh during fermentation, you may never get any.



Awesome advice. Thank god I followed it. They both, in just this short amount of time, taste a lot better.

shmoab
12-13-2009, 11:30 PM
Concerning this recipe http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_rapidrecipe&page=viewrecipe&recipe_id=14&Itemid=459

After the first rack and honey addition I should expect more fermentation. Correct? How vigorous should it be and what should I do if it doesn't start fermenting again?

shmoab
12-14-2009, 02:52 AM
Can someone recommend a Cider brewing book?

Thanks!

crowquill
12-14-2009, 07:14 AM
Ben Watson's Cider, Hard and Sweet (http://www.amazon.com/Cider-Hard-Sweet-History-Traditions/dp/0881508195/) is a good book on cider-making.

shmoab
12-15-2009, 12:40 AM
A few more questions. I'll take a break after this. ;)

http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_rapidrecipe&page=viewrecipe&recipe_id=14&Itemid=459

After the first rack the directions called for a honey and water addition. I did both a few days ago and fermentation is very slow going, if at all.
SG 1.002, 3.6 before
SG 1.026, 3.6 after

http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_rapidrecipe&page=viewrecipe&recipe_id=238&Itemid=459

Pretty much the same question here. I added a pound of honey and a little water plus 1/4 tsp of yeast nutrient and stirred. It hasn't even begun fermenting. The airlock is level on both sides.
SG 1.000, 3.6 before
SG 1.038, 3.6 after

Both recipes indicate continued fermentation and I don't have any action. Should I add some energizer or more yeast or?
Do I just need more patience? It's hard to have as a type A, let me tell ya.

wayneb
12-15-2009, 11:43 AM
Hmmm... well, that's one of the older "heritage" recipes on the site, and as such it specifies things that we don't recommend any more. The first is (obviously to anyone who's been reading here for any length of time) that we don't suggest pasteurizing honey any more - it isn't necessary. The other issue is the late honey addition. That's called "step feeding" around here, and although it is necessary for some special high gravity styles (for example, a Polish Poltorak), it can be problematic because that late addition of sugar can cause your yeast to go into osmotic shock. That can stick the fermentation, or if you're lucky, it will just stall for a few days until the yeast adjust to that radical change in their environment.

Since the initial gravity is rather low (at 1.070), I would expect fermentation to start up for you again -- it will just take longer than a Type-A is usually comfortable with! ;D

If it hasn't cranked up after an additional 3-4 days have elapsed (i.e. give it a full week), then let us know.

shmoab
12-30-2009, 01:31 AM
Still nothing on both batches.

The Vanilla batch is
SG 1.034 PH 3.4

Holiday batch is
SG 1.046 PH 3.4

Medsen Fey
12-30-2009, 11:08 AM
The first batch (Vanilla Metheglin) is supposed to stay sweet. The FG in the recipe is 1.045 so you are in the right general range and it isn't expected to go dry. I'd say you're done. Just make sure to let it clear and sit for a few weeks to make sure it doesn't ferment any further.

Your second batch seems to be stuck. Did you follow the recipe using that specific yeast? Did the temp get too high? Since the pH seem okay, you can try adding some yeast hulls - 1 gram per gallon - which bind up yeast inhibitors.

If that doesn't help, you can try pitching another yeast that has been acclimated to the must. It isn't easy, but it can work. I'd use Uvaferm 43, but if you don't have it available, EC-1118 may do the job. Hightest's restart instructions (http://home.comcast.net/~mzapx1/FAQ/StuckFerm.pdf) are good to follow.

I hope that helps.

Medsen

shmoab
01-12-2010, 04:13 AM
I just made a cyser. Actually it was a cider that got turned into a cyser.
I can sometimes be a little naive. I thought (I have yet to buy a book) that all you need to make cider is apple juice and yeast. That's what I did, pitched a packet of yeast into 6 gals of preservative free, store bought, apple juice. LOL
Luckily,the next day I told a friend who's more experienced in home-brewing. He told me it needed sugar, so, I added 8lbs honey and 1 lbs of brown sugar.
I'm right at the rim of the bucket, nothing more can be added unless I rack some to a jug.
What do you think? Specifically. Is that enough sugar for a decent tasting cyser?

6 gals apple juice from concentrate
8 lbs honey
1 lbs brown sugar
small amount oak chips (~1/8 cup loose)
12oz frozen concentrate apple juice, thawed
2 tsp yeast nutrient
EC118 yeast (~7/8 packet, used the other 1/8 as a re-starter)

SG 1.080 PH ~3.4



Question 2
Do you think 1 vial of WLP720 will be enough for 6 gallons of this Kyiv Mead recipe, http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_rapidrecipe&page=viewrecipe&recipe_id=21&Itemid=459?
SG ~1.138


As always, thank you!

slowbie
01-12-2010, 11:29 AM
He told me it needed sugar, so, I added 8lbs honey and 1 lbs of brown sugar.

Just to play devil's advocate here, I have a friend that makes a batch of cider every fall and he never adds any sugar, just adds yeast to fresh cider from a local orchard. He loves it because it's easy and he loves the results. In fact, he has told me that he thinks people who add extra sugar to their cider are crazy.

AToE
01-12-2010, 12:45 PM
I can't imagine why you would need to add sugar, all the apple juice I've taken SG readings on have had enough sugar already in them to go to 6% or 7% ABV.

Maybe he meant sugar for backsweetening before kegging, or for priming before bottling?

shmoab
01-12-2010, 01:54 PM
So I was right? Damn it. I went cheap on the apple juice anyway. I'll buy some decent cider from a health foods store and try it again. It will be better when my cider book gets here too.

I can't wait to rub this in his face. He adamant about adding sugars to feed the yeast, not for back sweetening.

AToE
01-12-2010, 02:05 PM
Maybe with some specific type of apple with a very low sugar content you might need to beef up the SG to get the ABV to where you want it, but other than that he might have confused yeasts needing nutrient with sugar, which will obviously just up the alcohol.

shmoab
01-14-2010, 02:32 AM
Can someone recommend a beer brewing book? Thanks!

slowbie
01-14-2010, 10:02 AM
How to Brew by John Palmer is generally accepted as one of the best brewing books for beginners (at least by the brewers I know). The best part is that the first edition is free online at http://howtobrew.com

shmoab
01-18-2010, 02:54 AM
My batch of JAO has been at 1.044 PH ~3.4 for over a week. It's also very cloudy. I've been reading and understand it has a finish SG around 1.025-1.035. What do you guys think? Any suggestions on the next step to take?

I have, up to the first gravity reading, followed the recipe to a T. This is a 6gal batch. No initial reading either.


Thanks!


Upon further reading. It seems like my options are to try and restart, per the instructions Medsen posted earlier, or enjoy it as is. But what about the clarity, I got that the fermentation is stuck but why won't it clear? Anyway.
Unless someone suggests otherwise, I'm going to make a restarter and try to get it going again. Which yeast Fleischman's or EC-1118?

shmoab
02-01-2010, 03:40 PM
Here's the finished product.
It tastes so good. I definitely like the dry meads.


Thanks, again, for your help!
;)

http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n109/shmoab/18031_1272550347767_1650151450_7047.jpg

Medsen Fey
02-01-2010, 05:26 PM
Very nice! (I like the Zork too).

It looks like you have the fixins for your next batch in the background! :)