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dover157
10-29-2010, 01:39 AM
......... Is something I am lacking. I have yet to have any meads that are ready to drink, but I get to check on this every day (sometimes 3-4 times)
http://i862.photobucket.com/albums/ab187/dover157/Fun/firewood2010002-1.jpg
From left to right, #1 Crabapple Cyser, #2 Apple Cyser, #3 Apple Black Cherry Cider, and 2 batches of JAO ( the one in the front is SWMBO's holiday cranberry version in the apple shaped carboy she has claimed:rolleyes:)
The JAO's are about ready to bottle will prolly do that on sunday. May have a small sample at that time to see how they are going. The others are a ways out, and im already jonesing to get my primary back in service........ need more honey:(.

wayneb
10-29-2010, 09:12 AM
One trick is to get a new batch going every month. That way, once you've gone through the initial waiting period, they'll begin to get to drinkability on a somewhat regular schedule and then you'll almost never be without a mead to sample.

crimsondrac
10-29-2010, 11:03 AM
Kinda hard to tell from picture. Are those mostly 1 Gallon batches?

dover157
10-29-2010, 11:07 AM
Crimsondrac, yes is all 1 gal except for the black cherry, had a little more so I got a stopper for the 1 pint bottle the cherry juice came in so it was not wasted. Hopefully I will be moving up to 5 gal batches soon just need more $$ lol

AToE
10-29-2010, 12:32 PM
I love having way too many batches on the go. I hate trying to keep all the airlocks full of water (and not full of mold) but other than that it's great. Patience becomes very easy all of a sudden when you can't even remember all of what you have aging! Before the idea of waiting more than 5 months to bottle was impossible to me, now I have no issue at all letting them sit as long as they seem to need to.

icedmetal
10-29-2010, 01:58 PM
You get mold in your airlocks? :eek: That has never ever happened to me, and I'd be rightly freaked out by such an occurrence. Do you have a lot of nasties floating around in your air or something?

One thing to keep in mind when you move to 5 gallon batches: that itch to start another doesn't get smaller when your batches get bigger. At least for me it didn't. Which is why I've got 80+ gallons aging right now, all of my racks full, and another 30 gallons sitting on the floor waiting for rack space to open up. ;D I can't start anymore now till I bottle some, I've finally run out of carboys.

AToE
10-29-2010, 02:09 PM
You get mold in your airlocks? :eek: That has never ever happened to me, and I'd be rightly freaked out by such an occurrence. Do you have a lot of nasties floating around in your air or something?



Yeah, a black mold that starts growing usually around 4 or 5 months in. I should switch to using vodka in my airlocks, but I already am too lazy to keep topping them up. Maybe if I can find some pure vegitable glycerin I'll use that instead.

Jestig
10-29-2010, 02:10 PM
I love having way too many batches on the go. I hate trying to keep all the airlocks full of water (and not full of mold) but other than that it's great. Patience becomes very easy all of a sudden when you can't even remember all of what you have aging! Before the idea of waiting more than 5 months to bottle was impossible to me, now I have no issue at all letting them sit as long as they seem to need to.

I use Vodka instead of water. Dont have to fill it up as much and keeps everything a bit cleaner.

icedmetal
10-29-2010, 02:16 PM
Have you considered putting in an air purifier where you store your meads? It would be more costly than using vodka in the airlocks, but would have the added side benefit of perhaps removing some/all of the air contaminants.

AToE
10-29-2010, 02:22 PM
Honestly, unless I boil all my water as well I don't know if it'd be worth it. I've never had a spoiled batch, so I'm not really paranoid about it, sometimes I even wait weeks before cleaning out the airlocks when I see the mold. I'm pretty lazy.

Vodka is probably the way I'll go eventually.

wayneb
10-29-2010, 03:53 PM
Star-san also works in airlocks, and keeps the mildew at bay.

AToE
10-29-2010, 04:01 PM
I thought about iodophor, but that stuff seems to evaporate out of solution within a week or two.

Chevette Girl
10-29-2010, 07:48 PM
I use my suphite solution in my airlocks but every now and then one will either go black, go white and gunky or start collecting fruit flies... so yeah, it does evaporate eventually... oh, and just started my 40th gallon of 2010... and celebrated by buying three new airlocks... :)

huntfishtrap
10-29-2010, 11:12 PM
The main reason I use vodka, is that I read somewhere that it is possible for a large barametric or temp change to cause you solution to suck back into your fermentor. I don't even want sanitizer to go back in there.

Paul

Chevette Girl
10-30-2010, 12:01 AM
If your airlock is filled to the proper level it shouldn't backwash into your must... the air should just bubble through.

dover157
10-30-2010, 09:00 AM
Got home last night and both of the JAO's were crystal clear, so I thought it would be a good time to rack / bottle them. Stupid bread yeast stirs up to easy, the trip from the spare room to the kitchen was enough to cloud them up again. Left them sitting on the table with a towel around them to settle, will try it again tonight. Since I had my racking cane sanitized and ready to go I pulled a small sample for tasting. The first one I made tasted horrible, hot, sour, needs lots of time to age. The one my wife modified with cranberries and extra spices is quite good already, should be great by the holidays which is what she wanted...... typical, I get into a new hobby and she blows me out of the gate on the first lap lol.

Chevette Girl
10-31-2010, 01:49 AM
I know the feeling, the only reason my husband isn't better than me at everything I do is because he's not interested in doing half of it... :D

AToE
10-31-2010, 02:45 AM
Same here, my girl would be kicking my butt, but she loses interest (started making kombucha and hasn't drank a single batch yet, she just keeps feeding this truely frighteningly huge kombucha colony...).

Tannin Boy
10-31-2010, 09:21 AM
Stupid bread yeast stirs up to easy, the trip from the spare room to the kitchen was enough to cloud them up again.

This has been my biggest complaint about the process:mad:
This year I am testing a theory and should have a reasonable answer
by spring time 2011. I decided to test a conical Fermenter with a dump valve
for the yeast / lee's disposal / racking and re-racking PITA part?



The one my wife modified with cranberries and extra spices is quite good already, should be great by the holidays which is what she wanted...... typical, I get into a new hobby and she blows me out of the gate on the first lap lol.

Yep, the cranberry Mel is one that I have been fooling with since I started this journey. It can be an incredibly fast finisher and ready within 3 months to drink, which is a plus for someone who doesn't have reserve's in storage to get one through the waiting period of recent batches.;D

TB

dover157
11-02-2010, 12:05 PM
Well I got the JAO's bottled, put one of each batch in a 750 ml bottle corked (first time using a corker...... ugly but sealed) put the rest in flip top bottles for sampling. The 3 batches of cider / cyser are comming along nicely and the black cherry is already verry good and keeps getting better. I have been reading some of the posts about the malted cyser and thinking that is something I would like to try for my next batch. I asked for advice at the LHBS that is closest to the house and got the dog listening to a high pitched sound response..... Will have to try the other store later in the week, is a 60 mile one way drive but is pretty through the mountains. Hopefully will be worth it. Cheers.

icedmetal
11-02-2010, 01:25 PM
(first time using a corker...... ugly but sealed)

Keep in mind that it's easy to practice with a corker, and getting them pushed in to just the right level does wonders for the looks of your finished product. Make sure you fill the practice wine bottle with water to the appropriate level to ensure you're adjusting your corker correctly.

I used to have corks sticking 1/4 of the way out of the bottle sometimes. :eek:

Chevette Girl
11-02-2010, 01:38 PM
You may also have to adjust your corker depending on the corks, I've had some that slide right in and some that I practically had to jump up and down on the corker to get them in and often they'd leave up to half an inch sticking out when the corker puts them right where they belong when I use the other corks... needless to say I don't get the PITA corks anymore!

icedmetal
11-02-2010, 05:39 PM
Very true; you must adjust the corker each time you switch cork varieties.

One other thing worth noting: corks that have been soaked for awhile (30-60 min) do seem to go in a little easier than those that have not. Keep this in mind, and practice with corks that have been soaked, since you should ALWAYS be soaking your corks at bottling time, with some sort of sanitizing element involved. A crushed campden tablet does the trick nicely, as does boiling, etc etc.

Medsen Fey
11-02-2010, 05:53 PM
Keep this in mind, and practice with corks that have been soaked, since you should ALWAYS be soaking your corks at bottling time, with some sort of sanitizing element involved.

Actually the manufacturers generally recommend that you put them in dry. They have a thin coating to help them go in and stay secure which can be removed by soaking or boiling. This can also cause corks to swell and make them more difficult to go in. It is also possible that boiling or soaking may lead to premature decay of the cork for long aging.

When the manufacturers deliver a bag (of 1,000) they are sealed in with SO2 to keep them sanitary. Since we usually buy them in smaller lots that have been repackaged, I can understand wanting to give them some treatment 'cause you don't know where those corks have been. :o

What I will do (most of the time) is dip them in sanitizer for a quick rinse just before I put them in the corker. I can say that batches where I just put them in dry have had not spoilage issues or any problem that I have seen.

If you find the corks aren't compressing easily, you probably should be purchasing corks that are "fresher". Also, a floor corker will make all the difference in the world. If you don't want to buy one, you may be able to rent or borrow one from a LHBS. If I didn't have a floor corker, I'd use crown caps or Zorks.

icedmetal
11-02-2010, 06:46 PM
I've got a floor corker, but I don't bother; never had much issue with the corks themselves, just with a badly-adjusted corker.

I guess I stand corrected on soaking them... but I'm sticking to my guns on the sanitizing! :P

Chevette Girl
11-03-2010, 01:29 AM
I've got a floor corker, but I don't bother; never had much issue with the corks themselves, just with a badly-adjusted corker.

I guess I stand corrected on soaking them... but I'm sticking to my guns on the sanitizing! :P

I used to boil mine (I'm told this is also bad, degrades the coatings) because softening them that way was the only way I could get the darned things in (even that didn't work with those damned rubber coated ones where I had to get my knees onto the corker handles so I could use my whole weight), but I recently discovered that this newer batch of corks go in just fine if I just rinse them in sulphite solution. And I totally agree, there's NO WAY I'm putting a repackaged cork into my bottle to touch my precious wine/mead without making sure it's been sanitized. Maybe if I'm the one that opened the factory package, but I don't trust anyone else's lab procedures.

YogiBearMead726
11-03-2010, 11:24 AM
Sorry to go back to the whole "using vodka in airlocks" thing...I was just curious to know if there is some way to prevent the vodka from evaporating by adding a thin layer of oil or something that would form a layer above the vodka, keeping it from evaporating? Anyone use a trick like this?

Medsen Fey
11-03-2010, 11:30 AM
You can use glycerine in an airlock and it won't evaporate.