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Tiwas
01-30-2011, 07:34 PM
Hi guys,

First of all - who took that picture for the absinth ad? Ok, I admin I want to try it, but...moving the lense away from the naked lady?? :eek:

Anyway - I'm pretty new to this stuff. I've made a couple of batches before. One was really good, and the other was...well...awful doesn't really describe it :p Anyway, in a month's time I'll be ready to do another batch and I'm currently reading The Compleat Meadmaker to get all my basics covered. There are a couple of things in that book that goes against everything else I've read about brewing, so hopefully you can clear it up for me. :)

In particular, it is in the later part of the fermentation chapter Schramm suggests stirring different agents into the mead to reduce ph or add sweetness, but from what I've read that will aerate and spoil the mead - won't it? Or is this mainly a problem for lower alcohol drinks like beer? Honey is really expensive here in Norway, and I don't think I'll enjoy spoiling a $500 batch just because of bad advice or any misconceptions I might have.

Thanks!

Lars

TDMooney
01-30-2011, 07:52 PM
welcome to gotmead? !

lightly stirring the mead to add different additives wont necisarily incorporate enough oxygen to oxidize your mead, just make sure to be gentle

mmclean
01-30-2011, 07:57 PM
Hi there Tiwas,

Welcome to "GOTMEAD?"

Well you stopped it to the right place. The Mead Mentors here are the best.

Yeah, some of the things in Kens book are dated, but others are still ahead of the regular brew pack. If you ever doubt something your about to do, just post up a question and someone will be along shortly with some good advice. Your meads are safe.

With meads, it is a good idea to aerate once or twice a day untill the 1/3 sugar break. After that a gentle stirring once a day is good until ferment is done.

I would recommend you read through the newbee guide, found in the tool bar to your left, for some updated info. Also use the search tool at the top of the page, for some real indepth treads.

Happy Meadcrafting.

Tiwas
01-30-2011, 08:03 PM
Thanks - especially for the quick reply! The closest thing we got to a beer forum here in Norway (I mean - seriously! If there's one nation where everybody should know everything about mead, surely that would be here...) is a thread in a beer brewer forum. And that' titled something along the lines of " A fun experiment with mead". Says it all... ;)

I'll be spending some time at work tomorrow (my boss has too much to do, and I have to wait for him ;) ), but if you could be so nice as to explain what the "sugar break" is that would be excellent! Also, by aerate, I guess you're referring to the light stirring...?...

Cheers!

fatbloke
01-30-2011, 08:20 PM
Hi guys,

First of all - who took that picture for the absinth ad? Ok, I admin I want to try it, but...moving the lense away from the naked lady?? :eek:

Anyway - I'm pretty new to this stuff. I've made a couple of batches before. One was really good, and the other was...well...awful doesn't really describe it :p Anyway, in a month's time I'll be ready to do another batch and I'm currently reading The Compleat Meadmaker to get all my basics covered. There are a couple of things in that book that goes against everything else I've read about brewing, so hopefully you can clear it up for me. :)
Hum? Maybe.....


In particular, it is in the later part of the fermentation chapter Schramm suggests stirring different agents into the mead to reduce ph or add sweetness, but from what I've read that will aerate and spoil the mead - won't it? Or is this mainly a problem for lower alcohol drinks like beer? Honey is really expensive here in Norway, and I don't think I'll enjoy spoiling a $500 batch just because of bad advice or any misconceptions I might have.

Thanks!

LarsReduce the pH ? Do you mean reduce the acidity - which increases the pH (higher numbers) or increase the acidity which reduces the pH (lower numbers ?

Meads, will often when the must has been mixed without any acid additions already be low enough to be Ok. There's a few ranges suggested in a number of threads that suggest a pH in the region of 3.5 while it's often been noted, with frequent testing, that the pH in mead musts can swing wildly during the ferment, though much below 3.2 can cause a problem to the yeast. If so, then there's a few additives that can be used to increase the pH and reduce acidity - never had to use any myself though.

Aeration is a little different. If you take a gravity reading before pitching the yeast, for example 1.090 and you figure that "finished" is about the 1.000 area, then musts that are aerated by stirring (or liquidising a blender full or even pumping air or pure O2 though the must) daily (some say twice daily) until you hit the 1/3rd sugar break - which using my example would be 1.060 helps the yeast multiply better and the yeast colony to grow nice and strongly - the 1/3rd sugar break number is also significant when adding staggered nutrient additions.

The staggered additions, I'll use the example of using a yeast and nutrients from Lalvin - so you've made your must, then you rehydrate the yeast with either a little must, water and GoFerm (a nutrient specifically designed for rehydration of yeast) or GoFerm, water and a little sugar or maybe orange juice. Once it's rehydrated and showing some foaming, it can be added to the must. Then if you worked out the requirement for "yeast assimilable nitrogen" (YAN), you could (as is often done/shown and posted about here) split the nutrient into 2 and add the first part once the yeast in the must has started to show signs of fermentation, which indicate the end of the "lag phase", then add the rest of it at the 1/3 sugar break. Of course, if you don't have the lalvin nutrients, or di-ammonium phosphate (DAP), but something like a combined nutrient (Fermax, Tronozymol, etc...... depends what's available locally or what you mail order in), then you can just rehydrate the yeast in water, add that and when the must is showing some signs of fermentation, add half the amount of nutrient then and the other half at the 1/3rd break.

There should be no problem adding stuff or stirring/aerating at that stage.

If you start a ferment in a bucket, as a lot of people do and then at the 1/3rd break (or even later, some use the 2/3rds break as a guide) move it over into a carboy type fermenter and make sure that the must has the minimum of airspace, again the possibility of oxidation is avoided.

So no problem there.

Now it does seem that meads don't have quite the same oxidation problems that other wines have, but that's not to say that you shouldn't take care.

Once the ferment is over, logic dictates that care should be taken when racking to prevent too much air exposure. Similarly, if you have to add something to sweeten it, like honey, then mix it 50/50 with water, so you have greater control over how much sweetness is added and that you don't need to mix the hell out of it to get the sweetener into the solution fully.

The same applies to adding other additives. Powdered type ones can be mixed with a little of the finished ferment before adding them, then there's only a tiny amount that might have got exposed to air.

De-gassing is an issue for some, because if you don't have access to some kind of vacuum pump (hand pump or powered), then a usual method is to agitate the wine/mead, using a metal stick with folding prongs on it, which is in turn put into a drill and spun that way which moves the wine around helping to take the CO2 out of solution.

Of course, you can always bottle it once it's cleared and sweetened (if necessary of course) and then use a "vacu-vin" pump on the bottle before corking/capping it....

Most of this stuff is already in Kens book. He does know his meads etc, so if he mentions something in the book that is counter to "normal" methods used with, say beer, then if you follow his advice you can't really go wrong. His book is aimed at the US market, but it's not hard to just modify a few of the ingredients to fit the local supply and still produce some excellent meads......

regards

fatbloke

Mitchbailey
09-20-2014, 11:51 AM
I have a small batch of still mead that doesn't seem to want to clear as well. I pasteurized this batch and used a new yeast so I'm not sure if this has had a bearing. Even fining didn't seem to work. I'm not sure if I stirred enough or not. I've stirred many wines to aid in clarification and so I'm giving it another shot. I know once bottled it won't clear and cold crashing is not an option for me in my apartment. Any ideas?

GntlKnigt1
09-21-2014, 10:13 AM
Is it a melomel, but prepared with fruit without using pectin enzyme?