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RightHookCook
03-08-2011, 05:44 AM
Hello mead mentors!,

I started making my 1st Pineapple Melomel yesterday night, and after checking it this morning (after 12 hours) its gone NUTS!.

Its bubbling in the airlock every second, but my concern is this, the airlock has sucked up the must and is now basically full and has a lot of brown foam in it.

The neck of the dem-john is also nearly full of the brown foam, ive now left it in the large stock pot I have in its normal spot just incase it starts to over flow while im at work.

My procedure was this: Mixed the pineapple juice with the honey in a large stock pot, rehydrated the yeast as by instructions, pitched the yeast after leaving it for 15-20 minutes and then went to town shaking the hell out of the DJ until my arms couldn’t take any more, topped it of with water to just below the neck, poped on the airlock with the water filled up to the recommended fill lines and let it be.

3lbs Local Honey

3 ltrs pure pineapple juice (not the concentrated stuff)

Young’s Super Wine Compound (Bentonite, Dried Wine Yeast, DAP, Trace Vitamins, Trace Minerals)

Toped up to 1 gallon tap water

Any suggestions?

And should I empty the airlock and put a clean one on? Or just wait until I rack it?

Thanks again to every one.

;D

RightHookCook
03-08-2011, 05:53 AM
just to say, i tried to take a hydrometer reading and it was of the scale, so i havent got a clue what that would be? my hydrometer goes to 1.120.

also note to fatbloke, i had to finnish the youngs yeast, next batch i will move onto your recomendations! ;)

JayH
03-08-2011, 06:16 AM
My calculations say around 1.135

Using the mead calculator and putting in 3 lbs of honey and figuring that there is approx the equivalent of 2.5 teaspoons of sugar to 1/2 cup of plain unsweetened pineapple juice (or at least that is what a sampling of one site on the internet claims)

And with all the nutrients in both your yeast package and those in the pineapple, yes it should go pretty well :-)

RightHookCook
03-08-2011, 04:07 PM
ok , seriously need some help with this one, when i got home from work the airlock was blocked and hissing slightly with all this brown foam and pineapple. i took the airlock off and cleared it out and sanitized it again, topped it up and left it.

then 30 minutes later it was blocked again! i have now taken the little red cap off, this has stopped the hissing noise and is oozing foam aswell.

is this thing going to blow as i really cba to clean up loads of stuff in my spare room!

ive read and seen some real horror stories and pictures.

fathand
03-08-2011, 04:54 PM
I would just sanitize a piece of aluminum foil and place it over the opening to your demi-john and secure it with a rubber band until fermentation dies down.

Chevette Girl
03-09-2011, 12:13 AM
I'd use plastic wrap and a rubber band, you never know what's going to eat through aluminum.

wildoates
03-09-2011, 01:16 AM
This is why I primary in a bucket, but it sounds like it's going swimmingly otherwise!

akueck
03-09-2011, 01:59 AM
The Al foil should be fine. Plastic wrap is fine. You could use some cheesecloth as well.

Suggestions for next time are to either use a bigger container or make less mead, presumably the choice is obvious. ;)

RightHookCook
03-09-2011, 05:46 AM
cool, so not to much to worry about then guys?

and its ok to clean the airlock ? also, this may seem dumb, but when you say put foil round the top? how do you meen? lol sorry ;)

K5MOW
03-09-2011, 08:16 AM
ok , seriously need some help with this one, when i got home from work the airlock was blocked and hissing slightly with all this brown foam and pineapple. i took the airlock off and cleared it out and sanitized it again, topped it up and left it.

then 30 minutes later it was blocked again! i have now taken the little red cap off, this has stopped the hissing noise and is oozing foam aswell.

is this thing going to blow as i really cba to clean up loads of stuff in my spare room!

ive read and seen some real horror stories and pictures.

Put a blow off tub on.

Roger

RightHookCook
03-09-2011, 08:41 AM
Put a blow off tub on.

Roger

well im into day 3 of fermentation so i think im just going to hang tight, let it sit in the washing up bowl and clean the airlock every now and again, just been reading into blow off tubes, i think i will def be using this next time.

do most of the people use this method when they have a crazy foaming fermentation monster on the go?

Medsen Fey
03-09-2011, 10:47 AM
The easier approach is just use a larger primary fermenter. A 10-gallon plastic trash-can eliminates the problem when making 5-7 gallon batches.

RightHookCook
03-09-2011, 11:05 AM
The easier approach is just use a larger primary fermenter. A 10-gallon plastic trash-can eliminates the problem when making 5-7 gallon batches.

thanks for the advice, is my approach ok just for this batch? like will the fact im taking the airlock off and cleaning it once or twice a day be a problem?

Medsen Fey
03-09-2011, 11:16 AM
Cleaning the airlock as needed is no problem.
Antifoam drops are also very useful.

RightHookCook
03-09-2011, 11:30 AM
Cleaning the airlock as needed is no problem.
Antifoam drops are also very useful.

i have been having a read into them, the one my local HBS stocks is made by brubaks, and says mix up and spray onto to the foam to stop. could one like this be used in the must to prevent foaming,krausen etc altogether?

Medsen Fey
03-09-2011, 12:54 PM
I'm not familiar with that specific product, but generally they won't prevent all foaming; they will reduce it though.

RightHookCook
03-10-2011, 05:41 AM
I'm not familiar with that specific product, but generally they won't prevent all foaming; they will reduce it though.

thanks for your replys medsen, i spoke to the guy at the HBS and he suggested a couple of things, but he also mentioned he has never made mead.

the one thing he did mention which i thought was a bit odd was to use a plastic bin for primary (yes i know not very odd) but to not use an airlock with it and the bubbles and foam etc will burst on the plastic lid?

would this work? seems to me like it would explode! ;D

moonie
03-10-2011, 10:02 AM
thanks for your replys medsen, i spoke to the guy at the HBS and he suggested a couple of things, but he also mentioned he has never made mead.

the one thing he did mention which i thought was a bit odd was to use a plastic bin for primary (yes i know not very odd) but to not use an airlock with it and the bubbles and foam etc will burst on the plastic lid?

would this work? seems to me like it would explode! ;D

Granted I'm very new to mead making however I have learned from here to do primary ferment to the 1/3 sugar break in an open topped bucket with a sanitized towel over the top. This solves the issue of the foam bursting through. My first two gallon batches made a mess, I'm currently on batch number 4 (since the end of January) and all is going well for them. First 2 batches are starting to clear nicely.

RightHookCook
03-10-2011, 11:42 AM
do most people take hydrometer readings daily then to judge when there must hits the 1/3 sugar break?

AToE
03-10-2011, 01:00 PM
Yup, some people use other methods (weighing the batch with some neat math, refractometres) but hydrometer is the most common way. Some people take readings more than daily too.

RightHookCook
03-10-2011, 03:58 PM
sounds a bit excessive to me, i must be lazy.

i just mix it up, pitch the yeast, then let it finish, rack it a few times and let it clear = perfectly good mead.

moonie
03-10-2011, 04:52 PM
Of the 2 batches I've done this way one took 3 days the other 2 days to burn through the first 1/3 so it wasn't too bad.

RightHookCook
03-11-2011, 09:13 AM
Of the 2 batches I've done this way one took 3 days the other 2 days to burn through the first 1/3 so it wasn't too bad.

Thats true , it shouldn't take to long i guess.

Do you think it creates a better result staggering nutrients and keeping an eye on sugar breaks ,daily aeration etc

Or is the simple method i use acceptable?

Medsen Fey
03-11-2011, 10:42 AM
Do you think it creates a better result staggering nutrients and keeping an eye on sugar breaks ,daily aeration etc

Or is the simple method i use acceptable?

The simple method is acceptable as long as it makes good mead for you.

The problem with the simple method is that it may not always work. With some recipes, if you don't aerate, they don't go to completion. With some batches, the pH can cause them to stick early and without monitoring the progress, you won't know if it is encountering a problem. Also, if you are making sack strength meads, just because they finish and clear does not mean they are done fermenting - unless stabilized, they can sometimes wake up later (at least 2 years later according to Brother Adam) and if that happens in the bottle, you could have trouble. So although you can make mead in any number of ways, using the tools we have for monitoring and using the techniques that have been identified as best practice can certainly improve the quality and consistency of results.

RightHookCook
03-11-2011, 10:53 AM
A very good response, thank you.

RightHookCook
03-15-2011, 05:55 AM
i took a hydrometer reading yesterday after 1 week of fermenting, its still fermenting pretty rapidly (1 bubble per second) and the gravity has fallen right down to 1.012 from the SG of about 1.140.

i had a little taste and to be honest its to strong already! you can taste the pineapple and the honey but wow this is strong stuff, more like rum than mead haha!