PDA

View Full Version : basic pyment



Shoot the Moon
08-09-2011, 05:24 PM
Hello to all. I'm new here and have started a batch of mead:

Honey, 3 liters
Grape juice, pasturized, 3 liters
Raisins, yellow, sliced frozen, .12 kilo
Water to 20 liters
Yeast, Nevada baker's yeast (Mexican)
Fermentation in loose lid bucket
Calculator gives SG 1.078 / ABV potential 10.49

The fermentation went well. Racked off at two weeks. Tastes a bit raw and yeasty off the primary.

It looked complete in the fermenter, no action... The fermenter is translucent plastic tapered up, so it is difficult to see what is really going on..

After racking, there is some fermentation, outgassing... Maybe some oxygen intrduced in transfer?

Two questions for you folks:

1. I do not have access to a hydrometer here in Mexico. Brewers are very practical. Hydrometers are used to test battery acid. Is the scale about the same for mead fermentations? Is there another rough way to get an idea of gravity?

2. I want to mess with other fruit juices in the same reciepe, apple, mango, pineapple, strawberry. Just swapping out the grape juice for others. I'm particulary interested in a citrus (lime) mead. Limes are readily available and cheap. In reading here, folks say you gotta watch it on the lemon/lime --> PH too low. Suggestions?

I'm an ex beer brewer relocated to Mexico. I understand the basic concepts of sterilization, fermentation, ageing etc... Impossible to get the right stuff to brew beer here, but we got bees down here and honey is very reasonable.

If you look at the above reciepe, you will see it is a light mead, between beer and wine. Had great success with honey beers previously...

Thanks for any input, GREAT website!! STM

fatbloke
08-10-2011, 04:16 AM
Hello to all. I'm new here and have started a batch of mead:

Honey, 3 liters
Grape juice, pasturized, 3 liters
Raisins, yellow, sliced frozen, .12 kilo
Water to 20 liters
Yeast, Nevada baker's yeast (Mexican)
Fermentation in loose lid bucket
Calculator gives SG 1.078 / ABV potential 10.49

The fermentation went well. Racked off at two weeks. Tastes a bit raw and yeasty off the primary.

It looked complete in the fermenter, no action... The fermenter is translucent plastic tapered up, so it is difficult to see what is really going on..

After racking, there is some fermentation, outgassing... Maybe some oxygen intrduced in transfer?
Well, as you mention below, no hydrometer, so how do you know whether it was ready to rack or not ? The suggested "rack after X number of weeks" is old technique, that's not generally used so much now. Because, if it was a case of just moving the brew to a more appropriate ferment for it's size, then you'd swirl/mix it up before hand, if you just racked it, there's a strong possibility that you've left behind quite a lot of the active yeast.

Some will do this, but invariably when it's reached a certain gravity point and to actually get rid of some of the gross lees.

But the biggest issue when working like this is that there's a higher possibility of a stuck ferment, or at least a drop in activity while the yeast colony tries to build the number of cells back up to a level where full fermenation is possible.


Two questions for you folks:

1. I do not have access to a hydrometer here in Mexico. Brewers are very practical. Hydrometers are used to test battery acid. Is the scale about the same for mead fermentations? Is there another rough way to get an idea of gravity? Hydrometers, or at least the principle of how they work is a technique used to measure lots of substances. It depends entirely on the scale to which it's calibrated, as to whether it would be for battery acid, alcohol content, sugar content, etc etc (there's many more). So you should really try and get one that's made to check wines and beers (they're both measured on the same scale. If you're in Mexico, surely it would be easy enough to mail order one from the US (presuming that brewing hydrometers are rare in Mexico???).


2. I want to mess with other fruit juices in the same recipe, apple, mango, pineapple, strawberry. Just swapping out the grape juice for others. I'm particularly interested in a citrus (lime) mead. Limes are readily available and cheap. In reading here, folks say you got to watch it on the lemon/lime --> PH too low. Suggestions?

I'm an ex beer brewer relocated to Mexico. I understand the basic concepts of sterilisation, fermentation, ageing etc... Impossible to get the right stuff to brew beer here, but we got bees down here and honey is very reasonable.

If you look at the above recipe, you will see it is a light mead, between beer and wine. Had great success with honey beers previously...

Thanks for any input, GREAT website!! STMYou can easily hit pH problems even with just a traditional recipe. Honey musts are quite acidic on their own - it's just that you don't notice it, because the acidity is masked by the high level of sweetness of the honey. pH measuring kit (of some sort) is helpful, because the "sweet spot" for a mead/honey must of any kind is in the region of 3.2 to 3.8 pH. Some honey musts wouldn't measure that low, but others will, or even lower.

What you need to consider, is whether you're aiming for something that does produce "wine like" characteristics, or whether you want to have some of the taste of the actual fruit. Because if you want the former, then the fruit can go into the primary/secondary, but if you want the later, then it's secondary and/or tertiary (i.e. after the ferment is complete, it's racked onto the fruit). Also, the more fruity tasting method, that often produces a mead/melomel ready to drink quicker, then it's the latter method that seems to work better.

Shoot the Moon
08-10-2011, 11:54 PM
Thanks Fatbloke!!

I've done enough reading and research to understand this, to some extent.

Beer is the the wort, cooling, and getting the yeast to grab it before infection. Once the yeast grabs the beer wort, it is good to go.

These mead fermentations are a little different. I'm studying and trying very small fermentations. Obviously being here in Mexico, I can't run down to the brew store; I can get stuff out of the USA, but not quick, cheap or easy.

I'm after a completly organic swill. I'm kinda going on feel, past experience, experiment...

Much of the advice is solid on the testing, but the results vary widely, subjective...

That's OK, that's what makes it FUN!!

I've started several other small fermentations, same reciepe, just swapping the juice... Trying to only change one variable...

The mango looks very promising... The pineapple may have stalled out?...

I'm keeping good records, maybe post the spreadsheet for ya'll...

Obviosly the weak link is my yeast and ability to check SG & PH... Will solve the problem soon. I've spent some time at the pet fish store!!!

Cheers!

fatbloke
08-11-2011, 03:45 AM
Thanks Fatbloke!!

I've done enough reading and research to understand this, to some extent.

Beer is the the wort, cooling, and getting the yeast to grab it before infection. Once the yeast grabs the beer wort, it is good to go.

These mead fermentations are a little different. I'm studying and trying very small fermentations. Obviously being here in Mexico, I can't run down to the brew store; I can get stuff out of the USA, but not quick, cheap or easy.

I'm after a completely organic swill. I'm kinda going on feel, past experience, experiment...

Much of the advice is solid on the testing, but the results vary widely, subjective...

That's OK, that's what makes it FUN!!

I've started several other small fermentations, same reciepe, just swapping the juice... Trying to only change one variable...

The mango looks very promising... The pineapple may have stalled out?...

I'm keeping good records, maybe post the spreadsheet for ya'll...

Obviously the weak link is my yeast and ability to check SG & PH... Will solve the problem soon. I've spent some time at the pet fish store!!!

Cheers!Well I wouldn't use experience with beer as a direct parallel - yes it's sort of similar, but many of the techniques are different/opposite.

Like you pretty much have to boil a wort, as I believe it's part of the conversion process to achieve fermentable sugars - whereas honey, you wouldn't, because the heating drives off a lot of the aroma and some of the flavouring elements - despite what it says in many books, heating/pasteurisation of honey musts, is old technique and should be disregarded.

There are some parallels for fish keeping kit, but you really need to have either a pH meter (small pocket sized one will do fine), or test strips/papers in the range of about 2.5 to 4.5 pH, so you can test for being in the 3.5 pH region for the yeasts sweet spot. Fish keeping pH test strips are often too wide a range for accuracy with mead making, plus more often than not, they don't go low enough on the numbers (or the colour changes are too subtle at that level and it's difficult to tell).

I'd say that the sooner you send off for a beer/wine making hydrometer, then the better your brewing/mead making/wine making will become (sooner). I'm sort of familiar with difficulties in getting the best kit, because while we have plenty of HBS, a lot of them tend to do a relatively limited range of stuff (they seem to focus more on kits - with "some" individual gear). So I end up mail ordering either from the US, or from Belgium.

Don't forget, there's a few ingredients that are known for their inherent difficulties. Mango and pineapple, I believe, can be a bit of a PITA, as they're quite fibrous fruit, so it's just a matter of how they're handled to prevent problems.

With most fruit, you'll also need pectic enzyme/pectolase to prevent pectin hazes forming.

regards

fatbloke