View Full Version : help

05-17-2012, 03:30 PM
got my first mead kit in the mail yesterday. 18 lbs of wildflower honey, 5 packs of yeast, 5 packs fermaid-k, 1 pack of DAP. how much yeast should i use its D-10, how much fermaid-k, how much DAP? and the instuctions say to leave in primary only a week. i thought it had to stay a lot longer so ho wlong to leave it on the lees?

05-17-2012, 03:43 PM
Didn't come with much instructions did it? Is it supposed to make a 5 gallon batch?

Yeast is Lalvin DV10? How many grams per packet?

Do the packets of DAP or fermaid K have weights on them?

A week is probably a little short, more like 2 to 4 weeks.

05-17-2012, 04:06 PM
yes its a 5 gal batch and the yeast is dv-10 and its 8 grams per and the fermaid-k is 8 grams and the DAP is 15 gramsthe instuctions are kind hard to understand as it doesnt measure in grams but tea spoons i read somewhere that you needed 1 gram per gal of must of the fermaid-k and thats why i ordered 5 packs as i figured it would require 5 additions maybe its a little much and the 5 packs of yeast was do to i read somewhere that a larger pitch was better for large loads of honey like the 18 lbs i have

Chevette Girl
05-17-2012, 04:12 PM
The instructions on the DAP I use call for 1 tsp per gallon, less if you're adding an energizer that contains DAP. I think when I measured it out, I was getting between 4 and 5 grams per teaspoon for both DAP and energizer, hopefully if I'm misremembering that, someone will correct me!

You should be OK with 1 pack of yeast per 5 gallons but a number of folks here will use 2-3 packs for a batch this size.

05-17-2012, 04:34 PM
Were did you get the mead kit?


05-17-2012, 04:47 PM
morebeer.com it only came with 1 pack of DAP, and 1 pack of fermaid-k, and 5 campden tablets, and 1 pack potassium carbonate, and 1 pack of go-ferm to rehydrate the yeast, and 18lbs of honey. i oreder the yeast and other fermaid-k myself

05-17-2012, 05:41 PM
Is this (http://morebeer.com/view_product/20179/104254/Kit_-_Sack_Sweet_Mead) your kit? Apparently it should have come with a "two page instruction", or you can see what they want you to do with it from the link to their "mead guide". (link on that page)

I would say go ahead and use two of those yeast packs. Are those the 8 g packs of FermaidK? I'd probably use two of those too. One of the DAP is probably fine.

Deacon Aegis
05-17-2012, 05:55 PM
morebeer.com it only came with 1 pack of DAP, and 1 pack of fermaid-k, and 5 campden tablets, and 1 pack potassium carbonate, and 1 pack of go-ferm to rehydrate the yeast, and 18lbs of honey. i oreder the yeast and other fermaid-k myself

I would recommend adding just a couple of inexpensive things to your kit before you begin. The first thing I would get my hands on are a hydrometer. You will want that, for sure. The hydrometer is your best friend and you can get good ones for under ten dollars. Now, as far as everything else, you won't need quite so much of the nutrient and dap as what you have, but that's ok, what you have can be used again. I'm no familiar with DV-10 yeast. I run my batches with mainly K1-V116 or D-47. It is not a bad thing to over-pitch your yeast though. With 8 gram packets though, I would probably only use three packets to pitch your yeast. It looks like the DV-10 should be a good selection though, so I don't see any need to try a different yeast. I hope you let us know how your batch turns out.

The hydrometer is going to give you a good measure of how much potential alcohol your batch might yield. I tend to start my batches off on the higher side of the scale, pushing a starting gravity of 1.140 to 1.145 on many of mine. With 18 lbs of honey in a 5 gallon batch, you will probably pushing fairly close to the 1.140 or slightly more value. Again, the hydrometer will really be useful here. Look here in the forums for Staged Nutrient Additions or the Newbee Guide for alot of information on how to do your nutrients. Hopefully others will chime in on the specifics for your rehydration and maybe give you better insight into your nutrients.

The DV-10 yeast is not a high-nitrogen requiring yeast, which means you might want to err on the low side for DAP additions. As others have pointed out as well, fermentation is going to require probably several weeks rather than a single week. Plan on at least three weeks in primary fermentation, and once again, this is where a hydrometer is king. Even if the airlock on your fermentor has stopped bubbling, the hydrometer is going to tell you much more truthfully how the fermentation is progressing and when it has ended. I really advise you get one, you'll be much happier for it and it will take the guess work out of your process there. When the hydrometer stops changing its reading and gives you the same numbers over the course of a week, your fermentation is basically done and you can rack over to your carboy.

I hope some of this helps. I suspect others will chime in with some specific figures for your rehydration process and with your nutrient additions. Remember, have fun, have patience, and enjoy the hobby. You'll learn more from your first batch than most any others you'll brew!

I see Akueck has also given you some info on the yeast and nutrients. That's probably pretty sound advice on that part of things! Heck, I'm still learning the ropes on the nutrients myself. I over-pitch like a maniac! LOL

Nathan K
05-18-2012, 04:49 PM
It's possible that primary fermentation could complete in a week but with 18 lbs of honey I would expect it to take perhaps a few more days than that. I usually rack once the yeast flocculates so I use that as my indicator rather than specific gravity or some duration of time.

Two pages seems a little thin for mead instructions. My instructions are about six pages but I can be a little verbose at times...

05-18-2012, 05:28 PM
Wow, Glad I didn't start with a kit, just with the Complet Mead Maker.

Typical 5 gal batch for me:

I use a tablespoon of Yeast Energizer (DAP) and Yeast Nutrient (Fermaid K). For measurements 1 tablespoon equals 3 teaspoons. I also am in Denver so a bit higer altitude, don't think that makes too much of a difference.

Honey: I like using 12 pounds and backsweetening with about 3-6 pounds of honey. This keeps my costs down a bit and the potency down a bit.

Yeast: Not sure about D-10, I use Lavin D-47 or Lavin 71B, depending on the season. My ferment area can range in temp during the summer and winter. Not very stable. Winter I can go to 65-67 on very warm days and summer it can get to about 75 in my ferment room, especially hot day can go to about 80. I usually don't go over 82, which is bad for Lavin 71B. But for packets, I use 2. They say 1 is enough but I like using 2 and I have never had a stalling problem. Always ferments up fine.

Other stuff: Yes a hydrometer is good but many times I don't use mine. I don't really do step nutrients yet, it just goes all in up front. I would recomend that you get 1 oz of American Oak cubes or chips, lightly toasted. Once you hit the secondary you can put that in for about 2 weeks to a month and be fine. Trust me the oak does great things for smoothing out mead.

Also, You rack it by visually looking at it. If it has nearly stopped bubbling, about one bubble for 30 seconds to 1 bubble a minute THEN it is time to rack. Another visual que will be the sediment at the bottom will have stacked up. The yeast takes as long as it takes, there is no exact measurement in it.
::stop:AND DON'T BOIL the honey like many instructions say. Just getting it warm enough to melt the honey and evenly distribuit it into the water for a good mix is fine. No need to over due it. Honey is a natural anti-boitic and does'nt need the boil to kill anything. You will loose aroma and maybe some flavor if you do. My first mead I boiled prior to learning this. It tasted fine but my other batches have out paced it in flavor.

HAPPY MEAD MAKING! Welcome to the addition. :occasion14:

05-20-2012, 11:19 AM
Actually Matrx4b, we tend to reccommend NOT using the airlock bubbling as an indicator of when to rack. Deacon Aegis was correct, get a hydrometer, it works much better than an airlock. There are just too many factors that go into airlock bubbling that have little to do with how close to done the fermentation is that is' almost completely unreliable...if theraputic to sit and stare at it go bloopbloopbloop.

Temperature of the must determines how much CO2 the liquid can hold before it's saturated and has to release, amount of headspace in the fermentation container, additions like fruit can hold CO2 and make more bubbles long after fermentation is technically done, the seal on your fermentation container, if your airlock is properly filled, what kind of liquid you have in the airlock itself...it's just too variable and not a good indicator.

If you absolutely have no way of checking SG, I reccommend waiting at least 3 weeks before the first rack just to make sure you've completely utilized all your yeasties. You don't want to rack with a good 10 points of sugar still left to go, your yeast stall out, and you have to try to make an acclimated starter in an environment with that much alcohol. It is NOT easy. And you don't want to just leave a stalled ferment alone, because as other mazers on the board can attest to, sometimes a ferment can spontaneously restart even YEARS after primary is supposedly done.

So, if you don't have a hydrometer, use the newbie guides methods of aerate and nutrient over the first three days, then gently degas every other day or so for about 3 weeks, THEN rack. Or, yknow, get a hydrometer and don't play a guessing game. That's really much easier. ;D