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View Full Version : Question before racking, or smack me before it's too late, adding juice or no.



Stilgar
05-24-2012, 11:55 PM
Firstly Greetings and Hello. Really am enjoying this sight and has proven very helpful thus far.

Ok so I started a 1 gallon batch or bochet on the 10th and it's getting close to racking time here. My question is, when I move the mead into the 2nd carboy could I(or should I) add a cup or more of apple juice/cider to the mead to add some flavor or would something like this be best closer to bottling? Was just a thought and anything to help this mead gain a nice mix and character in the end would be nice.

What I used;
4lbs clove honey (caramelized 1 lb of the 4)
gallon water
stick cinnamon
orange zest

I had forgotten to add a nutrient or more correctly someone found my raisins and thanked me later for the snack, so the ferment has been a slow one. I was just curious if my adding juice to this to sort of replace using water after siphoning would be wise or not, and if I should just see how this comes out in the end given the caramelizing should add a fairly distinct flavor. Any help, suggestions or thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Sorry if I come off jumbled, running off 3 hours sleep after two trips to urgent care and ER for my girlfriend . Thank you again.

Chevette Girl
05-25-2012, 12:25 AM
I was just curious if my adding juice to this to sort of replace using water after siphoning would be wise or not, and if I should just see how this comes out in the end given the caramelizing should add a fairly distinct flavor.

Apple juice won't add much in the way of flavour at this point but it's not a bad idea at all if you need to top off to decrease headspace.

Welcome to the forum, hope your gf's OK!

Stilgar
05-25-2012, 05:09 AM
Thank you! And she should be fine soon hopefully. 5 days off and I'll pretend she'll take my advice and stay in bed to relax and rest up.


If I go the route of Apple juice should I be concerned at this stage about the pot sorb level? I'd use store bought organic or worse case tree top. Same applies with the cider. If neither would add to flavor at this point any suggestions what might?

Chevette Girl
05-25-2012, 09:09 AM
If your fermentation is done what it was going to do, topping off with sorbated juice isn't a problem, there should be enough yeast left to finish the job (I did this myself last year with about half a gallon of sorbated cider to top off my crabapple mel), sorbate prevents them from breeding, it doesn't stop them from processing sugar, and the concentration from a cup or two in a gallon shouldn't hurt anything.

You don't want to add it near bottling because sometimes apple can leave a pectic haze (although in this quantity it's probably not going to be an issue), and also more of a concern, if you don't hit it with sulphites and a full dose of sorbate first, it may continue to ferment, which you DO NOT want happening in your bottles.

Unfortunately, you can't tell by time or airlock activity if your mead is REALLY done, and 4 lb per gal is a fairly hefty amount of sugar to go through for any yeast, and you didn't mention which kind of yeast you used. So I can't even guess at it, not without a hydrometer reading.

Stilgar
05-25-2012, 01:39 PM
Knew I forgot something on the list sorry bout that. was using Red Star Pasteur champagne yeast. When I visited our local brew supply store they handed that off to me with the carboys figured it'd be safe for a first run.

Chevette Girl
05-25-2012, 03:15 PM
I'm mainly familiar with Lalvin products but I'd imagine Red Star's champagne yeast can't be that different in its properties. Quick clean ferment, good on the lees and high alcohol tolerance would be my guess, generally good for a first attempt. So it may well chew through the whole 4 lb of honey :)

Next trip to the brew store though, I highly recommend a hydrometer...

TAKeyser
05-25-2012, 03:37 PM
If I remember right Red Star Pasteur champagne yeast has a tolerance of around 16%. So with a good SNA schedule you can bump that up a bit and you should finish with some residual sugars in the Semi-sweet range, but than again if you didn't aerate and add nutrients you could stall out early since you did start with a pretty high gravity somewhere in the 1.140-1.145 range (these are some of the reasons we recommend getting a Hydrometer).

Chevette Girl
05-25-2012, 03:42 PM
(these are some of the reasons we recommend getting a Hydrometer).

Yesssss... join usssssss KNOW your fermentation.... know it well... ;D


...aw, crap, have I exceeded Penguinetti for weirdness again?

Stilgar
05-25-2012, 04:17 PM
Aerated yes(via shaking the unholy hell out of it when I started), Nutrients unfortunately lacking due to someone finding and consuming planned raisins, Zest however did make it.

The hydrometer is my own fault and I do deserve a slap. I'd bought one roughly 4-5 years back when I made Blackberry wine. Since that time most of my old brewing equipment was 'misplaced' or to put politely, were in my ex fiances possession and last I saw/heard were either tossed or now used for collecting loose change. I hunted for my hydro and ultimately decided to commit a sin and told myself since this was more for an experimental run I should be fine without. Of course after having said that I find the hydro tucked neatly away and looking neglected.

And if join us was creepily replaced with one of us, I might worry before giving a thumbs up.

Thank you again for the replies and help. I started this on a whim as I found myself with a bit more free time and I'd wanted to get back into brewing as it was relaxing and something fun, so this was doing that for me and hopefully more soon. I promise I will love and respect my Hydro again and once sanitized again put it to use shortly.

TAKeyser
05-25-2012, 04:56 PM
Aerated yes(via shaking the unholy hell out of it when I started), Nutrients unfortunately lacking due to someone finding and consuming planned raisins, Zest however did make it.

You'll notice that most here on the site recommend aeration and nutrient additions until your must has hit the 1/3 Sugar Break, especially with a high Original Gravity. Raisins will provide some nutrients, but you'll get better and more consistent results with Fermaid K and DAP. That being said good mead has been made with raisins alone.



Thank you again for the replies and help. I started this on a whim as I found myself with a bit more free time and I'd wanted to get back into brewing as it was relaxing and something fun, so this was doing that for me and hopefully more soon. I promise I will love and respect my Hydro again and once sanitized again put it to use shortly.

Welcome back to the obsession :)

Chevette Girl
05-25-2012, 05:19 PM
Hehe, it's never too late to check the SG, at least you'll know where you are. Glad you found it safe!

HunnyBunz
05-25-2012, 06:11 PM
Yesssss... join usssssss KNOW your fermentation.... know it well... ;D


...aw, crap, have I exceeded Penguinetti for weirdness again?

Not to worry. I think that he's quite a bit more warped than you are. ;D

Stilgar
05-27-2012, 02:51 PM
Btw, took a hydro reading sitting at 1.030 16 days in.


P.S. Hope all are enjoying their weekend.

TheAlchemist
05-27-2012, 03:19 PM
Another Dune fan, eh?

Stilgar
05-27-2012, 03:29 PM
Another Dune fan, eh?

perhaps, what gave me away? heh

Chevette Girl
05-28-2012, 01:29 PM
Not to worry. I think that he's quite a bit more warped than you are. ;D

I wouldn't count on that, I really wouldn't. I maintain some amount of professionalism on this forum out of respect for Vickie and Oskaar, the mods I've befriended, and everyone else who reads my verbose blathering, so everything you've seen from me has been through the "for public display" filter... there's some pretty twisted stuff that gets caught in there, and a deep groove in the backspace button...

AToE will be pleased to see another Dune fan :)

TheAlchemist
05-29-2012, 09:39 AM
AToE will be pleased to see another Dune fan :)

Haven't seen him around in a while...hope he's OK

Chevette Girl
05-29-2012, 12:38 PM
He's still posting to Facebook at least. :)

Stilgar
05-31-2012, 05:30 PM
Seeing as this is a pretty slow fermentation, should I worry about the Lees gathering in mass changing any of the overall flavor and transfer to secondary to continue ferm or should it be fine as is, wait to transfer once it the hydro reading reaches .995?

TAKeyser
05-31-2012, 05:46 PM
Seeing as this is a pretty slow fermentation, should I worry about the Lees gathering in mass changing any of the overall flavor and transfer to secondary to continue ferm or should it be fine as is, wait to transfer once it the hydro reading reaches .995?

I doubt that you will get down that far on the Hydrometer. The calculator says you started around 1.140 based on the recipe you supplied. Your Yeast has a 16% tolerance which equates to about a 1.120 drop in Gravity so you'll probably end somewhere around 1.020 give or take a couple points depending on how the fermentation went.

I would wait until I hit that 1.020 mark or when the Hydrometer gave me a consistent reading for like a week straight.

Stilgar
05-31-2012, 07:00 PM
Great help! Awesome. So 1.020 should be finished doing what it's doing, should be fine once it hits and get it transferred to add the apple juice to top off I take it?

TAKeyser
05-31-2012, 07:08 PM
It's possible that it can go a little lower, yeast doesn't always follow what the manufacturer puts on a website or label :)
But yeah you should be safe to rack when you get around 1.120 give or take a couple points. Adding the apple juice will dilute your must a little which might get you a little more fermentation so be aware that it might happen and that it isn't unusual.

AToE
06-20-2012, 12:39 AM
I'm alive, and hurray for Dune fans!

Stilgar
06-23-2012, 11:50 PM
I'm alive, and hurray for Dune fans!

Indeed Sir, indeed. And kudos on being alive and well.

Stilgar
07-18-2012, 02:29 AM
You know it's gonna be fun when you say aloud to yourself 'Well that's interesting'. But couldn't help it when I checked in on my mead.

I moved it over and added the apple juice as discussed to top off. Seemed rather fine, nice and clear. That was about 2 almost 3 weeks ago and when checking it today I noticed it had what looks to be a very small mold spore(possibly) floating atop it. When I first began making this I thought what I saw were mold spores but turned out it was the yeast being yeast so it was fine. But this definitely has me concerned. Will try to attach a photo to give a better look but it definitely to me looks like possible mold as it's green in color, under the surface it looks like 3 or so green bubbles and seems to have a small trail dragging from it. That however was only part of the 'Well that's interesting' moment...

the second one was when I took a look at the airlock. The bobber in the middle has suctioned itself down and taken some of the liquid within the airlock with it. When I removed the airlock it of course spat out what it had collected. Never had that happen to me with an airlock so not sure what that's about.

So yeah, any suggestions? rituals? Suggested readings for the funeral? If it turns out I can't save it I won't be terribly upset as it was a test run and literally the cost set me back maybe $25 and that's being generous. Thanks again in advance.

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/545/img9385v.jpg/

Kelvin
07-18-2012, 03:33 AM
Your older brother sneaked in and put a booger in it.... no worries I have an older brother too... 37 years and he never stops putting boogers on me... or in your case your mead. : P

Stilgar
07-18-2012, 03:45 AM
Your older brother sneaked in and put a booger in it.... no worries I have an older brother too... 37 years and he never stops putting boogers on me... or in your case your mead. : P

That crafty nerf herder! All these years and I thought I only had a little sister he's hidden from me all these 32 years! Well now I know to sleep with my mead and pay the cat extra to watch over things at night. True the dog is something to beware but that cat is shady as hell. Well least that explains things nicely ;)

Kelvin
07-18-2012, 07:38 AM
I dunno, I think I might prefer kittie boogers over by bro's.... that bastage : )
Consider yourself lucky. But as far as your problem goes I dunno, man, I'm a newb too. Hopefully someone can give you an idea. I know I'd be freaked out too just because I'm a newb and that's how i am.

Chevette Girl
07-18-2012, 11:07 AM
If it's got little trailing ickies, that might actually be an infection... If it were in my brew I'd probably try sucking it up carefully with a racking hose or something and then I'd stabilize the mead, presuming it's finished fermenting...

When the temperature or air pressure drops, that can cause your airlock to run backwards as atmospheric air tries to get into the fermenter. You have to be careful not to overfill your airlock or else you can end up with that kind of backwashing... also why a lot of us use either vodka or sulphite solution in our airlocks.

Stilgar
07-18-2012, 02:30 PM
Vodka in the airlock I've tried and seemed a better candidate for help but I'd never tried the sulphite solution will give that a go, thank you!

I moved it over this morning leaving the ick behind, dropped campden tablet etc. Shall keep an eye on it and see what happens hoping for the best.

Meanwhile the cat will stay on guard.

Stilgar
07-23-2012, 02:24 AM
Well the party just won't stop now lol, cleared the fungus amungus and now mead has gone from clear and see thru to cloudy and what looks to be either renewed ferm, or possibly gas. No idea as of yet but definitely has it's own party goin inside suddenly.

Vance G
07-25-2012, 11:07 PM
Did you stabilize this? I would kill it dead right now but I am only an egg.

Chevette Girl
08-04-2012, 10:33 PM
Trust your nose, if it smells OK it's probably fine, if it smells weird (well, weirder than a normal ferment), I'd hit it with sulphites...

Stilgar
01-29-2013, 04:54 PM
Update (sorry I though I had posted one a while ago) I kept a close eye on this and I did stabilize ASAP, I left it alone, transferred and it is happily bulk aging still. No bad things popped up anywhere and the bitter-sourness has since moved on to greener pastures or was buried in a dumpster who knows.

It's slowly mellowing out and someone much braver than I (bless her heart) tried a sample and gave her approval. Shall leave it be a bit longer then move to bottling after a final taste to make sure it IS infact still fine, though I know it pretty much is.


Looking back, shall be doing another bochet but much MUCH differently with better honey and yeast. But mostly with a better piece of mind.