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SandorClegane
06-04-2012, 03:45 PM
Hi all,

I'm new here, and I'm also new to brewing. I love Mead, always have, and decided to start with that.

Here's what I did. Please critique and offer tips, corrections, suggestions, and explanations. Thanks.


1. Sanitized everything with restaurant grade sanitizing solution.

2. Pasteurized 2 gallons of equal parts honey and water: brought 1 gallon of honey with 1 gallon of water up to and kept it at about 160-200 degrees Fahrenheit for a good 15 minutes.

2.1. Hydrated my yeast in room temp water while that ^ was happening.

3. Dumped my honey/water mix into my 5 gallon primary fermentation bucket, along with 3 more gallons of cold tap water (we have a water softener/De-chlorinater/purifier).

4. Added some yeast nutrition to the Must.

5. Shook/swirled it up to aerate.

6. Pitched the yeast.

7. Closed and sealed the lid, and stuck in the airlock (with sanitized water).


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So far so good. After about a couple of hours the airlock was bubbling once every 20 seconds or so. Come morning, it was bubbling more than once a second.


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Yet to be...

8. Let it ferment in the primary for 2 weeks.


9. Sanitize the carboy, bung/stopper, auto-siphon/racking cane, and hose.

10. Siphon from the primary to the carboy.

11. Install the bung and airlock.

12. Let it ferment in the secondary for 2 months.

13. Bottle 4 gallons of it into 4 one-gallon glass jugs for long-term storage.

14. Bottle the remaining gallon into two separate half-gallon (former, and freshly sanitized) whiskey bottles.

15. Drink those as soon as I like, while the other 4 gallons store for a while.


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Critiques/pointers/tips/advice?

:blob8:

chiguire
06-04-2012, 03:52 PM
It appears like you have a good handle on things.
2 points :
Many of us use the no boil/no pasteurization method. We have found it to be unnecessary and sometimes drives off delicate flavors and aromas.

Some of us also continue to aerate until the 1/3 sugar break. (when a third of the fermentables have been fermented).

Good luck!

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

Nathan K
06-04-2012, 04:05 PM
OK, if you want to get real nit-picky, I can critique. Overall your process looks great. I tend to pasteurize at a slightly lower temp (140-150F) and I also use tap water as-is (without boiling it or anything). Yeast is ideally supposed to be hydrated at a slightly warmer temp (around 110F) and then you acclimate it by gradually adding in some of what you intend to ferment. In reality, omitting that step shouldn't cause you any real problems. If your primary fermentations ends before 2 weeks is out, I would rack at that point rather than waiting until the end of the two weeks. If you see that the yeast all flocculates to the bottom, that's probably a good time to rack it. I personally like to slightly agitate it each day during primary fermentation by swirling my carboy to keep the yeast happily in suspension and also to prevent a buildup of dissolved CO2, which can lower the pH below yeast's ability to survive.

Glass gallon jugs are really convienent for storage but probably not suited to very long term storage (more than a year or two) because oxygen has a tendency to find it's way around seals. If you think you are going to store it for more than a couple years you may want to invest in some winery grade corks and bottle some that way. Another thing that can help prevent oxidation in the long term is the addition of sulfites (potassium metabisulfite) either during racking to secondary or a week prior to bottling, at a rate of around 50 parts per million.

SandorClegane
06-04-2012, 04:19 PM
OK, if you want to get real nit-picky, I can critique. Overall your process looks great. I tend to pasteurize at a slightly lower temp (140-150F) and I also use tap water as-is (without boiling it or anything). Yeast is ideally supposed to be hydrated at a slightly warmer temp (around 110F) and then you acclimate it by gradually adding in some of what you intend to ferment. In reality, omitting that step shouldn't cause you any real problems. If your primary fermentations ends before 2 weeks is out, I would rack at that point rather than waiting until the end of the two weeks. If you see that the yeast all flocculates to the bottom, that's probably a good time to rack it. I personally like to slightly agitate it each day during primary fermentation by swirling my carboy to keep the yeast happily in suspension and also to prevent a buildup of dissolved CO2, which can lower the pH below yeast's ability to survive.

Glass gallon jugs are really convienent for storage but probably not suited to very long term storage (more than a year or two) because oxygen has a tendency to find it's way around seals. If you think you are going to store it for more than a couple years you may want to invest in some winery grade corks and bottle some that way. Another thing that can help prevent oxidation in the long term is the addition of sulfites (potassium metabisulfite) either during racking to secondary or a week prior to bottling, at a rate of around 50 parts per million.

Thanks. I'll probably give the bucket a swirl today then. And I'll definitely look into the sulfites and stuff.

Nathan K
06-04-2012, 05:38 PM
Thanks. I'll probably give the bucket a swirl today then. And I'll definitely look into the sulfites and stuff.

Yeah, the swirling is good insurance. I've seen a 5 gallon batch of mead turn into a mead volcano while watching someone add yeast to a stuck fermentation (turns out the stuck fermentation was due to a very high level of dissolved CO2). The sulfites are also cheap insurance. If I know I'm going to drink a batch within 6 months or so then I don't bother but if you are going to age for any extended period of time, it's a good idea. Powdered potassium metabisulfite is easier to use than campden tablets because you don't have to crush it. I believe the rate for 50ppm is 1/4 teaspoon in 5 gallons.

SandorClegane
06-04-2012, 05:46 PM
Yeah, the swirling is good insurance. I've seen a 5 gallon batch of mead turn into a mead volcano while watching someone add yeast to a stuck fermentation (turns out the stuck fermentation was due to a very high level of dissolved CO2). The sulfites are also cheap insurance. If I know I'm going to drink a batch within 6 months or so then I don't bother but if you are going to age for any extended period of time, it's a good idea. Powdered potassium metabisulfite is easier to use than campden tablets because you don't have to crush it. I believe the rate for 50ppm is 1/4 teaspoon in 5 gallons.

Thanks again.