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View Full Version : another newbee meadmaker - recipe advice needed



scottv
06-13-2012, 01:39 PM
I have been brewing beer but wanted to try my hand a mead making. I read over the newbee guide and wanted to get advice for my current mead that I created.

I just recently bottled a gallon of JAOM and have created my second gallon.

Strawberry Mead
1.5 pounds of mesquite honey
1.5 pounds of wildflower honey
D-47 yeast
1/2 pound of frozen strawberries - (for nutrients)
water to fill

I was advised to use GoFerm to start the batch but I didn't have any so I used the strawberries as nutrients.

At 24 hours, I put in 1/4 tsp of Fermaid K (mixed with water) then shook the jug for about 2 minutes. When I woke up the next morning, the airlock blew completely out. I cleaned the airlock and replaced it. At 48 hours, I mixed 1/2 tsp of Fermaid K and shook the jug for about 2 minutes.

Questions:
Should I do another 1/4 tsp Fermaid K addition or should I let it ride for now?
Should I continue to shake (aerate) the must? Or is that part over?
What point should I rack it?
When I rack off primary fermentation, how much more strawberries should I add?

I think that is all for now.. thanks!

TAKeyser
06-13-2012, 02:40 PM
Questions:
Should I do another 1/4 tsp Fermaid K addition or should I let it ride for now?
Should I continue to shake (aerate) the must? Or is that part over?
What point should I rack it?
When I rack off primary fermentation, how much more strawberries should I add?

I think that is all for now.. thanks!

Did you take any Hydrometer readings? You don't want to aerate or add nutrients much beyond the 1/3 sugar Break. If you have not yet reached the break I would add the 1/4 tsp of Fermaid K.

I rack when fermentation is pretty much complete for whichever yeast I have used.

the best Strawberry mead I have ever had was Yo Momma's (recipe in Patron section). Strawberry is a hard flavor to come through so depending on how much strawberry you want I would suggest another 3 to 5 lbs.

scottv
06-13-2012, 02:50 PM
Did you take any Hydrometer readings? You don't want to aerate or add nutrients much beyond the 1/3 sugar Break. If you have not yet reached the break I would add the 1/4 tsp of Fermaid K.

I rack when fermentation is pretty much complete for whichever yeast I have used.

the best Strawberry mead I have ever had was Yo Momma's (recipe in Patron section). Strawberry is a hard flavor to come through so depending on how much strawberry you want I would suggest another 3 to 5 lbs.

Just to clarify, rack to 3-5 pounds of strawberries after primary is complete?

TAKeyser
06-13-2012, 03:03 PM
Just to clarify, rack to 3-5 pounds of strawberries after primary is complete?

You can add some more in your primary if you want and than rack onto the rest in secondary. Either way will work, just be sure to push the strawberries back under the liquid level every day. 3 lbs will give you a subtle strawberry flavor, 5 lbs will give you a lot of strawberry flavor.

akueck
06-13-2012, 05:17 PM
As far as the Go-Ferm goes, you can hydrate the yeast in plain water and be fine. Go-Ferm is really nice for tough fermentations (e.g. high gravity) and high-needs yeast strains, but with proper nutrition elsewhere (e.g. Fermaid) you can skip it and not suffer greatly.

scottv
06-15-2012, 01:35 PM
Well, I think the fermentation has stopped being so violent but I notice a bit of dried froth (for lack of a better word) at the neck of the jug. Should I clean this out or rack to another jug? Thanks!

TAKeyser
06-15-2012, 01:42 PM
It could be some yeast that got stuck in the neck of the jug when fermentation was more active or as you said it could be dried foam from the fermentation. I usually don't worry about it, but if it really annoys me I have one of those syringes to shoot cold medicine down little kids throats that I fill with a little water and blast the gunk back into the mead, since it seem to me to usually be yeast and it belongs in the must.

scottv
06-19-2012, 09:43 AM
So, now that I am past my 1/3 sugar break - I should not aerate or degas anymore?

TAKeyser
06-19-2012, 10:14 AM
No more aeration, but degassing is a good thing. Getting the CO2 out of the must will keep the yeast happy. What you want to do is either gently swirl the carboy with the airlock on of pop the airlock off and stir it trying to get all the way to the bottom of the carboy and not to splash. This will also put your yeast back into suspension. When you degas you'll see foam or bubbles on the surface of the must, this is normal. What I do is stir for 30 seconds let those bubbles subside, stir for 30 seconds and than let the bubbles subside and I keep repeating until I get next to no bubbles when I stir.

scottv
06-19-2012, 01:05 PM
What about using a wine whip attached to a drill on low speed?

Chevette Girl
06-19-2012, 01:14 PM
As long as it's all submerged and it doesn't cause a whirlpool or a lot of splashing, you should be fine.

scottv
07-05-2012, 12:02 PM
When I degas, is it alright to hit the bottom of the jug or should I leave the lees alone?

Nathan K
07-05-2012, 12:10 PM
When I degas, I just rock my carboy around in a circular motion or back and forth. It stirs up the lees a bit but the way I figure, that keeps active yeast in suspension. I don't use a whip because I don't really want to introduce oxygen.

akueck
07-05-2012, 06:22 PM
You can stir up the lees. The yeast will help nucleate CO2 bubbles, so that makes it even better! Also suspending the yeast can help accelerate clearing, to some degree.

scottv
07-19-2012, 10:22 AM
I have some new questions but first here is a summary:

6/10 - made the mead, 1 gallon
7/1 - racked and added more strawberries
7/12 - racked again but due to strawberries, only got 1/2 gallon of mead

that brings us to today, the mead still smells like rubber and has some sediment on the bottom

Questions:
1) Will the rubber smell go away?
2) Should I rack again and stabilize?
3) How much sorbate and metabisulfite should I use in 1/2 gallon jug? what do I add first?

Thanks again!

akueck
07-19-2012, 09:36 PM
What temperature did this ferment at? I've seen some warmer fermentations get some of that rubbery phenolic thing. It does go away with time, but it could take years. (or maybe just months, depends how bad it is to start.)

If it's fairly clear now, you should be able to add the stabilizing chemicals to it without racking. Add the sulfite first, then the sorbate either at that time or a few hours later. If it's not very clear, I would wait a bit before stabilizing.

scottv
07-20-2012, 10:10 AM
It fermented around 68. do you know how much of the chemicals I should use for 1/2 gallon jug?

akueck
07-20-2012, 05:36 PM
Somewhere in the neighborhood of 1/8 tsp of sulfite (or 1/16 tsp if you can measure down that far) and 3/4 tsp of sorbate should do.

scottv
07-22-2012, 10:09 PM
Somewhere in the neighborhood of 1/8 tsp of sulfite (or 1/16 tsp if you can measure down that far) and 3/4 tsp of sorbate should do.

well, I let it sit over the weekend and still smells like rubber (maybe a bit less though). I am currently cold crashing it in my keezer.

Should I just pour the stabilizers it in and stir it up?

Chevette Girl
07-23-2012, 04:17 PM
If it drops sediment after cold-crashing, you'll probably want to rack it so you don't mix up the sediment all over again.

I have one batch that went rubbery and three now that smell like diesel, the ones that smell like diesel are fixed by agitating the crap out of it (somehow I haven't managed to oxidixe any yet). Haven't found a solution to the rubbery taste yet though, I tried copper on mine (chucked a very clean copper penny - you have to do a little searching to see which years actually used real copper) and it didn't seem to work but it might work on yours, maybe yours will be caught early enough or something...

scottv
07-24-2012, 09:02 AM
If it drops sediment after cold-crashing, you'll probably want to rack it so you don't mix up the sediment all over again.

I have one batch that went rubbery and three now that smell like diesel, the ones that smell like diesel are fixed by agitating the crap out of it (somehow I haven't managed to oxidixe any yet). Haven't found a solution to the rubbery taste yet though, I tried copper on mine (chucked a very clean copper penny - you have to do a little searching to see which years actually used real copper) and it didn't seem to work but it might work on yours, maybe yours will be caught early enough or something...

well, it's only a half gallon batch now. but from what I am reading, it seems like the smell is here to stay. Now, it tastes fine (no rubber taste), do you think it's alright to drink?

I will rack it from the cold crash tonight and then sorbate/sulfite it.

akueck
07-24-2012, 07:32 PM
You can drink it even if it tastes like rubber. It won't hurt you, it's not actual rubber in there.

scottv
07-24-2012, 08:18 PM
You can drink it even if it tastes like rubber. It won't hurt you, it's not actual rubber in there.

hehe, ok thanks (and I realize it isn't actual rubber) :)

scottv
07-25-2012, 09:33 AM
I looked at the sulfite and sorbate packets and they said:
sulfite - add 1/4 tsp for 6 gallons of must
sorbate - add 1/4 tsp for 1 gallon of must

regardless, I added about 1/16 sulfite (smallest I could measure) and 1/8 sorbate about 3 hours later.

can I start to backsweeten and age now?

akueck
07-25-2012, 05:19 PM
Yep. I would give the chemicals a day-ish to see if a bunch of sediment drops out (sometimes that happens with sulfite). Might as well not rack extra sediment if you don't have to. But otherwise, good to go.

Keep it under airlock after backsweetening, of course, to make sure the fermentation doesn't start up again.