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wargodsown
06-22-2012, 11:55 AM
So i made my first foray into mead making on about a week and a half ago. the recipe was of the simple 1 gallon variety i found all over the net.

Recipe.
#1. 3 lbs honey
#2 topped up with spring water
#3 Added 1 tsp yeast nutrient and 1 tsp acid blend( citric,malic,tartaric)
#4 shook mixed to add air and blend well in 1 gallon glass carboys
#5 prepared and pitched lalvin d47 yeast

now the question i dont have a hydrometer i forgot to get one when i was at the brew store and its a jaunt to get there so i never got my starting gravity reading to work off of so the question is is there a way to tell without a starting gravity when the best time to bottle would be.

i know i still have a long way to go before bottling but when it comes to information i like to have all the facts and information in hand as long as i can before i have to take action with it.
thanks in advance for the help.

wargodsown
06-22-2012, 12:00 PM
also feel free to message me over skype i have it on my phone and am always willing to chat

veritas
06-22-2012, 12:21 PM
Are you open to stabilizing?

wayneb
06-22-2012, 12:24 PM
Welcome to "Gotmead!"

You don't actually need a starting gravity to determine when your mead is finished fermenting, although having that info also doesn't hurt. In general, if you end up with a dry mead (finishing SG at 1.000 or lower), then you are safe to bottle it once it gets down to that end gravity and stays there for a week or so. However the "best time" to bottle usually is after some bulk aging. Check out the Newbee Guide (link on the left of this page) for more info. I personally like to age my meads in bulk at least until they are clear - which is often weeks to months after the fermentation is over. I get more consistent results (bottle to bottle) that way.

For meads with residual sugar, again make sure that the gravity that you measure stays constant (I like to be sure that it is the same for a few weeks, at least), then stabilize with metabisulphite and potassium sorbate, and bottle. Again, more aging helps both with the flavor profile and with bottle to bottle consistency.

wargodsown
06-22-2012, 12:34 PM
Are you open to stabilizing?

i had been looking into it i was planing on letting it age for atleast 6 months before i planned on a full on bottle( once again pro's and cons if there are any plz) and was going to do a quick taste test see what the flavore was like if it was good i was just planning to bottle if it needed some more sweet i was planning to stabilize and add some more honey for flavor and to back sweeten

veritas
06-22-2012, 12:52 PM
sounds like a solid plan aging is the way to go. Cant think of a con to aging other than not being able to drink your mead. Sounds like your on the right track. The only thing I would consider is stabilizing either way if you plan on keeping it long periods of time. I have never had a problem (my only problem is running out of the stuff) but have read post from far better mead makers than I about having something that was seemingly done in terms of gravity and activity start up again much much later.

wargodsown
06-22-2012, 01:04 PM
yea i read around and heard similar just was not sure myself on if i wanted to also on a side note what do you use to back sweeten if you do at all honey or something else?

veritas
06-22-2012, 01:08 PM
I use honey. I always mix it with some hot water to get a solution that will better mix with my mead. At first try I did not do it this way simply added honey then needed to mix into a finished mead I didn't want to oxidize and it posed to be more of a challenge.

wargodsown
06-22-2012, 01:14 PM
hhmmm ok sounds good although id rather not add to much water have to find a good ratio of water and honey to add for sweet. gonna go pick up a hydrometer and some bottles next time i hit the local brew store the manadger said he order to many of the wine sized bottled and he would sell me a 12 pack box for like 10 to 12 bucks if i remember right

fatbloke
06-22-2012, 01:14 PM
Well it sounds like you've done some research etc, which is most excellent.

My two points are, you don't usually need to add any acid, as a pH test would show that its already acidic enough. You might add some too taste once its ready.

More importantly, you mention using D47 yeast. So you will need to ensure that it stays within its (rather narrow) temperature range, well to be a little more precise, you need to keep the fermentation below 70F.

wargodsown
06-22-2012, 01:30 PM
Yea its been pretty spot on temp wise. And seems to be bubbling away pretty merrily

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wargodsown
06-22-2012, 01:36 PM
Although there were a few days it got to around 83 wife messed with the thermostat still seems fine

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Duracell
06-23-2012, 12:07 PM
is there a way to tell without a starting gravity when the best time to bottle would be?

The easy answer is when it's clear. Some people say if you can read news print through the carboy then it's ready. I'd say rack it at 4 weeks, rack again in 4-8 weeks. Then start trying to read through it every 4 weeks or whatever. Once it clears up real nice go ahead and bottle.

I have about 6 batches I did 6+ months ago in one gallon carboy's and I racked at 4 weeks and again 8 weeks later and they have been in bulk aging for the last 3-4 months. They are just about ready to bottle. I'm thinking maybe this weekend or next I will bottle. Doesn't matter so much when they are bulk aging, you kind of forget about them unless you have nothing in the house to drink! Another good reason to start your second batch before your first finishes, so you have a constant supply.

wargodsown
06-23-2012, 12:39 PM
Yea I want to get a brewing cycle down so I can have mead and practice more and un my downtime from that ill probably get back into blacksmithing and nick some of the rust off my skill and the sword I was gonna make with my grandpa before he died he was a college trained blacksmith before he went to fight the japanese on iwogima

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wargodsown
07-03-2012, 08:14 PM
Well today is the day guys gonna rack for secondary ... my patience is hard pressed I want it now lol anyways just figured id keep you guys informed im also debating on adding fruit to one of my batches thinking peaches any know if they normally turn out well?

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