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View Full Version : Cheers! Worried about my first batch



Odinson
09-12-2012, 05:10 PM
Hello all! Been reading up on the site for months. This seems to be of the more informative sites out there on meadmaking so I had to make an account!

Ok, so after about a years study I decided to ffinally delve into my first batch of mead. I followed the basic recippe from "The Compleat Meadmaker" very closely with the exception of adding a bit more yeast energizer and nutrient than the book recomends per:confused: the instructions on the labels. 15 pounds orange blossom honey, 4 gal water(tap) and 2 packets lalvin 71b 1122 yeast. I'm using a 6 gallon food grade bucket for a 5 gallon batch from Northern Brewers.
OG reading was 1.106. Temp has fluctuated slightly but has always been withing recomended range. After the first 24 hrs, there was no activity in the airlock, but a heavy sweat/sour smell emiting from the fermentor. Day 2 was the same and now into the end of day 3 the scent has all but subsided and still no airlock activity. After some more research I determined there could possiblt be a leack in the seals. Didn't find one, not that this means much. I finally decided to wash up and check out what was going on in there! Lots of movement, bubbles and a fizzing sound. I decided to take another reading with my hydrometer. In 3 days it has dropped to 1.088. This seams like a fairly substantual drop in a 3 day period and is way off the numbers I've seen to be "normal". Should I be conerned, or am I having a newbie freakout? Thank you everyone in advance and sorry for the long, clumped post!

wayneb
09-12-2012, 05:46 PM
No need to be concerned in this case! With some particularly active fermentations, I've had musts that go from 1.120 down to 0.998 in only 4-5 days. You have a very active ferment, but not one that is out of whack in any way. You might in the future think about stirring in some oxygen by vigorously mixing your must several times a day early in fermentation (before the 1/2 sugar break - when half of the sugar is gone and when the specific gravity has dropped to halfway between where you started initially and where you expect your mead to finish - I usually guesstimate the finish at around 1.000 or so).

For your next batch I'd recommend that you read the NewBee Guide (link over on the left of this page) if you haven't done so already. Especially now that you have a batch going, you'll find lots of information in there that will help you to make more consistent, better meads in the future.

Odinson
09-12-2012, 06:14 PM
Awesome news! I've been stressing over this for 2 days! Obviously I've got a lot to learn. Unfortunately I'm a live and learner. Jump in and see how it feels kind of guy. I've read through the neebee guide once, now that I'm doing it a second time things are making more sense. A lot of notes to take for the next one! Thank you for the great response!