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Intheswamp
10-31-2012, 12:23 AM
I know I've got a lot more to learn on the equipment side of things but I think I've figured out enough to get by for a while. What I'm having trouble wrapping my brain around, though, is figuring out which ingredients that are good to have on hand.

Being as I have to order my stuff online I'd like to put in an order for some of the ingredients but I'm not sure what to buy. I'm basically interested in the "good to have on hand" stuff. Anybody want to put together a list of ingredients for me....yeasts, nutrients, clarifiers, acids, stailizers, etc.,.? Kind of a newbees ingredient tool kit?

I've got my JAOM going (it's two weeks old tonight...say Happy Birthday to it!!! ;) ) but I think I'm going to need more than raisins and bread yeast if I want to try some of the other recipes. ;D I'm thinking that my second recipe will be a traditional mead...honey, yeast, and water (but I think I'll need nutrients for it).

Anybody wanta scratch up a mail order shopping list for me? :)

Thanks,
Ed

Chevette Girl
10-31-2012, 02:20 AM
Here's what I keep on hand in the approximate order in which I decided it was needed in my own brewing history...

sanitizer and cleanser (I use a pink chlorine-based cleanser, very good for getting smells out of plastic, and potassium metabisulphite for sanitizing)

Honey (what, it's not like it goes bad or anything, and you never know when you'll have a windfall of fruit you absolutely must turn into a melomel)

Sugar (I stock up when it's on sale, but I also make a lot of fruit wines too)

a selection of yeasts (I keep them in the refrigerator, I like to keep a full stock of at least one or two of every Lalvin yeast available to me since they're not all available all the time, more of K1V, EC-1118 and 71B that I use regularly)

a container of pectinase (again, I do a lot with fruit, always a good idea)

a packet of yeast nutrients (DAP)

a packet of yeast energizer (OK, this is a lie, I didn't get into that till about six years into winemaking, but if you're getting nutrients, you might as well get energizer)

White grape concentrate (for adding body to thin wines)

canned apple juice (for topping up)

a packet of campden tabs for stabilizing or sanitizing a must

a container of potassium sorbate for stabilizing

a container of tannin powder (although until somewhat recently I just used tea)

a container of acid blend (mostly for wines, I don't use it in meads, easier to keep on hand than lemons when I need to adjust a wine to approximately the same pH as grape must)

a container of potassium or calcium carbonate (for bringing up pH, best if you've got some pH strips)

a container of bentonite for fining/clearing wine

a container of Sparkolloid for when the bentonite doesn't work

And from memory, those are the consumables in my wine cupboard, without actually running down two flights of stairs to check. I'll post again if I missed anything.

celticgladiator
10-31-2012, 04:02 AM
Wow! Great list!

mrperq
10-31-2012, 06:28 AM
Another gem of information from CG :)



a container of pectinase (again, I do a lot with fruit, always a good idea)


How do you store these?
How long do they keep (on avarage)?




a packet of yeast nutrients (DAP)

a packet of yeast energizer (OK, this is a lie, I didn't get into that till about six years into winemaking, but if you're getting nutrients, you might as well get energizer)


My shop only suplies nutrients, and no detail on what they exectly are.
Boiled yeasties, would they be DAP or energizer, or both?

Chevette Girl
10-31-2012, 10:00 AM
As far as I know, none of these things go bad. I go through a lot of pectinase though so it doens't hang around for that long. The worst I've had is if a little moisture gets in, the stuff gets crumbly and takes a few seconds longer to dissolve.

Most of mine are in sealed containers, either the one they came in or a jar for the stuff that comes in packets. My LHBS sells a lot of these items in a similar container to what drug stores used to give out before they made the lids impossible to get off. The rest come bagged, so I transfer them into re-used jars with the seals, baby food jars would work but mine are mostly spice jars.

I think I might lump yeast hulls in with energizer, since it should by definition contain some micronutrients and you can feed it to your yeast at any time, the yeasties can only use DAP early on in the fermentation.

Intheswamp
11-01-2012, 09:13 AM
Honey: Local and out of my own hives (that's pretty local, too! :) )

Sanitizer/cleanser: B-Brite and Star San

Sugar: I need to stock up some for the bees anyhow. I don't see much of this called for in mead recipes, tough. Do you use this more in your wine making? It's been a while since I've seen it on sale. Looks like the better priced bags are the small 5# bags (weird, it seems the larger bags would be cheaper). You gotta watch out though as they're pushing those little 4# bags on us.

Pectinase: Is this the same thing as pectic enzymes? Seems I've seen pectinase around the canning supplies in the store...? I've seen this mentioned for use with apples a lot. Does one type of fruit call for this more so than others?

Yeast nutrients: You mentioned DAP. What about Fermaid and Go-Ferm? I see that Go-Ferm is a yeast nutrient to use at hydration of the yeast and that Fermaid is used on after pitching. With the Fermaid there is an "O" and "K" version...I can't remember what it was about it but it seems the "K" version is correct for mead...??

What about yeast hulls? Worth having on hand or are we getting to inventory heavy for a newbee?

Yeast energizer: This I believe has a bunch of minerals and vitamins that the "nutrients" don't have. Would the Go-Ferm I mentioned above be considered an energizer or is this something separate?

Campden Tabs and Potassium Sorbate: Ok, the campden tabs are a sulphite sanitizer while the Potassium Sorbate is a stabilizer? The campden would be used to sanitize things and also to clear must of foreign yeast. Being a stabilizer could the Postassium Sorbate be used to kill a fermentation to stop at a certain sweetness level or would it be the campden tabs that would do that. I'm thinking I'd like to stay away from sulphites if I can.

Tannin powder: I've gotta study up on. ;)

Acid blend and potassium or calcium carbonate: Used to adjust pH (in different directions). I need to study up on this, too.

Bentonite: Will get some to have on hand.

CG, thanks for the help, your descriptions of the needs for the items helps a lot. I'll delve into this and get a small order up in the next few days.

Take care,
Ed


Here's what I keep on hand in the approximate order in which I decided it was needed in my own brewing history...

sanitizer and cleanser -

Honey (what, it's not like it goes bad or anything, and you never know when you'll have a windfall of fruit you absolutely must turn into a melomel)

Sugar (I stock up when it's on sale, but I also make a lot of fruit wines too)

a selection of yeasts (I keep them in the refrigerator, I like to keep a full stock of at least one or two of every Lalvin yeast available to me since they're not all available all the time, more of K1V, EC-1118 and 71B that I use regularly)

a container of pectinase (again, I do a lot with fruit, always a good idea)

a packet of yeast nutrients (DAP)

a packet of yeast energizer (OK, this is a lie, I didn't get into that till about six years into winemaking, but if you're getting nutrients, you might as well get energizer)

White grape concentrate (for adding body to thin wines)

canned apple juice (for topping up)

a packet of campden tabs for stabilizing or sanitizing a must

a container of potassium sorbate for stabilizing

a container of tannin powder (although until somewhat recently I just used tea)

a container of acid blend (mostly for wines, I don't use it in meads, easier to keep on hand than lemons when I need to adjust a wine to approximately the same pH as grape must)

a container of potassium or calcium carbonate (for bringing up pH, best if you've got some pH strips)

a container of bentonite for fining/clearing wine

a container of Sparkolloid for when the bentonite doesn't work

And from memory, those are the consumables in my wine cupboard, without actually running down two flights of stairs to check. I'll post again if I missed anything.

Chevette Girl
11-01-2012, 11:41 AM
All I've ever seen for sale is 2 kg (4.4 lb) bags of sugar and a good price here is $1.99. And yes, I do use that mainly for wines, all it''ll really do in a mead is boost the alcohol content without increasing the honey flavour.

Pectinase is the same as pectic enzyme.

Yep, Go-ferm is to be used during rehydration, I forgot to mention it because I can't get it locally and haven't seen the need to mail-order it yet. Energizers have vitamins and micronutrients in them that aren't contained in DAP, DAP is pretty much a straight inorganic nitrogen source. Fermaid-K and Fermaid-O both fall under the category of "yeast energizer", the difference between the two is the Fermaid K should be used earlier on in the fermentation (before your 1/3 sugar break) because it contains some DAP, an inorganic nitrogen source. Fermaid-O contains an organic nitrogen source, which the yeast can still use even later in the fermentation if you've got a yeast that's tapping on the carboy and telling you it's still feeling deprived (Ok, usually it'll make funny smells rather than tapping on the carboy). The yeast hulls are a good thing to have on hand if you don't have something like Fermaid-O that can be added later on to a stinky ferment that's past its 1/3 sugar break. I just microwave a teaspoon or two of bread yeast and call it good enough. Why would you use DAP when you could just use energizer/Fermaid-K? Well, I get a little plasic container with about three tablespoons of energizer for the same price I get a bag containing at least half a cup of DAP...

Campden tabs are a measured amount of the same chemical I use as a sanitizer but you use one tablet per gallon of must if you need to de-germify a questionable must (I use it on pears because they spoil before the pectinase has a chance to do its thing), or stabilize your finished wine/mead in conjunction with the sorbate, the sulphite knocks out the yeast (and most other microbes that might be in there) and the sorbate keeps any survivors from breeding. You don't want to use just sorbate to stabilize either, there are certain bacteria that if they happen to be in your must, can eat sorbate and it produces a geranium flavour that you can't remove from your must afterwards.

Go do your research on tannins (I still usually use black tea) and acid/base use... Honey has its own acidity, so while for a wine must you may want to try to make it match a grape must's pH as closely as possible (the sugar you add doesn't affect the pH), if you turn it into a melomel, the honey can drop your pH too low for the yeast to be happy. I went for years without a pH meter or even strips, and I think I have had some batches stall out because of acidity, and on the other hand, I've had a melomel or two that really needed just a touch more of the bite you'd get from tannin or acid. At the beginning, it's about your yeast, at the end, it's about taste.

Intheswamp
11-02-2012, 08:13 AM
Thanks for the info, CG, you're a goldmine. You explained some concepts and ingredient uses very well. Now to see what I can get ordered. I'm still trying to put together (in my head) a traditional recipe, something semi-dry. I can't decide on 1-gallon or 3-gallon...

Ed

dingurth
11-02-2012, 09:58 AM
Pectinase: Is this the same thing as pectic enzymes? Seems I've seen pectinase around the canning supplies in the store...? I've seen this mentioned for use with apples a lot. Does one type of fruit call for this more so than others?


For those who remember their chemistry classes, '-ase' means that something is an enzyme. It is important when shopping though to make sure to look for pectinase or pectin enzyme on the label as pectin on its own is not something you want to add to your mead since it will do the exact opposite of what you want (instead of breaking down pectin, you add more). A lot of people seem to just key into 'pectin' and confuse the two.

I've seen a list somewhere around here that tells you which fruits contribute most to pectic haze and which do not, but I can't seem to find it...

Chevette Girl
11-02-2012, 10:24 AM
Thanks for the info, CG, you're a goldmine. You explained some concepts and ingredient uses very well. Now to see what I can get ordered. I'm still trying to put together (in my head) a traditional recipe, something semi-dry. I can't decide on 1-gallon or 3-gallon...


You're welcome, always glad to help. Go for 3-gal if you can afford it. Unless you're processing a whole lot of little fussy fruits, even a 5-gal batch isn't really more work than making a gallon, until bottling time... A 3-gal batch is not TOOO many bottles to collect, wash and sanitize when the time comes, and if it turns out well, you'll still wish you'd made more. My first traditional was 3 gal, I find that 3 gal is my favourite size because it gives more than 4 bottles and I can actually lift the carboy in my cramped workspace without hurting myself or having to call in my husband.

Having a case (I usually get just over a dozen bottles from a 3-gal batch) to put away does make it more likely that some of it will survive "Wow, this is tasty! " *glug* *glug* and and "Ooh, it's something I'm proud of, must give some out as gifts!" so you'll be able to note the effects of age on your mead.


I've seen a list somewhere around here that tells you which fruits contribute most to pectic haze and which do not, but I can't seem to find it...

From jam and jelly experience, apples and citrus fruits are high, from one of my wine books, blueberries are low... I just always use it for any amount of fruit that exceeds the amount I'd use for a JAO or variation. I did have to add some to an extra-citrusy JAO variation, first time I've had pectic haze in a finished mead.