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Darren
12-09-2012, 03:12 PM
Hey all,

My first attempt at making mead started on Friday evening and i have already made some fatal mistakes, but im hoping my first batch survives.

My first mistake was adding the yeast to a hot mix. My second mistake was adding too little nutrient and energizer. I have now added more and it seems to be bubbling away nicely.

This is my first attempt.

My SG read at 1060 is this about right?

Virgin Mead

Made 9pm 07/12/12

2kg Rowse Clear Honey

4Ltr Water

Satsuma with pith removed

2 broken Cloves

Half a Cinamon Stick

Pinch All Spice

5g Sachet Wineworld Wine yeast HIGH ALCOHOL

1.5g Tronozymol Yeast Nutrient and Energiser.. Wineworks


Directions:-

Bring water to just under boil in Stainless pot, then add spices and satsuma.
Mix in Honey and stir for 20 mins whilst taking the white scum off top.
If scum is yellow the temperature is too high.. turn down.

Let cool.

Half a cup of water with Yeast and Nutrient, add dollop of honey and heat gently whilst mixing.

When Must is cool ad Yeast mixture and rack into Carboy with Airlock ( without spices or satsuma ).

24hours later Bubbling starts.. every 5 secs.

Bubbling stopped next day, so added rest of nutrient / energizer and gave little shake and it started bubbling again. Is this right?

Darren
12-09-2012, 06:02 PM
I have a newbee question for you guys..

Its now 48hrs since i made my batch should i be stirring it?

ty:D

Vance G
12-09-2012, 06:10 PM
Areation is good for the growing yeast population. If the stirring is to encorporate Oxygen, yes you should stir it. I play with it and whip it up every time I walk by for the first days of the fermentation.

Darren
12-09-2012, 06:13 PM
Areation is good for the growing yeast population. If the stirring is to encorporate Oxygen, yes you should stir it. I play with it and whip it up every time I walk by for the first days of the fermentation.

Thank you Vance.. i did wonder as today it was bubbling but the airlock wasnt... so i shook it up a bit and now its fine :)

Chevette Girl
12-19-2012, 12:34 AM
During the first little while you want to let oxygen in there too, so pop off the airlock and let it splash around a little if possible without making a huge mess.

Also, you will want to get used to using your hydrometer to figure out how your fermentation's going. Airlocks and bubbling are indications but are far from definitive and can indicate more than one thing, you'll get some bubbling activity while your yeast are breeding but before they really get started producing alcohol (called lag phase) and you'll also get some bubbling at the end when your yeast is all done but there's still CO2 trapped in the must.

When your SG is dropping, you have fermentation going on for sure. I'd suspect the reason your airlock didn't seem to be doing anything until after you agitated your must is that you had an imperfect seal on the airlock, and by either wetting it with must from shaking it around or reseating it when replacing it after aeration, you corrected the seal and it started bubbling.

YogiBearMead726
12-19-2012, 01:50 PM
<snip>...you'll get some bubbling activity while your yeast are breeding but before they really get started producing alcohol (called lag phase)...<snip>

Sorry for the momentary thread-jacking, but from what I understand (could be wrong, I just remember reading this...can't remember exactly where, but I think it was something Lallemand/Lalvin put out) the yeast produce almost 30 times more alcohol per yeast cell during their growth phase than during active fermentation/stationary phase. That would mean it makes more sense to keep the yeast colony growing for as long as possible (hence aerating and giving nutrients until the 1/3-1/2 sugar break).

If I'm off base on this, please someone chime in! Perhaps I'm confusing the term lag phase with something else. Edit: So, from what I've been reading since this post, it would seem the lag phase is just the time the yeast spends rehydrating, and th growth phase is the time from inoculation to when the must is around 5%ABV. Hopefully that makes a little more sense

Back on point, CG is right about the airlock/bubbling must not being a very good indicator of how fermentation is progressing. A hydrometer is essential for monitoring fermentation.

Edit: I found the source I read that info about the growth phase. It's in this response (http://www.lalvinyeast.com/timing_mead_nutrients.asp) to some questions posed by Ken Schramm.

fatbloke
12-19-2012, 04:17 PM
Tell you what Darren, you might want to confirm that gravity figure, because to my reckoning, 2kg of honey into 4 litres would add up to more than 1.066

As you committed a cardinal sin when mixing (according to a lot of us hereabouts) and boiled the honey/water mix (it tends to change the character of the honey removing aromatics and possibly flavouring elements etc.... you don't need any heat at all and those who suggest that it needs pasteurising are talking bollocks) so I doubt there was any unmixed honey. Hence checking the numbers.

Have a read of the "NewBee" guide (in the left hand yellow box) as there's plenty of good tips to answer a lot of the early questions.

You'll see plenty of mention of "nutrient & energiser" here too so the tronozymol is a good replacement for FermaidK "energiser" and for "nutrient" youngs yeast nutrient is mostly DAP/di-ammonium phosphate. Both are used as honey is famously deficient in such elements and the DAP just boosts the energiser/FermaidK/tronozymol equally if you don't want to hunt around for both you can just increase the tronozymol. 1 tsp per gallon is the recommended dose from memory so say 1.5 tsp would be a good bet.....

Oh and put a basic location in your profile as there's a few of us here and local knowledge can help when digging around for local equivalents of stuff that's easy to get in the US market....