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Relic ranger
04-26-2013, 04:46 PM
ok so i made a three gallon batch of sweet mead but i fear for the worst i did what some meat head told me and didnt read enough so here it is
9lbs wild flower honey
12 oranges
small box of razberries
crosby and baker fermax yeast nutrient
wyeast smack pack 4184 sweet mead (direct pitch)
three gallon of bottle water
so i took a gallon of water and warm it up in a pot then poured all nine pounds of honey not even close to boiling just enough to make it well mixed then put it to my primary then added the rest of the water cut all the orange in half and didnt wash them all the raz's and three tsp of yeast nutrient and the whole smack pack and let it sit for 2 weeks and three day it did ferment good and i racked it to another to get it out of the yeast it slowed way down in the second fermenter to 1 bubble ever 30 sec i tasted it and its not that bad but i fear i added way to much yeast? what should i do now?bottle?kill yeast?:o

Relic ranger
04-26-2013, 05:13 PM
so i let the mead or 5 gallon food grade bucket sit for two weeks and three days and skimmed the orange and raz's off and racked it into a three gallon carboy and its been sitting for three day now and there is a on of sediment on the bottom already should i rack it again there is still bubbles in the airlock(1 every thirty sec) also i added 3tsp of nutrient and the whole smack pack of yeast and i think i added way to much and the nurtient said 1 tsp per gallon so i added three not think about the almost gallon of honey i still think i added to much during the must process that why there is so much sediment when i racked it it tasted like a stong wine and not bad at all what should i do ? i want to rack it again already because of the sediment

fatbloke
04-27-2013, 03:20 AM
have you read the NewBee guide (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=108&Itemid=14) ?

Have you taken gravity readings ?

Have you searched for info on that yeast (which would have told you that it's one of the yeasts that attracts the biggest criticisms for being a finicky PITA, hard to use, sticks or refuses to start regularly, has a low alcohol tolerance which means that too much sugar early on can make it hard work, hence my ? about gravity readings, etc etc) ?

Bubble rate is a very poor guide to a ferments progress, it just shows that something is going on to generate bubbles, but not what those bubbles are or whether they're actually connected to how the yeast is doing.

It's hard to offer any usable guidance without a full listing of the recipe, method used to mix, total volume (is it 9lb of honey in a total of 3 gallons or 9lb of honey plus the 3 gallons, etc etc).

If you can provide as much info as possible then we can point you in the right direction to get the batch finished OK.....

Relic ranger
04-27-2013, 07:25 AM
Ok so this is the process I used to mix everything I used three gallon of water and nine pounds of honey that almost four gallon total(almost) I warm up all the honey in a pot on the stove with one gallon water I did not boil it after the mix was warmed up and all one uniform liquid I poured it in a five gallon food bucket and then poured the other two gallons of water in the bucket to cool down the must and then I cut in half all the oranges and tossed those in the bucket as well as the raz's then I used three tsp of yeast nutrient and also the smack pack then I cover it with the lid and airlock for two weeks and three days then I skimmed the fruit out and racked it into the three gallon carboy so yes there was aliitle must left over I tasted the I tossed it and used and bung and airlock for the carboy and it has been sitting now for four days and there is a ton of lees or sediment on the bottom so I assuming that I put to much of the smack pack in because on the pack it says pitch into a six gallon batch of must and the guy at my LBS said toss it all in and I feel that I should not have done that because now there is too much yeast still dormant in the mead and that where the sediment is coming from I do not have a gravity measurements as I am strapped for cash for the time being I did taste it and it not that bad ..... I was going to rack it again and put a stick of cinnimon in there to clear it up and rack it again and again till its clear with no sediment and I can see threw it and backsweeten and bottle ? I hope that is enough info because that all I did lol the name of the products I posted before I hope you masters of the art can guide my Jedi ways

Swordnut
04-27-2013, 07:42 AM
Orange peels carry wild strains of yeast, those could have gone crazy on your mead since you didn't wash. Next time, wash them. You pitched too much, next time follow the package instructions. Too much yeast might give your must a head-start in fermentation, the reason you've produced so much lees in so few days but might impart an off-taste as well. In the end however, the amount of lees will be determined by the amount of yeasts which your must can sustain, which depends on your how much fermentable stuff there is in there.

Your yeast will continue to multiply until their nutrients run out (and some other factors) regardless of their starting numbers, it'll just take a longer cq. shorter amount of time for them to do so.

Could you like give a list order of ingredients with amounts and how/when you did what? Like this style (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21277).

fatbloke
04-27-2013, 08:08 AM
Ok so this is the process I used to mix everything I used three gallon of water and nine pounds of honey that almost four gallon total(almost) I warm up all the honey in a pot on the stove with one gallon water I did not boil it after the mix was warmed up and all one uniform liquid I poured it in a five gallon food bucket and then poured the other two gallons of water in the bucket to cool down the must and then I cut in half all the oranges and tossed those in the bucket as well as the raz's then I used three tsp of yeast nutrient and also the smack pack then I cover it with the lid and airlock for two weeks and three days then I skimmed the fruit out and racked it into the three gallon carboy so yes there was aliitle must left over I tasted the I tossed it and used and bung and airlock for the carboy and it has been sitting now for four days and there is a ton of lees or sediment on the bottom so I assuming that I put to much of the smack pack in because on the pack it says pitch into a six gallon batch of must and the guy at my LBS said toss it all in and I feel that I should not have done that because now there is too much yeast still dormant in the mead and that where the sediment is coming from I do not have a gravity measurements as I am strapped for cash for the time being I did taste it and it not that bad ..... I was going to rack it again and put a stick of cinnimon in there to clear it up and rack it again and again till its clear with no sediment and I can see threw it and backsweeten and bottle ? I hope that is enough info because that all I did lol the name of the products I posted before I hope you masters of the art can guide my Jedi ways
See while I can appreciate the money thing, for safety more than anything else, a hydrometer is almost a required essential.

The sediment isnt about how much yeast you pitched, yeast is a living organism and with some types of brew it will develop a large colony which dies off as it regenerates, producing (potentially) a lot of sediment. I suspect that more by luck, your brew was one that the yeasties enjoyed.

With a lot of yeasts you could just leave it there and let it clear with time, but there are a few that are known to impart off flavours, hence its normally recommended that unless the yeast is known to be good if left, to rack the brew off the sediment periodically.

I've never had success with that yeast and while some have had good results its known as being a bit of a PITA. The sediment and bubbles suggest that it must have worked but without the numbers there's no way of telling how well.

I'm thinking that till you can get a hydrometer to know where its at, just rack it off the sediment, but think on ways of either topping it up or displacing the brew once racked or if you have some way of blanketing the brew with CO2.......

The point being that you want to remove the sediment but you don't want to be left with a lot of air space over the top of the brew as that can encourage oxidation damage.

Cheap vodka will increase the alcohol level, and help stop the yeast fermenting further if there is room for it to restart, and helps with increased preservative effect with reduced need for sulphites or sorbate to stabilise it, but the downside is that it reduces body/viscosity some.

Water just dilutes the alcohol, the body and flavour.

To displace, sanitised glass marbles are a favourite but caution is needed in a glass fermenter and it can be surprising just how many are needed.

Gas blanketing is dependant on having usable acces to the gas.....

Personally, I'm thinking maybe just some more fruit (raspberries and the segmented out flesh from oranges) and some cheap vodka.....

That's about the best I can suggest........oh and if you have the fridge space, cold crashing it can help with clearing out any further sediment a bit quicker.

And yes, the advice would be different if you had access to a hydrometer etc, but WTF, we all have to make compromises driven by the money eh !

Relic ranger
04-27-2013, 09:52 AM
Ok thanks so much I have read the newbie guide but that was after I started but I think I do that and try and rack it off again and add more fruit to see if I can ferment some more of it could I also use honey and what do you mean by safety could I get sick or where you talking about bursting bottles? Lol anyway thank you so much for taking the the time to help I'm am definitely going the right route next time and not listening to the LBS they sell orange blossom honey for 10 dollar a pound and I just got back from ocean state job lot and they have the exact same honey there for 3.50 so it's obvious that there not about quality so no more listening to them about how to brew anything ill just buy equipment there

Chevette Girl
04-28-2013, 12:15 PM
Wow, Ranger, take a breath. ;D Your posts would be a LOT easier for us to read if you broke them into actual sentences and parargraphs, I read one of your posts twice and still didn't see the part where you don't have money for a hydrometer, and did you notice people asked you for your ingredients and procedures when you'd included that info in the original post? Don't be afraid of the enter key or of punctuation, they are your friends!

Too much yeast isn't going to hurt your must. Especially considering smack packs don't have the same live count as the dried packets of yeast, and one whole packet is recommended for any size up to 6 gallons. When you pitch the yeast in, it will replicate itself for a few days until it reaches a population it's happy with, adding more yeast up front just makes it take less time to get there.

You'll notice how your must is cloudy, and as long as it's cloudy, you can expect it to drop sediment, even clear musts can drop sediment. It's not going to clear until the yeast have finished whatever sugars they're going to eat and then they'll settle out to the bottom. You don't have to worry about off-flavours for at least six weeks, even for yeasts like Lalvin 71B which is known to cause problems. I usually let mine finish completely and even start to clear before I rack to the secondary vessel, that way I don't have to rack it as often. If it's still bubbling after you rack it off the sediment, it's a pretty safe bet that it's still releasing CO2 which will displace the oxygen in the headspace so you'd probably be fine with one early racking if you leave headspace, but you will want to figure out how to deal with the headspace for the next time you rack it. If you add more fruit and honey and water to top it off, there's a good chance it will keep on fermenting.

If you want to backsweeten this once it's all done, get yourself some potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulphite before you add more sugars to a brew or you do indeed risk bottle explosions if the yeast tries to eat the additional sugar. And you'll want a hydrometer to be able to tell that your stabilization chemicals worked, as Fatbloke says, airlock bubble rates are misleading. You should be able to get the hydrometer and the chemicals together for around $20.

Generally the only thing that will make you sick when you drink your own creations is overindulgence, there really aren't too many nasties that can survive the environment that yeast creates while it ferments or the alcohol in the finished mead.

Another reason you might want to wash your oranges next time would be pesticide, I always give mine a scrub with soapy water.

Relic ranger
04-29-2013, 08:15 AM
hey everyone

sorry about the way i type.I am a army grunt and i am not to concerned about periods and question marks. I am sorry!! lol ok so now that is behind us these are my ingridients again

9 lbs wild flower honey
3 gallons bottle water
12 oranges
1 small box of razberries
3 tsp yeast nutrient
1 wyest smack pack 4184 sweet mead

And this is the process i use to make the wonderful drink lol..

first:
I poured all 9 pounds of honey into a pot that was on my stove. Then i turn the stove on and poured 1 gallon of water into the pot that was holding the honey on the stove.I stirred the honey and water mixture until all the honey was dissolved. I then pour the pot of honey/water mixture in a five gallon food grade bucket.Next i took the two remaining gallons of water and poured those into the five gallon bucket as well.


second:
Now the fruit........ i opened the bag of oranges that i purchased at the super market(around 12)Cut all of them in half and tossed those into the five gallon bucket as well. Then i took the small box of razberries and opened the box and dumped those into the bucket.


third:
For the following step i measured 3 tsp of yeast nutrient. As its says on bottle 1 tsp per gallon. So because i had three gallon of water to begin with i used 3 tsp of yeast nutrient in the must .Directly after throwing the nutrient into the must I threw the wyeast into the must as well.i did pop the pouch 3 hours previous as it said to do on the pack.then i stirred it for 15 sec or so the put the cap on the food grade bucket. Next i put the airlock on the top of the bucket into the hole that was prevously drilled and had a rubber washer too.and yes i did put water into the airlock.


fourth:
Next i let it sit in a warm room for 2 weeks and 3 days.then i opened the bucket up and skimmed of the oranges and raz's .....Then i racked it into a three gallon glass carboy and let it sit for three days. Then i noticed there was a ton of sediment on the bottom of the carboy.so i racked it again into another three gallon carboy . but now there was to much head room so i took a litter and a half of bottle water and 1lb of orange blossom honey and 1lb of clover honey and mixed them together and poured them in the carboy to top it off.then of course that night i was laying in bed thinking about the post that people where sending and thought about added more fruit. So i got out of bed and washed an orange and juiced it and cut all the orange out and left the rind. Then i poured it into the mead and it started to sizzle. So i got excited and did that to two more oranges and also added two cloves and two sticks of cinnamon .now my airlock is bubble again at once every ten mississippi so i think it is fermenting again. and that is where i am now in the process i hope this explain the process i used and the ingridiants thanks everyone for your help and lenience on my grammar;D

Swordnut
04-29-2013, 09:16 AM
I don't see anything really wrong with it. Searched for your yeast, a package shouldn't be too much. It never hurts to always read the package instructions.


One of two strains for mead making. Leaves 2-3% residual sugar in most meads. Rich, fruity profile complements fruit mead fermentation. Use additional nutrients for mead making.

Origin:
Flocculation: Medium
Attenuation: NA
Temperature Range: 65-75F, 18-24C
Alcohol Tolerance: 11% ABV

You used nutrients as per instruction. As more intelligent people above me pointed out, little can survive a mead if the yeast ferments well but yea, always wash fruits. I don't know where you live so a 'warm room' to you might be hot or cold to me. Instructions say between 65 and 75.

Since it's designed to leave residual sugar and its fermenting again I guess to just leave it to ferment until it dies, rack off the lees and let it sit (oh and, test it and tell us :3 )

Relic ranger
05-01-2013, 06:23 AM
thank you for taking the time to help me out i have been super busy and i am sorry for the delay in reply but thank you again

fatbloke
05-01-2013, 07:46 AM
I don't see anything really wrong with it. Searched for your yeast, a package shouldn't be too much. It never hurts to always read the package instructions.



You used nutrients as per instruction. As more intelligent people above me pointed out, little can survive a mead if the yeast ferments well but yea, always wash fruits. I don't know where you live so a 'warm room' to you might be hot or cold to me. Instructions say between 65 and 75.

Since it's designed to leave residual sugar and its fermenting again I guess to just leave it to ferment until it dies, rack off the lees and let it sit (oh and, test it and tell us :3 )

Dunno about availability in the Netherlands, but you can get it across the border at Brouwland (http://www.brouwland.com/en/).

I'm sure most of the Wyeast products are fine (the Dry Mead yeast works fine), but the Sweet Mead yeast is finicky as hell, either not starting or sticking mid-ferment for no obvious reason.

Of course, I've read of people using it and having no problems at all, but the 3 times I've tried it, it's been a complete PITA.

YMMV.......