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downhillmonkey
06-30-2013, 03:50 PM
Hi all,
this is my first post :D

I've been wandering around the site for some months now getting some tips and advice and so far I've managed to get three batches done. They're all experimental and all aiding in teaching me the do's and don'ts.

For my first mead I went for the JAOM to practice. This is 7 weeks in and looking good. It's clearing up and smells good.
I then went for a basic mead using Orange blossom honey with Lalvin D47 yeast.
Lastly I went for a blueberry mead again using Lalvin D47. This exploded and painted my ceiling in pretty colours, but I managed to save it (I hope) and it's happily bubbling away in the carboy. This smells good to.

I've been using increasingly expensive honey with each batch, but sadly this is all supermarket brands as honey at the moment is difficult to find where I live. Plus the expense is an issue when buying local honey.

My question is this. I have just put my Orange blossom into secondary after 6 weeks. It had slowed right down and had began to clear. I did a reading and its .998. A little taste was dry but surprisingly ok. My aim was to get a medium mead, but the reading is clearly off.

The recipe I used is as follows:
4.5L glass Carboy
1.5 KG honey
Lalvin D47
Topped up with Spring water with 2 inch head space.
Birth date around 23rd May.

Now this is where the frustration kicks in. All of my readings, dates, etc, etc. Are stored as a Word document, which is now corrupt due to a failed USB stick. So I can't tell you my initial readings or exact dates. I've tried everything to recover it, but so far nothing.

Can anybody help? Should stop it fermenting, age it and back sweeten? What have I done wrong? I'm guessing not enough honey.

Please be gentle with me if my mead recipe isn't correct or lacking something. I'm really new to this and still learning methods and educating myself via books and then net.

Thanks

danr
06-30-2013, 04:05 PM
Using the information that you provided and the Mead Calculator on this site, your original Specific Gravity should have been around 1.10, with a potential %ABV of 13.18. According the the Yeast Table on this site, D-47 has an alcohol tolerance level of 14%. This is why your mead has fermented dry; the yeast has converted all of the sugars in the honey to alcohol. You have not done anything wrong.

I would suggest that you continue to let your mead ferment until the specific gravity does not change over the course of a few weeks, then you can stabilize it with both sulfite and sorbate, back sweeten to taste and let it age until next May.

Dan

downhillmonkey
06-30-2013, 04:07 PM
Dan, many thanks for replying so quick and putting my mind at ease. There's a mine field of information out there and it can get confusing.

Pen and paper in future I think!

danr
06-30-2013, 04:45 PM
Pen and paper in future I think!

There is a PDF of a Mead Log form that Wrathwilde created (labeled "Brewlog set") available for download HERE (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=128&Itemid=448).

fatbloke
06-30-2013, 10:16 PM
-----snip-----
Pen and paper in future I think!
Or maybe record the info and use Mr Googles facilities via blogger......

downhillmonkey
07-01-2013, 03:16 AM
Thanks Dan. I've printed a few copies out. Much more detail on the form than what I was recording. Very helpful :icon_thumright:

Chevette Girl
07-01-2013, 07:13 AM
Glad to see you've gotten some of the mistakes out of the way already (painting the ceiling is a favourite, I've done it too;D)

I actually double my logs, I do one here in the Mead Log section of Gotmead and I do one in my looseleaf duo-tang, because you never know.

And Danr's right, if your yeast are running out of sugar (as a reading of .998 suggests), the fermentation will stop on its own. Next batch you can try adding more honey up front but that'll make it a harder ferment for your yeast, stabilizing and backsweetening is actually quicker, easier and more repeatable than adding extra honey at the front and hoping your yeast stop at their tolerance and leave you just enough but not too much sugar, they don't always do that, sometimes they stop early and sometimes they chew right through to a few percent higher than they're rated for.

downhillmonkey
07-01-2013, 02:15 PM
Thanks Chevette girl. Even more useful advice. ;D

Yes the boom was a surprise. I was at work at the time but my wife was hit by the sound wave, which gave her a little shock! It took me a few hours to collect the bits of blueberry off the walls and ceiling. Fortunately it was so aggressive I was happy that the CO2 output would have kept any nasties away. I topped it up with a sugar/water mix then removed it from the fruit after 6 days. It's happliy bubbling away now.

Not sure if this is something others suffer, but I think I'm hooked on making this stuff. I just can't stop myself making it. I've bought more kit today with a view of doing an apple and cinnamon batch. I'm going for 5 gallons this time as I'm sure I'll love this blend.

I'll be running out of space soon!

TheAlchemist
07-02-2013, 06:44 AM
Not sure if this is something others suffer, but I think I'm hooked on making this stuff. I just can't stop myself making ...

I'll be running out of space soon!
You Are Not Alone...

Chevette Girl
07-02-2013, 07:00 AM
You Are Not Alone...

Welcome to the addiction... I've got over 400 bottles hiding in my basement and generally between 40 and 70 gallons in secondary at any given time...

smokepole
07-06-2013, 11:33 AM
'Now this is where the frustration kicks in. All of my readings, dates, etc, etc. Are stored as a Word document, which is now corrupt due to a failed USB stick. So I can't tell you my initial readings or exact dates. I've tried everything to recover it, but so far nothing."

I've had good usb results with

Recuva - Undelete, Unerase, File and Disk Recovery - Free Download
www.piriform.com/recuva‎

downhillmonkey
07-06-2013, 03:59 PM
Cheers. I'll give it a try.