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markjitsu
08-20-2013, 02:29 PM
Hello everyone!

My name is Mark and I'm a beginner with mead. I've made wine for many years with my family and just decided to get into mead.

Currently I live in PA and work in NJ. I'm a greenhouse grower and I specialize in hydroponic vegetable production (though right now I'm just growing Mums).

I wanted to introduce myself. My basic set up is a plastic food grade bucket for fermentation. I have a plastic 5 gallon carboy, airlocks and bungs and what not.

Maybe you all could answer a question, we have to inject a lot of acid at our facility to combat alkalinity of the water. We TEAR through 60 gallon barrels of acid on a regular basis. Would these work for large batches of mead?

http://i39.tinypic.com/15nt1tz.jpg

kchaystack
08-20-2013, 02:33 PM
Sulfuric acid?

Read the newbee guide linked to the menu on the left. It discusses the varous types of plastics in common use. I highly doubt that the containers you have there are food grade plastics- so who knows what might leach out of them into your mead.

Vance G
08-20-2013, 02:50 PM
If you know the safetly procedures and are capable of calculating the minute quantities needed to buffer the relatively few gallons of water in your brewing, it is fine. Just takes a whole lot less of it than lemon juice. Acid is acid.

fatbloke
08-20-2013, 04:14 PM
Whereas I'll just say welcome to the forums and that if you can guarantee that those barrels have been cleaned completely, then tbey will indeed, be food and chemical grade.

Though I'd rather use ones that previously held foodstuffs. .....

Plus re-iterate the suggestion of reading the newbee guide linked in the left. It's a bit of a read but its worth the effort and it contains (chapter 6) the JAO recipe, which should, on first attempt, be made benchmark so you have further understanding how its supposed to taste.......

Chevette Girl
08-20-2013, 08:26 PM
I have alkaline city water and still sometimes have acidity problems, you won't likely have all that much use for sulphuric acid in meadmaking, most often we have the opposite problem - too acidic, since honey itself is acidic.

Nonetheless, welcome to the forum!

markjitsu
08-21-2013, 01:21 PM
Let me clarify (no pun intended) I was inquiring whether or not I could use the cleaned out barrel for a primary/secondary fermenting bin/barrel.

I did get a chance to read through the NewBee section today! It was very informative. Is there a full PDF version I could print out while at work? I saw each individual page had a PDF version but I was unable to spot anything else.

Does anyone ever heat their honey and water outside over open flame/coals/embers for larger batches? I plan on using raw honey and I'd like to sort of pasteurize it at around 150-180 degree F. To do this I was going to weld a large elevated 'seat'? for my brew pot to fit into. It would be elevated enough to get required amount of coals or embers under to bring to necessary temps.

Just curious.

-M

UKTony
08-21-2013, 01:34 PM
I have the separate chapters as PDF that I downloaded the other day for my iPad, for offline reading. I planned on glueing them together in acrobat, but the caveat is, it gets updated, so today's version may be updated tomorrow.

If any of the admins have a problem with me sending the PDF content of newbie guide please let me know (it's all copyright of gotmead.com per the footer on every page). Obviously I don't have distribution rights.

Tony.

Riverat
08-21-2013, 01:51 PM
Try Googling food grade plastic symbols, these will be on the drum, often on the bottom. here are a couple of examples.

http://www.healthsynergyrx.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/plastic-safety.jpg

http://www.wikihow.com/Identify-Food-Grade-Buckets

fatbloke
08-21-2013, 02:03 PM
Let me clarify (no pun intended) I was inquiring whether or not I could use the cleaned out barrel for a primary/secondary fermenting bin/barrel.
Already answered in my previous post. Yes you can use that type of barrel but you'd likely be safer using one that had contained foodstuff before as there aren't many foods that would taint the plastic enough to cause problems or contaminate a must with smell or taste. Whereas chemicals are "a different cup of tea"



I did get a chance to read through the NewBee section today! It was very informative. Is there a full PDF version I could print out while at work? I saw each individual page had a PDF version but I was unable to spot anything else.
Don't know.....



Does anyone ever heat their honey and water outside over open flame/coals/embers for larger batches? I plan on using raw honey and I'd like to sort of pasteurize it at around 150-180 degree F. To do this I was going to weld a large elevated 'seat'? for my brew pot to fit into. It would be elevated enough to get required amount of coals or embers under to bring to necessary temps.

Just curious.

-M
There's no such thing as "necessary temps". You don't need to heat honey period.

It's already natures most anti-bacterial, anti-fungal substance. The samples found at one of the archaeological digs in Egypt a few years back where found to be still edible and they'd only been there for what ? 3000 years......

Heating it only drives off aromatics and more volatile flavour elements. Why go to the hassle of sourcing good quality (potentially expensive) raw honey if you're gonna cook it ? The only time heat is used should be for bochet and thats rather different.

Very little survives in pure honey which is why we have to dilute it down. If its raw, bits of bee, wax, propylis and other hive debris come out in the making and active primary fermentation sorts out pretty much all the others until the alcohol level takes over (about 10% +).

I you're determined to heat it then just use cheapo store bought processed honey.......then little or nothing is lost.

markjitsu
08-21-2013, 02:37 PM
Fatbloke,

I did take into account your post regarding usability. There were a few other people that offered some different answers and I wanted to clarify for them. But! Cool, so, no heating. I was under the impression it just makes it easier to get into solution and work with in general when it's heated a little.

But just in case, I guess if you're following a recipe/method with prescribed temperatures and or techniques, they would be necessary temps in the eyes of in keeping with the recipe wouldn't they? :eek:

UKTony
08-21-2013, 02:45 PM
Fatbloke,

I did take into account your post regarding usability. There were a few other people that offered some different answers and I wanted to clarify for them. But! Cool, so, no heating. I was under the impression it just makes it easier to get into solution and work with in general when it's heated a little.

But just in case, I guess if you're following a recipe/method with prescribed temperatures and or techniques, they would be necessary temps in the eyes of in keeping with the recipe wouldn't they? :eek:

With regards to warming the honey, my method is, I fill a hot bath (hot enough to be uncomfortable, but not so hot you couldn't get in (not sure what that equates to in temperature terms). I stick the honey in the bath, while I clean and sanitise all the tools I'll be using, by the time I'm done, the honey is nice and runny... I also add some starsan into the bath too ... it keeps the bath nice and sanitary (makes the wife very happy, and gives me an extra place to sanitise the larger items, just beware the fumes!), and you occasionally get some drips off of the containers in the must, so it has to be clean. Although we're an unusual case, because we all take showers in our house, so the bath is only used for wifey dying her hair and my mead, so no scummy nastiness to deal with.

Just my tuppence.

Tony

Chevette Girl
08-21-2013, 11:01 PM
If my honey's crystallized solid, I'll add an equal amount hot water (tap hot, not freshly boiled kettle hot) and stir till it's at least fluid, then I add the rest of my water and stir till there's no crystals coming up on my spoon. It'll dissolve eventually :)