View Full Version : First batch general questions

08-21-2013, 08:45 PM
3 Gallons spring water
~120 oz. stop and shop honey
3 packets bread yeast (yeah yeah...)
1 fruit fly (not intentional)

Began: 8-19-13

Just started up the first batch ever a couple of days ago. We thought going as simple as possible would be the easiest route because we had never brewed anything before, except for cider in a used plastic water jug (story for another time).

Anyways so today I check on it and I see a damn fruit fly just hanging out in there. Our train of thought is to just leave it because it's already done it's damage. But will this really screw up anything? The mead still bubbling and I'm guessing it flew in during the mixing process. We don't care if it's not "healthy" but we did our best to make everything sanitary (bleach, gloves, etc.).

On a more general note, the foam at the top is all but gone except for a few bubbles here and there. The airlock bubbles at odd times. Last night it seemed dead, but I just checked it and it's going at a solid rate. The mead is still very cloudy. Is all of this normal? Our master plan is to bottle it August 31 and store it until Thanksgiving and Christmas, assuming the fermentation is done by then. If all goes well, do you think this will work out well?


08-21-2013, 09:21 PM
I suspect your yeasties are hungry and want feeding. Honey is not a great source of yeastie food as it lacks a range of nutrients that yeast require to be healthy. I'm not experienced enough to guide you, but I suspect one of the more experienced members will talk all about it in detail, possibly about cut up organic raisins and stuff, since it's unlikely that you have "made for the job" nutrients like DAP, or Fermaid on hand.

They possibly want some oxygen too.... do you have a hydrometer by any chance?

I'll leave it there, and wait for one of the smart people to respond.



08-21-2013, 10:47 PM
Nutrients......Fermaidk, fermax, or similar i.e. a "complete" nutrient.

Hydrometer and possibly testing tube to fit it.

Some tubing for siphoning or an autosiphon etc.....

Non-bleach sanitiser as bleach based ones need a hell of a lot of rinsing to make sure there's no residue......

As for damage from the fly ? You'll likely have to wait and see, unless you get any stink or vinegar smell.....

Itd be handy to have a full ingredient list and your method/technique to be able to diagnose any issues that may arise.....

p.s. and for home made nutrients, a small handful of raisins (with no sulphite preservative-rinsed in hot water if they do) per gallon (no you dont need to snip then in half first) and a tablespoon of bread yeast boiled in 100mls of water for a couple of minutes and allowed to cool before adding.....

Chevette Girl
08-22-2013, 01:00 AM
I've had a couple of batches with uninvited guests, one of them was fine (filtered before I drank it) but I caught it relatively quickly, the other two, I don't know how long it went before I realized they were breeding in there, but there were a LOT... so those batches have been sulphited and are clearing while I get ready to run them through my wine filter.

Picking out one little fruit fly shouldn't ruin a batch, just don't let a lot of oxygen at it once fermentation's complete.

I second the reccommendation to get a hydrometer, it's really the only way to know for sure what's going on in your must. Actually I second the rest of Fatbloke's suggestions! :)

I've made over 40 batches with bread yeast. I'm not laughing. Some of those are my favourites.

As for the cloudiness - Sometime around when fermentation's over, a lot of that will settle out. As long as the yeast is active, they kind of wiggle around and stay in suspension, once they're done, they'll lie down for a nap...

08-22-2013, 11:16 AM
I might add that your Aug 31 target bottling date is probably unrealistic. You might want to rack it after fermentation stops, and keep air away from it (i.e. fill your bottle/containers completely full) until your Thanksgiving or Christmas dates. Mead is better when it is at least a year old...