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View Full Version : My 1st Batch is Started!



DonMcJr
08-24-2013, 06:56 PM
Well I started my 1st Batch!

Acerglyn Mead 13 lbs of my own Honey from my Hives and 1 Pint of Maple Syrup!

Must OG: 1.110

5 Gallon Batch.

Here's some Photo's...

Getting Ready...

https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/1239826_10151539131675936_874555196_n.jpg

The Must...
https://sphotos-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/524429_10151539131665936_844220984_n.jpg

Must and Water and yeast ready to go!

https://sphotos-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/1002921_10151539131655936_1573924392_n.jpg

the OG at 86.3 F ...

https://sphotos-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/541792_10151539131895936_201910730_n.jpg

DonMcJr
08-24-2013, 06:56 PM
Ready to Ferment!

https://sphotos-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/933975_10151539131985936_234887941_n.jpg

joemirando
08-24-2013, 07:27 PM
Congratulations! Your own honey and your own maple syrup! Outstanding!

NOW comes the hardest part... the waiting.

You will probably encounter a lag phase, where the wee beasties don't do much CO2 or alcohol production. They're growing and reproducing. Its normal. You may not see activity for a day or two, or you may see activity in 5 or 6 hours. The yeast will decide.

Again, outstanding! You're on your way now!


Maze on,

Joe

McJeff
08-24-2013, 09:19 PM
Must have that cool little thing you put the hydrometer in

DonMcJr
08-24-2013, 09:51 PM
Check the Maple Syrup Site http://www.mapletrader.com then goto the store... For $130 or close to that you can have one too!:cool:

Here ya go...one is waterproof thermometer and one isn't... http://mapleguys.com/index.php?category=6

DonMcJr
08-24-2013, 10:00 PM
3.5 hours and still in the lag phase...:cool:

DonMcJr
08-24-2013, 11:07 PM
Here's a short video I made... this was my 1st batch of Mead ever so please if you see anything I did wrong please let me know!

Click for Video >>>>> http://youtu.be/9UpuEC873FM

DonMcJr
08-24-2013, 11:32 PM
Woo Hoo! I MUSTa done something right!

Looky what happened at 4.5 Hours!

Click to watch >>> http://youtu.be/CsW8QpgzBNY

DonMcJr
08-25-2013, 01:05 AM
Bubbling at every 16 seconds now...5.5 hours in!

DonMcJr
08-25-2013, 02:07 AM
7.5 Hours and bubbling about every 8 seconds!

I'll quit watching it so much now lol and take one last video tomorrow went I wake up!

Click to watch >>>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ug3cdWQqZ6M&feature=share&list=UUINvfvC8aAEe8LfA-IsrYyw

fatbloke
08-25-2013, 04:11 AM
Well done, a good start by the look of things.

My only ?'s would be why heat the honey ? when it's already natures most anti-fungal, anti-bacterial substance and heating it only removes aromatics and volatile flavouring elements. Honey doesn't routinely ferment on it's own and if you're happy with the quality of the water that you're mixing it with to reduce the gravity down to a level where it will ferment, then that doesn't need heating either - though there can be a number of reasons why you might have heated just the water (calcium harness or tap water that regularly has a hint of chlorine/chloramine in it, etc etc).

I don't heat any of my honey, even if it has crystalised some. I just use a by weight method to measure it, then put it in a sanitised bucket along with the required amount (or close too) of water that I'm using (I prefer reverse osmosis water). Honey is hygroscopic so will take up/absorb enough of the water to make it "mixable", when I just blitz it with a stick blender (sanitised of course), which mixes the honey and water consistently as well as aerating the must. If the honey is too cold, or crystalised the honey and water just sit in an airlocked fermenter over night, or even for a day or two if I'm busy, before I make sure it's ready to go and can take a reading etc......

I can see what appears to be yeast nutrients in your original pick, but you make no mention of adding it to the mix. Are you aiming at making a "show Acerglyn" ? or is that just an oversight ?

As for the possibility of the maple syrup needing sanitising ? Well, if it's stuff you've prepared yourself (being lucky enough to have the maples to tap in the first place is wonderful ;D ). So I'd have presumed that it would have already been sanitised during the preparation/making ?

Hence, the heating of the must was an unnecessary stage.......

Of course, older recipes that abound the interwebs say about heating musts, though I'd have thought that'd be more about the recipes being developed when they had little or no understanding of how "clean" honey actually is, or even from when it was more about sanitising from the point of view of the water, when that was untrustworthy and needed sanitising (why beer was safer to drink than water, certainly back in the victorian/pre-victorian early industrial era etc etc).

As for the yeast, I can see it's a redstar pack. Which is fine. Just that I prefer to use the Lalvin stuff, not because it's necessarily better, but they provide much better and more extensive data about their products so it's easier to make the appropriate choices of which to use. There's also the matter of nutrients, when it's handy to know exactly how much nitrogen they provide, so you can work out pretty accurately how much too use etc..... A lot of the available stuff doesn't give you that level of product data, hence I try to use the Fermaid stuff for that reason.......

Anyway, well done again, getting your first batch underway.......

DonMcJr
08-25-2013, 04:42 PM
Yes I added 2 teaspoons of Fermaid Nutrient too...

It was a show mead recipe but I used the Mead Calculator to figure the honey with 1 pint of Maple Syrup.

As for the heating I mostly did that so 4 lbs of crystalized honey would dissolve.

Didn't look at it yet today...

I did read for the 1st 3 days you should aerate it for 5 minutes... Should I?

Anything else I could do different or Missed?

THANKS!

Just Checked and it's bubbling every 3-4 seconds...

Also with the Fermaid and Show Mead... I musta missed that when I read Ken's book what is the signifigance of the "Show Mead" and Nutrients? I know you mentioned it for a reason...

Chevette Girl
08-25-2013, 06:34 PM
You definitely should aerate it for at least the first 1/3 of the fermentation (I see you have a hydrometer already, it's a lot more accurate than doing it for so many days), the yeast need oxygen to replicate.

The term "show mead" has been used to indicate a traditional mead (honey, water, yeast, nutrients) in the past (I think in Ken's book too) but the current use of the term is a mead made with only honey, yeast and water. Anything else (fruit, nutrients, energizer, stabilizing chemicals, pH adjusting chemicals, maple syrup) would cause it to cease to be a show mead. Don't sweat it, I didn't know that when I first found this site either, I think I'm the one that got it added to our glossary. ;D

DonMcJr
08-25-2013, 07:10 PM
Thanks!

So even though 25 hours into it it's bubbling every 3-4 seconds I need to pop the lid and aerate it more?

I did stir it for 8 minutes before I closed the lid...

Ken's book doesn't say to aerate it on this "Sweet Show Mead" recipe that was my base ( I added Maple Syrup and cut the honey down a little)

But yet I read in his book elsewhere I think to aerate for 3 days and on this sit New Bee Guide......

Should I pop and aerate or shouldn't I? THAT tis the question...LOL!

Chevette Girl
08-25-2013, 08:20 PM
What it's bubbling is carbon dioxide, what it needs is oxygen, so yeah, you need to pop the lid and splash it around. I like using a sanitized whisk, whip it till it's foamy, let the foam subside, do it a few times like this till the foam doesn't come back so much.

Even gentle stirring will help because it'll dislodge the carbon dioxide, which will keep the yeast happier, but for the first third of the fermentation, you want to incorporate oxygen into the must so you want to splash it around as much as is reasonable.

DonMcJr
08-25-2013, 08:35 PM
Thanks I just got done doing it then saw your reply...

I researched it on a few places online and found exactly what you just said.

Looks a nice color already and lots of bubbles that I waiting to go down...stired and sloshed for about 10 minutes.

This is fun!

Now the recipe I used said about 3 weeks the fermentation will slow enough to rack into my Seconday glass Carboy...

Trouble is in exactly 3 weeks I will be leaving for a week. Should I rack it 2 days before 3 weeks or at 4 weeks?

Chevette Girl
08-26-2013, 07:20 AM
Recipes that list your schedule of events in days are generally constructed by or for people who don't use hydrometers. Trust your hydrometer, it will tell you when to rack, you might be ready earlier or it still might not be ready before you leave. When it's either close to 1.000 or has stopped moving is the correct time to rack. Other than that, when it stops fizzing and starts to clear is the next best way to figure it out, yeast don't go by a calendar ;D

DonMcJr
08-26-2013, 07:45 AM
Recipes that list your schedule of events in days are generally constructed by or for people who don't use hydrometers. Trust your hydrometer, it will tell you when to rack, you might be ready earlier or it still might not be ready before you leave. When it's either close to 1.000 or has stopped moving is the correct time to rack. Other than that, when it stops fizzing and starts to clear is the next best way to figure it out, yeast don't go by a calendar ;D

Got ya! Its the same when I make Maple Syrup...everyone says it's Syrup 7.7 F above the boiling point of Water and my Hydrometer says it's syrup at 222F which is 9.5 F above Boiling of water!

Thanks!

DonMcJr
08-26-2013, 06:52 PM
Well now I have to "Guess".... Grabbed the Hydrometer and noticed a crack at the bottom. Thought I saw it when I opened the whole kit but it floated fine so I used it. Well after thinking about it I didn't want it to break and contaminate the whole batch so I just aerated and put the lid back on and air lock.

Gonna try and see if they will replace it since it was cracked from the box but if not I need a new one.

Where's the best place to buy the best one?

kchaystack
08-26-2013, 07:27 PM
If you have a local homebrew store I would suggest there first. I always believe in supporting small businesses.

If you do not have said store, then Amazon is the best bet IMHO.

Should only be about 5 bucks. Unless you are like Tony, and prefer size.... ;)

UKTony
08-26-2013, 07:43 PM
If you have a local homebrew store I would suggest there first. I always believe in supporting small businesses.

If you do not have said store, then Amazon is the best bet IMHO.

Should only be about 5 bucks. Unless you are like Tony, and prefer size.... ;)

I prefer to think of it as gaining readability!!

In all honesty though... I'd like to find something in between the two extremes... the sample jar for mine requires about a pint in order to take each measurement. The hydrometer is 16" long, as is the sample tube... for the math geniuses amongst you that want to figure it out, the tube is 16" long x 2" diameter. Answer below....

(Ądoʇ ǝɥʇ oʇ dn ʇɥƃıɹ ʇı llıɟ oʇ ǝɹǝʍ noʎ ɟı (soɹnǝ ǝɥʇ ɹoɟ sǝɹʇıl 8˙0 ɹo) sʇuıd S∩ ㄥ˙Ɩ ʇnoqɐ s,ʇɐɥʇ 'sǝsnıuǝƃ ɥʇɐɯ-uou ǝɥʇ ɹoℲ)

DonMcJr
08-26-2013, 08:30 PM
LOL! I saw the post about Tony's Big one...:eek:

I have a Wine Shop close but they seem to sell their wine and not hive many supplies...only talked to them on the phone need to stop by there...

If they don't then it's ordering online...

DonMcJr
08-27-2013, 08:26 AM
Well she's bubbling every 1-2 seconds...I'm done Aerating and now the yeast can do it's wonder!;D

DonMcJr
12-28-2013, 10:01 PM
FF 4 months later...I have Racked it 3 times and it has been sitting over a month and no clearing at all so I "Cold Crashed it" to Clear it. A week outside in below 25 F weather.

It has cleared nicely and in this pic it has been inside for about 2 hours. The bottom 4 inches is all sediment.

Will I lose all that Mead or will it settle down more as it warms?

https://scontent-b-dfw.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/1514992_10151783599180936_1774372630_n.jpg

mannye
12-28-2013, 11:58 PM
It's not forming a "cake" at the bottom. If you're impatient (like me) you may want to use some Super Kleer or whatever type of finings you can get your hands on. That should get it all the way down. If I'm correct, it's like a nasty dark cloud that "sloshes" around right?

In any case get the whole thing into something smaller and et rid of all the headspace.

DonMcJr
12-29-2013, 06:03 PM
It's Bottled and since the 4 incheson the bottom was only cloudy and not a yeast cake it's in another Carboy to see if it clears up!

15 bottles of Acerglyn...YUM!

https://scontent-b-dfw.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/1557475_10151784980500936_914827666_n.jpg