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OrganicTruth
10-01-2013, 11:02 AM
Hi,

I'm new to this and my mead is about 10 days into it. I got the recipe and idea from a user named Plasma.. on another thread. I used mostly agave nectar however, in the 1/4 sugar to water ratio as well as mixing some herbs and honey. I ended up adding some starter fig yeast as well because it wasn't bubbling or fizzing during the first 3-4 days while i had it covered with a rag. Maybe because the night temps were cold? Finally about a week into it, it started fizzing after i added more fig yeast and honey and loosely capped it the other day. I had some of the mead in a stainless steel pot to start off and transferred it to two of the glass jars seen below after filtering it and stirring it. Is that going to impact the process if i transfer this too soon? I didn't want to seal it and ferment it in the pot because i didn't think enough air was coming out and i saw a tiny piece of mold in it a few days back that I removed, but appears fine now.
http://i41.tinypic.com/2yua8w5.jpg
I have it loosely capped in 2 glass jars, and one has a rag over it with a glass lid and a metal clamp. It's been fermenting for a few days, I see tiny bubbles going up and fizzing, but not too much. Once it stops doing that, does it mean it's ready to drink and has alcohol? Or should i tightly seal it more and let it ferment longer, even if it stops fizzing and making Co2?

kchaystack
10-01-2013, 11:29 AM
Hi,

I'm new to this and my mead is about 10 days into it. I got the recipe and idea from a user named Plasma.. on another thread. I used mostly agave nectar however, in the 1/4 sugar to water ratio as well as mixing some herbs and honey. I ended up adding some starter fig yeast as well because it wasn't bubbling or fizzing during the first 3-4 days while i had it covered with a rag. Maybe because the night temps were cold? Finally about a week into it, it started fizzing after i added more fig yeast and honey and loosely capped it the other day. I had some of the mead in a stainless steel pot to start off and transferred it to two of the glass jars seen below after filtering it and stirring it. Is that going to impact the process if i transfer this too soon? I didn't want to seal it and ferment it in the pot because i didn't think enough air was coming out and i saw a tiny piece of mold in it a few days back that I removed, but appears fine now.
http://i41.tinypic.com/2yua8w5.jpg
I have it loosely capped in 2 glass jars, and one has a rag over it with a glass lid and a metal clamp. It's been fermenting for a few days, I see tiny bubbles going up and fizzing, but not too much. Once it stops doing that, does it mean it's ready to drink and has alcohol? Or should i tightly seal it more and let it ferment longer, even if it stops fizzing and making Co2?

You never want to tightly seal anything that is fermenting. The pressure buildup will cause the glass containers to shatter. We don't call them bottle bombs for nothing.

Bubbles are not a good way to tell if fermentation is done. SG or Brix readings are the only way to be sure.

After fermenting stops, most meads need to age 6 -12 months or more. But some might be drinkable right away.

OrganicTruth
10-01-2013, 02:14 PM
Can you be more specific about SG and Brix readings? How do i know if it's drinkable right away? I was told that after 1-2 weeks if you make it naturally it should be good to go. Shouldn't there be alchohol there if it's bubbling for about a week?

kchaystack
10-01-2013, 02:31 PM
Can you be more specific about SG and Brix readings? How do i know if it's drinkable right away? I was told that after 1-2 weeks if you make it naturally it should be good to go. Shouldn't there be alchohol there if it's bubbling for about a week?

It is safe to drink anytime. And yes, there is alcohol once it started bubbling. The longer it goes, the more alcohol.

Those are ways to determine how much sugar you have in solution, so you know how much food the yeasts have. Once all of that is gone (SG of .990 or Brix of 0) there is no more sugar for your yeasts to eat and turn into alcohol. So they will stop making CO2.

But, just because it is not bubbling does not mean fermentation is done, and it could still be creating CO2. SO sealing your containers can be dangerous.

As for ageing, you are making a kind of wine. So usually the longer you let it age, the more the taste will mature. That is all personal taste.

I would really suggest reading the new bee guide, and a few of the other threads in this forum.

BUt over all have fun and be safe. :)

OrganicTruth
10-01-2013, 05:51 PM
It is safe to drink anytime. And yes, there is alcohol once it started bubbling. The longer it goes, the more alcohol.

Those are ways to determine how much sugar you have in solution, so you know how much food the yeasts have. Once all of that is gone (SG of .990 or Brix of 0) there is no more sugar for your yeasts to eat and turn into alcohol. So they will stop making CO2.

But, just because it is not bubbling does not mean fermentation is done, and it could still be creating CO2. SO sealing your containers can be dangerous.

As for ageing, you are making a kind of wine. So usually the longer you let it age, the more the taste will mature. That is all personal taste.

I would really suggest reading the new bee guide, and a few of the other threads in this forum.

BUt over all have fun and be safe. :)


Hey buddy, thanks for that help. But when they bottle it, doesn't CO2 still leak out and if it's still fermenting without bubbles? I assume they bottle it when it's done lol. If it's corked in for nothing to escape, how does the wine change in alcohol since the sugars are already eatin?

OrganicTruth
10-01-2013, 06:02 PM
Sorry if that came out as a stupid question lol. I think in a few days it should be ready to drink. Should have been about a week of bubbling or so. I will just leave the others losely like they are until i drink those. How long do u think it would take to finish fermenting before I seal it today and re-fridge it? In general. I used slightly more then a 1/4 sugar(agave/honey) to water ratio along with herbs and some fig yeast to help start it. People who age mead for 6 months or more, the alcohol has already been finished fermenting though when they bottle them? So it won't give it more alc % if it age right?

kchaystack
10-01-2013, 06:45 PM
No not stupid. I just am doing a poor job of describing stuff to you. ;)

Well most of us leave our mead in carboys with and airlock on while it ages. Often people don't bottle for months.

So, if fermentation is going on, yes you are still creating alcohol. even without bubbles. That is why you take SG readings. Once all the sugar is gone, you know fermentation is over. Tho if you add more sugar it could start again, depending on your yeast and its tolerance.

Ageing does not increase your ABV %. It does let your flavors meld, lets the 'hot' alcohol flavor mellow, and brings back some of the flavor of the honey. But it you like the taste of a young mead, by all means :) cheers.

Leaving the tops loose is a good idea. :)

OrganicTruth
10-01-2013, 07:58 PM
No not stupid. I just am doing a poor job of describing stuff to you. ;)

Well most of us leave our mead in carboys with and airlock on while it ages. Often people don't bottle for months.

So, if fermentation is going on, yes you are still creating alcohol. even without bubbles. That is why you take SG readings. Once all the sugar is gone, you know fermentation is over. Tho if you add more sugar it could start again, depending on your yeast and its tolerance.

Ageing does not increase your ABV %. It does let your flavors meld, lets the 'hot' alcohol flavor mellow, and brings back some of the flavor of the honey. But it you like the taste of a young mead, by all means :) cheers.

Leaving the tops loose is a good idea. :)

I kind of get it now. I just tend to ask lots of questions all at once. My dad makes wine in barrels and I still don't even know the whole process lol. I'm more into organic ways so that's why i'm making my own mead. Do u think by sealing a mason jar right, that it could keep it longer after it ferments? or will air still get in that way and turn vinegary?

Also, if i drink one of the jars this week, should I filter out the stuff in the bottle first, or after while i save the rest? I filtered one of the jars when pouring out of the stainless steel container already, but the other two jars aren't filtered so they have lots of residue in there like the fig, herbs, yeast etc. Or should i just leave them how they are without moving them back and forth to filter?

kchaystack
10-01-2013, 08:43 PM
I would filter it. The longer you leave herbs in there, the more it well effect the taste. Also the dead yeast decaying might have a bad taste.

And yes, keeping O2 away from the mead after it has finished fermenting week prevent the spoilage organisms from turning it into vinegar. You might want to keep it on the refrigerator. Cold will also help clear it

OrganicTruth
10-01-2013, 11:21 PM
I would filter it. The longer you leave herbs in there, the more it well effect the taste. Also the dead yeast decaying might have a bad taste.

And yes, keeping O2 away from the mead after it has finished fermenting week prevent the spoilage organisms from turning it into vinegar. You might want to keep it on the refrigerator. Cold will also help clear it

I only have a cheese cloth or circular wire mesh. You think that's too wide of holes for the yeast? If i move them to other jars to filter too early while its' still fermenting, will that ruin the process?

The herbs are ok while still fermenting though? I'm afraid to tighten them and put it in the fridge without knowing the fermentation status lol.

OrganicTruth
10-01-2013, 11:23 PM
I would filter it. The longer you leave herbs in there, the more it well effect the taste. Also the dead yeast decaying might have a bad taste.

And yes, keeping O2 away from the mead after it has finished fermenting week prevent the spoilage organisms from turning it into vinegar. You might want to keep it on the refrigerator. Cold will also help clear it

I really appreciate your help.

mannye
10-01-2013, 11:40 PM
The backsplash in your kitchen is super nice by the way.

If your father has been making wine for a long time, then you have a source for information that's probably going to be very happy to see you following in his footsteps as it were. Mead and wine have a lot of similarities.

Making mead is kind of like chess in that it only takes a few minutes to learn the basics, but you can spend a lifetime perfecting your technique.

GntlKnigt1
10-02-2013, 05:28 AM
The backsplash in your kitchen is super nice by the way.

If your father has been making wine for a long time, then you have a source for information that's probably going to be very happy to see you following in his footsteps as it were. Mead and wine have a lot of similarities.

Making mead is kind of like chess in that it only takes a few minutes to learn the basics, but you can spend a lifetime perfecting your technique.

Well said, Mannye.

Here's Chap 6 of the NewBee guide on JAOM
http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1938&Itemid=14

OrganicTruth
10-02-2013, 10:23 AM
The backsplash in your kitchen is super nice by the way.

If your father has been making wine for a long time, then you have a source for information that's probably going to be very happy to see you following in his footsteps as it were. Mead and wine have a lot of similarities.

Making mead is kind of like chess in that it only takes a few minutes to learn the basics, but you can spend a lifetime perfecting your technique.

Thanks man. Ya easier said then done, but i'll keep trying i guess lol.

OrganicTruth
10-02-2013, 12:56 PM
So i tried some of the bottles today. One was lighter in color then the other. They taste pretty good, I think. Not sure what a good Mead should taste like lol. It tastes sweet and bubbly, but also a little soury. Is that normal? Or maybe it needs to ferment more? Going to let them ferment till the weekend before drinking the rest. I know wine doesn't have that bubbly taste, only champagne etc. Should mead taste more like normal wine or have a bubbly taste to it like club soda or champagne? I actually like the carbonated/sweet taste, but just want to make sure that's not a sign of it being bad. Should it have a slightly sour taste too?

OrganicTruth
10-02-2013, 01:29 PM
I'm thinking back when i started the process and had it in a stainless steel pot, covered for a few days, I noticed a tiny piece of white mold floating on the top but nothing else. I removed it and moved it to the 2 bottles that you see in the picture that are darker, in order to ferment better. Since then I haven't noticed more mold though. I hope the sour taste isn't from that?

joemirando
10-02-2013, 03:04 PM
I'm thinking back when i started the process and had it in a stainless steel pot, covered for a few days, I noticed a tiny piece of white mold floating on the top but nothing else. I removed it and moved it to the 2 bottles that you see in the picture that are darker, in order to ferment better. Since then I haven't noticed more mold though. I hope the sour taste isn't from that?

The fizzy taste is because its still fermenting. The sour taste is more than likely CO2 dissolved in the must.

Without a picture (and even then not a sure thing) its impossible to know what the white stuff was. It is possible and even likely that it was yeast.

kchaystack
10-02-2013, 03:19 PM
I agree with Joe. The bubbles are from fermentation and dissolved CO2, and the white thing was probably yeast. No need to worry.

OrganicTruth
10-03-2013, 01:41 PM
I agree with Joe. The bubbles are from fermentation and dissolved CO2, and the white thing was probably yeast. No need to worry.

I'm pretty sure it was a tiny peace of mold because I had the pot covered with the lid before it even started fizzing from what I can tell and maybe it blocked off too much air? But maybe you are right. My dad said even if it was mold, it should be ok if u keep fermenting because the alcohol will kill anything off anyway etc. The glass jar that I started the other batch in didn't notice any of the white stuff.

OrganicTruth
10-03-2013, 01:43 PM
The fizzy taste is because its still fermenting. The sour taste is more than likely CO2 dissolved in the must.

Without a picture (and even then not a sure thing) its impossible to know what the white stuff was. It is possible and even likely that it was yeast.

If there is alot of cloudy must on the bottom, what does that mean? It's been there pretty much throughout the fermentation. I added some figs and fig yeast, maybe that's part of it? It's still fizing a litle, barely noticeable. Does that mean it's probably still fermenting?

kchaystack
10-03-2013, 03:13 PM
If you read thru the new bee guide, it explains all of this.