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meni0n
10-26-2013, 09:19 PM
So here is my first foray into mead making. I watched a video on YouTube on making about 4L of mead and got the ingredients together on Friday. So here is my interesting adventure of making mead.

I sanitized everything and pour what I thought was about 2 L of water into a large pot and 1 kg of honey I bought from the store. Once I brought it to 160 degrees Celsius, I put the pot into the sink and filled it with cold water to cool it down. I then dehydrated the yeast and in the rush forgot to check the temperature of the pot. I poured it into the glass jug, which turned to be at exactly 4 L so I didn't add any water and then I added some raisins and a orange, some yeast nutrient and the dehydrated yeast. Put the stopper with the air lock and was going to move it upstairs but when I touched it, it was really hot!!!

I rushed it to the freezer to cool it down but in all probability I killed the yeast. I let it cool to about 24 degrees and then dumped another half a packet of yeast. The SG was at 1.082 and it's now upstairs and I see that fermentation has started as there is quiet a bit of foam on top.

My question is, will there be any off tastes from all of my mistakes and running around frantically trying to cool this down and all the probable dead yeast floating inside?

mannye
10-26-2013, 10:23 PM
So here is my first foray into mead making. I watched a video on YouTube on making about 4L of mead and got the ingredients together on Friday. So here is my interesting adventure of making mead.

I sanitized everything and pour what I thought was about 2 L of water into a large pot and 1 kg of honey I bought from the store. Once I brought it to 160 degrees Celsius, I put the pot into the sink and filled it with cold water to cool it down. I then dehydrated the yeast and in the rush forgot to check the temperature of the pot. I poured it into the glass jug, which turned to be at exactly 4 L so I didn't add any water and then I added some raisins and a orange, some yeast nutrient and the dehydrated yeast. Put the stopper with the air lock and was going to move it upstairs but when I touched it, it was really hot!!!

I rushed it to the freezer to cool it down but in all probability I killed the yeast. I let it cool to about 24 degrees and then dumped another half a packet of yeast. The SG was at 1.082 and it's now upstairs and I see that fermentation has started as there is quiet a bit of foam on top.

My question is, will there be any off tastes from all of my mistakes and running around frantically trying to cool this down and all the probable dead yeast floating inside?

I think you will be OK. Dead boiled yeast is used as a nutrient very often, so no issues there.

Just one question, since it sounds like you're making a JAOM, why heat it up? Mead doesn't require crazy sanitation. As long as you make sure you sanitize your equipment before you start using whatever means you have at your disposal, it's not necessary to mess around with the ingredients.

Regardless, it seems everything is fine. Relax and have a homebrew. :)

meni0n
10-26-2013, 10:30 PM
I was just following the recipe off YouTube. Would it have been ok to just dump the honey into some room temperature water and add all the ingredients?

bernardsmith
10-26-2013, 10:39 PM
I am no expert. My background is in fruit wine making and I only recently became interested in mead, but with that caveat, dead yeast cells are sometimes used as nutrient for yeast in the first days or weeks of fermentation. I assume (although there are recipes that ask you not to rack) that you will be racking after the fermentation slows down and the specific gravity of your mead drops to around 1.010 or 1.000. But that said, I think you are risking a lot by putting a bung and airlock on at this stage - unless your recipe specifically called for that action.

Normally, you want to introduce some air into the must (the mead before it (fully) ferments) and you want to ensure that the must is thoroughly mixed. Wine makers might agitate and mix their must twice daily and we prefer to work with large mouthed buckets which we cover with cloth to keep out dirt, flies and pets. Mead makers seem to me to come from a very different place and they (I think) may tend to use carboys and airlocks from the moment they pitch the yeast... and that in part may come from the high starting gravities mead recipes seem to prefer and so the (unintended) stresses on the yeast that may lead to accounts of the mead taking inordinately long times to ferment out. I dunno... For me mead making is a subset of wine making and not a different animal, but hey... I am new to mead..

meni0n
10-26-2013, 10:57 PM
Recipe calls for racking at 30 days so I will see how that goes, given the dead yeast and the fact that I didn't put a full packet of yeast the second time around. I also started brewing not so long ago so a stopper and a air lock seem natural to me. Fermentation is going quiet well right now, it started only a couple of hours after I pitched the second yeast so I hope that's a good sign.

joemirando
10-26-2013, 11:16 PM
I was just following the recipe off YouTube. Would it have been ok to just dump the honey into some room temperature water and add all the ingredients?

Yes, it would have been okay. Of course, you'd have to shake the hoo-ha out of it to mix it, but its not all that hard... five minutes of vigorous shaking will usually do it.

I'd be willing to bet that the youtube video was made by a beer brewer. Beer is different and DOES require heating/boiling the ingredients. The alcohol % in beer is low enough that lots of nasty little things will grow in it. And it usually has sugars left over that (if I understand it correctly) that yeast cannot use that other beasites can. So beer requires those precautions.

Mead, typically, attains enough of an alcohol percentage to keep other stuff from growing in it.

As someone else said (I forget who it was and I can't see their post right now), just making sure you've sanitized your equipment is all you need to do for mead.

Welcome to the wonderful world of manic mead making! <grin>

Joe

meni0n
10-26-2013, 11:54 PM
I guess for the next one I won't have the temperature problem again then!

fatbloke
10-27-2013, 04:27 AM
Well ? Nice video clips on YouTube are fine but often don't give the full picture.

The left side yellow links/dialogue box has the NewBee guide linked. It gives the info and answers the questions that new mead makers often ask/need.

Worth the effort to read it IMO. It even gives the JAO recipe to try - which is a bit unorthodox in method and some ingredients, but followed as closely as possible, produces a sweet, easily made and repeatable brew.

Kelvin
10-27-2013, 04:31 AM
I have done many many meads and beers in just the last year and I can tell you that I have never had a single bad bug. I always use Starsan, and am very cautious but I think it's probably very rare to get something bad in your brew. I've done at least 12 meads and I'd guess 50 beers in the last year (not exaggerating) and not one of them has had any kind of infection. Just keep all your equipment and your hands clean and you should be good. Hell, I've even had a few accidents and everything still turned out well.

On second thought.. maybe that would be a year and half.. but still

mannye
10-27-2013, 11:33 PM
As someone else said (I forget who it was and I can't see their post right now), just making sure you've sanitized your equipment is all you need to do for mead.


That was me...LOL

wowbagger
10-28-2013, 10:49 AM
As everyone else has been saying, looks like you haven't caused any irreparable harm.

I've used boiled bread yeast when I'm halfway through assembling a must and realized that I was out of nutrient. It works just great.

In addition to seconding that recommendation to review the NewBee guide, I would caution against blindly racking at "x days". Often you won't hurt anything, but you may end up slowing down your ferment or just wasting your time by having to rack more often if it hasn't cleared yet. The best tools for determining when to rack are a hydrometer (for SG) and your eyeballs (for clearing).

Good luck and welcome to the hobby!

kudapucat
10-28-2013, 04:52 PM
160C??? Wow. Dangerous hot temps there.
I use boiled yeast regularly for nutrient, you're fine.
I don't think I saw it said in my skim read, so be aware. Boiling honey will cause a lot of the delicate flavours to be boiled off in that steam.
It makes a better mead to mix it cool, though I often heat to 40C if the honey is crystallised and won't fit down the neck of the carboy I prefer to use.
The mead will taste great, have no fear.

meni0n
10-28-2013, 05:23 PM
The hydrometer was at around 1.082 when I began fermentation, should I add more honey right now as that would yield about 9%.

kudapucat
10-28-2013, 05:33 PM
That's depends on what you want. At the moment you have a 9% dry mead. That is okay.
More honey will make it stronger alcohol, and a lot more honey will make it sweeter also.
It really comes down to choice.

meni0n
10-28-2013, 08:40 PM
I'm looking for a more sweeter and stronger mead, so another 1L of honey will do the trick?

Chevette Girl
10-28-2013, 10:45 PM
I'd start with half a kg of honey and see how far that goes, if it ends up dry, add more!

kudapucat
10-29-2013, 12:54 AM
Yeah, either add a little, or do some calculations. Too much honey, and you're buggered, you can't take it out, watering it down is your only choice.

Work out what your ideal gravity to start at would be. (A touch higher than the tolerance of the yeast) then calculate how much honey you need to add to achieve this.

After that, double check your maths, add the yeast, and pray you did it right ;-)

It's much easier to get the correct gravity before pitching the yeast.

Personally I'd let it go, the stabilise and back sweeten.

If anything I've said makes no sense, please read the newbee guide again, as it explains much better than I do.