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View Full Version : First time brewing, made some mistakes, will they kill me?



meadbalest
03-30-2014, 09:46 AM
Hello, I made my first batch of very basic mead last night in a 1 gallon jug. I sanitized everything but looking back I made a few mistakes. I just want to know if you think that I really botched my first batch and if there is anything I can do to salvage it.
Ingredients: 3 Lbs raw honey (YS Eco Bee Farm), 1 Gallon water, 20 raisins, 1 orange, Lalvin ICV - D-47 White Wine Yeast, 1 tsp Yeast Nutrition, 1 tsp Yeast Energizer.

Mistakes:
1. When activating the yeast i stirred it right away as opposed to letting it sit for 15 minutes than agitating it. I did this when i first started making my must and covered it with paper towel and let it sit until i was ready to pour the pitch into the must.

2. I didn't put in the Yeast nutrition or energizer into the must until it was around 100 degrees so im not sure if it completely dissolved.

3. I never shook the must and pitch thoroughly to aerate it. It's only the first day, should I do it right now? I kind of gave it a gentle swirl a few times to get the yeast must mix congruent. But never vigorously stirred it.

4. The airlock and stopper are in deep and they are hard to get out. Any recommendations on how to get it out?

So, right now its in the basement and its bubbling slowly, but there is a thicker sediment at the bottom as well. Just wanted to see what some of you experts think. Am I going to have a bad batch due to my oversights?

Thanks.

fatbloke
03-30-2014, 10:13 AM
Nothing there is likely to be an issue. Did you take a start gravity measurement ?

D47 is a good yeast, but carries a caveat...... keep the ferment temperature below 70F/21C as it known to produce high levels of fusels above that.

Aeration of must is a routine practice, generally until the 1/3rd sugar break (another reason for that initial gravity reading - you can sample and would know how it is progressing). Meh! If you don't have the initial numbers, just aerate for the first 3 or 4 days, once (twice is better) a day.

Once the main gotmead site is back up, read the newbee guide as it has a lot of Info that is useful (you could do a search too as I believe someone posted it as an offline attachment to download and read)........

Of course, welcome to the forums.......

meadbalest
03-30-2014, 10:20 AM
Thank you for your response. I didn't have a wine thief and am still trying to figure out how to use the hydrometer, so I didn't get the gravity measurement (afraid of putting it in the gallon jug and not being able to get it out. I will try aerating it today, since it's so young. Thank you again.

mannye
03-30-2014, 12:14 PM
You should be fine. If you have a plumber's wrench:

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/03/31/ane6etu7.jpg

You can grab hold of the stopper and twist it which should get it loose enough to pop out.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now. G

fatbloke
03-30-2014, 02:46 PM
Thank you for your response. I didn't have a wine thief and am still trying to figure out how to use the hydrometer, so I didn't get the gravity measurement (afraid of putting it in the gallon jug and not being able to get it out. I will try aerating it today, since it's so young. Thank you again.
Mr Google has the answer on how to read a hydrometer. A 100 ml test jar/tube is often the best. People then worry about taking the sample and testing, then presume that they have to dump the sample. Well, yes the professional makers might do that, but we need to be conscious of maximising loses etc. I just use sanitising liquid i.e. I use dish soap and water to wash out my testing tube, my hydrometer and a turkey baster. All well rinsed off, then I use a hand spray to sanitise all the surfaces that the mead/fermenting liquid might touch. I let the sanitiser have about 3 to 5 minutes contact time then shake it off/out. The hydrometer goes into the testing tube (gently of course), then I use the turkey baster to extract enough of the ferment to fill the tube to a level where the hydrometer is floating and that I can read the scale (batches with fruit debris, or if it looks like there's bubbles sticking to the hydrometer and you might need to spin it in the liquid for an accurate reading).

Once the reading is taken, I just remove the hydrometer and pour the sample back into the main body of the ferment. Of course, if you're making a 5 gallon batch in a bucket, you can just sanitise the hydrometer and lower it into the ferment and get a reading that way.

By returning the sample to the main ferment, I haven't had any problems with that in my 10 or so years of mead making.........

And yes, I've even tried tieing a piece of cotton thread to my hydrometer after I've soaked the thread in sulphite liquid and measuring in the jug/carboy/etc, but you often can't see the measuring scale properly to take an accurate reading (but I still managed to get it back out of the jug afterward)...... hence it's easier to take a reading from a tube or if you do have a wine thief that fits into your fermenter while a hydrometer is inside then that's another way of getting the numbers.......

mannye
03-30-2014, 09:45 PM
Mr Google has the answer on how to read a hydrometer. A 100 ml test jar/tube is often the best. People then worry about taking the sample and testing, then presume that they have to dump the sample. Well, yes the professional makers might do that, but we need to be conscious of maximising loses etc. I just use sanitising liquid i.e. I use dish soap and water to wash out my testing tube, my hydrometer and a turkey baster. All well rinsed off, then I use a hand spray to sanitise all the surfaces that the mead/fermenting liquid might touch. I let the sanitiser have about 3 to 5 minutes contact time then shake it off/out. The hydrometer goes into the testing tube (gently of course), then I use the turkey baster to extract enough of the ferment to fill the tube to a level where the hydrometer is floating and that I can read the scale (batches with fruit debris, or if it looks like there's bubbles sticking to the hydrometer and you might need to spin it in the liquid for an accurate reading).

Once the reading is taken, I just remove the hydrometer and pour the sample back into the main body of the ferment. Of course, if you're making a 5 gallon batch in a bucket, you can just sanitise the hydrometer and lower it into the ferment and get a reading that way.

By returning the sample to the main ferment, I haven't had any problems with that in my 10 or so years of mead making.........

And yes, I've even tried tieing a piece of cotton thread to my hydrometer after I've soaked the thread in sulphite liquid and measuring in the jug/carboy/etc, but you often can't see the measuring scale properly to take an accurate reading (but I still managed to get it back out of the jug afterward)...... hence it's easier to take a reading from a tube or if you do have a wine thief that fits into your fermenter while a hydrometer is inside then that's another way of getting the numbers.......

Oooooo. I never thought of that last one. Kind of like a bird's head on one of those unmentionable contraptions I don't have or use.



Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now. G