View Full Version : Getting ready for my first attempt; what to do? What not to do? Which recipe?

04-25-2014, 06:07 PM
I have been doing mead research for a few days now, and it has proved fruitless (pun intended.)
Various corners of the internet seem to disagree heartily on the finer points of the process.

The other day, I read a sort of all-inclusive mead-for-newbies guide. I can't seem to find it now. It came up on my first Google the other day.
They used the word 'guesswork', and said that things like taking ph readings, adding acid/fermaid/etc, were largely unnecessary.
This resonates well with the experience of a friend of mine, who had NO idea what he was doing, and made 5gal. of mead from 10lb of honey and some yeast. Didn't do a damn thing to it, and it came out great, if a little short on the sweetness (sat in secondary for around four months)
Compare this to what I've read in the last few hours from you guys: some serious science. I like science! But you guys are speaking a little bit Greek.

So, firstly, can someone point me to a reasonably short article/page/post detailing the mead-making process in scientific terms, complete with what tests/preparations/measurements to make and what they can mean for the outcome?

Secondly, a simple question: when incorporating fruit juice/zest into the flavor, what is the difference between heating these for adding into primary fermentation and adding them fresh into secondary? Pros/cons both ways?

Thirdly. Spices and hops. I understand things like nutmeg, anise, ginger, cinammon, etc, but I have seen a few recipes calling for fresh Cascade hops, and was pretty surprised. I've even seen weird things like Earl Grey tea, black pepper, even Oregon Chai mix?! I had previously considered mead a uniquely sweet brew; this opened some serious doors. My question is, are these flavors unique to recipes where they are the main attraction, or would you add a touch of these sorts of things to any mead? Is a sweet strawberry mead with a touch of cascade and bergamot not an unreasonable thing?

Fourth: Can someone give me a bulleted list of, say, the top ten mistakes one could make in meadmaking, so that I may avoid them all like the plague?

And last: Anybody got a tried-and-true recipe for a strawberry mead?

04-25-2014, 07:06 PM
I certainly don't pretend to have any expertise in making mead and I have been making wine for only a few years so take what I am about to say with a pinch or two of salt, and that said I am not going to directly answer your specific questions:

But if this is your first time fermenting anything then plan to make something simple. Mead is really honey, water, yeast and time. To make life for the yeast simpler, I would add to that list yeast nutrient. Anything else adds complexity and as I say, IMO, you want to have a successful first attempt so that you can then learn what the variables are and so manipulate those variables under controlled conditions.
Now I am sure that many of the far more experienced mazers on this site will suggest that you try JAOM as your first recipe and although I have never tried to make this mead everyone I know argues that it is the easiest mead to make. Me? I would say that the weakness is that to make this mead you need to use what would otherwise be bad practices so IMO you cannot learn anything from this recipe but the poor practice in fact works well because the underlying science is taken into account in ways that are not always very obvious. So, I guess I am hinting that you may want to check out the JAOM recipe.

The one key thing that I have learned is that you really need to be prepared to use a lot of honey for every gallon of mead you are making. Three pounds, perhaps. Perhaps slightly more. The reason for this is that mead is about the taste of the honey. But there is a down side to using so much honey. The downside is that (more or less) each pound of honey will raise the specific gravity of a gallon of water to 1.040. Three pounds will raise the gravity to about 1.120. That gravity is virtually all fermentable sugar and when that amount of sugar is fed to a colony of yeast , yeast with a high tolerance for alcohol (and sugar concentrations) can convert this to a drink of about 16 percent alcohol. A couple of thoughts: beer and ale yeasts cannot survive in that kind of concentration of alcohol and some wine yeasts might have some difficulties too. So you need to decide:
Are you looking for a mead that is dry - that is has virtually no sweetness because ALL the sugars have been converted to alcohol or are you looking to make a mead that has some residual sugars and so is semi sweet or sweet or is very sweet (desert wine)?
Your choice of the level of sweetness - and in your post you said that you thought all mead was sweet - but in fact there is no reason for this and I myself prefer dry mead (albeit with hops) - should then influence what kind of yeast you use and how much honey /gallon you use. Which is to say nothing about what variety or varieties of honey from which you want to make your mead. Each variety (or blend) will provide a very different flavor profile. My one suggestion is that your first mead should perhaps not be from buckwheat honey. IMO, that is an acquired taste in a mead.
My last point - and I apologize for the length of this post - Although it is just as easy to make five gallons as one gallon, I would humbly suggest that you begin small - one gallon batches. In the first place, one gallon batches tend to clear faster and so allow you to taste the mead that you are making sooner (although of course you should be tasting your mead at every step), and in the second place, a disaster in one gallon (2.5 - 3lbs of honey) is less likely to make you feel like throwing in the towel than a problem with a five gallon carboy (15 lbs of honey). The third advantage is that you can, after you have one or two small batches under your belt then experiment with the additions of fruit, herbs (hops count) , grains (braggot), rosehips etc etc etc... (For the record, Earl Grey tea contains bergamot, but black teas contain tannins and that is why they are sometimes added to wines including mead: tannins provide astringency)

04-26-2014, 09:23 AM
First things first: 3lbs to make one gallon of must is SG 1.108 (a very nice target for dry meads as it still has a lot of the character of the honey (though not a true "honey" flavor)).
JAOM is made to boost confidence. It says "huh, I made this and it tastes good; now what can I do?" That's why it's the most common recommendation. BOMM is another great starting point, it doesn't have things that you need to relearn as your doing it "correct" the first time around. The other option is a simple, traditional mead; it will require a little more attention, and patience, but when it's done you can backsweeten, add fruit, spices, whatever. If you want to wade in the pool before learning to swim, JAOM is your best bet; if you want to jump in where you can still stand, BOMM; if you want to be pushed into the 8" deep section, a standard traditional is the one for you; and if you want to be thrown from a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean try a dwojniak (polish style mead)! (I'd recommend against it!)
I have all three recipes made out on my blog with some helpful notes, and Oskaar has quite a few recipes floating around that are great.
If your going to go with something other than JAOM, I'd suggest doing 5gal to save time.

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04-26-2014, 11:11 AM
Here is an article I've been working on. I would love to hear your feedback on how useful it is and what info you think I should add. I hope it's helpful.

A Dissertation on Good Mead Making Practices and "Fast" Mead

So why does mead take so long to be drinkable? If you had to answer that question in one word, it would be "fusels". Fusels are the hot, solvent like taste (many folks say gasoline or rocket fuel) you generally get in a young mead. When fusels are present, you have to age the mead until the yeast metabolize them. Aging time to drinkable mead largely depends on the amount of fusels produced to begin with.

So how do we avoid fusel production from the start?

First, let me list known causes of fusel production and the "cure". By cure, I mean we can cut down on fusels significantly, but probably not all together. If you follow all suggested practices, your mead will be drinkable faster. How fast largely depends on the yeast you use as some yeast produce more fusels than others even in optimal conditions.

1. Fermenting Too Hot - The temperature considered too hot depends on the yeast. For example, D47 is known to give horrible fusels over 70 F, but Wyeast 1388 is quite clean at 80 F. You can look at the manufacturers website for temperature range. Try to stay in the middle of the range as opposed to the extremes.

2. Leaving mead on the gross lees too long - This is another yeast dependent issue that comes up. Generally speaking, it is good practice to rack after primary fermentation (Read 1.000 or your intended FG). Some yeast are notorious for producing fusels if left on the gross lees too long (71B) while others have little to no issues (DV10, KIV1116, EC1118, 1388).

3. Low nutrients - Honey is naturally very nutrient deficient. We generally supplement free nitrogen through diammonium phosphate (DAP) and trace minerals/vitamins with Fermaid K. You will see this called Staggered Nutrient Addition (SNA). Too little nutrients will cause fusels, slow ferments and even stalled fermentations.

4. Unbuffered pH (ie. pH dropped below 3) - As implied in the fact that honey is nutrient deficient, honey is also lacking in pH buffering salts. Starting pH can vary widely in honey must (3.5-6!) depending on the honey source. Many folks think if the starting pH is high, then they don't need to add K2CO3 (you will see this called potassium carbonate or K2CO3; potassium bicarbonate or KHCO3 is also used). High starting pH does not equal buffering capacity. High starting pH improves the chances you will get through ferment without hitting pH 3, but without buffering salts, your pH will drop like rock as soon as fermentation begins. Buffering with K2CO3 prevents these massive pH swings and keeps the pH above stalling range.
Note: Potassium is also a limiting nutrient in honey so two birds, one stone. This (and solubility) is also why K2CO3 is preferred over calcium carbonate.
Note 2: This fast pH drop in fermentation is also why adding lemon juice or acid blend upfront is no longer advised. Make these additions post fermentation to taste.

5. Yeast - some yeast naturally produce more fusels than others. In the case of wine yeast, there has never been selective pressure for clean wine yeast. Why? Historically, wine makers have aged wines for many years before consumption. Most of the fusels have aged away at that point anyway, so who cares if it's clean early? Beer yeast have had this pressure applied for quick turnaround and are generally cleaner. So why use wine yeast? Well, wine yeast consistently hit high ABV. They also provide a completely different ester profile that many find appealing in mead over beer yeast. Some beer yeast make mead "taste like beer" which is good or bad depending on personal taste. Some beer yeast like Wyeast 1388 in my BOMM recipe break the mold and do mead very well without the beer taste. In my hands, DV10, KIV1116, EC1118 wine yeasts are all fairly clean (for wine yeasts) and not too fussy. As far as beer yeasts go, Wyeast 1388 following the BOMM protocol is the champion, but US05, Nottingham, and S33 (in that order) aren't bad if you don't mind some beer flavor. The difference is that (with optimal conditions) mead made with beer yeast will be ready in a few months while wine yeast will require 8 months to years to be drinkable.

6. Degassing/Aeration - While not always as important, getting some oxygen into the must early in the ferment definitely helps speed things along. You are also removing CO2 which is acidic and can drop your pH. This point is more important for high gravity sack meads and show meads that are unbuffered.

7. Very High Starting Gravity - Pure honey is nearly impervious to infection. The sugar content is so high that the osmotic pressure on yeast is too great for the organism to survive. The same is true for must made at gravities exceeding 1.14. Not only does this stress the yeast into producing fusels, but it also causes stalled fermentations. It is far better to start with a lower gravity in the 1.1-1.12 range and allow the fermentation to go to 1.000. At this point, add honey to your desired FG and allow it to ferment. Repeat this process until your mead stays at the FG you want indicating the yeast have given up. This method is called step feeding and has the advantage of never producing stupidly sweet mead. Be warned, a high ABV mead made this way does usually require extra aging time to be drinkable.

Well, I hope that dissertation helps. If you are a new mazer, I highly suggest you make a JAOM (Joe's Ancient Orange Mead) first for a fix and forget first mead, then a BOMM (Bray's One Month Mead) to learn SNAs, pH buffering, and degassing practices. In fact, using the BOMM protocol with any yeast will improve your mead due to the good practices used. It just won't be ready in a month unless you use Wyeast 1388.

After that, it's up to you. Just remember to keep your yeasties happy. If you do, they will give you fast, clean ferments!

Here are some Recipes:

JAOM - Search the forums or google. It is stupid easy to find. This mead appears to break all the rules, but in actuality the fruit provides all nutrients and pH buffering required by the yeast. It definitely needs 6-8 months aging in my opinion though.

BOMM Recipe - 1 gallon
(Updated for clarity & post fermentation options)

Start with 1 gallon spring water.
Remove 1/2 cup water to compensate for smack pack volume.
Draw line on jugs at this water level.
Remove an additional 3.2 cups of water from jug (757 ml).
Add Orange Blossom honey (or your favorite varietal honey) back to line.
-About 2.5 lbs. SG 1.099ish.

Add 1/4 tsp DAP and 1/2 tsp of Fermaid K. Add these again at 2/3 (1.066) & 1/3 (1.033) sugar break.
-These are nutrients you can get at homebrew shops or Amazon. Diammonium phosphate (DAP) is a free nitrogen source. Fermaid K contains vitamins, minerals, and trace nutrients. Honey is very deficient in nutrients so you need both to prevent fusel production and stalled ferments.

Add 1/4 tsp K2CO3. One time addition.
-Potassium carbonate (K2CO3) is preferred due to high K+ levels, but potassium bicarbonate (KHCO3) will work fine. This is for pH buffering and to provide K+ for the yeast.

Shake with the top on until honey is fully dissolved. It will require some effort! You're earning your mead!
Add activated Wyeast 1388 yeast smacked for about 2 hours.
No water in airlock for 7 days or the gravity falls below 1.033. Whichever comes first, add water or vodka to airlock.
Ferments dry in about a week.

NOTE: Wyeast 1388 is NOT sensitive to temperature. Temperatures of 65-80 F all yield clean mead free of fusels. The yeast do ferment the fastest at 68 F however.

Post Fermentation (Optional!)
Add 1 vanilla bean, 3 cubes American Medium toast and 2 cubes French Medium toast oak for 2-4 weeks to taste.

You can also step feed small additions of honey until the yeast give up to sweeten. Just be sure your gravity is stable over several weeks to avoid bottle bombs!

I've also had good luck racking on 3-6 pounds of frozen berries to make a melomel.

JAO All Natural BOMM - 1 gallon
Note: This is a hybrid recipe for those who cannot obtain the nutrients needed for a BOMM or want a faster JAOM.

Start with 1 gallon spring water.
Remove 1.5 cup water and draw a line at this water level.
Remove 4.66 cups of water.
Add honey back to previous line (3.5 lbs).
-Sue Bee Raw Honey is fine or your favorite varietal honey.
Add zest and fruit of one organic Valencia orange, minimal pith. If you like pith bitterness, add 1/4 of the orange pith.
~25 raisins (a small box)
1/2 cup of dried currants for additional K+ and nutrients.
1/2 small clove
1/2 cinnamon stick
1/8 whole nutmeg and 1 allspice berry
1 vanilla bean
Smack pack of Wyeast 1388 activated for 2 hours.

This mead may or may not be clear in a month, but is perfectly drinkable in a month.

If you really want it clear, apply SuperKleer according to directions. Afterwards, cold crash for a week. Bottle the semi-clear mead and it will clear in the bottles in a matter of weeks.

Using the highly technical pin pricked balloon airlock for JAOM authenticity!

Cyser BOMM - 1 gallon
Start with 1 gallon of sprouts apple cider.
Remove 2.33 cup of juice to compensate for volume of othe ingredients.
Added 2.4 oz dark brown sugar, 1.6 oz dates, and 1.33 cups orange blossom honey.
Added 1/2 tsp pectinase.
Add 1/4 tsp DAP and 1/2 tsp of Fermaid K.
Add 3/4 tsp K2CO3
Shake like hell to mix honey and aerate.
SG - 1.094

Add 1 smack pack of Wyeast 1388.

After it reaches 1.000, rack into secondary.

In secondary:
Add 1 vanilla bean and 5 medium toast Hungarian oak cubes 1 month before bottling or to taste.

Better brewing through science!

04-26-2014, 01:15 PM
Here is an article I've been working on. I would love to hear your feedback on how useful it is and what info you think I should add. I hope it's helpful.

Great post Bray. Thanks for sharing!


04-26-2014, 05:40 PM
Good post LoveOfRose. I would only group the fermenting too hot with too cold also and rename it to fermenting temperature. too hot can lead to fusels, too cold and you can get a slow or stalled fermentation.
Btw I wonder where and when the newbee guide will be on the new gotmead site. Wonder if there will be any alterations to the guide

04-30-2014, 01:51 PM
Awesome info; saved, printed, and placed in my notebook.

05-01-2014, 01:41 PM
Awesome info! That should be in a sticky someplace!

Chevette Girl
05-01-2014, 09:13 PM
Welcome to the forum, by your research you've discovered that making mead can be as simple or as complicated as you make it...

We used to have a newbee Guide but the Gotmead site is kind of down for maintenance at the moment and all we've currently got is the forum... Basically, yeast plus sugar equals carbon dioxide plus alcohol. Yeast have a set of parameters inside of which they're happy, outside of which, they're not as happy, although they might still get the job done. A lot of time, you can just wing it and things will go fine, or you define your results as successful even if they weren't technically optimal (ie, a stuck ferment is fine as long as you wanted it that sweet!). Parameters include things like sugar levels (specific gravity), acidity (pH), temperature, etc. Some of this is yeast-dependent as LoveofRose indicated, but there's a general range that most yeasts will be happy with. But making alcohol and CO2 isn't the only thing that happens when you pitch yeast into your must, the first thing the yeast do is make more yeast (this is known as the lag phase). In order for yeast to create more yeast so they can get the show on the road, they need more than just sugar if you want them healthy and happy (if you think about it in terms of human metabolism, yes we mainly metabolize glucose for energy, but the body still needs fats, vitamins and proteins to be healthy), this is why we oxygenate and use nutrients and energizers. Adding all your nutrients and energizers up front can sometimes cause a frenzied replication and then a population crash so we often recommend adding your nutrients and energizers a bit at a time, but the timing has to be right, the yeast can really only use the stuff for the first third of the fermentation so you'll hear folks referring to the 1/3 sugar break. And while oxygen is helpful at the beginning while the yeast are replicating, it can damage your mead if too much gets into it later on, it can end up tasting like sherry, or like wet cardboard. Also, you don't want to stress out your yeast by dumping them in a sugar bath that will suck the water out of the yeast cells (look up hydrostatic shock), so the most important measurement you're going to want is to check the specific gravity. This can tell you how much sugar is in your must by comparing it to the specific gravity of water (which is 1.000). It will be higher when you start because sugar has a higher specific gravity than water, and it will approach or even go below 1.000 (remember, ethanol has a lower SG than water) as fermentation nears completion. You can tell how much alcohol is in your finished product by comparing the specific gravity at the beginning to the specific gravity at the end. There's loads more to this but I think that's the basics so you've got somewhere to start...

Adding fruit in secondary will end up with a far more gentle fermenation than adding it before a vigorous primary fermentation. And some people add it after stabilizing (halting fermentation)... think of the difference between grape juice and grape wine... the nearer the beginning, the closer to wine, the nearer the end, the closer to juice. Sometimes a really vigorous fermentation will also blow a lot of the more delicate flavours and aromas right out the airlock, so if you add it for a more gentle fermentation later on, you'll have more chance of retaining more of the fruit character.

Spices and flavourings can be whatever you want - a main focus or just a hint. I think sweet strawberry mead with bergamot could be really exciting, although I might use Fuggles hops instead (just started making beer and Fuggles smells SO good). I made a sage mead that was really heavy on the sage, and I've also made meads with far more subtle spicing. A cinnamon stick or a vanilla bean per gallon can really change a mead or wine's taste, even if you can't pick out the vanilla or cinnamon on its own when you taste it.

Biggest mistakes?
1) messing with things too much. Just be patient and let things happen.
2) assuming yeast can read, and will stick to things like timetables and expected alcohol tolerances. They can't read, they don't always stick to the published data. Not to say that published data is useless, it's a great starting point, just don't be too surprised if your yeast do something they shouldn't have.
3) starting with way too high a starting gravity. If you want a really high-test mead, start sensible (1.110 or so) and then step feed it (every time it drops below 1.010 (or as dry as you can stand), boost it back up to 1.030( as sweet as you can stand))
4) not taking good notes on what you've made. Imagine you've just made something absolutely stellar... and you have no idea how to do it again. Or there's something not quite right, and you want to figure out how to fix it... the kind folks at Gotmead will ask you for your exact recipe and procedures, if we don't know exactly what you did, how can we help you figure out what you might have done wrong?
5) expecting yeast to stick to a calendar. Adding X amount of nutrients every Y days for N days will only work if your yeast stick to a schedule. Remember, they can't actually read. Better to go with specific gravities, add X amount of nutrients every X hours until the SG = N makes way more sense for the yeast.
6) improper sanitation. Best to develop good habits early, then you can rule out contamination when you're troubleshooting things later.
7) assuming that you can take a wine recipe and convert it directly to a mead recipe just for swapping out the sugar for honey. They're not quite the same, honey is less sweet than sugar pound for pound because it's got moisture in it so you need a little more honey by weight than sugar to get the same specific gravity. The other big difference between wine and mead recipes is that you often need to adjust the acidity downward with wines because the fruit isn't acidic enough, but honey has its own acidity and as stated earlier, adding acidity up front can cause problems.
8 ) fretting over a single mistake. Meads are often pretty resilient and yeast can be pretty determined little beasties, probably all of us who've been mead and winemaking for years have had a few batches where something was done incorrectly and still turned out correctly. For years I added lemon juice to my meads before fermentation, didn't aerate worth a damn, boiled my honey, added all the nutrients right at the beginning, dry pitched the yeast instead of rehydrating like the package suggests, didn't top up, didn't rack off the lees, had an airlock fall off for who knows how long... and you know what? I still got some good tasting meads.
9) judging a batch by how it tastes during fermentation. The process of fermentation can throw off a lot of weird aromas and flavours. I've had several batches that tasted like bile in the middle of fermentation.
10) throwing a batch out. Just don't. Unless something obviously contaminated it (like finding a dead mouse in the carboy), it makes your tongue go numb or induces immediate vomiting, then maybe you should. But otherwise, give it a year before you dump it. There are a LOT of faults with a wine or mead that can go away or at least start to dissippate with age. I've got one batch that started out so bitter it made me spit it out for the first three years. It's still aging and after six years I'm finally starting to think it may eventually taste as good as it smells.
ooh, thought of another one!
11) describing the progress of your fermentation by frequency of airlock bubbles. NOT THE LEAST BIT SCIENTIFIC. Use specific gravity instead (and please use three decimal places or you confuse us). Your airlock can bubble when no fermentation is going on, your airlock may be silent when you can see bubbles in the must breaking the surface. If your specific gravity is dropping, you have fermenation, if the specific gravity is staying constant, you have degassing (release of carbon dioxide trapped in the must).

Strawberry mead? The tried and true is called Yo's Strawberry Pizzaz. It's in the patron's section and I haven't made it yet myself but I'm told it's absolutely worth the price of admission.

Good luck, and try not to get too overwhelmed, it only needs to be as complicated as you need it to be. My favourite recipe to start with is still JAO, I've done so many variations on that recipe it's amazing. Although Bernardsmith had a really good point about it breaking all the rules.

05-01-2014, 10:46 PM
@Chevette Girl: I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I want to marry your brain. Just your brain. Sadly, I doubt my wife would allow even that. ;)

All kidding aside, there are some extremely talented and resourceful individuals on this site. If only I had had access to a repository of information half the size available so readily to us now, there's no telling how many headaches and restless nights I could have avoided more than 20 years ago. "All we had in the olden days was books; and only if you could find the ones you needed after slogging through a mountain of dross."

Keep up the good work!

05-04-2014, 01:45 PM
Wow LoveofRose, thank you! Exactly the post I wanted to read. I literally took a page of notes and put it on my fridge.
I'm going to give both methods a whirl today, twice, since I just happen to have four gallons of distilled water on hand and nothing else to do.
I second the motion to get your article stickied on the newbie section of the forums here. This is just the kind of thing I was hoping to stumble across before posting and asking for it.

Thanks also, ChevetteGirl - I really needed that list of things not to do. Anything to avoid catastrophe.
Also, The Strawberry Pizazz recipes I have found are stunning. I think I'm going to attempt a gallon of that as well in the near future. Exactly what I was looking for.

If this is GotMead under maintenance, I can't wait to see what full swing means for you guys. This is a community I am glad to have stumbled upon. Y'all haven't seen the last of me!

Chevette Girl
05-04-2014, 03:28 PM
@Chevette Girl: I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I want to marry your brain. Just your brain. Sadly, I doubt my wife would allow even that. ;)

LOL, sorry but my hubby wants my brain too. Plus, it's kind of squishy and can't remember much of anything that's not Aikido- or wine-related these days! Pretty sure there's no warranty left on it anymore. Total waste of an engineering degree.

If you can't find the resources to tell you what mistakes not to make, the next best way to learn is to make all the mistakes yourself. I started making wines and meads in 2004. I discovered this site in 2010. Do the math. That's six years of mistakes to learn from where I really only had one not terribly scientific book to base everything on! Fortunately, being the type who will try to fix mistakes, I've learned lots of little workarounds and how to do stupid things as safely as possible and how to fix some of the things I've screwed up... (time, time is a good thing to try... I've got one batch from 2005 that was so bitter it made me spit it out but it smelled so good I couldn't bear to pitch it... over the years it's retained its lovely smell and as the tannins settle out, it's getting less and less bitter to the point where I may actually consider backsweetening and bottling this batch within a few years!)

And yeah, this place is GREAT. Friendly and helpful people on the forums who don't hold it against you when you're new at this and don't understand the basics. And right now we can't even point newbees to the Newbee Guide, hence why I gave you the little machine-gun summary... I can't wait till they get the Newbee Guide and the Mead Calculator functions back up, and Vicki has promised even more useful tools. In the meantime, if you can get your hands on Ken Schramm's book The Compleat Meadmaker, it's well worth it for the knowledge within. Entertaining read, too :D

05-04-2014, 11:09 PM
I almost bought that book today..had it in my hands even. But I was already over the $200 mark with new fermenting pails, glass bottles, basic supplies, hops, grains, extracts, a new hydrometer (man, somebody needs to make one out of transparent aluminum REAL soon!!) and a lot of other stuff I "needed".

Pretty sure there's no warranty left on it anymore. Total waste of an engineering degree.
Hehe, too funny.

05-06-2014, 02:23 PM
man, somebody needs to make one out of transparent aluminum REAL soon!!
had to edit my post, I originaly thought you said someone had to invent transparent aluminum real soon, not make a hydrometer out of it, but since they've invented it already, its only a mater of time now

Aluminium oxynitride or AlON is a transparent polycrystalline ceramic with cubic spinel crystal structure composed of aluminium, oxygen and nitrogen. ... It is sometimes incorrectly referred to as "Transparent Aluminum", a reference to Star Trek IV.

05-07-2014, 12:56 AM
Hehe, I didn't know it was reality, actually. I was referring to the Star Trek reference as being "real". Thanks for sharing.

The aluminum oxynitride is only "close", this is actually the real stuff.

"However, transparent aluminum became another Star Trek fiction turned reality when it was created as a new state of matter by a team of scientists in 2009. A laser pulse removed an electron from every atom without disrupting the crystalline structure."

05-07-2014, 06:24 AM
And for the super-geeks http://m.phys.org/_news167925273.html. Seems like they forced a low orbital electron out of the atoms, I'd imagine the other electrons jumped a few orbitals as well due to the high energy input.

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05-07-2014, 02:06 PM
And for the super-geeks http://m.phys.org/_news167925273.html. Seems like they forced a low orbital electron out of the atoms, I'd imagine the other electrons jumped a few orbitals as well due to the high energy input.

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If I see a portly Scottish engineer on that lab's security tapes I'm going swimming with a whale in San Francisco.

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

05-07-2014, 02:07 PM
Capt'n, there be whales!

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05-07-2014, 08:06 PM
Hmmm when I read that article it says its only transparent to extreme ultra violet light, whereas aluminum oxynitride is transparent to visible light

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