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Gilles
08-25-2014, 06:27 AM
Hi

I just recently started brewing beer and mead.

Last Saturday I made a very basic mead with 1,5kg flowerhoney, 5 liters of water, about 30 dried raisins and S-33 beer yeast. I checked the starting gravity and it was about 1.072.

Should it be that low?

Also, I'm keeping it in a 25 liter brewing bucket. Can I keep it in this bucket for 2 months or should I transfer it to something else to prevent oxydation? There's a good amount of CO2 inside at this moment.

Cheers
Gilles

fatbloke
08-25-2014, 08:21 AM
Well, I usually mix in both litres and imperial gallons (4.55 ltr per gallon, as opposed to US gallons). Normally I get about the 1.090 sort of area using 1.31 kg then diluting to 1 imp gallon.

If you've used 1.5kg of honey and then added 5 litres of water, it's feasible that you may have got 1.072 and if it ferments down to 1.000 it'll still be about 9.7% ABV - I like to make sure I'm gonna end up with at least 12% ABV (presuming that it needs to be over 10% alcohol before you get the alcohol to act as a preservative).

Is it possible that not all the honey was dissolved ? Or that it was a bit lower in sugar content ? both of those can reduce the gravity reading.

There will be some sugars not measured in the raisins to account for (and while they will provide some nutrition, I suspect you're gonna need more or nutrient/energiser - and if only using one, I use the combined energiser type stuff, like FermaidK or Tronozymol, as they contain everything the yeast need, including DAP/di-ammonium phosphate).

Just remember, beer and mead are only similar inasfaras they're both fermented. Apart from that, they're quite different.

I don't generally use beer yeasts, as mead is generally more wine-like, hence I'd use a wine yeast. Though I've seen some using various beer yeasts (Wyeasts Belgian 1388 is very popular as it seems to make a very quick mead - search for BOMM a.k.a. Brays one month mead).

It can live in the larger bucket all the time it's fermenting, as the head space will fill with CO2 and displace any air/O2. Once it's finished, it can stay there for a while, as it will still be blanketed with CO2, but as soon as you start racking etc, you'll need to think about a more appropriate sized container to keep the head space to a minimum (it's fair to note that "traditional" type meads don't suffer from oxidation any where near as badly/quickly as wines and/or beers).

Thig
08-25-2014, 10:02 AM
According to the Mead calculator, which I am spending some time learning, that does seem low for 1.5kg of honey and 5 litres of water. The calculator comes up with 1.090.

Medsen Fey
08-25-2014, 10:37 AM
The calculator gives estimates. The real results vary depending on how accurate your weight measurements and volume estimates are, and on the moisture content of the honey, and whether it is fully dissolved. In practice, you measure to confirm that you get the starting gravity you desire.

Gilles
08-25-2014, 11:11 AM
Hi

There was some crystalization in the honey pots. I heated the honey to make it all liquid again, but is possible that not all of it had been dissolved. Also, I added the raisins a day after the gravity measurement.

Do you think I should add more raisins to the mix?


Well, I usually mix in both litres and imperial gallons (4.55 ltr per gallon, as opposed to US gallons). Normally I get about the 1.090 sort of area using 1.31 kg then diluting to 1 imp gallon.

If you've used 1.5kg of honey and then added 5 litres of water, it's feasible that you may have got 1.072 and if it ferments down to 1.000 it'll still be about 9.7% ABV - I like to make sure I'm gonna end up with at least 12% ABV (presuming that it needs to be over 10% alcohol before you get the alcohol to act as a preservative).

Is it possible that not all the honey was dissolved ? Or that it was a bit lower in sugar content ? both of those can reduce the gravity reading.

There will be some sugars not measured in the raisins to account for (and while they will provide some nutrition, I suspect you're gonna need more or nutrient/energiser - and if only using one, I use the combined energiser type stuff, like FermaidK or Tronozymol, as they contain everything the yeast need, including DAP/di-ammonium phosphate).

Just remember, beer and mead are only similar inasfaras they're both fermented. Apart from that, they're quite different.

I don't generally use beer yeasts, as mead is generally more wine-like, hence I'd use a wine yeast. Though I've seen some using various beer yeasts (Wyeasts Belgian 1388 is very popular as it seems to make a very quick mead - search for BOMM a.k.a. Brays one month mead).

It can live in the larger bucket all the time it's fermenting, as the head space will fill with CO2 and displace any air/O2. Once it's finished, it can stay there for a while, as it will still be blanketed with CO2, but as soon as you start racking etc, you'll need to think about a more appropriate sized container to keep the head space to a minimum (it's fair to note that "traditional" type meads don't suffer from oxidation any where near as badly/quickly as wines and/or beers).

fatbloke
08-25-2014, 10:50 PM
Meh! One thing to use them for a bit of nutrition and body, but you can overdo them too.

Maybe double as a maximum, but I'd get some bread yeast and simmer it gently in 50 to 100mls of water. Let it cool to room temp then add it in.......

Or buy some tronozymol down the HBS.......

Gilles
08-27-2014, 05:50 AM
Meh! One thing to use them for a bit of nutrition and body, but you can overdo them too.

Maybe double as a maximum, but I'd get some bread yeast and simmer it gently in 50 to 100mls of water. Let it cool to room temp then add it in.......

Or buy some tronozymol down the HBS.......

I added some extra raisins yesterday. That also gave me the chance to have a look and smell it. So far, very little foaming (more like "lacing" with beer), the colour is a bit darker and the smell is still like honey, although a bit less strong. When I added the raisins, it was fizzling a bit. So far, so good I think.

Also fixed a leak at the water lock, now it's bubbling away every 30-60 seconds :)