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garfo
09-04-2014, 04:35 AM
Hey there, I'm new obra the fórum. I'm from Portugal, and I'm on the 4th attempt to make mead. First one was vinagre, second was great, third was ruined (but I know why), fourth is happening right now.
My fourth attempt started on the 26th of August, after three hours it started fermenting with a very good rythm whitch was surprising. Well, after 7 days it decreased severely. Is it normal, or should I add some more nutrients? If so, should I add them now, or should I let the first three weeks of fermenting end and add during the first siphoning?

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kudapucat
09-04-2014, 04:55 AM
It's possible that everything's fine.
Do you have a hydrometer? If so, measure your brew, and let us know.
Also please include the entire recipe for us, it helps a lot.

If you don't have a hydrometer, please go out and buy one.

garfo
09-04-2014, 05:38 AM
I don't have one, so, I didn't take any measurements. I'll order one.
The receipt was an adaptation, but it went as follows:
4kg of honey
Approx. 9 litters water
Juice from 1/2 orange
1 sachet black tea
1 sachet green tea
3 cardamome seeds
6 dried grapes
Bioferm east(indicated for champagne / 18% Max vol apprx.)
Nutrientes
The nutrients and east weren't measured because I don't have How to weight them, it is hardware to get a scale that reads these numbers, it's actually almost illegal to carry them.

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garfo
09-04-2014, 05:39 AM
Also, is it Ok to Open it and take measurements? I always thought we should't let any Air in...

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kudapucat
09-04-2014, 06:40 AM
It's mead. It won't mind if you're careful.
Clean and sanitise your gear. Test, then pour the sample back in.
You'll be fine.

kudapucat
09-04-2014, 06:51 AM
Ok. Some quick sums show a potential alcohol of 13%
Using 18% champagne yeast means it should go dry.
Dry is 1.000 or less.
Get your hydrometer.
Take a sample. If 1.000 or less, it's probably done.
Wait a week.
Take another sample. If it hasn't moved, then it's done.
If it's higher that 1.000 (you started around 1.100) then it could be stuck, and you have a few options.
Sit tight for now, and wait for your hydrometer.

There's nothing in your recipe that suggests you will get any bad flavour by waiting.

You'll be fine.

kudapucat
09-04-2014, 06:53 AM
Also order some potassium metabisulphate, and potassium sorbate.

Here's a hint for your scale.
Weigh a cup of something, then divide that weight by 50 and you'll know how much a teaspoon weighs.

garfo
09-04-2014, 07:46 AM
And doesn't the size of the cup matter? For the east I know How much a pack has. The east pack says that for 10 litters I should use 4 grams, so, I kinda use 1/2 pack. But that's not the receits quantity...
I'll be getting the hydrometer and the potassiums as well.

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kudapucat
09-04-2014, 08:11 AM
A cup as in the measure. 250ml if metric. (A metric teaspoon is 5ml)
Any large measure is fine, then divide it, so you can just spoon it out.
You can spoon 50 or 100 spoons onto your scale, then divide by 50 or 100 to get 1 spoons weight.

garfo
09-04-2014, 09:51 AM
I can only find potassium metabisulphate here. :(

fatbloke
09-04-2014, 11:34 AM
Sorbate is sometimes called "wine stabilised".

Depends where you are too. Put a vague location on your profile. You'd be surprised how helpful local knowledge can be........

Stasis
09-04-2014, 12:00 PM
what type of nutrient are you using? There are a couple of brands that say it's nutrient and you only get DAP (diammonium phosphate). A more complete nutrient will yield a more complete, and better tasting ferment.
If the source of the problem is not found you might want to read about yeast starters and sanitation. Perhaps the yeast you are using is not overly competitive and wild yeasts are taking a bit over

garfo
09-04-2014, 03:17 PM
I'm using nutrivit, it is a mix of nutrients, minerals and vitamins (B1).
what type of nutrient are you using? There are a couple of brands that say it's nutrient and you only get DAP (diammonium phosphate). A more complete nutrient will yield a more complete, and better tasting ferment.
If the source of the problem is not found you might want to read about yeast starters and sanitation. Perhaps the yeast you are using is not overly competitive and wild yeasts are taking a bit over

garfo
09-04-2014, 03:18 PM
So, I've bought the hydrometer today and I took the reading, as you already know I didn't take measurements before fermenting but right now it sits between 1.000 and 1.010, so, I would say 1.005??
Ok. Some quick sums show a potential alcohol of 13%
Using 18% champagne yeast means it should go dry.
Dry is 1.000 or less.
Get your hydrometer.
Take a sample. If 1.000 or less, it's probably done.
Wait a week.
Take another sample. If it hasn't moved, then it's done.
If it's higher that 1.000 (you started around 1.100) then it could be stuck, and you have a few options.
Sit tight for now, and wait for your hydrometer.

There's nothing in your recipe that suggests you will get any bad flavour by waiting.

You'll be fine.

Stasis
09-04-2014, 04:09 PM
Well, after 7 days it decreased severely. Is it normal, or should I add some more nutrients? If so, should I add them now, or should I let the first three weeks of fermenting end and add during the first siphoning?
Adding nutrients might have been a good idea if the gravity was really high and it seems to have stalled. 1.005 is good, this is why a hydrometer is important. I cannot imagine a scenario where you'd want to siphon and add nutrients later. Maybe if you're worried some ingredients will go off or will impart too much flavor.
Fermentation could often finish before 3 weeks and even within a week. As kudapucat said already, now you just need to wait, take readings every week and see if there is any change to hydrometer readings. When you're pretty sure it's finished you can siphon

kudapucat
09-04-2014, 07:40 PM
FATBLOKE: Portugal
Though I agree garfo, setting up your profile would be handy.
FatBloke is from the UK, so is a lot closer to Portugal than me, and has a good idea of what's available in Europe.

This should go bone dry.
If it stays at 1.005 I strongly recommend you stabilise it with KMeta.
Sorbate will be around, this should only be used with kmeta though, so hold off until you have both, or don't use it. Maybe ask your local, it could be marketed by brand name in Portugal.

WVMJack
09-05-2014, 05:09 AM
Hi Garfo, you guys have some history of apple cider in your area right? One really good mead is a cyser made with real cider apples, that might be interesting to do for batch 5. WVMJ

garfo
09-05-2014, 06:05 AM
What is kmeta? Yesterday I went to the local Brew wearhouse in Porto and asked them for potassium sorbat, they didn't have any.
I have the potassium metabysulphit though. I'll wait and take readings next week.
Anyway, If it's stuck, isn't it Ok to use the metabysulphit to stop any unwanted fermentation and leave it like that?


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Chevette Girl
09-06-2014, 08:06 AM
You can add the metabisulphate now but the problem is, you run the risk of having it restart later even if it appears to be stuck now. Metabisulphite only knocks out the yeast, it won't kill them all, and what the sorbate does is prevent any survivors from replicating so you really want to use both if you can. If you can't, then I recommend either a long aging period before you bottle it (6 months ot a year) or be very careful when you bottle and use screw tops or swing caps so you can open one occasionally and see if there's any hiss of carbonation (if so, open them all and let them depressurize or you run the risk of exploding bottles).

So it sounds like your first few batches were learning experiences? I hope the vinegar from the first batch was at least good for cooking :) and learning why your third batch was ruined is good, even if having ruined it is not. Keep it up and you'll eventually have gotten all the mistakes out of the way!!

As the others have said, your hydrometer will tell you if your yeast needs nutrients or is out of sugar, you don't want to add nutrients late in the fermentation because then other organisms (like the ones that make vinegar) can use them because the yeast isn't capable of metabolising it past about halfway through the fermentation. And when you get low on sugars, your fermentation will slow down as the yeast run out of food.

Oh, and kmeta is our short form for potassium metabisulphite.

garfo
09-08-2014, 06:41 AM
The reason why I ruined the batch was because the recipient I used for the fermentation was not letting any bubbles come out. Anyway it was working and the gases were just leaking. Latter on I added more nutrients and ferment, and I ended up mixing two types of ferment.

Chevette Girl
09-08-2014, 03:00 PM
I have used large glass jars with plastic wrap and a rubber band for fermentation plenty of times, as long as it's still actively fermenting it's not the end of the world if your vessel isn't completely airtight.

And mixing two different fermentations is only a mistake if they taste horrible together :)

garfo
09-10-2014, 06:42 AM
Yeah, it tastes bad. I'm just saving a few bottles because in a couple of years they might rasteira Ok.
Another thing. Today I'll be measuring the density again, and If it is the case of being ready, should I add the sorbate and the sulfite before the first syphoning or lateral on, and Also what quantities would you advise for the amount I've produced?

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garfo
09-11-2014, 05:25 AM
Can You guys help regarding the amount of potassium sorbate and potassium metabissulphite I should be using and when is the best time to poor it in?

kudapucat
09-11-2014, 07:06 AM
It depends on your chemicals. There should be directions on the pack.
When? The best time is when the yeast are sleeping. This is seen when the mead has cleared a little and there's a large layer of yeast on the bottom.

garfo
10-31-2014, 05:51 AM
Thanks kudapucat. I've thrown the sorbate and the sulphite into my 4 gallon batch. Curiously It appears to still be fermenting after about 40 days of fermenting and after 4 days of sulphating.

Chevette Girl
11-02-2014, 01:28 PM
Don't mistake "the airlock is still bubbling" for "it's still fermenting". I always get a few days of airlock activity after I stabilize a batch. If your SG is still changing, then there IS fermentatin, but airlock activity only indicates that some gas is being released from the must.

GntlKnigt1
11-15-2014, 06:17 AM
There is a LOT of wine made in Portugal. I would be really surprised if some store did not have sorbate, which should be used with your metabisulfite after fermentation to keep it from starting to ferment again. Antonioh is a member here and is from Lisbon. I will send him a private message and link him to this thread.

This is the stuff you are looking for....
http://www.brouwmarkt.nl/sorbitol-250-gram.html


Oh...I see I am a little late on this..... Oh well.

antonioh
11-15-2014, 03:39 PM
Try here :

http://angelocoimbra.pt/contactos.htm

It´s in Maia, near Porto . Has lots of things to wine making.

mannye
11-17-2014, 10:29 PM
Also order some potassium metabisulphate, and potassium sorbate.

Here's a hint for your scale.
Weigh a cup of something, then divide that weight by 50 and you'll know how much a teaspoon weighs.

That was cool.

GntlKnigt1
11-18-2014, 11:06 AM
Actually, there are 48 teaspoons in a cup, but that's pretty close

antonioh
11-19-2014, 12:37 PM
This is the stuff you are looking for....
http://www.brouwmarkt.nl/sorbitol-250-gram.html

I don´t know GK, but I think that they are not quite the same.

Sorbitol is a sugar D-Glucitol CAS nº 50-70-4 and K sorbate is a potassium salt and has CAS nº 24634-61-5

I remember that here, about 40 years ago, diabetics used sorbitol as sucrose substitute .

GntlKnigt1
11-19-2014, 12:46 PM
You're right, antonioh. Problem stems from the different language

antonioh
11-19-2014, 12:55 PM
Well I think that here although being a country of wine producers, sorbate has not much use or, at least , you don´t find it in the labels .

Being na imposition in EU, I don´t think that they could skip that. What you find always is "contains sulphites" in labels.

kudapucat
11-19-2014, 09:55 PM
Actually, there are 48 teaspoons in a cup, but that's pretty close

Actually in a Metric cup...
Oh what am I saying, use the silly units ;-p

garfo
11-21-2014, 09:11 AM
I managed to get the potassium sorbate as well as the metabisulphite. I've made two separate batches, first one is the receipt I've shown before and it turned out ok. It smells really good and tastes nice even before bottling. The second batch is a 4 gallon batch and something happened to it. I have used the sorbate and metabisulphite and now that it finally stopped fermenting and it's stabilized it puts out an weird smell, almost as if it smells of damped closet. I'm throwing some more honey in to see if brings back the honey aroma as well as taste.

kudapucat
11-21-2014, 04:44 PM
That sounds like cork taint.
(Try to stop Mannye from giggling)
I'm not sure there's much you can do to save it.

http://www.chelseawinevault.com/blog/wine-corked/

garfo
11-21-2014, 05:11 PM
Haja, I haven't even used corks. It could be perhaps from the Oakland. But, once açaimarei, i've used the same oak on the other batch and turned out Ok.

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garfo
11-21-2014, 05:12 PM
Godamn auto-correct

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garfo
11-21-2014, 05:17 PM
I truly believe that the sorbat has been fermented. Can't find any other explanation. Everything has been sanitized and used a siphon to prevent oxidation...
How bad is it If the potassium sorbate gets fermented?

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kudapucat
11-21-2014, 05:24 PM
Fermented sorbate.
It will smell like geranium, and there's no fixing it.
It won't happen if you sulphated at the same time.
It also can't be fermented by yeast. You need a different bacteria to set up shop. This aught to take a little while.

Cork taint is called that because it happens if the cork fails.
It's possible to happen for a number of reasons. Have a look at the link I posted. It is quite thorough in detection and treatment.

garfo
11-21-2014, 05:34 PM
Yep, i read it. The treatment just sucks the taste out of it. I can just day that when I added the sulphate and sorbate the fermentation process was pretty much done, and after pouring the chemicals in, fermentation restarted and Only stopped after I've thrown it in the fridge.

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kudapucat
11-22-2014, 06:06 PM
Yeah. If it is that, it's not good news. :-(

mannye
11-23-2014, 01:04 PM
That sounds like cork taint.
(Try to stop Mannye from giggling)
I'm not sure there's much you can do to save it.

http://www.chelseawinevault.com/blog/wine-corked/

I giggled anyway. :)



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