View Full Version : first try-right way?

10-03-2014, 05:26 AM
Greeting to all! :icon_salut::icon_salut:

I am new to making mead and on 30-09 I pitched my first batch of mead.

Here is the recipe I used

1 gallon of well water
3 pounds of raw honey (Acacia)
3/4 package of Lalvin D47 (5g)
4-5 g yeast nutrient(Maxaferm dsm)

I took about half water and mix it with honey and heated it to 140 F, than pour it in carboy and let it cool to room temperature. When it was cooled I pour the left of the water and nutrient and mix it. Than I put yeast in 2 cups of heated water ( 105-109 F), leave it for 15 min and than pitcehd in carboy, put airlock and leave it in dark room at 60-68 F.

- I couldnt find 1 gallon carboy (Im from Europe) and since I had 5 liter (1,3 gall) carboy it left some space (air) in the bottle (0,3 gall). Not sure if thats ok?
- also had problem with sanitizing equipment, couldnt purchase any cleanser so I bought citric acid powder at local winery equipment store and washed it up..?

Fermentation did not started in 24 hrs, so I did a few minutes of stirring and it started to bubble through airlock when I put it back on. Next day, after cca 10 hrs it was still bubbling (1 bubble per 5 sec). I checked it again after 48 hrs from pitching and there was no bubbles in airlock The foam was gone. I took the airlock off, added 1-2 grams of nutrient and stirring it few minutes. Again there was bubbles in the airlock but for a short time. After 60 hrs again i see no bubbles although I can hear it bubbling very very quietly through the carboy.

Now what?
Should I put some more nutrients or adding tea leaves?
Or just let it boil quietly?

Didnt do any measurement before (ph, gravity), still waiting for rest of the equipment to arrive..

10-03-2014, 07:08 AM
My first concern is that you tried to wake your yeast in water that is too hot. I read many times that D47 prefers cooler temps. I never tried the yeast myself but Lalvin states:
The ICV D-47 is a low-foaming quick fermenter that settles well, forming a compact lees at the end of fermentation. This strain tolerates fermentation temperatures ranging from 15 to 20C (59 to 68F).
That's quite lower than a possible 109 F. Sanitation may not be too much of an issue, but when your yeast takes long to start it gives other bad organisms more time to get hold. Depending on how much nutrient you added at the start and D47's nutrient needs maybe it was underfed. I prefer adding nutrient 2 hours after pitching yeast, although I do not know if this makes a difference.
Finally, maybe Co2 is escaping from the bung rather than the airlock. Since you hear it bubbling but cannot see airlock activity this is a real possibility. Check for leaks and take a hydrometer reading as quick as possible. I am not sure if cleaning with citric acid might have lowered the ph too much. They might use citric acid for wine but it seems meads tend to have more ph related problems

10-03-2014, 08:36 AM
If it is "boiling" or fermenting you are OK. Keep in mind you are doing something that takes a long time and this is only the first step in a long process. D47 needs to be kept cool (I don't know what the ambient temp is where you are) and if you started warm you could be in for a long time of aging.

But mainly don't worry. Take measurements when you can and be careful to sanitize everything or do not return the sample to the fermenter. (Drink it. That's what I do!) many return it but they sanitize carefully.

You will most likely think you made a mistake if this is your first mead because when you finish it won't taste very good. But again, don't worry. Just transfer to another bottle (and for this secondary make sure you don't have airspace). Then you take a small taste every three months. In one year it will transform into something delicious.

Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.

10-03-2014, 09:26 AM
It sounds like the temperature of 104F was just for activating the yeast for 15 minutes.The must in the carboy was room temperature and then placed in a room that stays between 60-68 degrees, sounds perfect to me. And I would agree that is appears you have a leak at the bung.

10-03-2014, 10:09 AM
Sanitation may not be too much of an issue...
Oops let me clarify that. Sanitation might not be too much of an issue In your case. This is since you said you sanitized everything with citric acid, even though I don't know the exact sanitation properties of citric acid. While we're on the subject of sanitation; I also like to boil water I gather from my well before using it to make sure it is free from any possible micro organisms.
Last thing I want is to give a new brewer the impression that sanitation is over-hyped :/

10-03-2014, 05:58 PM
thanks for the quick and useful advice and suggestions
The boiling temperature is around 64 F (+/- 2) in a dark room. I still hear fermentation and still waiting measuring instruments (which will take time ). I guess I'm supposed to measure gravity at the beginning, but I had no patience.
mead has a milky color and feels pleasant smell. I'm not sure if it was the smell of yeast or ..?
plug - in fact, when I look at the cap is quite thin and it is possible that is leaking. I do not know how to check if the cap is venting, I'll try overnight replaced it by another airlock. if he does not change I'll try tomorrow to put a plastic bag over the airlock to see if it is filled with air (?). If this is a problem I'll try to drill a hole in the cork stopper which is thicker.