View Full Version : First batch - brewlog

12-13-2014, 12:16 PM
So, I've got all of my equipment and today, on 13/12/2014 I concocted a must.
These were the ingredients (since I'm European, I'mma do everything in metric, don't be mad):

7 kg of meadow honey
1 packet of 5g Lalvin D-47 yeast
1 level teaspoon of Young's
2 level teaspoons of Tronozymol
Enough water to fill ~19L (I was aiming for 5 gallons of must, so this should be it)

SG was 1.120 when I took the reading, so pretty much what I thought it will be.

Cleaned everything up except for bucket where I got the honey in - it was newly bought, food grade, and I figured I will not place honey somewhere else temporarily, clean up the bucket and then put the honey back in. If an infection happens, I will know what I did wrong. :D
Added roughly 6L of water to honey, mixed thoroughly.
Added Young's and Tronozymol, mixed again.
Rehydrated the yeast, left to cool for 15 min, pitched it in - must temp was 19C (I have one of those strips on the outside of the bucket).
Mixed again.
Added water to fill up the bucket, mixed.
Took a gravity reading, was 1.120.
Sealed the bucket, placed an airlock, left in a place where it's constantly ~18C, which should be perfect for my little yeasties (I swear to god, this is by far the highest-demanding pet I ever had).

Tomorrow I'mma do the aeration by mixing. The day after I shall add another 1 level teaspoon of Young's and 2 level teaspoons of Tronozymol and mix again. Again one day of just mixing, then the second day feeding time. In total, the must should have 4 level teaspoons of Young's and 8 level teaspoons of Tronozymol at the end of day 8. The plan is then to leave the must until bubbles in airlock are going once every 30 seconds, which is when I'll do the racking into the glass.

My questions - I have now something around 5 gallons of must in a bucket. The problem is that I don't have anything of glass in that range, but rather a huge glass bottle that can easily fit something like 28L - will I have too much air space in this glass bottle or it should be fine? Or it's better to get a plastic 5-gallon bottle and rack in that?
Second - since I bought honey from a homemade source, I noticed now and there that it's not completely pure, but rather has some stuff in it - I even found a wine fly. Since I've no idea how in the world should I take that stuff out of the honey, I just left it in - will this be a problem?

12-13-2014, 01:05 PM
Once the ferment is running, the airspace inside the larger bottle will fill with CO2, displacing the air. So all the time it's fermenting and until you disturb it, it'll be fine. It's a potential after, hence having (usually) glass about the right size to take the ferment once you're racking it off the gross lees. Glass is good as it's inert and you can see how the clearing stage is progressing. Food grade type plastic can be used (HDPE, PET, etc) but they are slightly air permeable, and over time will allow some O2 in. Oxidation doesn't happen so readily with meads, especially traditional type recipes, such as the one you posted - with fruit based ones, it's usually the fruit that oxidises not the actual mead, but often you don't see it happening until the colour has changed, oxidation is a slow process, like the rusting of iron or steel.

The fruit fly could be an issue, but if it's already in there, all you can really do is leave it be and let it finish. Then taste. As long as it's not vinegary, it should be fine.

Honey can often have some detritus in it, especially if it's come straight from the producer (it can often have wax, propylis, dead bee's, etc in it - that generally isn't an issue as it will all be removed during racking).

12-14-2014, 03:12 AM
Ok, thanks fot the reply, I was just worried about possible infection.

But on an unrelated note - it has now been almost 20 hours since pitching and there's still absolutely no activity in the must - no bubbles, no foaming, nothing. Shall I pitch another packet?

12-14-2014, 01:53 PM
Give it time depending on the temperature the yeast colony could be taking a little time to get it's numbers up.

12-14-2014, 03:45 PM
Well, ok. The temperature is currently 19C, steady. I assume this is ok for them, since it's Lalvin D-47 and they need 15-20C.
On a side note, it says on the packet that I should rehydrate in water of temp 40-43C... what if that number is off by a few degrees, hotter or colder? What would happen?

12-17-2014, 07:49 AM
Just wanted to make an update on this one:

The bubbling started on monday morning (that would be ~36 hours after pitching). The same day in the afternoon I stirred the hell out of it, added 1 teaspoon of Young's and 2 teaspoons of Tronozymol, stirred again and took a gravity reading. It was still on 1.120, so I'm guessing not a lot of sugar was eaten by then.
Yesterday I did the stirring again and took a gravity reading - it dropped to 1.100, so that was good. It's still bubbling along nicely, something like 2 bubbles every 2 seconds. The temperature of the must is steady at 17C.
Today I shall add another teaspoon of Young's and 2 teaspoons of Tronozymol - total amount would then be 3 teaspoons of Young's and 6 teaspoons of Tronozymol.
Tomorrow the stirring time and the day after last teaspoon of Young's and last 2 teaspoons of Tronozymol. Afterwards I leave it alone, aside from occasional gravity reading.

Once the bubbling goes to something like 1 bubble every ~30 seconds or so, I'm planning on racking to glass.

12-22-2014, 06:13 AM
An update (with some questions):

Took the reading yesterday, it was on 1.045. However, the fermentation (the bubbling) slowed down drastically, to something like 1 bubble every minute or two. Not sure if that's good, bad or doesn't really matter. Should I do something? For I finished my SNA three days ago, the must now has a total of 4 teaspoons Young's Nutrient and 8 teaspoons of Tronozymol. I stirred the hell out of the must when I was adding the nutrients (every other day) and also every day in-between, so as to oxygenate it. Should I continue with stirring, eventhough it's now been exactly 7 days since it started fermenting?

One more thing - is it really necessary to rack into glass or can I just let it go down to 1.000 and then bottle? Note that currently the must is in a plastic bucket. If I can just let it finish in a bucket and then transfer it to bottles via hose with a gauze at the end, should this keep all my pets (yeasties) in the bucket / stop them at the gauze?

What exactly are advantages of racking to a glass carboy and when should I do it (if I should)? When the sugar drop reaches FG, that is, ~1.000?

EDIT: I don't really want for gravity to drop below 1.020, not even sure if it could (it might, since I was feeding the little beasts, so they might excell in eating sugar), since that would result in about 15% ABV. I presume I can't stop them if they do decide to go for it, unless I cold crash them or use chemicals?
A wild though - what if I increase the temp of the must to something like 40C? Shouldn't that kill them? Or it would just make fusels?

01-06-2015, 06:22 PM
So I did the racking into a glass carboy something like two weeks ago when the gravity dropped to 1.020 and there was hardly any bubbling in the airlock (a small bubble every 3 minutes or so). I placed the stuff in a cold room where the temperature is steady at something like 5C and lower and for a few days everything was great - the mead was starting to clear, a lot of yeasts dropped to the bottom and formed a nice little cake. But then a couple of days ago it got blurry again, a bit of foam formed at the surface and I can see a lot of tiny bubbles swimming to the surface inside the mead. Should I re-rack from the yeast cake, since it seems it started fermenting again? I did no measurements in the past two weeks.
Please note that I would really like to avoid using any chemicals whatsoever to stop the fermentation.

Medsen Fey
01-06-2015, 06:42 PM
It probably just needs to finish. The gravity might get down to 1.010-1.015 so just let it stop on its own. If you don't plan to stabilize, you really should let it sit under airlock at room temperature for a few months to make sure it stays quiet before you think about bottling.

01-13-2015, 10:12 AM
Yeah, it's under airlock right now and I'm not touching it. But a nice little yeast cake formed at the bottom - should I rack again or it doesn't really matter?

Medsen Fey
01-13-2015, 11:54 PM
If you leave it on the yeast for more than about 6 weeks, you can get lees aging character. That can be good in many cases, but may require more aging for yeastiness to die down.