View Full Version : First Batch

12-26-2014, 08:30 PM
I have been reading about Mead for some time now, and am prepared to begin my mead making journey. I have the equipment, fermentation bucket, 5 gallon glass carboy, auto-syphon, hydrometer, airlock, and Star San. I also plan on getting a paint mixer for my drill as I have read the more oxygen you can introduce at the start, the better.

I plan on using around 14 pounds of un-processed wildflower honey from a local apiary, and bottled spring water. The yeast I plan on using is Wyeast 4184. I also have Superfood Plus nutrient, however, I have read where bee pollen may be a better choice. I would be interested in any comments regarding "natural" nutrients vs. un-natural.

Depending on the results closer to bottling, I may add bentonite for clarifying.

12-30-2014, 11:36 AM
Based on the batch of bee pollen fed mead I have going now, bee pollen is a lot slower and messier than DAP & Fermaid K. On the other hand, it smells a lot better and buffers pH for you (the "chemical" route for pH buffering if you want it is calcium/potassium carbonate). Bee pollen's also quite a bit pricier - my 1 gallon batch has used most of a $10 bag of pollen.

I'm used to my fermaid K/DAP batches fermenting dry in 3-4 days, while the bee pollen batch is on its third week.

Welcome to the hobby! Have fun, and remember - when in doubt, leave the mead alone for a month and come back! (I'm terrible at this)

Medsen Fey
12-30-2014, 05:11 PM
Please consider using another yeast. The Wyeast sweet mead strain is notoriously finicky and prone to stalling if the nutrient, pH and other factors are not right. Lalvin 71B is a lot easier to work with, and if you are a fan of liquid yeast the BOMM yeast (Wyeast 1388) is a lot more reliable.

Bee Pollen can work as a nutrient, but using enough of it may lead to some bitterness that takes a while to age out.

01-20-2015, 12:57 AM
Adding questions to things he has asked. Why use a drill and paint stir? Besides avoiding a sore arm, couldn't you get the same effect from using a whisk? How often is stirring necessary and when should it be done?

01-20-2015, 02:44 AM
He's talking about the drill mounted kind they use for paint and wall mud I believe.

I have been looking at bee pollen as well but have been put off by it's costliness compared to my usual of boiled bread yeast. One of these batches will be getting it as I am unafraid of long ferment times (I have gone over the 40 day pitch to finish on one batch), and I want, nay, NEED to do a batch with pollen to test the waters as the pun goes...

01-20-2015, 09:16 PM
Yes, drill mounted paint stirrer, works like a champ.
The bee pollen where I get my honey is $10 for a 12 ounce jar. I used it, guess we'll find out if it was worth it or not.

01-21-2015, 06:17 AM
Yes, drill mounted paint stirrer, works like a champ.

Indeed . A huge champ for MEAs.

01-22-2015, 05:13 AM
Watch the RPMs, use a battery powered drill to keep them as low as possible for the first few minutes of degassing & oxygenating or you can end up with a cleaning job. I had one, I plan to avoid more as they are messy & wasteful... Here is a perfect example: http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/22356-Brew-Log-Sack-of-Buckwheat, message number 5.

01-22-2015, 11:48 AM
Yes. I have a batter powered variable speed drill, it works fine. I've seen YouTubes of people who mash on the gas and wind up with it overflowing the top! Kinda funny actually, because in their panic, they don't let go of the trigger!

01-22-2015, 11:51 AM
Hey! That's my MEA! I still have that sucker aging too. Tasting good!

-- Steve

01-22-2015, 02:08 PM
Yeah, batter powered. Hey, I'm 61, have arthritis in both hands, and my fingers are too big for the keyboard...you're lucky you can read it to begin with...LOL

01-23-2015, 12:37 AM
Sorry smertz001 but that was too good of a MEA to waste on history...

JDWebb: No worries, I use a drill and a "Mix-Stir" attachment as well. I'll leave the manual labor to those with manual dexterity.

01-23-2015, 09:39 AM
EJM3: No worries! It was pretty epic (=