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willowhix
10-22-2015, 05:11 PM
Heya fine people. I've just finished setting up my primary ferment and it's now sitting in my eaves (as it's much cooler in there) wrapped up in an attempt to keep it within a 60-75 farenheit range. It's about 61 farenheit in there just now - 10pm, though I expect it will drop a bit overnight. Regardless, my room fluctuates in temperature a lot and is often far too warm. I'm considering moving the bucket into my room at night (through a single door, so it's not far to move). Though I'm assuming too cold is better than too warm, so perhaps not.

The recipe I used was from the book "The compleat meadmaker" but scaled down to 3 US gallons.

9 lbs of unpastuerised orange blossom honey
9.25 L (Approx. 2.45 US gallons) of mineral water
10g of Lalvin D47 yeast
3g of Fermaid (although the accuracy of this measurement was admittidly not great)
12.5g of Go-Ferm as instructed by packet

I sanitized everything with Star-San as directed on the bottle.

Now, for the most part, everything went off without any problems, but I'm not entirely confident about how I've pitched the yeast. After rehydrating the yeast, it was left for about 25 minutes in it's water and go-ferm before actually pitching it. After I did pitch it, I realised I had forgot to add the ferm-aid and so I added that in 15 minutes after the yeast had been pitched. How I overlooked that detail is beyond me and I'm hoping I've not done any damage to the poor guys.

I'm also not entirely confident about my readings. I don't think I did that as well as I could have, but I'll post them here anyway.

pH = 5.2 (using 5.2 to 6.8 pH paper)
Specific gravity = 1.12 (using a hydrometer)
No temperature reading of the must was taken.

Any advice or comments from those with more experience than myself? Thanks. :)

Edit: Oh, forgot to mention! I did not heat my must. I mixed up the ingredients at room temperature.

kudapucat
10-22-2015, 05:33 PM
1.120 SG (Use 4 digits to avoid confusion) is a high, but acceptable starting gravity.

D47 MUST NOT get hot.
Too cold is better than too hot, but you risk stalling. I think a risk of stalling is less than a risk of giving off flavours, but try and keep it in D47's narrow happy band.

pH may not be accurate because you're at the low end of the strip. You should take readings that are in the middle of the strip you're using.
It does seem a bit high - but I'm discounting that due to strip range.

How long has it been since you pitched, and are you seeing any reaction? Wait 24 hours, if you're seeing no yeast action, then be concerned, otherwise, you'll be right.

Get yourself a thermometer.

willowhix
10-22-2015, 05:48 PM
1.120 SG (Use 4 digits to avoid confusion) is a high, but acceptable starting gravity.

D47 MUST NOT get hot.
Too cold is better than too hot, but you risk stalling. I think a risk of stalling is less than a risk of giving off flavours, but try and keep it in D47's narrow happy band.

pH may not be accurate because you're at the low end of the strip. You should take readings that are in the middle of the strip you're using.
It does seem a bit high - but I'm discounting that due to strip range.

How long has it been since you pitched, and are you seeing any reaction? Wait 24 hours, if you're seeing no yeast action, then be concerned, otherwise, you'll be right.

Get yourself a thermometer.

Thanks for the response kudapucat. I do actually have a floating thermometer but I forgot to sterilise it, so I thought it was probably not worth taking the reading. All of the ingredients were stored at room temperature, so I'll assume it was roughly 72 farenheit. I'll make sure it doesn't get hot, though I feel like I might still do a little shifting around to prevent it cooling too much. I suppose I can just open my windows at night to let the cool air in and just bundle under blankets in bed. (Sacrifices must be made for good home-brewed booze :D)

I did not realise 5.2 was a high starting pH. I guess if that's the case, the pH paper I have won't be much good as that's the lowest pH they will show. I do also have some 1-14 pH, but it's probably not acurate enough to read to a decimal place, so I don't think there's much point in that.

It's only been about an hour since it's been pitched and of course, no bubbles yet. I'll be sure to update when there are.

kudapucat
10-22-2015, 06:55 PM
pH of 3-4 is pretty common for winemaking. You may want to get lower paper. Or a digital pH meter. I know a lot of folk who use them.

As I understand it, 1-14 is to give you an indication of which fine scale paper is required.

Squatchy
10-22-2015, 10:59 PM
So one of your questions was about adding your fermaid. I'm not sure "most" people. But I think most people I know wait for the first feed until you see signs of fermentation. The time when nothing noticeably happens is called "the lag phase". Start your feeding once it moves from the lag phase into the beginning of fermentation. That way, your not feeding ferrel/wild yeast whilst waiting for the proper yeast to get going.

willowhix
10-23-2015, 04:28 PM
Well, it's started bubbling (inconsistently, about once or twice a minute), so that's a good sign I guess. :)

kudapucat
10-23-2015, 05:21 PM
Yep.
Have a smell. As long as it doesn't go funky you'll be fine.
Start feeding as your schedule suggests, now that the yeast are active.

willowhix
10-23-2015, 08:32 PM
Yep.
Have a smell. As long as it doesn't go funky you'll be fine.
Start feeding as your schedule suggests, now that the yeast are active.

Thanks! Although I have heard of people talking a lot about how it's good to add nutrients at different points, I didn't try that in my first batch because my recipe didn't say anything about it. Although, if you think I should add nutrient later on, I will take you people's advice on that! I've mentioned above the batch size and ingredients added in my earlier post if you want to take a look.

kudapucat
10-24-2015, 04:56 AM
Because this is a traditional, you may want to feed it. (You can get away with it a little bit with melomels)
So you want to first figure out how much nutrient to add.
GentleKnight posted a YAN calculator excel sheet recently. I'm not sure where.
I'd start with that.

kudapucat
10-24-2015, 05:20 AM
Here http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19148

willowhix
10-24-2015, 01:05 PM
Because this is a traditional, you may want to feed it. (You can get away with it a little bit with melomels)
So you want to first figure out how much nutrient to add.
GentleKnight posted a YAN calculator excel sheet recently. I'm not sure where.
I'd start with that.

Unfortunately, I don't have access to that. I think it's because I'm not a Patron. I am happy to add nutrient to the must if you think it will improve the mead or give a better chance of success. My only concern is that I've already added all the nutrient my recipe told me to (3g in a 3 gallon batch). I've been told that too much nutrient can leave some unpleasant flavours, so I'm not sure if I still have the option of adding more nutrient, or how much I should add otherwise.

So, it's bubbling more frequently now. I've noticed that it tends to build up a bit, then bubble for a few seconds at once (as opposed to say, one bubble every few seconds). I think that's because the fermenting bucket is about two and a half times bigger than the volume of liquid, so there's plenty of space for gas to accumulate and compress (if my understanding of physics is correct :P). I don't suppose that's a problem, but it may make it a little more difficult to recognise the right time to rack the mead into it's secondary fermenter.

kudapucat
10-24-2015, 05:01 PM
Oh. I missed that nutrient addition. Ok. Let it play out.
Next time, dose the 3G in 3 x 1g at intervals. It will make for a better brew.

willowhix
10-25-2015, 08:36 PM
Oh. I missed that nutrient addition. Ok. Let it play out.
Next time, dose the 3G in 3 x 1g at intervals. It will make for a better brew.

Yeah, sure thing. I'll give it a shot man!

kudapucat
10-26-2015, 05:40 PM
Yeah sorry, it's hard to tell on my phone, but you're right. Now I'm on my PC I can see it's in the patron's section.
One of the many good reasons to support Gotmead and become a patron. There's heaps of advanced stuff, and great recipes too.