View Full Version : Q/A First Batch

12-16-2015, 12:10 PM
Hey everyone, I'm glad to be here, and have the support of the best mead makers on the net!
Let me start off with my recipe. There are a few things I cant remember, but I'll try. First off, I brewed my mead with a guy who owns the local brew store. He is terribly messy and through his inebriation, I'm never sure if he knows whats going on! No hate, just putting that out there. Also, he racked by creating suction with his mouth. I'm paranoid about contamination. He assured me, its fine, since our ancient ancestres brewed with little knowledge of such things.
I have 2 5 gallon carboys going right now. I fermented 24lbs honey in a large container (cant remember the yeast) added energizer and some other thing (sorry, lack of knowledge).

Carboy 1-Raspberry Melomel
I used a puree for this one. After 10 days in the primary, we racked it off into the secondary on top of the puree. Now, its been 3 days in the secondary, and the co2 is bubbling quite a bit (burping every second). He instructed me to swirl the carboy to get the puree that was stuck on the sides which I believe led to more active bubbling. Since its bubbling so vigorously, some of the puree is being pushed up along the side of the carboy, not much, but some. I don't know if I should try to get it down, or if that will disrupt the process. SMELLS REALLY GOOD

Carboy 2-Methiglen
Recipe- I made a "tea" out of these ingredients, then added to secondary before the mead went in.
10 lemons quartered
5 cinnamon sticks
30 cloves
10oz of fresh ginger (ground)

This one smells delightful, and I think it could be drank either in the winter or the summer. It burps approximately every 3 seconds. Not foamy.

Am I doing things right? :P
Sorry that my terminology is weak, I'm still researching and learning. I look forward to any advice.

p.s., my avg temp in the room is 64-65 degrees.

12-16-2015, 01:22 PM
Welcome to the forum! You are in the midst of literally centuries of combined mead making experience. You should also know that being in this environment, there are some true mead making wizards who possess knowledge the rest of us only dream of. If you want the help and advice of those revered saints, you're really going to have to step it up when it comes to laying out the details. Start with a detailed ingredient list, and then outline your process start to finish. If you're not keeping meticulous notes, including time date temp gravity pH room temp etc, start! Success is in the details, and without them, there is only so much help you'll be able to get here.

Cheers! 🍻

12-17-2015, 05:23 PM
Is it normal for my melomel to burp every two seconds in the secondary?

12-17-2015, 06:41 PM
If you racked an active ferment onto puree the ferment will simply continue by eating the sugars in the berries. A bubble every 2 seconds would be normal, of course... but what was the aim of racking after 10 days onto berry puree?

12-17-2015, 06:55 PM
Yea, and another thing, bubble speed, or lack there of means absolutely nothing. You need to buy a hydrometer to speak mead

12-17-2015, 07:14 PM
30 cloves is a lot of cloves. Typically one is used per gallon, two at most. Whole cloves are very potent.

12-18-2015, 01:02 AM
I'm using a recipe found online. Celtic Druid mead . It's an easy Google. I made a tea with the ingredients and added the fermented honey to it. The most influencing note is the ginger. From what my friends and I can smell out the airlock, it smells delicious.( I did not add the solids from the tea into the carboy)

12-18-2015, 01:03 AM
I did this with my local brew store person. He said it's the way to do it, I was just watching and learning.

12-18-2015, 01:09 AM
This is my first time brewing anything. I've gotten a few private messages and posts in this blog that seem belittling or condescending. Instead of answering my questions, I get lukewarm responses how I'm an idiot and don't know what to do. Of course I don't know what I'm doing! It's my very first attempt, and I tried it with the guy who owns the famous brew store in my area. I was warned about consulting with the online communities for this very reason. Although there is a science behind brewing, it isn't exact! You make me feel like I belong in the back of the bus.

12-18-2015, 01:24 AM
Forgive me if you count me as one of the above. I certainly wouldn't mean to belittle or isolate anyone. I am certainly no know it all, much the opposite. I simply meant by my post to let you know that to properly help you, we'll need to know everything. It's this forum and the got mead live podcast that has gotten me to take proper notes on my processes. I hope you take the advice to heart, and don't let the likes of me or others with good intentions scare you off.

12-18-2015, 01:47 AM
I'm on the low end of the knowledge scale here as well botanyboy. However I still have an opinion and here it is.

1) You in all likelihood are fermenting honey to produce alcohol and therefore are a mead maker. Congrats it is a step every damn one of us has taken or we wouldn't be here.

2) It is a topic of debate on here and z matter of opinion ad to when to add your fruit to a melome. The general consensus is if you want a fermented fruit flavour then add your fruit to the primary. If your goal is to retain a raw fruit taste then the secondary is the place to add your fruit. Basically the difference between a wine or grape juice flavour.

3) No personal experience with a Methigen but the approach of making a tea and keeping the solids out of the secondary vessel is an interesting approach. It will definitely make for less solids during racking and you likely won't have the issue of plugging up you racking cane. However, it will likely take more ingredient to achieve a flavour profile than if they were added whole. The general approach here is to start with some and add mor later to achieve your desired end result as is difficult to remove the flavour if it becomes too strong.

4) Even though it might sound condescending it is important to take detailed notes and use imperial type of measurements as opposed to subjective measurements ie) hydrometer reading as opposed to bubbles over time. It really is the only way to be able to critique and make changes to a plan particularly if it doesn't work out as you had hoped.

Mouth suction works on a siphon and as alcohol % Increases the risk of contamination/infection decreases. An auto - siphon also works and with proper sanitation minimizes the same risks.

Welcome aboard, browse the info and take the time to search through some articles for specific info. It will help you get the lingo down and avoid some common pitfalls. Hope you enjoy your new found hobby

Please excuse spelling/grammatical errors. It's late and I'm doing this on my phone.

12-18-2015, 10:06 AM
2) It is a topic of debate on here and z matter of opinion ad to when to add your fruit to a melome. The general consensus is if you want a fermented fruit flavour then add your fruit to the primary. If your goal is to retain a raw fruit taste then the secondary is the place to add your fruit. Basically the difference between a wine or grape juice flavour.

I'd just like to add that I think people add fruit to secondary when the ferment has stopped. I don't think there would be much difference in taste if you add fruit towards the start, or towards the end of an active fermentation. I might be mistaken though since I always add fruit towards the start.

I had no idea people send and receive personal messages like this. I rarely send or receive anything and when I do it's to ask something specific about an old personal recipe since re-opening the thread sometimes does not get the person's attention in a timely fashion. I hope the intention of sending personal messages was good i.e. trying not to emberass in public. I'd hate to see a new member deterred.
About this recipe: since not enough notes were taken just ride it out and see what the final result is. Buy a hydrometer, those are always useful and they're rather cheap. Read up and follow a recipe (ideally from these forums since there are some antiquated/ misinformed recipes out there). Following a recipe will make it easier to keep notes and ask questions