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RocketMan
02-16-2016, 04:15 PM
Ok, I've made several 1 gallon batches of JAO and this is my first attempt at a Show Mead as well as my first go at making a 5 gallon batch. I've been a home brewer for a while so sanitation is second nature and everything was washed with a powdered brewery wash and the sanitized with Iodophor before starting. Here's the recipe:

Show Mead
OG: 1.100
Temp at Pitch: 72 dF
Fermentation Chamber Temp: 68dF

Ingredients:
5 Lbs. Buckwheat Honey
8 Lbs. Wildflower Honey
Pasteur Blanc Champagne Yeast
3 tsp. Yeast Nutrients

Yeast Starter:
5 grams of yeast into 800ml of pre boiled and cooled water
2 ounces Wildflower Honey
1 tsp Yeast Nutrients
6 hours on the stir plate

Procedures:
Added filtered water to fermenter then added yeast nutrients.
Warmed honey, did not pasteurize it and added to water.
Mixed in honey with wire whisk
When all honey was added in and whisked up really well, pitched
Yeast and sealed up the bucket blow off tube in place.

3 weeks went by with no evidence of yeast activity. So I sanitized my air stone and plunged it into the must to add some O2 while I started another Yeast starter, this time I pitched 2, 5 gram packets. It's been 5 days since I pitched the second starter and I'm still seeing no activity in the Airlock. In fact I don't even see any evidence of any pressure in the bucket as the water level is even on both sides of the airlock. Planning to grab an SG when I get home and see if any activity has taken place. I'll post up with it, till them, thanks for taking a look and posting opinions.

Cheers,
RM

Squatchy
02-16-2016, 05:17 PM
So there could be different culprits at work here but this is what I see. When you rehydrate your yeast in a starter with nutrients in it is wounds most of the yeast. If you are using dry yeast make sure to either use plain tap water, or, Go-ferm and it's protocol.

When the cell membrane is dry it has no capacity to distinguish harmful from beneficial ingredients so it absorbs everything. In doing such it absorbs many things that cause damage to the cell. It's only after the cell membrane is established it it then able to sort the good from the bad.

Another thing you did not speak of is attemperation. If you dump your yeast slurry into a must with a difference of 10 degrees you will put the yeast into shock and kill off much, orin worst case all of the yeast. You need to add small amounts to the must over time so that will bring the 2 different temps together to be within 10 degrees.

When you add your dry yeast to boiled water you putting them in an atmosphere that has no oxygen it it. The demand that to get off to a good start.

Lastly did you rinse well enough that your sanitizer isn't affecting your yeast?

By now you most likely have bad guys in your must and should use campden tabs for 25 hours before you try to re inoculate your must.

You would do well to learn of these things before continuing.

Rehydration protocol, oxygenation, atemperament, feeding schedule, oxygenation/degassing protocol. to get you under way.

Then learn of racking, stabilization, ageing.

RocketMan
02-16-2016, 08:09 PM
Yeah, I did some research before making my first batches and beer brewing methods worked fine for making JAO but this is a completely different ball game.

RocketMan
02-16-2016, 09:42 PM
Ok, all I can say is WOW!!

So I went out and took a sample and an SG, low and behold it was down from 1.100 to 1.010 (11.8% ABV) and a beautiful clear golden color. It must have been leaking CO2 out around the blow off tube or the lid or was just a super slow ferment. Just take a look:

http://i1223.photobucket.com/albums/dd507/William_Thornton/Brewing/2F23D7AB-6A52-416D-9260-4426776503D8_zpsta1orpla.jpg

http://i1223.photobucket.com/albums/dd507/William_Thornton/Brewing/099E9584-8C89-4BEA-BF95-1766A56C65E8_zpshrlazbge.jpg

A little sip and again, WOW, notes of Sherry and Cognac. So, tomorrow is one month that its been in the primary. Here's what aim thinking. I'll wait a day or two so y'all can chime in. Im thinking its time to rack it over to the secondary. I'm thinking adding 2 cups of brewed black or green tea and a couple of ounces of Dark toasted Oak Chips I have left over from a Stout I made. Give it 2 weeks to a month on the oak, add some Potassium Sorbate and Potassium Metabisulfite and bottle a couple days later. Let the bottles stand to 3 days and the lay them down so the corks stay wet.

Mazer828
02-16-2016, 10:45 PM
Why mess with perfection? You've already got an end product that has you talking about wonderful layers of flavor and complexity. Why mask that by throwing in other ingredients at this point? I say leave it alone.

RocketMan
02-17-2016, 07:28 AM
Why mess with perfection? You've already got an end product that has you talking about wonderful layers of flavor and complexity. Why mask that by throwing in other ingredients at this point? I say leave it alone.

I've read that adding tea to add tannins helps to increase mouth feel and that the oak would only add to the notes that are already present. It still is only 30 days old and I'm going tongivenit another at least 30 days in secondary. Might be worth just tacking it over and seeing how it's matured in another 30 days with out any additions or possibly just a little bit of tea.

Mazer828
02-17-2016, 09:25 AM
BTW, that looks like 1.002 to my eye, based on your picture.

RocketMan
02-17-2016, 11:43 AM
Oh man, need to clean my glasses :) You are correct 1.002 it is

Robert Blees
03-21-2016, 01:51 AM
How did it turn out


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Squatchy
03-21-2016, 09:26 AM
I've read that adding tea to add tannins helps to increase mouth feel and that the oak would only add to the notes that are already present. It still is only 30 days old and I'm going tongivenit another at least 30 days in secondary. Might be worth just tacking it over and seeing how it's matured in another 30 days with out any additions or possibly just a little bit of tea.

A few things to think about. :)

Tannins often times are used to help balance alcohol. If your alcohol is strong or hot, ( it might be some due to the young age) the oak will help soften that. Chips are very monodimensional. I would suggest cubes or better yet, spirals. Your mead is so young you will still have a ways to go, (even if you did everything right). Personally, I would wait a couple months before I did much. By then it should give you a clearer idea of what you are working with. I may not always want a wood component strong enough that you can specifically taste it's been oaked. But even in that case, I still like to oak for a while and stop just as it starts to "show up". That way it adds some complexity/character to the base. It also adds some grip to the mouth feel, which is nice if your mouthfeel is a little flat/thin/mono.

When I read your opening post you didn't mention a few things so I'm not sure what you did. I think most of us primary in an open bucket, leaving the lid sit loosely on the top to allow more exposure to oxygen. Don't pitch any dry yeast straight into a must. Use go-ferm and it's protocol for optimum effect. If not that just warm water at 104 degrees. Make sure to attemperate the yeast slurry to match the must temps before you pitch so as not to induce temp shock. Needs to be within 10 degrees of each other to safely pitch. Use your stone for 1.5 minutes prior to pitch and same again 24 hours later. Keep things stirred up in carboy until it's been finished fermenting for 2-3 weeks. Then let it settle for a week or two and rack off the rough lees. It's then at that point that I usually start to add adjuncts if I'm on unfamiliar ground. You could start adding things a little earlier once you have more experience or if your doing something your strongly familiar with.

Lastly welcome to got mead. For $25 you can become a patron member and will have access to the meat and potatoes of this site. The recipes alone are worth more than your fee.