PDA

View Full Version : My First 10 Liter Batch by a Dutch Guy



Misant
08-16-2016, 04:58 AM
Almost a week ago I started my first batch of mead. My girl likes mead and I thought, lets try and make our own.
The original starting gravity was a lot higher than i would have liked. I got 4 (8.82 pounds) kilos of honey with 7 liters of water, making a 10 liter(2.65 gallons) batch.
Below are my measurements and when i added some fermaid-k. I dont have dap or fermaid-o.
The gravity is going down steady, the temperature is the temperature of the bucket, measured with a stick on thermometer. I keep the bucket out of the sun. I won't add anymore fermaid-k. I don't have any left

11-8-2016 10.30: og 1.160, yeast (LALVIN 71B-1122 starter pitched (2 days old, shaken and stirred regularly, 2,5grams fermaid-k afeter 24 hours (1 pack yeast, 100ml water, 400ml light syrup(50/50 water/sugar)), 22 degrees C
12-8-2016 16.00: gr 1.155, degassed, 2.5gram fermaid-k added, stirred, 22 degrees C very little bubbling
13-8-2016 13.00: gr 1.150, degassed, 2.5gram fermaid-k added, stirred, 23 degrees C, bubbling
13-8-2016 23.00: degassed
14-8-2016 20.30: gr 1.140, degassed, 2.5gram fermaid-k added,stirred, 24 degrees C, bubbling
15-8-2016 10.30: gr 1.129, degassed, 24.5 degrees, active bubbling
15-8-2016 21.00: gr 1.122, degassed, 24 degrees C, active bubbling
16-8-2016 10.30: gr 1.116, degassed, 2 grams fermaid-k added, 24.5 degrees C, active bubbling

With my current knowledge and what I am seeing happen in the bucket with the bubbling, I think all is going nicely even with the high SG. Any remarks from the more experienced people here?

My girl likes her mead very sweet and I like high alcoholic drinks.

GntlKnigt1
08-16-2016, 12:40 PM
Welcome Dutch Guy !!! You can edit your profile to show us what city you are from. As you can see, we have our own thread for issues unique to the Netherlands.

For a first batch, you've done a nice job documenting it. Most beginners don't even have a hydrometer, so kudos to you !!! My impressions.... yes, that was a high starting gravity.... am not surprised the 71B had a tough time digesting it initially. You might want to read up on "acclimated starter" by doing a search of the forums.... more than one word needs quotation marks. The 12 grams of Fermaid K might be okay for that smaller batch.... watch for a sulphur like odor. If you get it, boil a couple packages of bread yeast, let it cool, and add it to the mead. Alternatively, you could use a handful of raisins to feed your critters and get them through that high ABV.

If your lady likes it sweet, you might have to stabilize and backsweeten, but will save tips on that until fermentation is done.

Again.... welcome !!! Glad to have another Dutch guy here.

Misant
08-21-2016, 06:11 AM
Some more measurements:

16-8-2016 20.30: gr 1.110, degassed, 30 cut-in-half raisins added, 24 degrees C, active bubbling
17-8-2016 10.30: gr 1.104, degassed, 25 degrees C, active bubbling
17-8-2016 21.30: gr 1.098, degassed, 25 degrees C, active bubbling
21-8-2016 12.00: gr 1.066, degassed, 24 degrees C, active little bubbles, you hear the fizzing of little bubbles in the bucket

The smell from the bucket is still very sweet honey like and you can get a hint of alcohol smell. Did a little taste today and the taste and smell are ok for me. My girl also liked the taste.
So far so good. Need to have more patience before drinking is, which is difficult :)

GntlKnigt1
08-21-2016, 06:22 AM
Good info there. Looks like it's progressing well. Always difficult in early batches to resist drinking early. Maybe start planning your next batch...M.E.A.D.---Mazerotic Encephalopathic Affective Disorder.... The compulsive need to keep fermenting honey

Sent from my D2403 using Tapatalk

Swordnut
08-22-2016, 05:33 AM
Looks good to me sofar. Also, welcome to the bunch. You'll find plenty of wisdom here to guide you in the future. :)

Misant
08-23-2016, 06:19 AM
23-8-2016 12.00: gr 1.056, 26 degrees C, less active little bubbling, you hear the fizzing in the bucket

The bubbling has been steadily getting slower. I calculated the gravity for 14% ABV at GR 1.1053 and i'm using Lalvin 71B. If the gravity progresses as expected, it should hit it in 12-24 hours. We will see.

GntlKnigt1
08-24-2016, 03:02 AM
Your temp is at the high end, especially for 71B. The risk is that it will throw off fusel alcohol, which gives it that "hot rocket fuel" taste which would take a year or two to age out. See if you can get temp lower by moving it to a cooler spot. I keep mine under 20, and 17 is even better. http://wine.lallemandyeast.com/company/products/71b-1122-wine-yeast

Swordnut
08-24-2016, 05:35 AM
Most of the fusels are created during the primary fermentation, this batch is already at 14% abv and its temperature has been consistently on the high end. If the yeast has started to produce fusels there's no helping it now. Still a good plan to move it to a cooler spot but if it tastes very hot then expect it to take 18 months or more to age out and become mellow.

Misant
08-24-2016, 07:31 AM
I moved it yesterday afternoon to my storage room. I put it in a large bucket of water with some ice packs in it. Current temperature is at 22 degrees C. Can't keep it lower and don't have a temperature controlled fridge available at this moment. Got some new ice packs in the freezer to change with the current ones. Till monday the temperature outside will be 32degrees C, then it would drop to 20-22 again outside.

Misant
08-24-2016, 08:19 AM
i checked the gravity, it is now 1.052-1.054. Still small bubbles going. What to do now. The ABV should be at 14%. I don't mind letting it ferment a bit more to see where the ABV will end up at. Or shall i cold crash it at 14% and rack and keep some extra sweetness which my girl likes....

GntlKnigt1
08-24-2016, 09:18 AM
I've had success with stopping 71B by racking onto stabilizer and cold crashing at about 39 F. Taste it, realizing it will be yeasty right now. My stabilizer is 1/8 top per gallon and 1/2 top potassium sorbate per gallon.

Sent from my D2403 using Tapatalk

Misant
08-24-2016, 09:39 AM
Temperature is now stable at around 21 degrees C. Bubbling seems less then this morning. I will see what it does tomorrow. If i cold crash it, i have to empty the fridge to make room and don't know how my girl would like that :P
Any idea where i can find more information about the phases of 71B and temperature? My next brew will definitely use a temperature controlled setup with probably a brewpi.

GntlKnigt1
08-24-2016, 09:52 AM
Not much scientific info beyond temp range by Lalvin. Mostly based on experience. Wife and I like most around 1.020 which is semi sweet by most definitions

Sent from my D2403 using Tapatalk

Squatchy
08-24-2016, 10:01 AM
i checked the gravity, it is now 1.052-1.054. Still small bubbles going. What to do now. The ABV should be at 14%. I don't mind letting it ferment a bit more to see where the ABV will end up at. Or shall i cold crash it at 14% and rack and keep some extra sweetness which my girl likes....

I think you should let it go much drier. That is super super sweet. So much that I don't think very many people would even drink a whole serving before setting it down.

HeidrunsGift
08-24-2016, 10:37 AM
I consider anything over 1.020 to be a dessert mead. Having said that, meads that start approaching 1.025 start getting too sweet for me. At those SGs, I dont even want a full glass. I prefer more of a small 4-6 ounce glass as a dessert post dinner, or as a pre-dinner snack with fruit/cheese. I agree with Squatchy, 1.050 would be tough to drink a full glass of at your current SG, I think most would find it syrupy/cloying.

Misant
08-24-2016, 12:08 PM
a bit higher sweetness than usual is not that of a problem for us. We like to take a glass and slowly sip it during the evening. for now i will let it ferment till the end. I got the temperature down and stable to 20 degrees C and should be able to keep that for a couple of days.

Misant
08-26-2016, 07:13 AM
25-8-2016 12.00: gr 1.052, 20 degrees C, very little bubbling, still in bucket with ice packs
26-8-2016 12.00: gr 1.050, 20 degrees C, very little bubbling, still in bucket with ice packs

Misant
08-30-2016, 08:01 AM
Day16 27-8-2016 12.00: gr 1.050, 20 degrees C, very little bubbling, still in bucket with ice packs
Day17 28-8-2016 12.00: gr 1.048, 22 degrees C, very little bubbling, still in bucket with ice packs
Day18 29-8-2016 12.00: gr 1.048, 22 degrees C, very little bubbling, still in bucket with ice packs
Day19 30-8-2016 12.00: gr 1.046, 22 degrees C, no bubbling, still in bucket with ice packs

GntlKnigt1
08-30-2016, 08:59 AM
Might want to stir it, and give it some boiled yeast...20 grams or more

Sent from my D2403 using Tapatalk

Misant
09-02-2016, 06:10 AM
Day20 31-8-2016 12.00: gr 1.046, 22 degrees C, no bubbling, still in bucket with ice packs
Day21 01-9-2016 12.00: gr 1.044, 22 degrees C, no bubbling, still in bucket with ice packs
Day22 02-9-2016 12.00: gr 1.044, 22 degrees C, no bubbling, still in bucket with ice packs

Gravity is still slowly going down. Not going to add yeast or anything. My girl tasted it and liked the sweetness. And as we don't drink a 1 glass at dinner but 1 glass during the evening it is good. We can slowly sip it during the evening.
Making the batch now so that my girl likes it and earn some wife-points now so I can try another batch that has a better OG. I know where I went wrong with the mixing. The goal of my first batch was not to make the perfect mead but to learn about mead making. I achieved that goal.

Swordnut
09-02-2016, 10:08 AM
Your primary is done. Did you rack it into a carboy? And no, don't add anything to try and get the yeast fermenting. It's nearly done and cannot assimilate anything. Anything you add now will remain diluted in your must and can affect its taste. The only thing you can add in the near future is sorbate to stabilize, if that's your thing. For now I'd rack it into a nice sterile carboy, put an airlock on it and let the yeast ferment the last tiny bits they still can before they go belly up for good.

Misant
09-03-2016, 04:36 AM
It was racked on day 21. Now sitting in storage out of the sun with a nice airlock on it.

GntlKnigt1
09-21-2016, 02:18 PM
How's it taste??

Sent from my D2403 using Tapatalk

Misant
09-22-2016, 03:19 AM
http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160922/5da337e296d50552e6599fe8224fd8da.jpg

Me and my gf drank together 0.5L. She said it was decent but I can do better. U agree. It is very sweet. No headache. No upset stomach.
The bottle in the picture has been in the fridge for almost a week. Hasn't become clearer.
Going to do a test with a household waterfilter of 0.5 micron next week.

Sent from my SM-G901F using Tapatalk

GntlKnigt1
09-22-2016, 04:12 AM
Probably easier to add super klaar, and give it s couple days to settle out

Sent from my D2403 using Tapatalk

Farmboyc
09-22-2016, 07:12 AM
Time man it needs time.

Leave it under airlock and walk away from it for a minimum of 60 days.

The changes will be startling.

Swordnut
09-22-2016, 11:01 AM
It will almost never clear during a cold crash, only after. The vibrations of the fridge itself is enough to keep microscopic particles suspended. It will take months to clear on its own after that.