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JackandPamsplace
03-09-2017, 10:47 AM
Hello everyone. First question in what I hope will be a great resource for learning this craft. My wife and I have an Apiary so this is perfect for us. I have made our first batch from a recipe on Pintrest. We know a lady who has a wine store (make your own deal) and she told me I probably should be adding a clarifier (to clear it?) before I bottle. She gave me some stuff to try so maybe I need to research more because there were four different packets all doing the same thing. I see nothing in all the recipes I have looked at with reference to this. So, is this personal preferences I need to learn or would I be good to go? Thanks in advance, Jack ???

Dadux
03-09-2017, 11:28 AM
Hey there Jack and Pam. Welcome to the forum

If you want to keep doing this i recommend you read the newbee guide this site has, its pretty good. Not gonna talk bad about a recipe i dont know but pintrest might not be the best place to get the recipes. Just saying, meadmaking is advancing superfast and a lot of recipes are old or use far from perfect methods. You can follow them but at your own peril. If you think you are gonna stay with us, you would do well planning ahead, asking, and reading what is the latest on meadmaking because it has changed a lot in the last few years it seems, and this is a mead site so its the best place to go.

Ok so the rant ends there, now to your particular question.
What you probably have (maybe desceibe the pack or post a picture or the commercial name so we can know more) is a fining agent. Those are substances that help clarify wine/beer/mead.
Let me say, you do NOT need to clarify your mead. However you might choose to do so for a large number of reasons. Looks better when clear, if done properly can taste a bit better, reduces infection risk, and gets rid of floating yeast that remains from the ferment. Mead clarifies on its own, but if you dont have the time or patience and want it clear, fining is a viable option.
There are a lot of fining agents and they are different. So their effect is not exactly the same. For this reason i cannot specify what your agent does and how it works. The general thing is they bind with other stuff that makes the mead cloudy and help it fall to the bottom, forming sediment.
For more general information in fining agents search google or this forum.

All this aside, you might want to post your recipe and what you did and how you did it, so we can tell you what you should do next and if it is ready to bottle. If you do thos give us the most detail you can.

I hope this provides you with some answers

caduseus
03-09-2017, 03:57 PM
Hello everyone. First question in what I hope will be a great resource for learning this craft. My wife and I have an Apiary so this is perfect for us. I have made our first batch from a recipe on Pintrest. We know a lady who has a wine store (make your own deal) and she told me I probably should be adding a clarifier (to clear it?) before I bottle. She gave me some stuff to try so maybe I need to research more because there were four different packets all doing the same thing. I see nothing in all the recipes I have looked at with reference to this. So, is this personal preferences I need to learn or would I be good to go? Thanks in advance, Jack ???

1) Read the newbie guide on the forums
2) Watch the meadology series by Canadian sasquatch on youtube.
3) Tell us if you want the "pitch and leave approach" = throw everything in there, ignore it and in 1-2 years it is drinkable; OR
"Meticulous method" = Staggered Nutrition Addition, quality nutrients like Fermaid K and Fermaid-O, daily stirring at least 2 weeks, use fining agents; ETC
4) please tell us more about the recipe, ingredients and the rest of your process so we can provide input.

Shelley
03-10-2017, 07:02 AM
Fellow meadmaker and beekeeper here: after you've had experience with mead from straight honey, you can start using your cappings wash for your must, too. Depending on how clean your cappings end up, you may not have to add any honey to the must.

My straight-honey meads don't always need clarifying, so I would hold off on using a fining agent until you're ready to bottle and really want a clear drink. (The cappings meads tend to be cloudier longer.) Before you use a fining agent, try "cold crashing" first. Folks have a lot of success with that method.

JackandPamsplace
03-10-2017, 11:07 AM
I knew I came to the right place. Awesome answers and makes sense to me now. I was wondering if there is a way to print or purchase the newbee guide from what I have read so far a must, get it, never mind bad one I know. Looking forward to continuing with mead making and from the lady I know has given me equipment in need of repair and I have refurbished a EnolMatic bottler and a filtering machine so in it now. Once again thank you for the response and will be asking more questions for sure. Jack and Pam

Dadux
03-10-2017, 11:32 AM
I knew I came to the right place. Awesome answers and makes sense to me now. I was wondering if there is a way to print or purchase the newbee guide from what I have read so far a must, get it, never mind bad one I know. Looking forward to continuing with mead making and from the lady I know has given me equipment in need of repair and I have refurbished a EnolMatic bottler and a filtering machine so in it now. Once again thank you for the response and will be asking more questions for sure. Jack and Pam

the newbee guide is accessible to everyone. At the top of the page there is a label that says "NewBee Guide". Just click there, there are a bunch of chapters, you can print it one by one i guess, or something.
The filter machine will come in handy im sure.
Also you might want to get aquainted with the "Advanced Search" button and engine. You can search for any terms or doubts you have and find nearly everything you want with it. Whatever you dont, feel free to ask.

JackandPamsplace
03-13-2017, 09:32 AM
1) Read the newbie guide on the forums
2) Watch the meadology series by Canadian sasquatch on youtube.
3) Tell us if you want the "pitch and leave approach" = throw everything in there, ignore it and in 1-2 years it is drinkable; OR
"Meticulous method" = Staggered Nutrition Addition, quality nutrients like Fermaid K and Fermaid-O, daily stirring at least 2 weeks, use fining agents; ETC
4) please tell us more about the recipe, ingredients and the rest of your process so we can provide input.

Hope I am doing this right. Wasn't sure how to reply to you directly. I waited a bit to let you know as we were going to take what we have done out and into a car boy. The recipe was of course all the honey but in the 5 gallons we added a bag of mixed fruit, 3 cinnamon sticks and a sliced orange. We used lalvin EC-1118 and set it aside. The next morning is was burping away so we were happy. We waited the 6 weeks and popped open the pail lid. Wasn't close to the correct hydrometer reading so gave it a stir and left it. Cooler here so gave it the extra time. This weekend it was at 1.0 so something was working for us. We took a taste. Looks and smells like wine and I thought it was a bit watery tasting and my wife said it reminded her of a strawberry medicine. OUCH! Too funny. So now it sits and cloudy and not sure to just leave it alone or ????

Squatchy
03-13-2017, 11:47 AM
Hope I am doing this right. Wasn't sure how to reply to you directly. I waited a bit to let you know as we were going to take what we have done out and into a car boy. The recipe was of course all the honey but in the 5 gallons we added a bag of mixed fruit, 3 cinnamon sticks and a sliced orange. We used lalvin EC-1118 and set it aside. The next morning is was burping away so we were happy. We waited the 6 weeks and popped open the pail lid. Wasn't close to the correct hydrometer reading so gave it a stir and left it. Cooler here so gave it the extra time. This weekend it was at 1.0 so something was working for us. We took a taste. Looks and smells like wine and I thought it was a bit watery tasting and my wife said it reminded her of a strawberry medicine. OUCH! Too funny. So now it sits and cloudy and not sure to just leave it alone or ????

You need to provide us with exactly what you added and your logs as well if you want some help. My hunch it's bone dry and low ABV. We can fix that . But we need to know what and how much you did and when. The ionternet is chock full of bad information and I suspect your kit was lacking in solid understanding of good mead making practices.

JackandPamsplace
03-14-2017, 08:26 AM
You need to provide us with exactly what you added and your logs as well if you want some help. My hunch it's bone dry and low ABV. We can fix that . But we need to know what and how much you did and when. The ionternet is chock full of bad information and I suspect your kit was lacking in solid understanding of good mead making practices.

Hi Squatchy, Thanks for the reply. I had to find what we had done and now I have it. We got it off Pintrest before I found Got Mead and I can see there is much to learn. I will send the link and that is what we used and did. We took and extra two+weeks was the difference. As well at the 6 week march I skimmed off the remainder of the floating bleached out fruit. http://www.growforagecookferment.com/how-to-make-5-gallons-of-mead/ Jack

Squatchy
03-14-2017, 08:41 AM
Hi Squatchy, Thanks for the reply. I had to find what we had done and now I have it. We got it off Pintrest before I found Got Mead and I can see there is much to learn. I will send the link and that is what we used and did. We took and extra two+weeks was the difference. As well at the 6 week march I skimmed off the remainder of the floating bleached out fruit. http://www.growforagecookferment.com/how-to-make-5-gallons-of-mead/ Jack

Hi guys :)

WHile this methoud will eventually turn into mead, it is lacking in so many areas I would strongly suggest not doing another batch until you have spent some time here learning modern techniques. That batch is going to take many months of ageing before it's anywear close to becoming drinkable. I would not bottle this at this time. If you can wait we canhelp you to make this better before you bottle. Over time , while it sits and ages, things will drop out of suspension and it will become clearer and clearer naturally. But, if you wanted this to present better we can suggest some additions that will make it better. (in my opinion) ANd this will muck it up again.

Not to put you on the spot. But have you spent enough time to learn from this place what would be a better approach to make a similar batch with better techniques? or are you so new here you haven't had a chance to learn yet?

Can you taste your stuff and write down everything you can and share this with us please. :)

JackandPamsplace
03-14-2017, 09:17 AM
Hi guys :)

WHile this methoud will eventually turn into mead, it is lacking in so many areas I would strongly suggest not doing another batch until you have spent some time here learning modern techniques. That batch is going to take many months of ageing before it's anywear close to becoming drinkable. I would not bottle this at this time. If you can wait we canhelp you to make this better before you bottle. Over time , while it sits and ages, things will drop out of suspension and it will become clearer and clearer naturally. But, if you wanted this to present better we can suggest some additions that will make it better. (in my opinion) ANd this will muck it up again.

Not to put you on the spot. But have you spent enough time to learn from this place what would be a better approach to make a similar batch with better techniques? or are you so new here you haven't had a chance to learn yet?

Can you taste your stuff and write down everything you can and share this with us please. :)

I can say that we are so new I haven't had a chance to learn enough. I did take the time to print out the Newbee Guide and have it in a binder. We did post that we had tasted it and I thought it watery and my wife thought it tasted like fruity medicine. I would appreciate things we could do to make this batch better for sure but will pay more attention to some of the recipes we have seen with Got Mead for the next batch. We would like to start another and keep things going.

darigoni
03-14-2017, 09:38 AM
I can say that we are so new I haven't had a chance to learn enough. I did take the time to print out the Newbee Guide and have it in a binder. We did post that we had tasted it and I thought it watery and my wife thought it tasted like fruity medicine. I would appreciate things we could do to make this batch better for sure but will pay more attention to some of the recipes we have seen with Got Mead for the next batch. We would like to start another and keep things going.

The Newbee Guide is good place to start. If you have the time, check out the 9 week Meadology video series on youtube. Each video is about 20 minutes long, will show you how to make your first mead and will introduce you to terms, concepts and ideas that you'll use if you move forward with mead making.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oODPBYXqfjk&list=PLEUA9sOZJbckxRlIRaAyUw6jg2Zlrgko7

Squatchy
03-14-2017, 09:44 AM
I can say that we are so new I haven't had a chance to learn enough. I did take the time to print out the Newbee Guide and have it in a binder. We did post that we had tasted it and I thought it watery and my wife thought it tasted like fruity medicine. I would appreciate things we could do to make this batch better for sure but will pay more attention to some of the recipes we have seen with Got Mead for the next batch. We would like to start another and keep things going.

So you will want to stabilize so you can add more honey and fruit. I'm sure it's very hot tasting. Over time this will go away some. How much fruit and what kind did you add? How much honey did you start with? Gravity readings? What are you hoping for?

JackandPamsplace
03-14-2017, 10:00 AM
So you will want to stabilize so you can add more honey and fruit. I'm sure it's very hot tasting. Over time this will go away some. How much fruit and what kind did you add? How much honey did you start with? Gravity readings? What are you hoping for?

We used 5, 750 ML bottles of honey and the mixed fruit was 700 grams of mixed berries and the other ingredients she shows as per her instructions. I know it's fun converting back and forth. No gravity readings taken at the outset. We hope for something that tastes better than we have. We are selling our Maple Syrup operation and putting all our time into the Apiary and learning this craft well enough to start a Mead Business down the road.

I should say after I posted this I read your reply to another "Make a plan, Stick to a plan" and once again very sound advice

Dadux
03-14-2017, 11:04 AM
I can say that we are so new I haven't had a chance to learn enough. I did take the time to print out the Newbee Guide and have it in a binder. We did post that we had tasted it and I thought it watery and my wife thought it tasted like fruity medicine. I would appreciate things we could do to make this batch better for sure but will pay more attention to some of the recipes we have seen with Got Mead for the next batch. We would like to start another and keep things going.

Before starting another batch think about how you want it to be and post us your plan so we can help you round it up and give you advice on the methodology. Once you start it might be too late for some things

JackandPamsplace
03-14-2017, 11:10 AM
We used 5, 750 ML bottles of honey and the mixed fruit was 700 grams of mixed berries and the other ingredients she shows as per her instructions. I know it's fun converting back and forth. No gravity readings taken at the outset. We hope for something that tastes better than we have. We are selling our Maple Syrup operation and putting all our time into the Apiary and learning this craft well enough to start a Mead Business down the road.

I should say after I posted this I read your reply to another "Make a plan, Stick to a plan" and once again very sound advice

To be clear at this point in time I am only going to stabilize so I can add more honey and fruit correct. I have a packet of Sulphite 3.6g and a packet of Potassium Sorbate. Any documentation I have read in the guide refers to stabilizing for bottling. If I stabilize and add honey and more fruit will the honey and fruit start the process over or I need to add ???

Dadux
03-14-2017, 11:11 AM
We used 5, 750 ML bottles of honey and the mixed fruit was 700 grams of mixed berries and the other ingredients she shows as per her instructions. I know it's fun converting back and forth. No gravity readings taken at the outset. We hope for something that tastes better than we have. We are selling our Maple Syrup operation and putting all our time into the Apiary and learning this craft well enough to start a Mead Business down the road.

I should say after I posted this I read your reply to another "Make a plan, Stick to a plan" and once again very sound advice

As Squatchy said a good way to cover faults in a mead is adding more honey. The sweetness will diminish the off-flavours you taste. But dont worry even if you mead tastes bad now, in 9 months it might be better than what you can imagine right now. It gets better. And we all do mistakes the first time, so dont worry. the next batches will be better. You might want to experiment in 1 gallon vessels or 2 gals so you dont use a lot of honey so if it turns bad/not as good as you want, its not that bad. Once you get the grip of it you can start doing more volume.
Gotmead also has a calculator that is really great, i recommend that before you start a new batch you run your numbers through it so you can see how it works. Its pretty good.
And just something that might interest you, there are recipes of mead made with honey and maple syrup. They are called Acerglyns. So you might want to save some of that maple syrup if you still have it.

JackandPamsplace
03-14-2017, 11:32 AM
As Squatchy said a good way to cover faults in a mead is adding more honey. The sweetness will diminish the off-flavours you taste. But dont worry even if you mead tastes bad now, in 9 months it might be better than what you can imagine right now. It gets better. And we all do mistakes the first time, so dont worry. the next batches will be better. You might want to experiment in 1 gallon vessels or 2 gals so you dont use a lot of honey so if it turns bad/not as good as you want, its not that bad. Once you get the grip of it you can start doing more volume.
Gotmead also has a calculator that is really great, i recommend that before you start a new batch you run your numbers through it so you can see how it works. Its pretty good.
And just something that might interest you, there are recipes of mead made with honey and maple syrup. They are called Acerglyns. So you might want to save some of that maple syrup if you still have it.

Thanx Dadux I was thinking the smaller batches to save honey so will do just that. Just trying to figure out if I stabilize what I have and add a bit more honey does the honey and or fruit start it up again.

Dadux
03-14-2017, 12:16 PM
Thanx Dadux I was thinking the smaller batches to save honey so will do just that. Just trying to figure out if I stabilize what I have and add a bit more honey does the honey and or fruit start it up again.

By stabilizing (if done correctly) you kill/inactivate the remaining yeast. That has 3 benefits.
1-sulphites soak up O2 so its hard to oxidize the wine/mead
2-it wont get contaminated because the sulphites (and the alcohol) kill any bacteria or fungus cell that might come in contact with the wine
3-Since the yeast is dead you can add more fermentables (honey, sugar, fruit) and it wont start fermenting again. If you add more fermentables BEFORE stabilizing it might referment.

Wheather or not you stabilize now depends on how much time has passed since the fermentation ended. You probably want to keep it where it is for at least a couple weeks more before stabilizing.
For stabilizing you have to first rack off the lees (the sediment at the bottom). (also a warning, before you stabilize make sure you have the additions right. 3.6 grams of sulphites might not be enough for the volume you have)
I recommend you have some patience, rouse the lees once a day (shake the carboy so the sediment goes up to suspension again, this helps the mead clear some off flavours)
After two-six weeks of doing that you can stop rousing the lees, wait like a week so everything settles and rack it, stabilize and add some more honey and/or fruit. Mead is a slow process, specially if you botch things up. But dont worry, it'll get there.
Thats what i would recommend based on what i know. If you can provide us with some dates (when did you start the ferment, and when was your last hydrometer reading and what was it. Please when you give hydrometer reading give 4 numbers. So for example you said 1.0 but you should specify 1.000 or 1.010 or whatever it says in there. There is a big difference. If you can take a reading today or soon, tell us what you get) and what is the state of the ferment now (is it bubbling or not, how much volume you have) we can maybe give you more specific advice. Just a reminder, you never give too much information. The more specific you are describing what you did when asking for advice, the easier it is to give, pinpoint mistakes and suggest solutions.

JackandPamsplace
03-14-2017, 01:08 PM
By stabilizing (if done correctly) you kill/inactivate the remaining yeast. That has 3 benefits.
1-sulphites soak up O2 so its hard to oxidize the wine/mead
2-it wont get contaminated because the sulphites (and the alcohol) kill any bacteria or fungus cell that might come in contact with the wine
3-Since the yeast is dead you can add more fermentables (honey, sugar, fruit) and it wont start fermenting again. If you add more fermentables BEFORE stabilizing it might referment.

Wheather or not you stabilize now depends on how much time has passed since the fermentation ended. You probably want to keep it where it is for at least a couple weeks more before stabilizing.
For stabilizing you have to first rack off the lees (the sediment at the bottom). (also a warning, before you stabilize make sure you have the additions right. 3.6 grams of sulphites might not be enough for the volume you have)
I recommend you have some patience, rouse the lees once a day (shake the carboy so the sediment goes up to suspension again, this helps the mead clear some off flavours)
After two-six weeks of doing that you can stop rousing the lees, wait like a week so everything settles and rack it, stabilize and add some more honey and/or fruit. Mead is a slow process, specially if you botch things up. But dont worry, it'll get there.
Thats what i would recommend based on what i know. If you can provide us with some dates (when did you start the ferment, and when was your last hydrometer reading and what was it. Please when you give hydrometer reading give 4 numbers. So for example you said 1.0 but you should specify 1.000 or 1.010 or whatever it says in there. There is a big difference. If you can take a reading today or soon, tell us what you get) and what is the state of the ferment now (is it bubbling or not, how much volume you have) we can maybe give you more specific advice. Just a reminder, you never give too much information. The more specific you are describing what you did when asking for advice, the easier it is to give, pinpoint mistakes and suggest solutions.

Perfect Dadux. I am going to leave it alone for awhile as suggested. I have purchased "The Complete Meadmaker" by Ken Schramm and have printed the "Newbee Guide" to take on vacation and read so between that and this great forum I may actually get a bit smarter and make sure as suggested I have a plan and document everything. The hydrometer reading I took was right at the 1.000 level where the beer ended and the wine began. Jack

Dadux
03-14-2017, 02:47 PM
Perfect Dadux. I am going to leave it alone for awhile as suggested. I have purchased "The Complete Meadmaker" by Ken Schramm and have printed the "Newbee Guide" to take on vacation and read so between that and this great forum I may actually get a bit smarter and make sure as suggested I have a plan and document everything. The hydrometer reading I took was right at the 1.000 level where the beer ended and the wine began. Jack

Good. Looks like the fermentation finished then. As i said, make sure to shake it or stir (just a bit, so the lees go back to suspension) once every day or two. This is called rousing the lees in case you want to look it up and will help in the long run. Dead yeast is like a sponge. It absorbs some compounds from the mead, but usually bad ones. So this helps the mead get clear and better faster. But for them to absorb something they gotta be in suspension and not lying at the bottom. So thats why you do it.

JackandPamsplace
03-14-2017, 04:33 PM
Good. Looks like the fermentation finished then. As i said, make sure to shake it or stir (just a bit, so the lees go back to suspension) once every day or two. This is called rousing the lees in case you want to look it up and will help in the long run. Dead yeast is like a sponge. It absorbs some compounds from the mead, but usually bad ones. So this helps the mead get clear and better faster. But for them to absorb something they gotta be in suspension and not lying at the bottom. So thats why you do it.

OH Darn yet another mistake. Before I put it in the car boy I skimmed a ton of that off the surface in the pail. Whatever was left I didn't get is floating on the top of the wine in the car boy now. Making notes for sure. Just want to thank everyone for their patience.

Dadux
03-14-2017, 05:26 PM
OH Darn yet another mistake. Before I put it in the car boy I skimmed a ton of that off the surface in the pail. Whatever was left I didn't get is floating on the top of the wine in the car boy now. Making notes for sure. Just want to thank everyone for their patience.

Seems hard to me to skim the yeast from the top of the carboy. It usually mixes in the solution or falls to the bottom. The only thing you should remove is the fruit that is still on the surface.
Dont worry, whatever you took (if it was whitey powder it was wax from the honey which is what i think most probable) many of the yeast is probably still around.