PDA

View Full Version : Do you keep stirring after 1/3 break?



darwin1859
05-31-2017, 09:42 PM
Hi All,
I am a first time poster on my first mead. I am brewing the "tradtional dry mead" with instructions of the traditionalmead.com site.
I am at the 1/3 break and I can't figure out if I am supposed to keep stirring (to degas but not aerate). If I should keep stirring, when do I stop to let the yeast settle before racking to secondary?
I did a forum search before posting, but I was unable to find exactly what I am looking for.
Thanks!

Squatchy
05-31-2017, 11:22 PM
You will want to always keep the yeast in suspension. The time to stop stirring is when you have decided you want to rack it off the lee's. Only then should you allow the yeast to settle. The off flavors everyone wants to avoid happen once you leave the lee's alone to pile on top of each other. This is also why you hear bad advice to rack way sooner than you really should.

caduseus
06-01-2017, 08:08 AM
Stir at least daily until ferment is over.
Stir at least 2x/week after fermentation for 30 days and the yeast will help clear the must for you

darwin1859
06-01-2017, 08:16 PM
Hi Squatchy and caduseus, thanks for the replies!
I am coming from a beer brewing background so all this handling is new to me.

I am using the CBE wine degasser whip thingy. Before the 1/3 break, I would slowly stir the carboy until most of the gas was released and there was no danger of foaming out. Then I would rapidly whip air into it for 3-5 minutes at the surface.
Now I am after the break and I am stirring rapidly with the whip, but only deep in the carboy so I don't pull a vortex and start bringing air into the liquid.
1. Is that the right kind of stirring for after the break, or something less energetic like swirling the carboy?
2. When should I move to secondary - by sg or by bubble per minute? Starting SG was 1.101 and it is down to 1.029.
Cheers!

Dadux
06-01-2017, 08:44 PM
You can degass more or less. THe way you are doing it is correct. You can also shake and it works, only it might take some more time. But the most important thing really is aereating.
The theory is not to rack until the SG is stable for 2 or 3 weeks. However if you do things right you it will just ferment dry (1.000-0.990) and then you dont need to keep measuring. After the ferment is finished, stir once every day/two days for 3 or 4 weeks at least. Then let everything settle and compact for at 1 more week, then rack (this is what i do for minimal losses at racking, you can let them settle less or longer, depending on the floculattion of your yeast and your schedule). Stirring after the ferment is done helps clearing the mead and prevents off flavours and diminishes the ones already there. Basically speeds up ageing and clearing. You can stir in primary more than 4 weeks. After 3 or 4 months you enter the sur lie ageing world, but thats other stuff. Usually 1.5 months from pitch to rack is the fastest you should rack if all is done properly, but more (up to 3 months) is also ok (and benefitial) if you are going to bulk age anyway.

Also traditionalmead.com does not lead anywhere.

Squatchy
06-01-2017, 09:37 PM
Just as a side note. If you ever have a batch with reductive issues that would be the only time you will want to rack off the lee's as soon as the ferment is over. Other than that Dadux covered it well.

Lastly. Bubbles never really mean anything. Your hydrometer is the only real tool you can rely on.

darwin1859
06-06-2017, 09:06 PM
Good information, thanks Dadux and Squatchy! Curiouser and curiouser are the steps of caring for baby mead!
SG was 0.999 yesterday and 0.998 today, so I will start stirring every other day on the schedule Dadux outlined. There was still enough gas in the must when whipping up the lees today to make a notifiable outflow today. I will keep an eye on that to make sure I exclude air from the carboy.

Sorry, the link I started from was
http://traditionalmead.blogspot.com/

If there was one book you would recommend for a starting meadmaker, what would it be?
Cheers!

darigoni
06-06-2017, 09:32 PM
Pretty sure everyone will recommend this book:

https://www.amazon.com/Compleat-Meadmaker-Production-Award-winning-Variations/dp/0937381802/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1496798550&sr=1-1&keywords=ken+schramm

But I would personally advise you to read and ask question on this forum closely, check out:

https://denardbrewing.com

And definitely check out a series of videos made by Smertz, on YouTube. They can be found on post #1 of this thread:

http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/26032-Making-Mead

Dadux
06-07-2017, 06:12 AM
Pretty sure everyone will recommend this book:

https://www.amazon.com/Compleat-Meadmaker-Production-Award-winning-Variations/dp/0937381802/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1496798550&sr=1-1&keywords=ken+schramm

But I would personally advise you to read and ask question on this forum closely, check out:

https://denardbrewing.com

And definitely check out a series of videos made by Smertz, on YouTube. They can be found on post #1 of this thread:

http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/26032-Making-Mead

I got the book after a few months of meadmaking and was a bit dissapointed. The book is great, let me tell you, in that it helps a newbee a lot, but i would say 2 things: It does cover little that you cant find in this forum & the recipes dissapointed me a bit (personally, because the writer is a fan of melomels, or fruit mead, and i am not). Dont get me wrong, the book is quite great, i dont regret buying it, but as dagorini said, you can get there with the forum if you do some thorough research, and the denard web has some great recipe ideas and experiments.
So i'd say if you want the concentrated wisdom, go buy the book, you wont regret it, but you will still need to come here (the forum) to get the latest information about nutrients and procedures because the book has great points but its a tad old (the meadmaking world advances fast). If you rather roam the web for info then thats as good as anything. And the denard web is worth checking

About the stirring, there is no need to be very vigorous, you only need to get the lees back in suspension. Usually, shaking the vessel for a few seconds is usually enough, but depends on what fermentor you are using i guess.

caduseus
06-07-2017, 12:40 PM
Pretty sure everyone will recommend this book:

https://www.amazon.com/Compleat-Meadmaker-Production-Award-winning-Variations/dp/0937381802/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1496798550&sr=1-1&keywords=ken+schramm

But I would personally advise you to read and ask question on this forum closely, check out:

https://denardbrewing.com

And definitely check out a series of videos made by Smertz, on YouTube. They can be found on post #1 of this thread:

http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/26032-Making-Mead

I highly agree with these recommendations with the following caveats:
1) If you don't use ale or liquid yeasts, I would say there is more limited benefit if you use wine yeasts
2) If you DO use ale yeasts, then denardbrewing is the most important of the 3 mentionned

darwin1859
07-03-2017, 09:10 PM
Thanks for the feedback, I will check out the links when I am planning the next mead. I am at 1.5 months, so I am itching to get into secondary. I got a ManCan 1 gallon carboy/carbonation system. I was thinking of diverting a gallon of my mead into it when I go to secondary and carbonating in my mini-fridge. I was going to put ~4 remaining gallons in my 5 gallon carboy and blanket with some CO2 from my cylinder. I'll go read for a while, see what the links above give for forced carbonation of meads. Cheers!

Caduseus - I was a little confused on what you were saying in your comment on the recommended reading - Are those links more aimed for liquid and ale yeasts? I went with wine this time, I figured the alcohol content made that preferable.

Dadux - Thanks for feed back on mixing up the lees. I moved to swirling after the CO2 release seemed to drop off from whipping. I didn't want to accidentally aerate. I swirled instead of shaking because I wanted to leave my airlock on and I felt shaking had the potential to let airlock liquid back into my primary.

Dadux
07-04-2017, 07:38 AM
Thanks for the feedback, I will check out the links when I am planning the next mead. I am at 1.5 months, so I am itching to get into secondary. I got a ManCan 1 gallon carboy/carbonation system. I was thinking of diverting a gallon of my mead into it when I go to secondary and carbonating in my mini-fridge. I was going to put ~4 remaining gallons in my 5 gallon carboy and blanket with some CO2 from my cylinder. I'll go read for a while, see what the links above give for forced carbonation of meads. Cheers!

Caduseus - I was a little confused on what you were saying in your comment on the recommended reading - Are those links more aimed for liquid and ale yeasts? I went with wine this time, I figured the alcohol content made that preferable.

Dadux - Thanks for feed back on mixing up the lees. I moved to swirling after the CO2 release seemed to drop off from whipping. I didn't want to accidentally aerate. I swirled instead of shaking because I wanted to leave my airlock on and I felt shaking had the potential to let airlock liquid back into my primary.

This is not beer or wine. No real need for blanketing if you dont plan to storage it for a long time. Wont hurt either but just so you know, you wont get oxidized mead unless you leave it there for a good few months.
Also when stirring or swirling or whatever to rouse the lees, you will add some oxigen but its not a great concern since the lees actually protect against oxidation. Again adding O2 to a mead is not as bad as its with wine or beer since honey does not rot (I mean, dont add the O2 intentionally but dont worry about it a lot, im just saying its hard to get sherry from mead, altough of course its possible)

Also i've never force carbed so cant give advice there but be careful when you bottle, and where you bottle. Get beer bottles or champagne for that. Still mead goes great into transparent wine bottles with a cork.