PDA

View Full Version : first brew



rob3688
06-13-2017, 04:22 PM
Hello all,

Sunday I started my first mead brew. However my information wasn't perfect. I used 17lbs of honey and 10 grams of yeast. I did not add nutrient. Everything seemed to be fine however there was little to no fermentation. I read that I could add nutrient and aerate it. This morning I added 5 teaspoons of nutrient and aerated it. After about 30 seconds of aeration it foamed up and spilled over. I lost about a gallon. I am concerned that I may have lost too much yeast or nutrient when it spilled. Is there anyway to save this batch? Thank you in advance.

Dadux
06-13-2017, 04:33 PM
Hello Rob and welcome to the forums

We need more information here.
What yeast did you use? what is the total volume of the batch? did you add anything else? did you rehydrate your yeast? type of honey? Etc Etc (for next time post all this stuff from the begining. the most detail the better. or else someone will ask you about it). Tell us all you can about what you used and how you made the must (the mix of honey and water and other stuff before its fermented). Also tell us what nutrients did you use. The brand, or if the packet has a composition, cite it.

Your batch is most likely salvageable. Only shame is that you lost that 1 gal. For next time, you need to let some headspace in the fermentor because, yes, it foams. Dont worry, its not an uncommon mistake, and there sure is enough yeast to keep fermenting.
Also what happened was that you did not see it bubbling but CO2 from fermentation was dissolved in the must. When you shake fermentors while fermenting, it foams a shitton, specially if you dont take out the airlock/balloon first. Plus, when you add nutrients or anything else, and you shake, the powder makes the CO2 escape much faster. So before adding nutrients or anything else, degas!

To learn how to make better mead, and the basics of mead fermentation, read the newbee guide this site has.
Also i recommend you buy a hydrometer and tell use the density of the must. Its the most important tool for a meadmaker.

Squatchy
06-13-2017, 07:05 PM
If you dissolve any form of powder in a small cup of must, or water, and then add it after you have dissolved it well it won't foam over like that. And like Dadux has said degass it first and that will also help. Feed it again how I described. And tell us everything.

Rehydrating your yeast correctly is the first thing that newbee's mess up. Read here on page 7. http://www.scottlab.com/pdf/ScottlabsHandbook2016.pdf

rob3688
06-13-2017, 07:10 PM
Sorry. I made 5.5 gallons and used a 6.5 gallon fermenter. I used 10 grams of lavlin d-47 yeast. I rehydrated the yeast for about 15 min in 100f water. I used local raw raspberry blossom honey. I boiled a gallon of water for about 10 minutes and then added the honey and stirred until it was a'll mixed. Let cool for aboutb20 min then added the rehydrated yeast and aerated for about 5 minutes. I added 5 teaspoons of diammonium phosphate nutrient today. I read that I should aerated the must after to get more oxygen in. After doing so for 30 seconds it can gushing out. do have a hydrometer and the must was at 1.100. The only thing I used was honey yeast and then the nutrient afterwards. I realize now I needed it in the beginning.

Dadux
06-13-2017, 07:38 PM
Sorry. I made 5.5 gallons and used a 6.5 gallon fermenter. I used 10 grams of lavlin d-47 yeast. I rehydrated the yeast for about 15 min in 100f water. I used local raw raspberry blossom honey. I boiled a gallon of water for about 10 minutes and then added the honey and stirred until it was a'll mixed. Let cool for aboutb20 min then added the rehydrated yeast and aerated for about 5 minutes. I added 5 teaspoons of diammonium phosphate nutrient today. I read that I should aerated the must after to get more oxygen in. After doing so for 30 seconds it can gushing out. do have a hydrometer and the must was at 1.100. The only thing I used was honey yeast and then the nutrient afterwards. I realize now I needed it in the beginning.

Ok. SO your must is ok and will ferment to a probably dry mead. Hopefully tasty as well! But you will probably have to age it a while. Because you did a few things wrong, or that can be improved.

First, the recommended ammount of yeast for 5 gals is a bit higher. Probably one of the reasons you did not see much activity. But not the only one.
Second, The nutrients are added at the start, but not all of them. We do SNA or staggered nutrient additions, so we feed the nutrients in 3 or 4 times. Your nutrient is also not very good. Definitely better than nothing, but consider getting something better for next time, it does make a difference. The best one is Fermaid O (only organic nitrogen) and after that not as good but still better are Fermaid K/wyeast beer or wine nutrient/ other blends of organic nitrogen and inorganic nitrogen (DAP or diammonium phosphate). Do you see a trend? Organic nitrogen > DAP. The more organic the better. You also added probably too much DAP. But it'll probably be ok too.
Also, there is no need to boil the honey. In fact, we recommend never heating the honey above 104F because it loses its taste and aroma, and makes worse mead. So next time dump it in room temp water and stir for better results.
You should degas (carefully!) every day until the ferment slows down*. Also we aereate the first 2 or 3 days (dont do it now, it probably wouldnt have any effect)
About rehydration, you did it quite ok, but read squatchy's link. Adding must to the yeast after those 15 minutes helps atemperate so there is not a lot of temp difference between the water with the yeast and the must.

Overall i'd say that your mead is ok. But you might need to age a bit longer than usual before it becomes good tasting stuff that deserves to be drank. Dont worry if you taste it in a couple week and it is not good. It'll get there

* After that you'll see the yeast piling up at the bottom. Shake or stir a bit every day/every two days for a month at least. After that let it settle for a week, then rack. This helps reducing off flavours--> Less aging and better taste

rob3688
06-13-2017, 07:44 PM
Thank you! I didnt boil the honey. I waited until the temp was about 120. I'll make sure to wait until it drops lower next time.

Squatchy
06-13-2017, 08:19 PM
D 47 is one strain that really prefers to be kept in the low 60's if you can. Anything you can do to lower the temps will improve your mead. Over 68 and it gets fussy and makes off flavors that take time to age out. You may have roasted your yeast by putting it in too hot of must. I would suggest if you can, to go buy some more yeast and rehydrate and attemperate according to the Handbook.

You might be able to get some yeast hulls as well if you can't get any Fermaid-O or K. If you can't even get any of the 3 do this. Go buy some Fliechmans bread yeast. Boil some water and put a half cup or so into a cup and add 2 packs of the bread yeast to the boiling hot water. Once it cools add it to your must. Do this for the first 5 days.

rob3688
06-13-2017, 08:59 PM
How much yeast do I put in?