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llewin
10-06-2004, 08:20 AM
Hello to all :) This is my first post on the boards and this is the first mead-board i've found online :) I did sign myself up for the MLD though and I look forward to getting my first installment :)

In any event, on to the issue.

I recently purchased equipment to start brewing with the intention of making mead from the very beginning. As a completely new person to this hobby and without easy access to a local brewing club I set out on a search online for information on brewing in general, how to articles etc., as well as information on brewing mead.

What I found was a very easy to understand article on how to brew wine and beer, written specifically for new folks. This article gave a step by step on what to buy and how to make a simple wine from concentrated grape juice (if anyone is interested the article is on an SCA site here: http://forgottensea.org/medievalbrewers/yang.html )

I also found some simple mead recipes and thought the best thing to start with would be a simple sack mead (i tend to like sweeter wines along the lines of a nice riesling) and so I adapted the new-brewers article to fit the recipe I found for a 'quick mead'...

The recipe I used was:

Must:
1 gallon spring water
3 pounds wildflower honey (purchased at a local "Organic" grocery store)
1 bag of black tea
1 tsp cinnamon

I followed the pitching suggestions in the article and the suggestion on my first package of yeast. So here are my concerns:

1) I covered my plastic bucket with a towel for 24 hours before capping it with the airlock (this is what the newbie guide for brewing suggested) Now according to the guide my mead or 'wine' should have started bubbling in about 24 hours after it was capped and airlocked (so 48 hours after pitching) but it started bubbling about 5-10 bubbles a minute about 10 minutes after I capped it. I'm not sure if thats a bad thing or not.

2)The yeast I used was the one suggested for a first-batch of wine, it was Red Star Montrachet... Now, after getting more involved in looking up mead-specific articles and websites I have discovered that everyone says montrachet yeast is horrible to use for mead. They say it makes the mead bitter and almost undrinkable. What I need to know is, is that accurate, even with the level of honey I used will it be an issue, and if so is there anything i can do during the primary ferment, secondary, or after fermentation to repair the damage of using this 'bad' yeast?

I think that's a good start. Sorry for running long!

~Joel Hallet SKA Llewin ap Heddbrynin

ScottS
10-06-2004, 06:38 PM
FYI - Run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore and purchase Ken Schramm's "The Compleat Meadmaker". You'll not find a better introduction to meadmaking anywhere.

Talon
10-06-2004, 06:41 PM
Hey llewin, welcome to the boards.

As for your first issue, fast bubbling is a good thing. It means you have a very healthy fermentation going on.

I've never used montrachet yeast, I've used the premier cuvee and the cote des blanc. I've heard the same things as you about the montrachet. However, I'm told the Lalvin yeasts are some of the best you can get your hands on. I am trying them out to see how I like them.

Again, welcome to the group.
Talon.

llewin
10-06-2004, 11:49 PM
Ok thats a help for next time, Talon.. Thanks :)

And thanks for the book recommendation as well, Scott...

But can someone tell me if there is any way i can rectify my bitter/sour mead problem because of this montrachet yeast i used?

Jmattioli
10-07-2004, 12:25 AM
It may not be a problem. Keep the temperature in the 70's or lower and you may not have a problem with the yeast. Don't do anything now but let it do its job. Many have had good experiences with that yeast but there is a lot of bad press about it with some. Just give it time and then let it age. It might be the best mead you ever had.
Joe