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Madrupe
10-01-2005, 05:45 PM
Hey All,

I joined the forums a couple weeks ago after hearing someone at work talk about making mead. I thought it sounded interesting so I've been voraciously reading up on things on this board. I have a 1.5wk old gallon of Joe's Orange going - I followed the directions best I could and it looks to be doing(and smelling) good.

I think that gave me too much confidence off the bat because right away I wanted to start the pumpkin cyser (it being fall and all...).

Here's my recipe:
3lbs Honey
1/2 gallon Apple Juice
Topped with water
1 lb pumpkin baked with brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg
1 tsp Yeast - Bread

Here's my questions:

Like jrigal this thing really took off on me and got really foamy. Overnight it blew my air lock stopper off the jug. My wife wasn't really happy with the mess she found...
Well this violent foaming continued for a couple days. I kept the stopper out and let it sit in our extra tub to foam off. Now it's done with the foaming so I resanitized the stopper and airlock and put it back on. This batch does not smell good though. I read somehwere on here that fermenting apple has a funky order to it. I need some reassurances to keep with this stuff and not pour it out ;-)

Secondly, is there a rough approximation for how much alcohol bread yeast can handle or do they vary greatly?

Thanks for the inputs! This is a very interesting site and I can't wait for my Joe's to finish up so I can give it a try. Take it easy.

-MadRupe

WRATHWILDE
10-01-2005, 09:52 PM
Welcome to the Forum!

Best just to keep it airlocked and let it go till the fermentation dies down to 1 blip every thirty seconds, then rack to a secondary, with airlock, until fermentation is complete. Then cap and let age for 6 months, before that you're not really going to know by taste if you haven't brewed mead before. Don't make any determinations before 6 months. Just assume all is well and proceed accordingly.

Wrathwilde

lostnbronx
10-01-2005, 09:57 PM
MadRupe,

First off, welcome to the Forums! This is the place to be for all things mead.

I've never worked with pumpkin, but my cysers haven't had an off smell in the fermenter, per se -- sour, yeasty smell, maybe, but not bad. It sounds like you have a very vigorous concoction going there. Fermentation smells are myriad, and only occasionally nice, in my experience. I wouldn't worry about this one yet. Wait until the heavy action slows down a bit, then sniff again. You may well notice a change there. Fermentation smells can vary widely over the course of the process, so be prepared for anything!

-David

scout
10-02-2005, 09:41 AM
Fermentation smells are myriad, and only occasionally nice, in my experience.
I'm discovering that I actually am starting to like the smell of yeast burps! :)

MadRupe, welcome to the addiction!

Angus
10-03-2005, 09:07 AM
Like dirty socks.

Wait, I don't mean I like the smell of dirty socks. I mean sometimes the fermentation smells that way. I do like the smell of the fermentation too. Unless it smells of dirty socks. Then it's not good since I already said I don't like that smell.

Oh, sod it.

Welcome to the forums Madrupe.

Angus

scout
10-03-2005, 09:09 AM
Oh, Angus, just give it up and admit it! You like the smell of dirty socks - you dirty sock sniffer *big grins*

jrigal
10-04-2005, 06:43 AM
If it makes you feel any better, I had to keep sanitizing and replacing the airlock on mine. It kept getting the must sucked up in it.

And, it really doesn't smell like apples or honey. It kinda smells like old beer! And...I like beer... so, for now that's okay with me.

Dmntd
10-04-2005, 08:30 AM
Welcome MadRupe,

The first 3 to 7 days of fermentation, I don't use an airlock, but a sanitized towel to cover buckets or a sanitized cheesecloth for carboys/jugs.

An aerobic fermentation allows the yeast to spend much of their energy multiplying, it's also much less hassle replacing a piece of soild cloth then cleaning and refitting a bung and airlock. A piece of cloth tied or banded over the opening will not allow pressure to build and having to clean walls, floor and possibly the ceiling is less likely.

A plastic bag under the fermentation vessel can save some clean up time as well.

Anthony

scout
10-04-2005, 10:49 AM
Just had my first geyser last night. Luckily it was a small one, just bubbled a little through the airlock, no ceilings to clean. But it was very disturbing to wake up and walk through the living room on my way to the kitchen, saying to myself "That's funny, it smells like mead in here." And the closer I got to the kitchen, the more worried I got about what I was about to see, after reading about some real gushers on here. Just needed to replace the lock and wipe up the counter and the bottle.

Angus
10-04-2005, 05:55 PM
Didn't get your socks wet when you cleaned it up did you? ;)

WRATHWILDE
10-04-2005, 07:11 PM
And the closer I got to the kitchen, the more worried I got about what I was about to see, after reading about some real gushers on here.

You'll find that most of the major gushers are after stirring. Blow offs are usually less major... usually a primary fermentation in a, too full, glass carboy within the first 3 days. Sounds like what you experienced. I've lost over a gallon giving a gentle stir to a chocolate mead.

Wrathwilde

scout
10-05-2005, 07:36 AM
No, Angus, no dirty socks here. *grins* I was pretty lucky with this one. I filled it a little too full, and it's foaming like a champ. Luckily when I replaced the airlock yesterday, I raised the trap a little to prevent the mead from getting sucked up again, and it seems to have worked. Or at least, there's no mead in the trap this morning. :)

Angus
10-05-2005, 09:17 AM
Man, my grammar was terrible on my last post. Sorry about that. Major jet-lag. Glad to hear your socks are ok. I have had some great experiences with air-locks being filled with gunk. Presently, I have a piece of pineapple in one!!. Fun watching it bounce around in there.

Madrupe
10-06-2005, 11:28 PM
Thanks for the advice all!!

It's starting to smell a little better - making it to the beer smell. Airlock is still burpin' away fairly regularly. I guess I'm playing the waiting game now until I rack it; which I'm thinking about doing another bunch of baked pumpkin pieces, spices included. I'll check a sample when I rack to see how the taste is...that's at least a week away though I'm estimating.

I think I'll be adopting the sanitized cheesecloth in the future though for the first few days to avoid the mess I had initially with this one. That was some funky stuff comin' out the top ;)

-MadRupe

Brewbear
10-07-2005, 12:54 AM
While you are at it, put your fermentation container in a big plastic trash bag - less mess to clean :-[
And yes, I like the smell of fermenting meads, Ancient Orange is tops.

Ted