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Wloch248
03-16-2006, 06:55 PM
My first post so....Hello forums!

Anyways, I am about to undertake my first mead. I will be using d-47(2packs) for yeast, 15 lbs honey from a local beekeeper, 4gal h2o, plastic primary fermenter, I am going to pasturize the honey 160 for 2 min (yes natural might be better but I am almost phobic about some nasties growing in my must and not too keen on extra chemicals)

I will be taking a SG before I pitch my yeast. I am not adding any other ingredients (except maybe cinnamon and vanilla bean at 1st racking) so will my initial pH be in a normal rnge for my yeast to start working in? I don't have a titration kit or an electric pH meter so I hope I don' screw things up.

Let me know if you see anything wrong with my setup too.

Thanks,
Nathan

WRATHWILDE
03-16-2006, 07:03 PM
Nathan,

First off... Welcome to the forums!!!
In answer to your query... You should be fine, Try boiling 1/2 your water, add that to your primary bucket, add enough of the unboiled water to lower the temp to 160, mix in your honey let sit for a couple of minutes then stir in the rest of your water. This way your not heating the honey directly and the addition of the remainder of your water will cool the must. This is what I do and haven't had a problem yet.

Wrathwilde

Wloch248
03-16-2006, 08:42 PM
Thanks for the thoughts.

I am impressed at 16 views from the time I started to now while I am waiting for my must to cool before I pitch the yeast which brings me to my next question......

I hydrated my yeast a little too early and it has been in the water for around 20 min and will prob be in there for at least another 15 min. Will letting the yeast sit in the water for 35 min before I pitch it be? The temp of the water I rehydrated the yeast in was 104F at the start but is down to 78F while it has been sitting.

Thanks,
Nathan

Jmattioli
03-16-2006, 09:02 PM
Nathan,

Most yeast instructions recommended that you pitch in 15-20 mins if it is not a starter and you are only rehydrating yeast but no harm will be done if it is extended another 15mins. You can always add a small amount of must or honey mixture that is at near the same temperature which will feed it for the extended time if it makes you feel better.
Joe

Oskaar
03-16-2006, 09:24 PM
JOE JOE JOE JOE JOE JOE JOE!

Wloch248
03-16-2006, 10:21 PM
DISASTER!!!!!!!!!!

I had just finished stirring the must to get it oxygenated.

I calmly went over to get my hydrometer and thermometer.

I took the readings and the temp and went to step round the fermenter to get to the sink and I stepped on the valve! >:( :o >:( >:( >:(

It just popped the front off and didn't break the container but I did spill a little over 1/3-1/2 gallon all over my landing (btw it is carpeted >:( >:( ) So I had to cover it, grab the front of the valve, and jam it back on. Do you think that time on the ground will dirty up my batch?? I hope not but who knows at this point. All I can do is wait and see.

My original SG was 1.110 so I think it should be good. I did what Joe said and added a little bit of must to the cup with my yeast in it and it started to foam up a little by the time I added it to the bucket.

Better luck with my next batch! ;D

WRATHWILDE
03-17-2006, 09:54 AM
I took the readings and the temp and went to step round the fermenter to get to the sink and I stepped on the valve! >:( :o >:( >:( >:(


Ouch... I know how you feel, I lost about the same amount in a carpeted closet with a Chocolate Mead Geyser that shot out the top of my glass carboy during a gentle stirring.

Wrathwilde

Wloch248
03-17-2006, 10:44 AM
So 12 hrs after it has been sitting I am getting around 18-19 blubs through the airlock per min so I think my yeast are hard at work! yeah!

I read that it might take a little longer to start fermenting at this pace. Is it because I added 2 packs of yeast from the start so there are twice as many to begin the whole process?

WRATHWILDE
03-17-2006, 04:02 PM
18-19 bpm is pretty good for 12 hours... don't forget to aerate a couple of times a day for the first three days. Sounds like you're first mead is well under way, best of luck with it.

Wrathwilde

Dan McFeeley
03-17-2006, 04:32 PM
I will be taking a SG before I pitch my yeast. I am not adding any other ingredients (except maybe cinnamon and vanilla bean at 1st racking) so will my initial pH be in a normal rnge for my yeast to start working in? I don't have a titration kit or an electric pH meter so I hope I don' screw things up.

Welcome to the forums!

Back to one of your first questions -- your pH should be ok. Honey pH can range a bit but for the most part, the majority of honeys will have a pH at just about the right value for fermentation.

According to research by John W. White jr., the dean of honey analysists, pH in honey varies between 3.42 and 6.10, with an average of 3.91. I don't check pH of my honey musts very often, but that's where they always have been, about 4.0, just as it appears in White's tables.

I should also warn you about the titration kits used to measure acid levels in winemaking. They don't give accurate readings in meadmaking. The acid properties of honey are complex, very different from the acids found in fruit. During the titration process, gluconolactone, a compound formed during the process by which bees change flower nectar into honey, changes into *more* acid, thus skewing your figures.

Keep us posted on the progess of your mead!