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Thread: question/concern on first mead

  1. #1

    Default question/concern on first mead

    I have been lurking on the site for a couple weeks and decided to try out making a mead. I posted the recipe in the brewlog threads but will include my ingredients here and what I think is pertanent to my question.

    15# clover honey (grocery store bought)
    8 cups Organic pressed pomegranate juice (no preservatives)
    4 gallons distilled water
    brew store brand nutrients and yeast energizer
    wyeast 4184 sweet mead

    I did the no heat method, used a drill operated stirrer.

    I smacked the yeast as soon as I got to my buddy's house and set it up in a warm area to get it going. By the time I had gotten it all mixed and aerated the pack wasn't expanded to capacity but it was obviously expanding. I pitched it (approx 3pm), sealed up fermentor, and loaded it in my car for drive home.

    I drove home and thought I saw some bubbling while I was driving (I thought this was little early). I got it in the house and had dinner, now I have gone back and I am not seeing anything happening.

    I know if the newbee guide (under the nutrient section I think) it says that there is a period that there appears to be nothing happening but it doesn't really specify how long this lasts.

    I am leaving town in a few days for a week and I really want to make sure this is going good before I leave. It has been 7 hours since pitching, am I being worried too soon? should I be considering repitching?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    The Fusel Shack, in the swamp west of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
    Posts
    8,641

    Default

    Welcome to GotMead Weekendbruur!

    It sometimes takes 24-48 hours for yeast to show visible signs of fermentation, so you can open it and aerate it a bit more, then sit back and give it some time.

    Your recipe sounds tasty, though I do not like that yeast strain as it is quite finicky. Still, it should do okay in a melomel such as this.

    You do need to get another hydrometer. Having butterfingers, I've gone through a couple of them, and I would suggest getting 2. If it makes you feel better, one of them can be a narrow-range, finishing hydrometer.

    And just to avoid clutter in the forums, when you have a question about a batch that you've started a brewlog on, just post it in that brewlog. That way people can see the recipe (and any subsequent events) that are relevant.

    I hope you get a great result.

    Medsen
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  3. #3

    Default

    Welcome to "GotMead?", and thanks for providing a detailed description of your must preparation.

    I'm a newbie mazer myself, but I think I can answer a few of these questions for you.

    Yes, 7 hours is too early to worry about it. The lag phase, which is the period you described, can last as long as 24-48 hours depending on many factors. Most (or all) of my fermentations have started overnight. I don't think you mentioned whether you were using a bucket or a carboy, but don't rely on airlock activity to determine the start or rate of your fermentation... buckets are notoriously leaky, and even carboys can leak. If you are used to seeing beer ferment, there is much less observable "evidence" of fermentation with wine/mead yeast.

    From reading about others' experience with Wyeast Sweet Mead Yeast, many people have had problems with slow/incomplete/stalled fermentations, so it is something to be mindful of. How much nutrient and energizer did you add?

    Sorry about your hydrometer... Almost every brewer I have ever talked to has broken at least one, and many keep an extra on hand for if/when it happens. At ~$8 each, I have learned to be more careful , but I really suggest you pick up another sooner than later. You can get a refractometer on eBay for pretty cheap, but alcohol throws off the readings so you have to use a conversion during or after fermentation.

    Hope some of this helps.

    (BTW, this site is pretty small and most of the regulars read all the new posts, so it usually isn't necessary to start another topic separate from your brewlog.)

    Edit: Looks like Medsen has quicker fingers than me

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks guys, having only done beer before (and doing one yesterday with the mead) I usually see some activity before I go to bed.

    I will post further questions in the brewlog thread.

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