Heeeeey, I'm new
I started my first ever home brew four days ago. I chose to make a mead, not because of its supposed ease of preparation relative to beer... I did it because I friggin' love mead...... Anyway, it is a basic five-gallon recipe with 12 lbs of clover honey, canned cherries (two ingredients: cherries, sugar), spring water and Wyest's dry mead starter. The honey and cherries were pasteurized with two gallons of spring water, then added to 2.5 gallons of fresh spring water into a glass carboy and aerated.
Two potential problems though, because I am a rash, ignorant newb
1) I ordered the Wyeast starter pack online, and it was shipped without an ice pack. At some point during the two-day shipping, one of the nutrient packs burst and started the fermentation, so when my package arrived, the pouch was fully balooned. I don't know much about yeast, but a quick online search had me thinking the yeast was still viable and healthy (I guess this happens a lot) so I figured what the hell, I'll use it.
2) I may not have cooled the must enough prior to adding the yeast starter pack. The last temp measurement I took of the must before adding it to the carboy read 125F. After aerating everything, and then dropping the yeast in, the carboy felt pretty warm to the touch. It was at this point I remembered reading somewhere that everything should be cooled down to around 75F prior to pitching yeast; and later, I read that yeast can die (or be wounded) at 120F
Well, I went to bed and woke up eight hours later to find the airlock bubbling, and it has now (Day 4) settled to a rate of one burp every seven seconds, and lots of little beer-like bubbles fizzing to the surface. SO, it appears to be fermenting well I guess...
... But my question is, in your guys' experience, can hurting your yeast in the first few hours of fermentation spoil your batch? Did I create some kind of super yeast population by killing off the weak ones, that won't operate normally and impart weird flavors? The gas that comes out of the airlock smells great, but that may be from the layer of cherries floating on top.
Oh, another newb mistake I made: My hydrometer arrived broken and I didn't bother to replace it, so I don't have an OG, and I'll have to find another method to determine when the primary fermentation is done.
Sorry for the long ass post guys, but these are questions/concerns I have that I couldn't find the answer to searching forums.