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Thread: First batch - got questions

  1. #1

    Lightbulb First batch - got questions

    Hello,

    I'm soon starting my very first batch of mead and I'm in the process of getting the ingredients for it so, naturally, I have a few questions.
    Since I'm located in Europe in a place where meadmaking is practically unheard of, my supplier of DAP, Go-Ferm and Fermaid-K will have to be eBay (also, I bought a few 5g packets of Lalvin D-47 there). However, I'm too lazy to wait for 3-4 weeks for this stuff to come all the way from USA and therefore I'd like to order from Europe. That's kind of a problem, since there are no products that go by that name on european eBay.

    So I'm asking: will this be a good DAP and nutrient for my mead? I cannot find anything close to Go-Ferm, can someone recommend something that I can order from european eBay? Or I'll be forced to wait for all of that stuff to come from USA?

    As for the recipe, this is what I was planning to do (end result would be 25L of mead):

    • Around 10kg of honey
    • Around 15L of water (to fill up the 25L bottle)
    • 3 packets of 5g Lalvin D-47 dry yeast (so, 15g in total, just to be safe)
    • Something like 25g of nutrient
    • Around 10g of DAP


    I would try my hand with SNA following this recipe from Homebrewersassociation (copied from that site):
    Day 0: After re-hdyrating the yeast with Go-Ferm and pitching, add 4.5g of Fermaid-K and 2g Diammonium Phosphate (DAP)
    Day 1, 3, 5, 7, 8: Degas mead by gently stirring, twirling the carboy carefully, or using a wine de-gasser
    Day 2, 4, 6: Gently stir and add 4.5g Fermaid-K and 2g of DAP
    NOTE: When degassing and/or adding nutrients, do so very slowly to avoid foaming.
    This recipe is for 5 gallons of mead, so I would slightly increase these numbers.

    The fermentation process should be done pretty quickly, if everything what I've read is true. I would start with rehydrating the yeast in water with whatever equivalent of Go-Ferm I can find and then pitching it in the must. Then I'd add nutrient and DAP and generally follow the above staggered nutrient addition recipe. Once the fermentation is complete (I'm guessing 2-3 weeks), I'd rack it into another 25L bottle and let it sit for a while until bottling.
    My questions are:
    • Can I use a bucket with tight-seal lid (with airlock, naturally) for the primary fermentation? 25L bottles are quite expensive.
    • Is degassing really necessary? I'm assuming gently stirring during SNA for 8 days would be enough for degassing, or?
    • With Lalvin D-47, yeast energizer, nutrient, DAP and SNA, how fast do you think will the fermentation be complete? That is, when will I be able to drink the mead?
    • For how long should I keep the mead in the bottle after racking?
    • I know the best way to see whether the fermentation is complete is via hydrometer, but is that stuff necessary or I can live without it? I, naturally, don't need any of that bottle bombs nonsense in my life.
    • What do you think of this recipe? Does it reek of failure to you?


    ANY feedback is highly appreciated!

    Kind regards,

    A.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Emmeloord, Netherlands formerly Chicago area
    Posts
    2,467

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    Welcome....yes there are supplies in Europe, though no Fermaid. Try www.Brouwmarkt.no .

    Buckets are my preferred msurement.

    Hydrometer is damn near essential. So, n el cheapo pH meter for about 15 euros.

    Stir vigorously until a third of sugar is eaten...s measured by your hydrometer. Then seal and airlock your bucket except for taking your daily readings

    If using D47, make sure your temp in fermentation area is below 70 F .....20 C

    Mead benefits from aging and often has a sharp alcohol bite initially. If you want a quick mead, try a JAOM or a BOMM. The search function will give you lots of info.
    Don't Panic!

    From Portugal to Poland, on a perpetual pursuit for more honey.....

    Issues unique to the Netherlands at
    http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthr...880#post222880

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Groton, Connecticut
    Posts
    127

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmNimru View Post
    • Can I use a bucket with tight-seal lid (with airlock, naturally) for the primary fermentation? 25L bottles are quite expensive.
    • Is degassing really necessary? I'm assuming gently stirring during SNA for 8 days would be enough for degassing, or?
    • With Lalvin D-47, yeast energizer, nutrient, DAP and SNA, how fast do you think will the fermentation be complete? That is, when will I be able to drink the mead?
    • For how long should I keep the mead in the bottle after racking?
    • I know the best way to see whether the fermentation is complete is via hydrometer, but is that stuff necessary or I can live without it? I, naturally, don't need any of that bottle bombs nonsense in my life.
    • What do you think of this recipe? Does it reek of failure to you?


    ANY feedback is highly appreciated!

    Kind regards,

    A.
    I'm super new, no batches have been drunken yet, but I think that's excessive yeast. Three packets? They are made for five gallon batches, plus minus a gallon or two, so I wouldn't over pitch. Just rehydrate one packet and pitch it.
    Buckets are great for primary.
    Degassing isnt necessary, but it helps.
    You can drink it when it tastes good, plan on 6 months at least for a first attempt.
    Get a hydrometer.
    You can bottle it forever with proper storage.
    As for your nutrients and dap substitutes, I didn't click on the links cause my battery is dying, but nutrients are new school, anything you use won't be as good but will be better than nothing and WILL work fine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    UK - South Coast.
    Posts
    3,630

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    Your links are UK, so presuming you're here, the Youngs stuff is mainly DAP anyway, the other ingredient is also a nitrogen source. So just use it in place of DAP.

    For the easiest Fermaidk replacement, Tronozymol is most easily obtained. There is similar stuff at Brouwland website, just to save the hassle of mail order (Belgium post office don't seem to be the quickest), just check out their website for UK distributors closest to you.......
    here's me home brewing blog (if anyones interested....)
    and don't forget
    What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away! Tom Waits.....

  5. #5

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    Actually, I'm in Croatia, so eBay is somehow my cheapest option (most of the stuff is being sold by UK retailers, anyway). Now, I got my hands on yeast and Young's as DAP replacement, now I'm just trying to get my hands on Tronozymol. Are there any more equivalents? There's a price for 200g on lovebrewing for about 8 pounds with shipping, not sure if that's a good price. Not even sure how much of this stuff I need for my 6 and a half gallon of must. I bet it's not 200g, but if the mead gets to be any good, of course I'll make more (which is why I got 5 packets of yeast).
    On a related note - you all agree that 1 packet of D-47 with Young's and Tronozymol will be enough for 6.5 gallons (~25 liter) of must?

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