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Thread: First timer needs advice

  1. Default First timer needs advice

    I started my first batch a few weeks ago and had pretty constant bubbling between day 2 and day 8 and then maybe once a minute for another week and then it became really slow. I racked from the bucket to a clear carboy at 3 weeks. I do not really see any bubbling now....what should I do?

    Also, it was hard to tell if my batch was good or not when I took the lid off of the bucket. Definitely had a little bit of a milky look to parts of it and I could not quite tell if it smelled bad or yeasty. No noticeable mold but definitely a specific smell. I siphoned it into the carboy without getting into the spoils at the bottom and the material that was siphoned looks fairly clear from what I can tell.

    Do I need to re-start it with more yeast? Anything else? Temperature of the material was 71 F. My recipe is as follows:

    -6 gallon batch
    -6 gal spring water
    -One Step sanitizer
    -12 lbs. Clover honey
    -dissolved honey in 3 gal of spring water and heated to 160 F and held for 15 minutes and let cool to 75 F
    -Fermax at 1.5 tsp/gal
    -Yeast energizer at 1/2 tsp/gal
    -2 packets of LD47 yeast into 105 F water prior to adding into mixture

    Added it all together and put it sanitized bucket.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Brookline, NH
    Posts
    167

    Default

    Hydrometer readings?

  3. Default

    I did not know I ordered the wrong type of hydrometer until it sunk to the bottom of the testing tube. I will update with a reading when the new one comes in.

  4. #4

    Default

    2 pounds of honey per gallon is a fairly low gravity mead. It is most likely done with the ferment by now. You will probably have about a 12% ABV mead. ( just looked at the mead calc) Keep it under air lock and check it with your new hydrometer when it arrives.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Burlingame, California
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jhoe96 View Post
    I did not know I ordered the wrong type of hydrometer until it sunk to the bottom of the testing tube. I will update with a reading when the new one comes in.
    Try putting your hydrometer in a deeper container. Maybe your mead is so dry, below SG 1.000 that it bottoms up due to not enough liquid to float it.
    Test your hydrometer in a bucket full of water, see if it floats. Also, in water it should show SG 1.000 or 0 Brix or 0 Balling.

  6. Default

    My hydrometer reading was pretty much right on 1.00 at 69F. Does not seem right but what exactly does that mean?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Burlingame, California
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jhoe96 View Post
    My hydrometer reading was pretty much right on 1.00 at 69F. Does not seem right but what exactly does that mean?
    What are you referring to? Your original post and your measurement?
    If it was in your mead it means there was very little or no fermentable sugar left.
    Why do you think it wast not right?

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jhoe96 View Post
    I started my first batch a few weeks ago and had pretty constant bubbling between day 2 and day 8 and then maybe once a minute for another week and then it became really slow. I racked from the bucket to a clear carboy at 3 weeks. I do not really see any bubbling now....what should I do?

    Also, it was hard to tell if my batch was good or not when I took the lid off of the bucket. Definitely had a little bit of a milky look to parts of it and I could not quite tell if it smelled bad or yeasty. No noticeable mold but definitely a specific smell. I siphoned it into the carboy without getting into the spoils at the bottom and the material that was siphoned looks fairly clear from what I can tell.

    Do I need to re-start it with more yeast? Anything else? Temperature of the material was 71 F. My recipe is as follows:

    -6 gallon batch
    -6 gal spring water
    -One Step sanitizer
    -12 lbs. Clover honey
    -dissolved honey in 3 gal of spring water and heated to 160 F and held for 15 minutes and let cool to 75 F
    -Fermax at 1.5 tsp/gal
    -Yeast energizer at 1/2 tsp/gal
    -2 packets of LD47 yeast into 105 F water prior to adding into mixture

    Added it all together and put it sanitized bucket.
    So you racked it off the yeast and left most of them behind. It's hard to ferment with no yeast. WHy did you do that? Lots of bad info n the web. New ine makers do this a lot. You also see lots of new wine makers with stalled batches. Did you learn this off the web, or a recipe? It could be finished fermenting . It could have a pH that dropped too low for the yeast. Let us know what the gravity is when you get your new hydrometer. Also how does it taste? Is it sweet or dry? Off flavors?

    We need more info to help you

    Welcome to the forum!
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  9. Default

    The 1.00 was the reading today with the new hydrometer. I racked after 3 weeks and left the spoils at the bottom as I had read somewhere. I am clearly new to this and there was a lot of information to sort thru and I thought I was following the most common path. I did not taste it because I was not sure if it was bad to taste at this point because it had sort of an off smell. Not terrible but just not what I was expecting. Any suggestions?

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jhoe96 View Post
    The 1.00 was the reading today with the new hydrometer. I racked after 3 weeks and left the spoils at the bottom as I had read somewhere. I am clearly new to this and there was a lot of information to sort thru and I thought I was following the most common path. I did not taste it because I was not sure if it was bad to taste at this point because it had sort of an off smell. Not terrible but just not what I was expecting. Any suggestions?
    So you are finished and there is no more sugar in there. You can taste it any time you want. Describe the off smell please. What did you hope to make when you started this?
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  11. Default

    My intention was simply to make a drinkable mead. I smell something I feel like could be a strong yeast smell but it can be fairly strong when I first open up my container. So what do I have here? What is the alcohol content? What are my next steps? I have another batch I want to start soon. What would be suggested edits to my recipe? More honey? Was it wrong for me to rack off the spoils on the bottom? What would be the point of racking if you don't leave the solids behind?

  12. #12

    Default

    See post #4. Then read the newbees guide at the top of the page. You will have to put in some time studying. Actually you don't have to, just that you will jump ahead of where you are now if you do. That is just the start if you choose to go on with learning.
    Nothing wrong with racking off the lees, if your primary fermentation is complete. Yours is.
    Very young mead has a "yeasty" smell.

  13. Default

    Only thing to do at this point is hurry up and wait. Rack every few months when sediment collects at the bottom of your carboy.

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

  14. Default

    Thanks for the reply. I am definitely interested in learning everything I can. I did read a couple books, many online articles, and watched videos and tried to cut thru the middle and use the most common and clear instructions possible. I did not know about the newbee guide and will dive right in!. Thanks!

  15. #15

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    If you have not done so then please watch the YouTube 9 week Meadology series

  16. #16

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    If you find someone on here that you think you feel good about you ocan click on their name and it will take you to their page. From there you can click on everything they have posted. This way you can pick someone and follow them or go back and read what they have posted in the past.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

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