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Thread: So everybody come huddle over here for a minute

  1. #1

    Default So everybody come huddle over here for a minute

    So it's hard to get a finger on the pulse of this group sometimes because so many here never say anything.

    I wonder why! I wonder what the general population wants to understand and what your struggles are.

    I wonder if you guys realize how much good info is here compared to other places on the web?

    So I was thinking it would be good to hear from some/all of you as to what your struggles are. What your biggest needs are? ANd if you're finding help here?

    So what if I number some things and then if you guys would pick a few numbers in order to reflect what your needs are. And also what things we can do to improve things around here.

    I will list several pieces and you can just post the number associated with your desires.

    #1 I want to learn the science of HOW to manage good fermentation practices.

    #2 I need help rescuing something I already started and messed up.

    #3 I want to learn how to make adjustments as my ferment progresses to land where I am heading.

    #4 I want to know how to tweak my stuff once fermentation is over to make a good flavor profile.

    #5 I want to learn how to make short meads (low ABV)

    #6 I want to understand how to bottle things correctly and what final additions I need to add so my stuff will age gracefully.

    #7 I need to learn how/what flavors compliment each other.

    #8 I need to know more about how to pick the right yeast for the style I want to make.

    #9 I want to know how to plan, so I can intellectually place all the pieces together even before I go shopping for my ingredients.

    #10 I want to know how to taste meads better, and how to dissect them into smaller pieces to know why it's not so good. Or why do I like it so much.



    Surely there is tons more. But if you have a specific that doesn't fall into one of the above then list it.

    It would be so nice to hear from you lurkers. Make this place yours by getting involved.

    Say something, I'm giving up on you.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  2. #2
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    Hi squatchy , another very good post thank you. Very soon I will be coming to #6 I would like to know how to bottle things correctly and what additions to add. I currently add a campden tablet at fruit addition in secondary and have racked about 4 times and have cold crashed to make sure there is no sediment left and will bulk age for a short while till I'm ready to bottle.
    The thing I'm not sure on is if I want to use potassium sorbate as I've heard it can shorten the life of mead. Some of my mead I want to store away for a few years. Another thing I'm interested in is if it is possible to carbonate some of my mead in beer bottles , I've read it's only possible in kegs which I don't want to purchase. I will bottle half my mead in wine bottles for long term storage and the other half in beer bottles for sampling at different times.
    I hope to be able to make some decent tasting mead over time and I am still trying to learn the different stages as I go along but as I only started making mead since last September, I still have a lot to learn.
    Hopefully the more experienced gurus will continue to help us newbies out and guide us along.
    Thank you to all you.
    James.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squatchy View Post
    I wonder why! I wonder what the general population wants to understand and what your struggles are.
    I'm a happy hobbyist. I've been a happy hobbyist for a very long time, happy with my processes, but mostly happy with my meads. I'm going to stay a hobbyist with my happy meads.

    What I love to do here is get exposed to the ideas and advanced techniques that exist, just for my own personal knowledge. I'll never, ever use stirrers or O2 bubblers in my meads, for example. But when I talk to people at markets where I'm selling honey and my kits, having this knowledge has allowed me to guide people who do want to take their brewing up a notch into these interesting directions.

    I'll occasionally time my forum viewing so that I can answer someone's question, but usually three others have answered things before I have. If I have a question on my own, the first thing I do is a search -- because every time my question's been answered by previous posts. If I'm thinking about a mel, it's easy to see what worked or didn't for others, and avoid mistakes without ever asking a questions. So I definitely realize how good of a resource this is, and I recommend it to my patrons who are looking for a safe, friendly, forum to join.

    I've used this analogy before: I'm a good cook, not I'm not a chef. And while I appreciate, admire, and am interested by, all of you mead chef's techniques and experiences, I'm quite happy with being a good cook.
    Mead Magic
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  4. #4
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    Hi Squatchy! With the help of this forum and a "mead mentor", I think I'm in a pretty good place when it comes to making mead, but am always willing to listen to when it comes to the process of making good mead. I'd love to see everyone of those items addressed and perhaps be stored in their own forum location, for easy access and reference. dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelley View Post
    I'll occasionally time my forum viewing so that I can answer someone's question, but usually three others have answered things before I have. If I have a question on my own, the first thing I do is a search -- because every time my question's been answered by previous posts. If I'm thinking about a mel, it's easy to see what worked or didn't for others, and avoid mistakes without ever asking a questions.
    This is the same for me (although I'm not inclined to answer anyone's questions being still so new). I generally find my answers from searching this forum and/or google. I feel like I have developed the discernment of who to listen to by spending time lurking through the forums. Squatchy, you definitely are one that I gravitate to. I see you answering the same questions over and over for people so I try not to ask anything unless I really can't find it. Or sometimes I like an opinion on something.

    Your points are great topics, and it sounds to me like you should write a book with these as possible chapters! Another idea is to see if Vicky is open to extra Forum topics (or subtopics) with Sticky's of some of your posts with core information that you find repeating over and over. Newbees with the same questions can be pointed there to eliminate unnecessary time answering the same stuff repeatedly.

    I, for one, am EXTREMELY appreciative for this forum and the knowledgeable/experienced people who dedicate so much time to Newbees, in addition to them trying to exchange their ideas with other knowledgable/experienced people. Must be exhausting!
    …fermentation and plant use – as medicine, as psychotropics, as teachers, as companions on our life path – are an inescapable part of our exploration of what it means to be human; that, in fact, our humanness (as we now understand it) could not have occurred without the gift of fermentation or plants.
    ~ Stephen Harrod Buhner

  6. #6

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    1. I want to know why the threads are in reverse order, with the newest post on top? This means I have to scroll to the bottom and then try to read "up." lol
    2. I would enjoy more step by step recipes for BOMMs. This appears to me to be the way a lot of mead brewing is going, probably because seeing the results faster is a good thing?
    3. Actually any step by step - or day by day recipes. I know the level of knowledge varies, and some are better at, or want to invest the time in, typing up a how-to, but I think not only a step by step/ day by day with a reasons why each step was done might be really helpful to us New Bees. I.E. Step 1 - gather your gear ( here is what gear I used and why I like to use it.) Step 2. Ingredients (What you will need to make this mead, and why I prefer this honey over that, fresh fruit over concentrate, Yeast name/ number/ type.) Step 3. Process ( sanitize and with what, toss honey in primary. Boil vs no boil, boil hops, but not honey, etc. etc.) Follow TONSA ( yes/ no/ why) and what yeast food to use and are there alternatives ( do I HAVE to use FermX, or will my local Home Brew Store "nutrient" work? Day 1 - What you did ( I shook the snot out of it and watched the foam blow the airlock across the room) Day 2 I shook it again ( more carefully and added 1/4 teaspoon of ....) ....Day 10, I racked it and added....

    I think building not only the how, but the why will help with total understanding. Scrolling through the interwebs, and even just this forum, there seems to be a large swing in the process of mead making in just the past couple of years, from "Boil the crap out of everything and then forget about it for at least 5 years or it will taste like gas," to "Be nice to your yeast and you can get hammered on your own mead in just a few months."
    Light Fuse; Get Away

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drewed View Post
    Scrolling through the interwebs, and even just this forum, there seems to be a large swing in the process of mead making in just the past couple of years, from "Boil the crap out of everything and then forget about it for at least 5 years or it will taste like gas," to "Be nice to your yeast and you can get hammered on your own mead in just a few months."
    True, true...and how you put this made me laugh!!
    …fermentation and plant use – as medicine, as psychotropics, as teachers, as companions on our life path – are an inescapable part of our exploration of what it means to be human; that, in fact, our humanness (as we now understand it) could not have occurred without the gift of fermentation or plants.
    ~ Stephen Harrod Buhner

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drewed View Post
    2. I would enjoy more step by step recipes for BOMMs. This appears to me to be the way a lot of mead brewing is going, probably because seeing the results faster is a good thing?
    3. Actually any step by step - or day by day recipes. I know the level of knowledge varies, and some are better at, or want to invest the time in, typing up a how-to, but I think not only a step by step/ day by day with a reasons why each step was done might be really helpful to us New Bees. I.E. Step 1 - gather your gear ( here is what gear I used and why I like to use it.) Step 2. Ingredients (What you will need to make this mead, and why I prefer this honey over that, fresh fruit over concentrate, Yeast name/ number/ type.) Step 3. Process ( sanitize and with what, toss honey in primary. Boil vs no boil, boil hops, but not honey, etc. etc.) Follow TONSA ( yes/ no/ why) and what yeast food to use and are there alternatives ( do I HAVE to use FermX, or will my local Home Brew Store "nutrient" work? Day 1 - What you did ( I shook the snot out of it and watched the foam blow the airlock across the room) Day 2 I shook it again ( more carefully and added 1/4 teaspoon of ....) ....Day 10, I racked it and added....
    Try denardbrewing.com And go to Recipes-Mead. Its the page of loveofrose, the creator of the BOMM. It is full of bomm recipes and while they are not exactly organized as you say, most of them tell you how much to add of everything, when, what you need...Its pretty bulletproof. I just dont have easy access to Wyeast liquid yeasts for a good price (no, im NOT gonna pay 14 euros for each liquid pack) so I dont do BOMMs...
    Alternative, search for loveofrose in the advanced search engine and most of his brewlogs are posted. The recipes on the web are more reliable though, because you will find he does like 5 batch of some recipes until he tweaks them. But for a more detailed day by day stuff the logs are ok.

    But I have to disagree, some people go that way, but even if its drinkable in one month, which is its strong point, there is much being done with lalvin wine yeasts and TOSNA at the moment, and that too yields great results most of the time and fast too.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dadux View Post
    ...
    But I have to disagree, some people go that way, but even if its drinkable in one month, which is its strong point, there is much being done with lalvin wine yeasts and TOSNA at the moment, and that too yields great results most of the time and fast too.
    I totally agree! I was using BOMM as a reference as more of a style rather than an exact so I think that was a bad on me. I am very interested in TOSNA and TiOSNA and the Lavinis! BTW, I have Denard bookmarked!
    Light Fuse; Get Away

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    Most people who visit forums only come to get answers to specific questions. Like Shelly said, searching here often brings up the answers without even having to post, so we don't always hear from them. And yes, when they do post the regulars get to repeat the same answers over and over. It's the nature of the beast.

    Having a sticky or two helps with that. Like the recent "make my mead taste better" thread. But stickies grow over time and eventually get so big that nobody wants to read them any more. A Catch-22 of sorts.

    I think the vast majority of new members we get have no desire to make mead as a hobby. They just want to brew a batch and see how it comes out. Some stay, some don't.

    One thing that I do wish for is that Google should point here more often. Not many internet searches lead to gotmead.
    Dave from New Haven County

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maylar View Post
    Most people who visit forums only come to get answers to specific questions. Like Shelly said, searching here often brings up the answers without even having to post, so we don't always hear from them. And yes, when they do post the regulars get to repeat the same answers over and over. It's the nature of the beast.

    Having a sticky or two helps with that. Like the recent "make my mead taste better" thread. But stickies grow over time and eventually get so big that nobody wants to read them any more. A Catch-22 of sorts.

    I think the vast majority of new members we get have no desire to make mead as a hobby. They just want to brew a batch and see how it comes out. Some stay, some don't.

    One thing that I do wish for is that Google should point here more often. Not many internet searches lead to gotmead.
    I'm thinking that they should lock the particular forum, so that no one can post new messages, and then make it a sticky post. This should have been done with the JAOM post after a couple of pages. No reason why it should still be open for more traffic....

  12. #12
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    I agree but you dont need to register to search do you?
    I see people registering all day. Would be nice hear what they seek. I myself lurked here for a while.
    It wouls also be nice to have more people getting involved and sharing experiences.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by darigoni View Post
    I'm thinking that they should lock the particular forum, so that no one can post new messages, and then make it a sticky post. This should have been done with the JAOM post after a couple of pages. No reason why it should still be open for more traffic....
    That's nothing. There's an apfelwein (high octane cider) sticky thread at HBT with over 13,000 posts and 2.9 million views.
    Dave from New Haven County

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dadux View Post
    I agree but you dont need to register to search do you?
    I see people registering all day. Would be nice hear what they seek. I myself lurked here for a while.
    It wouls also be nice to have more people getting involved and sharing experiences.
    Maybe we should have an intro sub forum where new members can check in and give a brief blog of what they're looking for and why they stopped by.
    Dave from New Haven County

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maylar View Post
    Maybe we should have an intro sub forum where new members can check in and give a brief blog of what they're looking for and why they stopped by.
    Along with that, maybe each new member should get a welcoming email with links to suggested reading.

    1. The newbee guide.

    2. JAOM

    3. BOMM

    4. etc.........

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drewed View Post
    1. I want to know why the threads are in reverse order, with the newest post on top? This means I have to scroll to the bottom and then try to read "up." lol
    before I logged in, the thread was first-top. now as the infamous Trenchie, the thread is first-bottom.

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    It sounds good to me but I have some concerns which I will share in private.
    Please clear your stored messages. It says you are over your limit and cant accept anymore

  18. Default

    HeY Squatchy, my pulse is about 1 bubble every minute with an SG of 1.005, down from 1.088. (second batch is 5 bubbles a minute at 1.015 down from 1.102). see my answers embedded in your quote:

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatchy View Post
    So it's hard to get a finger on the pulse of this group sometimes because so many here never say anything.

    I wonder why! I wonder what the general population wants to understand and what your struggles are.

    I'm new here, only recently became motivated to mead. I posted my first efforts (still in progress) in the 'ask this old house' thread. been wonking it from there.

    I wonder if you guys realize how much good info is here compared to other places on the web? - Yes! your quick and knowledgable answers are above other net-denizens

    What your biggest needs are? ANd if you're finding help here? - as a first timer, I guess I need it all, recently I've been procrastinating racking. I have been finding the info here, over time, much to read.

    #1 I want to learn the science of HOW to manage good fermentation practices. -yes

    #2 I need help rescuing something I already started and messed up. -not yet

    #3 I want to learn how to make adjustments as my ferment progresses to land where I am heading. -yes, but more 'to head to a landing'.

    #4 I want to know how to tweak my stuff once fermentation is over to make a good flavor profile. - hmmmm maybe

    #5 I want to learn how to make short meads (low ABV) - hmmm maybe

    #6 I want to understand how to bottle things correctly and what final additions I need to add so my stuff will age gracefully. - yes bottling knowledge is nice, no I do not want additives, I want to age gracefully as well, but there's no giant trying to ferment me.

    #7 I need to learn how/what flavors compliment each other. - hmmm maybe

    #8 I need to know more about how to pick the right yeast for the style I want to make. - yes, too many options lead to over assessment leads to missing out on 'old faithfull'.

    #9 I want to know how to plan, so I can intellectually place all the pieces together even before I go shopping for my ingredients. - YES!, "a rusky don't poop without a plan" - ('hunt for red october').

    #10 I want to know how to taste meads better, and how to dissect them into smaller pieces to know why it's not so good. Or why do I like it so much. - ok, I like it.



    Surely there is tons more. But if you have a specific that doesn't fall into one of the above then list it.

    please cover "unadulterated" mead. the mead that doesn't have man made chemistry; no dap; no sorbates; no how-ever-you-spell-it additives. and those meads beyond traditional. how can I adhere to that principle in cyser or when adding flavors (like berries).

    It would be so nice to hear from you lurkers. Make this place yours by getting involved.

    Say something, I'm giving up on you.
    Back to beneath my bridge. . . .

    -T

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trenchie View Post
    HeY Squatchy, my pulse is about 1 bubble every minute with an SG of 1.005, down from 1.088. (second batch is 5 bubbles a minute at 1.015 down from 1.102). see my answers embedded in your quote:



    Back to beneath my bridge. . . .

    -T
    Hi Trenchie

    Welcome and thanks for speaking up.
    So today is your lucky day. I can help you with what we call " A Show Mead"

    WHat this means is all natural as you have described.

    So here is some help for you. If you plan to do a cyser that will help a lot as the apples alone add lots of things to help the yeast along the way.

    So a few things.

    Start out with 2 times the yeast you would usually use. Go-ferm is all natural so it arguably could be used to rehydrate. If that bothers you just rehydrate with plain old tap water at 104 Degrees and let it sit for 20-25 minutes before you add a little bit of the must you have already created. Go look on page 7 of this to see hoe to attemperate your yeast slurry to the same temp as your must before you pitch. http://www.scottlab.com/pdf/ScottlabsHandbook2016.pdf DO THIS!!!!

    Get as much O2 into suspension just prior to pitching. And 24 hours later.

    Use darker honey. Or a blend of darker honeys. There is a little bit more nitrogen in darker honey.

    The higher the gravity the harder to not run into problems. I would stay under 1000 for the first time.

    I would pick a yeast that has low nitrogen requirements. Look it up in the handbook and come back once you find a few you relate to. Make sure when yuou do finally do purchase a yeast you can keep it in the temp range it wants to live at. That's in the handbook as well.

    You can actually add dead bread yeast to supplement the YAN reg's for the yeast. Boil a cup of water and add a packet of bread yeast. Cool and add. You technically can add Fermaid-O as it is nothing more that specially treated dead yeast. This is your own choice as some would see this as not in "the spirit" of this type of mead. Bread yeast would also fall into this category. Personally I would rather make something I can drink than waist my money on something I can clean the fingernail polish of my lady's toes.

    You need to stir every day to keep the yeast in suspension. Monitor it with your nose every day. If you start to get reductive (sulferish aroma's) you need to stir the shit out of it to try and blow off the off flavors/nose. You should probably add more food at the same time.

    Not sure what size your thinking of. If doing a gallon I might suggest feeding it 3 packets of bread yeast. Start at first sign of fermentation and then every other day after that until you have reached the third feeding. Have more bread yeast on hand to feed it if you need to.

    If you get any reductive aroma's you need to rack of the lee's as soon as your ferment reaches zero.

    If you don't want any chemicals you can't stabilize like we normally do. You'll need to cold crash and use bentonite at the same time to clear the yeast out of suspension once its finished. You will now need to age for a very long time ( I don't know so don't ask) until all the yeast die off before you can add more apple juice or honey if you don't like it bone dry. I wouldn't like it bone dry. I already know.

    That should help but ask if you need more help
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by caduseus View Post
    It sounds good to me but I have some concerns which I will share in private.
    Please clear your stored messages. It says you are over your limit and cant accept anymore
    Caduseus.

    Are you saying my box id full? I'll go clear it again. I just did that a few months ago.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

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