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Thread: First Mead going well but full of questions still

  1. Default First Mead going well but full of questions still

    Hello from Rio, Brazil, everyone!

    Making my first mead, no bucks for books yet, but taking in all your advice here at GotMead to get it going.
    I got 3 buckets of 22 Liters (5 Gallon), one will remain empty for sanitizing and aerating, the other two are filled with must:

    1) - Lalvin 71b-1122
    - 4,22 L Wildflower Honey (13,2 pounds / 6 Kg / 0,96 Gallon)
    - 10 L Water (2,3 Gallon)
    - OG = 1.110
    - 5 grams Yeast Energizer (diammonium phosphate, magnesium sulphate and b-complex vitamins) staggered
    at 1 gram a day along with aerating until 1/3 sugar-break

    2) - Red Star Pasteur Champagne (yellow)
    - 4,22 L Wildflower Honey + 1,78 after first 1/2 sugar-break
    - OG = 1.100, when depleted to 1.050 added more Honey to return to 1.100, so the Yeast wouldn't meet too
    much sugar at once but would get more Honey to reach the 18% alcohol they say this strain does
    - 5 grams energizer (3g first 3 days, 2g when more honey was added)

    Both seem to be doing well today (2 weeks since the 1st and 1 week since the 2nd), started bubbling a few hours after pitching and now reducing to less than a bubble every 30 seconds, the first bucket.

    QUESTIONS:

    A) I got the hydrometer, do I need a pHmeter too?

    B) Worried about when to rack the 71b. Today is 15th day, 1 bubble every 30 seconds, should I rack now so it doesn't stay on top of the Lees or will I ruin the fermentation by racking too soon? Should I rack on the 15th, 20th day, 30th??

    C) I couldn't come by glass carboys here, is it OK to use my plastic buckets throughout the fermentation and ageing? I also couldn't find Yeast Nutrients, I used this energizer described above.

    D) Any advices for the next batches? I plan to rack the 2nd one (Pasteur Champagne, 18%ABV) into organic orange juice and orange peels, would that work?

    Thank you very much for all the information I got on this wonderful social platform. I'm Caśla, in the mountains 1 one hour away from Rio de Janeiro, pleased to be around.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default

    Seems like this post was accepted way later than usual. New users posts have to be accepted by an admin and yours seems to have taken a long time...sorry for that
    Welcome to the forums Caśla

    A) you dont NEED a pH meter but one or pH strips (cheaper) that cover at least pH from 2 to 5 or 6 are recommended.

    B) I dont know if you have already racked . If not/for next time we usually shake/stir every day/couple of days when the ferment is over (SG 1.000 or same SG for one or two weeks) for around a month. That is called rousing the lees. It helps clearing the mead and ageing. After that month, stop stirring for a week, then rack. That way you'll leave most of the yeast behind

    C) Plastic buckets are even better in my opinon. Just make sure they are food grade plastic (if you bought them at a brewstore they are, if you did not buy them there try checking. If meant to store food, its good)

    D) Racking into orange and orange peels would work but rather better use only the peels for orange flavour. The juice will only dilute the alcohol, and the sugars will get fermented and wont give much flavour. Juice is good for acidity, if you want to make mead more acid. But lemon juice works better if you ONLY want acidity (more acid, you need less, less flavour than orange juice)
    Next time post your plan before you do it, so we can advice. Your process is not bad for a newbee but could be improved. Try reading the newbee guide if you haven't already. Take SG readings, and taste it to make sure there is no off flavours/smells. Also finding better nutrients can be hard but worth trying if you wanna make some more mead.

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