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Thread: First brew, going big

  1. Default First brew, going big

    Hello, I am currently planning my first brew (with a few friends, hence the amount. I am however leading the thing mostly by myself)

    I've recently finished the calculations for the amount of the different ingredients, but I'm not 100% sure that I've done it correctly. Here are the details:

    Ingredients

    18 l water (De-Chlorinated)
    ~14 kg / 10-11 l honey (Depending on volume of secondary ingredient used)
    1-2 l of secondary ingredient (Thinking some kind of fruit, green apples perhaps)
    Yeast

    Brewing in a 30 litre damejeanne

    Result wanted:

    ABV of 18%
    FG sweetness of ~1.018

    I realise that the apples may bring up the Final Gravity or sweetness slightly, ending up slightly higher than 1.018. I'm thinking that the apples acidity will counteract some of the extra sweetness though, making it less of a dessert-sweet mead.

    Any tips or help would be much appreciated

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Spain, Europe
    Posts
    718

    Default

    Welcome to the forums Samy
    Well you dont state most of the important recipe sections

    What yeast? what honey?
    Read the newbee guide, learn about rehydration, nutrients and other stuff
    Also get some nutrients. If you are in america get Fermaid O or Fermaid K.
    Dont boil the honey.
    If your container has 30 liters you dont want to fill it to the top, or it will foam and spill all over.

    Since you are starting i'd advise to get a hard yeast and not go to make such a high ABV mead. Its your choice but the higher the alcohol, the more faults its likely to get if you dont do things good. And at 18% ABV you are looking to wait some good months until its good. This is just my personal recommendation. I love high ABV mead but pushing the yeast too much will get you not so good results if you dont manage everything else correctly.

    If you want to do such a high ABV mead you cant add all the honey from the start, by the way. Save 3kg or so to add after a few days.
    Fruit will lower the FG because they have more water than sugar, usually. You can add green apples or use apple juice. Or better ripe apples that dont give too much acidity. I had bad experiences there. But that depends on each one i guess.
    SG 1.018 is considered semisweet. Not deser sweet, so i wouldnt worry about it. I would make the mead first, then make any additions if you think they are needed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Miami Beach, FL
    Posts
    4,089

    Default

    I have some questions:

    Are you guys beer brewers? As Dadux asked, what yeast? What size fermenting vessel? Have you read the new bee guide? It's very informative and will help you avoid many noob mistakes. Wish I had it when I made my first mead...oh wait I did have it but I didn't read it and because I was a beer brewer, I knew better! No I didn't.


    Another tip I would give is to not worry so much about FG because you can always back-sweeten if the end result is too dry. Yeast are temperamental and can go way over or way under the stated ABV tolerance.

    If, on the other hand, you've never made anything fermented before, I would suggest you start small with a JAOM and then a BOMM both one gallon sizes before you jump into the deep end. But hey, I wouldn't have listened to me either when I was starting out.

  4. #4

    Default

    Here are the things you need to understand and then do them


    Yeast choice and required amounts of nitrogen and temperature range
    Yeast rehydration and attemperation
    Oxygenation/aration
    Temp management
    Staggered Nutrient additions
    Degassing and yeast arousal
    Stabilization
    back sweetening.

    Buy a hydrometer and use it. Bubbles mean nothing.

    If you miss doing any of the above it will negatively affect you end result
    Mead is simple to make but it's like caring for a newborn baby. You needs to cater to it's needs or you will regret missing these things.

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

  5. Default

    Took me a while to get back to this thread, but thanks for all the replies!

    I'll try to adress everything that you all mentioned as concisely as I can.

    Yeast and honey have not been decided on, we're currently checking out local beekeepers to see what's available but we're not 100% sure what to be looking for.
    What should we keep in mind when deciding on which yeast and honey to go for? Apart from what the bees have been making their honey from and the tolerance of the yeast, which is what I've gathered so far.

    I've read most of the Newbee guide but I'll make sure to read up on nutrients and rehydration. What nutrients should I be looking for if outside the U.S? Sweden, in our case.

    We'll most certainly not boil the honey.

    How far should the container be filled up? Or in other words, how much headroom is needed? would 5% headroom by volume be a good number, so 1.5liters of air at the top of our 30l container.

    Will certainly consider going for a lower ABV, thanks for pointing that out.

    None of us have brewed anything whatsoever in the past.



    "Here are the things you need to understand and then do them

    Yeast choice and required amounts of nitrogen and temperature range
    Yeast rehydration and attemperation
    Oxygenation/aration
    Temp management
    Staggered Nutrient additions
    Degassing and yeast arousal
    Stabilization
    back sweetening."

    I'll try to look into most of it, I haven't read through all of the NewBee guide yet but I'll keep an extra eye out for some of the above mentioned that I haven't heard of before when reading the rest.

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