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  1. #1

    Default UK NewBee - Hi and Q

    Hi everyone! I've been a lurker for about a week or so as last weekend I was gifted a load of old home brew equipment from my SO's uncle. Most of it is too old to use (consumables) but the kit is good, about 8 demijohns, a metal washing bowl, glass siphon tube, etc.

    I've also bought (and collecting at the weekend) a "starter kit" that has a 23L fermentation bucket (plastic) and some bits missing from the gifts. I was wondering - for my first batch of mead, should I go with 8L in the bucket, or split it into two demijohns? I've got 2.6kg of honey ready to go at home and looking forward to giving this a bash!

    I'm planning on keeping the mead in a cupboard in a spare room as the space in our linen cupboard seems a touch warm to me. Haven't got a thermometer yet, but I'm guessing it to be low to mid 20s C (is this too warm?)

    Thanks in advance and look forward to being part of the community here!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Brookline, NH
    Posts
    706

    Default

    You didn't say anything about a hydrometer. Make sure you have one and know how to use it.

    Your temperature will tell you what strain of yeast you'll want to use. There's a big difference between low 20's and mid-20's.............

    Do you know anything about making mead? Lurking is good, but have you checked out the NewBee guide? Watched the 9 episode Meadology series on YouTube, by The Canadian Sasquatch? Listened to the Gotmead podcasts, on Modern Mead Making, starting on Sept 5th, 2017?

  3. #3

    Default

    A hydrometer comes in the starter kit. It's one of the reasons I bought it! Not sure how to use it, but I intend on learning that when I have it in hand. I'm more of a hands on learner.

    Fair enough on the temp! I'll take some measurements tonight and see what it reads at. I'm thinking the spare room is a better option, to be honest. I've got some Young's Super Wine Yeast Compound, if that helps? Not sure on it's temp range. We usually keep the house between 18 - 21C but the linen closet has hot water pipes running through it, so it'll probably be a bit warmer than that!

    I've read the newbie guide, I've watched various videos (and currently part way through the Meadology series). I, in all honesty, probably won't listen to the podcasts though. However, if there is a transcript out there, I'd probably read it. I lose concentration to podcasts and similar! haha.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Brookline, NH
    Posts
    706

    Default

    I personally think episodes 6 and 7 (and less so of number eight) of the Meadology series are a must watch, as they talk about aeration/degassing and nutrient additions.

    There are plenty of youtube videos out there on how to properly use a hydrometer.

    Temps of 18-21C are actually kind of nice and will allow you to use most any yeast. It's once you start getting above 21C that you should be careful when considering what type of yeasts you want to use.

    I looked around and it's pretty hard to find out any information on that yeast, which may be a good reason to get away from it in the future. I see that it already has nutrients in it, along with bentonite (for clearing). It looks like the nutrient is mostly DAP, which most mead makers are starting to get away from. You'll eventually want to use other yeasts that will bring more to the table (aromas and flavors).

  5. #5

    Default

    Yeah, I've not been able to find out much about it. But it's cheap and easily available from my local homebrew store. I think I'll be trying to get hold of Lalvin or similar next time. But to try my hand, I'm sure this will suffice!

    Thanks for the nudge so far... I'm sure I'll be posting away over the weekend when I pitch my first yeast! I'm quite excited!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Saratoga Springs , NY
    Posts
    1,400

    Default

    Hi meddigo - and welcome. I am an expat from Scotland now a citizen of these here united states almost 6 years. Me? I always choose to experiment with the smallest quantities I can rather than larger sizes so 1 US gallon (4 L) batches is what I would choose. Means that if something goes catastrophically wrong the loss is not huge. If it goes incredibly well, I can easily repeat it (as long as I take GOOD notes) and it means that I can start a new batch almost every week, if I want to and that means I can continually improve my processes: making a few larger batches a year may be great if I was a commercial mead maker selling my meads but I make meads for myself and family and friends and so trying different honeys, different fruits, spices, herbs, etc makes (to me) far more sense than being stuck with bottles of meads that are a pain to drink if I don't like the results ...

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks Bernard, I think I'm going to take your advice so I can try one with a little extra honey in it... maybe an orange too. I'll still get me bucket though so I can experiment with larger batches! Besides... it's only 20 for the starter kit so it's hardly bank breaking!

  8. #8

    Default

    For any interested, Young's Super Wine Yeast Compound works best between 20 - 25C. That comes straight from Youngs themselves.

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