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  1. #1

    Smile Grocery list kind of step by step instructions

    Hey guys ^_^

    So I've made a couple of batches of simple 1 gallon meads. Used d47 yeast. First batch i killed the yeast by overheating and pitched the rest of the pack a day later. I never got a foaming bubbling form both of the batches -- got fizzies going ever since. Made october 18 and 19.

    I really just need like a grocery list kind of step by step explanation how to and when to rack.

    Here's what i have so far in my mind. i just feel blocked in my mind as to what to do.

    -Sanitize
    -pour half of jug with spring water
    -pour honey
    -shake then fill rest with water
    -put in yeast
    -shake
    -leave be until fermentation is done (~3 weeks)
    -rack + put in fridge to stop fermenting?
    -bottle after 2 weeks of cooling so bottles dont become rockets

    its really what do i do when fermentation is done....
    Also when should i not expose it to air as much? I'm afraid to open them up to like hurt the integrity of the mead.

  2. #2
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    Hi MzzFergie2,

    There's a lot of info on these forums so a little digging will answer every single one of your questions.

    Most of your process is OK, with a few caveats, imo. I'm sure the heavyweights on the forum will pitch in later but as a hors d'oeuvre:

    -Sanitize
    -pour half of jug with spring water
    -pour honey
    -shake then fill rest with water
    -put in yeast
    If you put in your yeast just like that it's not going to be happy. I did my first batches that way and they worked. Sort of.
    Since a few years I hydrate my yeast prior to pitch and that works so much better. The stuff used nowadays by most mead makers, i think, is GoFerm protect Evolution and Fermaid O.
    In my case fermentation kicks off in a few hours time instead of the 24 hours it took before. Also, you might want to oxygenate the must. Squatchy will tell you that yeast likes to have 15 ppm of O2 in the early phases of the fermentation. You can oxygenate the must a little by vigourously shaking the carboy, but that will only add up to 8 ppm. Still: better than nothing. If you can, add it by bubbling pure O2 trough your must via a sintered stone.

    There's a series of podcasts in GotMead Live (http://gotmead.com/blog/gotmead-live-radio-show/) about modern mead making (Sep - Nov 2017 iirc.) Listen to them, they contain a treasure trove of info.
    On the meadmakr website you'll find a calculator that's very easy to use (https://www.meadmakr.com/tosna-2-0/)

    -shake
    -leave be until fermentation is done (~3 weeks)
    You might want to feed your yeast. Honey doesn't have the necessary nutrients for a healthy fermentation. Yeast needs nitrogen (amongst other things). The amount of food you need to add is also stated in the TOSNA 2.0 calculater on Meadmakr.

    -rack + put in fridge to stop fermenting?
    STABILIZE!! If you don't stabilize you CAN have bottle bombs on your hands even after cold crashing. (Again, been there, done that )
    The stuff I use is K-sorbate and K-metabisulphite. Both readily available from your friendly LHBS.

    -bottle after 2 weeks of cooling so bottles dont become rockets
    Sitio ergo sum
    I thirst, therefore I am.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by MzzFergie2 View Post
    -Sanitize
    -pour half of jug with spring water
    -pour honey
    -shake then fill rest with water
    leave some head space, especially if you didn't make something with the same ingredients before: a simple honey and water must shouldn't foam too much, but if you add, say pollen and / or do a cyser or piment it can get quite foamy

    Quote Originally Posted by MzzFergie2 View Post
    -put in yeast
    while it will work just fine if you just sprinkle it dry and shake the jug, it's best if you rehidrate it first, there's plenty of info around here about the protocol and chemicals needed

    Quote Originally Posted by MzzFergie2 View Post
    -shake
    -leave be until fermentation is done (~3 weeks)
    -rack + put in fridge to stop fermenting?
    if you want it sweet, you definitely need to stabilize; putting it in the fridge slows down or stops fermentation temporarily, the yeast will get back to work when it's warm again if there's any food around; if you let it go dry and also fine it with bentonite you'll still have some minor activity (because there's always _some_ sugar left), so for long term storage stabilization is a good idea again, depending on the type of bottle you use (corked bottles will go boom or pop the cork and spray mead everywhere (or spray mead all over whoever opens them, to the delight of onlookers), flip-top and screw top will let the excess gas fizz out, but you'll still get slight carbonation which may not be what you want)

    Quote Originally Posted by MzzFergie2 View Post
    -bottle after 2 weeks of cooling so bottles dont become rockets
    nope, see point about stabilization above

    Quote Originally Posted by MzzFergie2 View Post
    Also when should i not expose it to air as much? I'm afraid to open them up to like hurt the integrity of the mead.
    I saw a lot of people saying oxidation is not a big problem for (traditional) meads; assuming you close the vessel you're racking into you should be fine, even after fermentation stops there is still plenty of CO2 dissolved in the mead, which will come out of solution when you agitate it (say, by racking) and create a protective layer of gas on top of the liquid; also, see point above about stabilization: sulfites will bind with whatever dissolved oxygen there is, thus protecting the thing from oxidation.

    I think the biggest issue prolonged exposure to air can cause is the thing becoming vinegar (acetobacter types need oxygen to do their thing).

  4. #4
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    MzzFergie2 - Hiya and welcome to the forum. Others may disagree but I am not sure why you want to put your mead shortly after the active fermentation has ended into a fridge. The fact is that although ACTIVE fermentation has ended the yeast are still doing a great deal of work as they clean up after themselves, transforming all kinds of compounds they have produced into far more flavorful products that we prefer but by chilling the yeast in your fridge you are basically forcing those yeast cells to drop out of solution and go into suspended animation at the bottom of your carboys. You MAY want/need to cold crash yeast before bottling IF your protocol (method) means that you are bottling after a month or two but if you are making a mead at 12 % ABV or higher you really want to allow that mead to age quietly at cool, not cold, temperatures. So a basement is great but British "room temperature" (much cooler than US) is fine.
    That said, I personally rack when the gravity in my fermenting bucket reaches about 1.010 - 1.005 and depending on what I am making I allow the mead to age quietly in carboys. After 2 or 3 months if I am still aging the mead I will rack again (but I will rack onto some K-meta to inhibit oxidation), and repeat this every two or three months.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by m0n5t3r View Post
    leave some head space, especially if you didn't make something with the same ingredients before: a simple honey and water must shouldn't foam too much, but if you add, say pollen and / or do a cyser or piment it can get quite foamy



    while it will work just fine if you just sprinkle it dry and shake the jug, it's best if you rehidrate it first, there's plenty of info around here about the protocol and chemicals needed



    if you want it sweet, you definitely need to stabilize; putting it in the fridge slows down or stops fermentation temporarily, the yeast will get back to work when it's warm again if there's any food around; if you let it go dry and also fine it with bentonite you'll still have some minor activity (because there's always _some_ sugar left), so for long term storage stabilization is a good idea again, depending on the type of bottle you use (corked bottles will go boom or pop the cork and spray mead everywhere (or spray mead all over whoever opens them, to the delight of onlookers), flip-top and screw top will let the excess gas fizz out, but you'll still get slight carbonation which may not be what you want)



    nope, see point about stabilization above



    I saw a lot of people saying oxidation is not a big problem for (traditional) meads; assuming you close the vessel you're racking into you should be fine, even after fermentation stops there is still plenty of CO2 dissolved in the mead, which will come out of solution when you agitate it (say, by racking) and create a protective layer of gas on top of the liquid; also, see point above about stabilization: sulfites will bind with whatever dissolved oxygen there is, thus protecting the thing from oxidation.

    I think the biggest issue prolonged exposure to air can cause is the thing becoming vinegar (acetobacter types need oxygen to do their thing).
    I can add pollen in there too? iNever thought of that! that souundsinteresting . ive had some in the fridge for a while not sure where to make use of it.

    Also yeaaah i have been trying to stick to the no sulfate route because i do react to them pretty badly but i think im going to have to get something to stabilize it. potassium sorbate probs.

  6. #6

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    "Others may disagree but I am not sure why you want to put your mead shortly after the active fermentation has ended into a fridge."
    To be honest that's just where im a little fuzzy , once i rack it the first time , i can leave it out some more? or is this where i'd want to stop/ slow the fermentation process by ,say, putting it in the fridge?

    I seee so you can just keep going until its at the dryness desired and clarity.

  7. #7

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    Im just trying to go a more natural route. sulfites mess me up i think i have a sentivity to them. But i think im going to have to get like potassium sorbate to stabilize it.

  8. #8
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    You don't want to use sorbate without using Metabisulfite.

    Are you allergic to dried fruit?

    I know you want someone to tell you what to do, but you really need to do a lot more reading on mead making. Your best bet is to search the gotmead forum and to listen to the gotmead podcasts, on a modern mead making techniques, starting on Sept. 5th 2017.

    Sulfiting and sorbating are covered in the 9/26/2017 episode.

    http://gotmead.com/blog/gotmead-live-radio-show/page/4/
    Last edited by darigoni; 10-24-2018 at 02:03 PM.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by darigoni View Post
    You don't want to use sorbate without using Metabisulfite.

    Are you allergic to dried fruit?

    I know you want someone to tell you what to do, but you really need to do a lot more reading on mead making. Your best bet is to search the gotmead forum and to listen to the gotmead podcasts, on a modern mead making techniques, starting on Sept. 5th 2017.

    Sulfiting and sorbating are covered in the 9/26/2017 episode.

    http://gotmead.com/blog/gotmead-live-radio-show/page/4/
    Yeaah i get headaches and dizzyness from those dried fruit you buy in store. I know im probably going to have to put those stabilizers in though. Just looking for alternatives.

    Thank you. i will check those out!

  10. #10

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    If you only use sorbate, you will get the geraniol (geranium taint) guaranteed. And all that will do is stop the yeast from budding daughter cell. It won't protect you from infection or oxidation. Almost all of us eat 20 times a day in sorbates that you would get in an entire bottle. WHit wine has way more sulfites than does Reds. But no one complains about whites giving them headaches and such. Every year there is more and more scientific evidence to refute the misconception of sulfites. Most everyone nowadays in the scientific community is talking more about amines being the culprit than is sulfites.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  11. #11
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    But Squatchy, there are people who are indeed sensitive to sulfites. There seems to me to be two or three possibilities to consider that do not require that you add sulfites.
    1. You look for a yeast with relatively low tolerance for alcohol and you feed that yeast enough sugar for it to hit its tolerance and so is unable to ferment any more sugar and you can then add more honey (or other sweetener) to make for a sweeter mead with the confidence that at least in the short term the yeast will not be able to referment any residual sugar. Long term - I think - you may find that some yeast cells that are more tolerant (just like if the average height of a group of people is say, 5 foot 10 inches there will be some who are 5 foot 2 and some who will be 6 foot 4) and those may overtime reproduce and reproduce with enough daughter cells to ferment the sugars..
    2. You use any yeast you want but you always work to make a dry mead. If dry meads are your thing- well and good. If you really prefer a sweeter mead then you add sweetener to the glass or to the carafe when you open a bottle. Again, no need to add stabilizers.
    3. - and this option carries some risk: you make a sweeter mead , you do not add stablizers but you "pasteurize" the sealed bottles with enough heat to kill the yeast. The risks are a) that if there is CO2 in the mead (the mead has not been fully de-gassed ) that gas will expand and the expansion MAY be enough to pop corks, or explode bottles (and flying glass IS dangerous) and b) while you may not need to reach boiling point (of water) to kill the yeast it may be hot enough for long enough to damage or destroy some of the more volatile flavor and aroma molecules of your mead. That is a risk but it may be acceptable given all the alternatives you see open to you...

  12. #12

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    What you say is certainly a possibility. I have heard over and over of sweet meads starting up for no reason long after they were "finished". Some of Kem Shrams stuff is often times carbonated. Even though it shouldn't. Many anti sulfite guys have had to recall products.

    I have never pasteurized mead. But cant emagine it tasting as good after as it did bvb before. Anyway. Um not trying to persuade anyone to use SO2. I do. And I like what it does f ooi r my mead.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  13. #13
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    Personally, I think "pasteurizing" any liquid with some gas (CO2) sealed inside is asking for trouble but on another (beer making forum) folk seem to pasteurize hard cider to kill the yeast leaving them with a sweeter cider although there are a number of people who talk about the bottles that have burst or exploded... I am ignoring what heat does to mead... It is simply an option if there are no or few others..

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