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Thread: First time brewer, first time poster

  1. #1
    Mlawson Gotmead Visitor

    Default First time brewer, first time poster

    OK, think i got it going, might not but i need help. I got six lbs of honey (clover), 40oz of raspberries, some Montrachet Red Star Yeast. I boiled the berries, honey and some water togather. I was thinking of only makin 3 gallons for my first batch.
    Questions:
    1. Should i skim out all of the raspberries?
    2. Should i let everyhting sit overnight to get to room temp before adding yeast and setting up the waterlock?
    3. This was a total BS off the top of my head Recipe, how does it sound?

    Lemme know what yall think.
    Matt

  2. #2

    Default Re: First time brewer, first time poster

    What was your final volume? If you were going to skim the berries the best time to have done it would have been while the must was still hot. I would be cautious about doing it at this point in order to avoid contamination. Your best bet is probably to leave them alone as they will be left behind after the first rack anyway. You definately need to let it cool before pitching the yeast, however, the sooner you pitch the better. what is it in right now if its not under airlock? it should be protected under airlock (or sealed untill you pitch) at all times.

  3. #3
    Mlawson Gotmead Visitor

    Default Re: First time brewer, first time poster

    ok, I didn't want to wait for a reply so i added water to get to 3 gallons, Waited 'till it was just above room temp and chucked the yeast in. I started the yeast in some warm sugar water btw. I got into that habbit w/ bread makin.

  4. #4

    Default Re: First time brewer, first time poster

    sounds like you're off to a good start, 6 lbs of honey in three gallons is a good ratio...just keep sanitization in mind, little things can make a big difference. For example did you sanitize the container that you made your yeast starter in? Yeast starters are an excellent idea as they increase your pitching rate, i usually start mine a day or two in advance in a pint of water with half a cup of honey added which i boil for a few minutes and cool completely before adding the yeast.

  5. Default Re: First time brewer, first time poster

    This will be a DRY mead. Also alchohol wil be less than typical wine. Off hand probabyly about 8-9% ABV

    This will leave the door open for infection I believe... so i'd strongly consider k-meta to protect your must.

    I've not used rasberries but the amount per volume sounds like a subtle taste.


  6. #6
    Mlawson Gotmead Visitor

    Default Re: First time brewer, first time poster

    can you explain DRY mead to me pls?

  7. #7
    TeaTruck Gotmead Visitor

    Default Re: First time brewer, first time poster

    Quote Originally Posted by Mlawson
    can you explain DRY mead to me pls?
    It won't be at all sweet, though it could still be quite good--matter of taste. It sounds to me like you could have used a bit more honey. I don't know much about different strains of yeast, but just about any strain will eat up 6 pounds of honey in three gallons, leaving you with very dry (not at all sweet) mead. I think 9 pounds would be more common.

    As long as everything was sanitized well, and you've got it under an airlock, I wouldn't worry too much about infections. Just keep everything clean and you should be ok. That being said, I don't have an airlock on my primary fermenter--it's just a covered bucket. I rack in to an airlocked carboy just before I expect the fermentation to slow down, and I've never had any problems--though that's with beer. I have yet to taste how my fist batch of mead will fare under this treatment, but it smells pretty good, for the moment at least.

  8. Default Re: First time brewer, first time poster

    Quote Originally Posted by Mlawson
    can you explain DRY mead to me pls?
    Wine or mead is reffered to as DRY when it has almost no residual sugar content. Hydrometer readings of final gravity less than 1.000. When you drink this type of wine/mead it tends to leave you with a dry mouth (the alchohol content of the wine causes water to flow out of the cells into the mead in your mouth). The opposit of DRY is SWEET when you talk about wines/meads(also considerably less dry mouth, perhaps the sweet activates saliva glands <shrug>). Sweet wines retain more fruit taste typically. In the case of mead, you are dealing with honey instead of fruit but the same applies.

  9. Default Re: First time brewer, first time poster

    Quote Originally Posted by TeaTruck

    As long as everything was sanitized well, and you've got it under an airlock, I wouldn't worry too much about infections. Just keep everything clean and you should be ok. That being said, I don't have an airlock on my primary fermenter--it's just a covered bucket. I rack in to an airlocked carboy just before I expect the fermentation to slow down, and I've never had any problems--though that's with beer. I have yet to taste how my fist batch of mead will fare under this treatment, but it smells pretty good, for the moment at least.
    I don't have exact numbers here, but it is my understanding that at about 12% the alchohol content is high enough to prevent most infections. I rely on good sanitation AND rapid fermentation to get the alchohol level up. The mead he has proposed is never going to hit 12%ABV so even a few airborn germ things that fall into the mead when he racks it will be able to slowly grow over time in his bulk aging and/or in the bottle. I don't have numbers on likelyhood here. Just the belief that he has left the door open by having a LOW Final ABV. k-meta would balance this by preventing the small random infection I believe almost all musts see from getting big enough to affect flavor. Red Star montrachet is cultured to work in the precense of 100ppm of Sulfite as normal.

    Ok i tried to get some backing....
    http://www.homebrewheaven.com/item786.htm

    The hydrometer can be used to determine the natural sugar content of the "must." In most instances additional sugar should be added to this "must" to assure that the alcohol content of the finished wine is sufficient for the wine to keep. Alcohol is a preservative, and you should insure that your wine have alcohol content of at least 9 - 10%. Lower strength wines will be susceptible to spoilage. By determining the natural sugar content you can then adjust the sugar content to the desired S.G. reading. In many cases a S.G. of 1.090 is desired to begin the "must," as this give a potential alcohol by volume of 12%.

  10. #10
    Mlawson Gotmead Visitor

    Default Re: First time brewer, first time poster

    Man yall are goin over my head a bit, hehe, im a newbie, what can i say. I forgot to mention that i added some sugar, around 3/4 a cup. Dont know if that was a good thing or not. I also ran into a problem yesterday. I was putting my air lock back on the bucket when the ruber bushing that keeps the seal between the bucket and the arilock fell into the bucket of mead. Will this be very bad joo joo? I opened the bucket to get it out but it sank strait to the bottom. Thoughts?

    Matt

  11. Default Re: First time brewer, first time poster

    hmmm a very long serving spoon?manuver the gromet to the side of the bucket then up the side with the spoon.

    or sterilized bar-b-que tongs maybe.

  12. #12
    Mlawson Gotmead Visitor

    Default Re: First time brewer, first time poster

    cant see through the jiuce. Not to mention the pile of raspberries at the bottom.

  13. Default Re: First time brewer, first time poster

    disinfect a something that you can put your arm through and feel around the bucket like that??


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Brisbane Australia
    Posts
    654

    Default Re: First time brewer, first time poster

    People have been crushing grapes with their bare feet for centuries.

    Surely if you wash your arm/hand, it won't be any worse than some toe jam (Go for at least 12% Alcohol in the mead)

    At least you can say you have really had a hands-on experience.

  15. #15
    Mlawson Gotmead Visitor

    Default Re: First time brewer, first time poster

    Ok i looked for the bushing but no luck. I stuck a piece of duct tape over the hole and stabbed the water lock down through it. i am getting no bubbles. i would say it has been over 48 hours. should i be worried?

  16. Default Re: First time brewer, first time poster

    No worries, looking for the grommet would have agitated the must and released C02, give it another 48 IMO

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Brisbane Australia
    Posts
    654

    Default Re: First time brewer, first time poster

    If there is a slight air gap around the airlock base, then the CO2 might be escaping out of there. It shouldn't be an issue.

    To avoid contamination, you could splash some K-meta solution (or whatever you sanitize with) around the base of the airlock.

    To recover your grommet, rack early to another carboy, once the fermentation has settled down a bit.

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