So I finally go the gots to make a post on my first try at mead...
First things first, the recipe, given that I am going for an SCA submission I went extremely simple:
10 lbs of Orange Blossom Honey (2 reserved for later)
Pure filtered spring water to bring batch to 3 gallons
Lalvin K1V-1116 yeast
1 cup strong Scottish Blend Breakfast Leaf Tea (leaves and all)
1 package of boiled yeast (K1V) for nutrients
All items other than water, honey, tea, and yeast were sanitized with StarSan solution.
Must was heated to approximately 170 degrees (was aiming for 150, but my stove is a bit more aggressive than I gave it credit for) for several minutes. Because I couldn't find my funnel, I poured must into 8 cup glass measurer and from the measuring cup to the 3 gallon glass carboy. I shook the entire glass carboy for about 5 minutes as well, just to mix/aerate more. I let the mixture sit overnight until the morning to let it cool. Once the temperature reached approximately 80 degrees I pitched the yeast into the mixture, after following directions on the back of the packet to re-hydrate it.
I stuck the batch in the basement with a fermentation lock and attempted to exercise patience, which was a lot easier because I left for the weekend
. Upon returning I noted a large amount of tiny bubbles rising from the lees on the bottom, with some floating bits on the top, but no activity in the fermentation lock. The glass carboy is sealed with the orange rubber cap and lock stuck in it, as far as I can tell there are no leaks there (did the pressure test of pushing on the cap).
The same level of bubbling has occurred since the first observation, current temperature and constant temperature is 71 degrees.
Since I don't have my notes in front of me, I am unsure of the exact date, but I think I added in the boiled yeast and further aerated the mixture on day 4.
Sadly I don't have a starting hydrometer reading because I couldn't convince my LHBS that I was making mead, not beer so they sold me a hydrometer that only read 1.000 or below (which was not evident on the package). I have since gotten the correct hydrometer and my gravity reading is (assuming I am reading it correctly) 1.125.
I realize that I have not done the schedule for aeration, etc. and that the ferment will go a lot slower as a result, but that's ok with me. I have also done a ton of reading of the newbee guide and various other resources online, but I was wondering what your thoughts were?
I did taste it slightly when I mixed it and added the boiled yeast and there was a definite honey/alcohol taste to the mixture, but neither overpowering the other and no "bad" taste at all.
The other part of the questions are as follows:
Given that I am trying for a mead, not a melomel, etc. At what point does it stop being a regular mead? I am considering adding raisins for nutrient, but I don't want to make a "fruit mead".
Is the timing too late for raisin additive?
I think that about sums things up for now