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Bee Serious
10-27-2013, 07:29 PM
I don't know if this has been covered before or if it is a stupid question - probably both.

On a few of my meads and ciders, after they have dropped completely clear, I have noticed millions of infinitesimal bubbles crawling up the sides of the carboy and forming a little foamy ring at the bung. Sometimes the airlock bubbles, sometimes not. I just noticed this again with a cider I made a month ago.

Now, I had thought that perhaps this was simply degassing due to a change in temperature/pressure/moon phase etc. Since it has happened when the mead is clear, I assumed it wasn't restarted fermentation or *gasp* bacterial.

Has anyone experienced this before?

MikeTheElder
10-27-2013, 07:40 PM
My wines all do that because I don't manually degas since wine is much more sensitive to oxidation than Mead is.

Your Mead/cider is probably just naturally degassing or some residual sugars are still slowly fermenting.

Just because the Mead is clear doesn't mean there isn't still gas and/or living yeast in it.

Bee Serious
10-27-2013, 08:09 PM
Thanks Mike, I figured as much. All my friends/peers brew only beer, so they're like, "It's been in secondary HOW long? Two MONTHS? I don't even know what to tell you, man. I can have a drinkable carbed beer in two weeks... tops."

I do worry about bacterial issues since I am sort of cavalier with my pasteurization (or lack thereof) with my apples and honey...

joemirando
10-27-2013, 08:49 PM
One thing you have that your beer brewing buddies don't is an alcohol percentage high enough to keep lots of other stuff from growing in your mead.

The other thing (if I remember correctly) is that beer wort contains sugars that are unfermentable by yeast. But they can feed other types of things that you don't want in a brew. So there's your difference. Mead = good, Beer = fast. <grin>

Oh, and you really really don't need to pasteurize your honey or other additives. Just sanitize your equipment... carboys, airlocks, spoons, racking canes, etc.

Joe

Bee Serious
10-27-2013, 09:59 PM
Don't worry Joe, I am not a honey-heater. And you are right about the higher alcohol inhibiting the growth of certain undesirables.

Full disclosure: I also brew beers (although they are technically braggots - I can't stop myself from adding honey). I have yet to make one under 9%. Why be afraid of excellence?

MikeTheElder
10-27-2013, 10:35 PM
Actually,worrying can be a good thing.

Brewers,vintners or mazers that don't worry about things being perfect are just asking for trouble.

joemirando
10-27-2013, 11:02 PM
Actually,worrying can be a good thing.

Brewers,vintners or mazers that don't worry about things being perfect are just asking for trouble.

I only agree to a point. The trick is to know what "perfect" is for the given task.

If you wait till it's 'perfect', you're never going to get anywhere.

Is "perfect" sanitation the right choice for mead? Is pasteurizing the 'perfect' solution even though it was developed and refined for a completely different group of consumables?

Mistakes, as hard as they are on the ego, can be beneficial if you learn from them. NEVER know enough to stop learning.

Joe

joemirando
10-27-2013, 11:23 PM
Don't worry Joe, I am not a honey-heater. And you are right about the higher alcohol inhibiting the growth of certain undesirables.

Full disclosure: I also brew beers (although they are technically braggots - I can't stop myself from adding honey). I have yet to make one under 9%. Why be afraid of excellence?

Nothing wrong with brewing beer. I like beer. It makes me a jolly good fellow.

The thing is that they are different with different 'best practices'. If you boil honey and water like you boil beer wort, you lose a lot. If you ferment beer like you ferment mead, you... well, it'll be different... and probably not any good, since the ingredients have their own specific requirements.

Joe

mannye
10-27-2013, 11:28 PM
Nothing wrong with brewing beer. I like beer. It makes me a jolly good fellow.

The thing is that they are different with different 'best practices'. If you boil honey and water like you boil beer wort, you lose a lot. If you ferment beer like you ferment mead, you... well, it'll be different... and probably not any good, since the ingredients have their own specific requirements.

Joe

My take so far is that coming to mead from beer = you'll never have a sanitation issue due the fanatical needs of beer against bugs and oxygen but coming to beer from mead = yikes! Those first few batches will have you draining the mead supply.

Then, of course, once you make that first good batch of beer, you'll have something to drink while you wait for the mead!

Bee Serious
10-28-2013, 08:50 AM
Well, there has to be a balance somewhere, I just don't know where it is. With braggot, I take all the OCD sanitation practices that beer guys are famous for, and then just dump in the raw honey into the cooled wort, give it a stir, and slap on an airlock.

At the last brew meeting, I brought in some braggots. People asked when to add honey: hot break, 30 minutes, 1 minute knock out... When they found out I just throw it in at room temperature they looked at me like I should have just thrown in a dead animal and open fermented it in a warm barn.

This is awesome:
http://tbn.haussli.com/tbn/Jamil12-01-08.mp3

I have posted this before - It is a brewing network podcast where Ken Schramm talks about how he makes a mead. It is a little dated, from 2008, but still a good listen.

GntlKnigt1
10-28-2013, 11:27 AM
Don't worry Joe, I am not a honey-heater. And you are right about the higher alcohol inhibiting the growth of certain undesirables.

Full disclosure: I also brew beers (although they are technically braggots - I can't stop myself from adding honey). I have yet to make one under 9%. Why be afraid of excellence?

At least one brewery sells some Honey Weiss, as I recall. Wasn't bad stuff !!

Oh... and I can't get that link to the Schramm MP3 to work. Are you on an Apple machine, by chance? The root URL takes you to the Shrubbery Network !!

Bee Serious
10-28-2013, 12:50 PM
Oh... and I can't get that link to the Schramm MP3 to work. Are you on an Apple machine, by chance? The root URL takes you to the Shrubbery Network !!

Hmm, not an apple but works for me - try this link:
http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/The-Jamil-Show/Mead-The-Jamil-Show-12-01-08

You can then click on the little "DOWNLOAD MP3" button.

Thought I would save you time by linking the mp3 URL - guess not. WHOOPS.

GntlKnigt1
10-28-2013, 06:41 PM
Yeah....that works....thanks.

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