View Full Version : Fermenting idea?

12-14-2016, 04:11 AM
So, I recently started two separate gallons of some plain mead. I'm now looking to start 4 more gallons, but I'm curious as to some methods for ease of mixing and such. I am buying 12 lbs of some blackberry wildflower honey from a local beekeeper in my hometown in Washington. Would it be safe to say that I can just put all 3 gallons of water and the gallon of honey in my 6 gallon bucket with my starter nutrients, aerate and mix thoroughly with my drill mixer, then pour that into each of my 4 smaller fermentation buckets? Or should I ferment in the 6 gallon then rack into the smaller buckets for the secondary? I want to try some different recipes, and the guys at my local supply shop suggested that I add ingredients after the first racking, which would be easier if I ferment as a big batch, then rack into the 4 buckets, but I read in the chapters in the newb guide that the mead could have a different flavors at the top after fermentation than they do at the bottom. If any of that is confusing, I apologize. I'm writing this up on my phone while at work. I can explain further if need be. I'm just wanting to make sure that all four batches come out rather equal in honey distribution without having to weight out 3 pounds for each batch. I know, a tad lazy, but if either of those other two options won't have much of an effect on the final products, work smarter, not harder, right?

12-14-2016, 11:14 AM
Here are bits of advice I can't recommend enough:
1) hydrometer! Hydrometer! Hydrometer. Go by specific gravity readings and only use the amount of honey/water as a guideline. You need to decide how high ABV and whether you want dry, off-dry, sweet, or dessert sweet before you can effectively plan your mead.
2) what nutrients are you using? At least part if not all your nutrients should be organic nitrogen.

12-14-2016, 11:34 AM
So it's not true that your batch will taste different on top than on the bottom of your vessel. For one if you not stirring every day for well past the end of your ferment you're doing it wrong.
Fruit that has been fermented will add a different profile than the same fruit when added to your Mead after you stabilize. That would be the first test I would suggest you do so you know the difference.
Quite often I prepare my must in very large amounts and then divide them, either prior to inoculation, or at some point during, depending on how it suits my needs.
Lastly, don't add your nutrition until you have pitched your yeast and see evidence that things have begun.

12-14-2016, 12:25 PM
Thanks Squatchy. Yeah, after browsing through the threads more, I have noticed the pattern of nutrients being added after the pitch. And that is what I'm still trying to decide on with the fruit, whether I want to use it in both the primary fermentation, and more once I stabilize, or if I want to go with fruiting just after stabilizing. I have already marked all my mistakes from the first two batches I started on my own, but I am lucky enough that they haven't had any problems... yet. But I know what I need to do to get back on the right path with them now. Just have to pick a method for how I want to go about this big batch, keep it big or prep big and ferment small. Leaning towards the latter, so that way of an issue arises down the road, hopefully it's localized to one of the four gallons rather than the whole four gallons.

12-14-2016, 01:01 PM
If you mark your fermenters at gallon heights (1 , 2, 3 etc) with say, masking tape or paint or ink (depending on the material of your fermenters , and you fully dissolve and distribute the honey in the total volume of water you intend to use then you do not need to weigh out the honey but simply fill each fermenter to the mark you want - whether that is 1 gallon or 2 or whatever.

12-14-2016, 01:33 PM
Yeah, that is basically one of the options I'm looking at bernardsmith. I was up in the air about whether or not I should mix all 4 gallons up and ferment as a large batch and later racking into 4 separate containers, or use my large bucket to simply mix the 4 gallons up and divide it amongst the four containers and ferment as single gallon batches. I am starting to feel I will have more control over the individual flavors of each batch of I go with the second option, since I would be able to fruit/spice both the primary fermentation as well as after stabilizing for whatever recipes I end up going with.

That's my next big decision, figuring out What I want to make. I have the Lalvin D47 yeast, DAP and Fermaid K for nutrients and will be doing the SNA method. And the honey will be a blackberry wildflower.

12-14-2016, 06:56 PM
I wouldn't do D47 unless you can keep the temps right around 62-62.

DV10 and D21 could work without temp control

12-14-2016, 09:23 PM
My house runs cold. I live in Washington State. By no means a super cold area, but I don't use our heater because my body can't regulate heat very well. It's a constant 60-62 in our house. My wife has to walk around in sweats, a beanie, and sometimes a jacket. All of our closets are the same temp. I'm currently using Mangrove Jack's M05 Mead yeast which is working superbly so far. But I have 2 different shops I go to depending on where I'm at that day.

12-14-2016, 10:52 PM
Sounds perfect. I'm in Denver so same thing