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  1. Default Looking for opinions on my methods please!!

    Hello yall,

    Very excited to join the community looking forward to the sure to come constructive criticism haha.

    I have three 1 gallon batches on mead in production atm and they are all following pretty much this exact same methodology.

    3 pounds of honey is dissolved into a gallon of water yielding a must with a original specific gravity of around 1.110-1.114.

    I would then add one sodium campden tablet to the must and leave it for 24 hours covered with a bubbler airlock.

    After 24 hours i re-hydrate and then pitch the yeast (EC-111 and add 1/4 teaspoon of wine yeast nutrients and close up the bottle with the airlock.

    Very active bubbling begins within a couple of hours and they generally seem to finish fermentation after around 7ish days. Two have had a very harsh alcohol taste following the initial fermentation.

    My main question is that i live in Kansas and it is HOT AS HELL here in the summer and i have nowhere cool to keep these containers. I keep them out of the light but i don't really have anywhere in my apt that is cooler than 80 degrees. Should i just be waiting until it cools down to be fermenting or am i fine to continue? Is the hot temperature likely the reason why it tasted so harsh initially?

    Should i be doing staggered nutrient additions or aerating the mixture?

    What else am i missing here?

    Thanks guys

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Brookline, NH
    Posts
    771

    Default

    Is there a reason why you used the Campden tablet? Bad water?

    Not a lot of people like mead that's gone bone dry. Give it some time, stabilize (potassium sorbate AND potassium metabisulfite), then sweeten to your desired taste (at least 1.015).

    I assume you meant EC-1118? It has a pretty wide temperature range (50F to 86F), but I'd try and keep it some where in the middle (65-72F). You may want to do some research into "swamp cooler".

    Definitely look into SNA (staggered nutrient additions), using Fermaid O or Fermaid K. Also, look into using a hydration protocol using Goferm.

    https://www.meadmaderight.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Saratoga Springs , NY
    Posts
    1,466

    Default

    Hiya, Justsomeguy - and welcome to the community. One low tech way of keeping your fermenter cool is to use a gerry-rigged cooling system. That might mean placing your fermenter in a trough of cold water (could be your bath or a sink or large plastic box), and adding ice to the water. You might then soak a towel in cold water and drape it over the fermenter so that a few inches of the towel is also soaking in the water bath. As the water from the towel wicks the water from the bath it will also tend to evaporate and as it evaporates the towel will drop in temperature (that's physics) and that cooling with pull in adjacent air creating a micro draft which will also enhance the cooling effect. (this is similar to a device called a desert cooler where you use water soaked straw in mats covering windows to create a low tech air conditioner) Not certain but I think that you can easily create a 10 degree cooler micro-climate around your fermenter. You may need to add more ice each day. And remember, if the ambient temperature is 80 F the temperature inside your fermenter will be at least 10 degrees hotter and the hotter you ferment at the more compounds the yeast will produce. Sometimes you may like the flavors those compounds add and sometimes you may not... The harsh flavor is, I think, due to different alcohols the yeast produce at higher temperatures (fusels). They add a burning heat rather than a pleasant flavor...

  4. Default

    Thank you for the input,

    Yeah i meant EC-1118!

    I put the campden tablet in because i don't pasteurize my raw honey and was told that it was a good way to shock the yeast present in the honey so that the yeast i was adding would win out. Is this not the way to go?



    When you say give it some time do you mean let it bulk age for a while and then stabilize?

  5. Default

    i will try the jerry rig cooler method thanks!

  6. #6

    Default

    hi and Welcome to our community

    It's typical when people first start out to not know as much as they eventually will learn. And unfortunately some of the unknown things in the beginning 10 to create meads that are kind of hurting in a way.

    It's Not Unusual when with someone first starts out they're not aware of all the different parts and pieces that are employed to make good Mead. Those are proper yeast rehydration. Those are temperature controls. Feeding your yeast nitrogen to keep them healthy and happy and lastly choosing the correct yeast strain with the honey, and other adjuncts so that it's a good marriage between the two.

    What Bernard told you was true about being able to make a little bit of a cooling situation I would add that if you have the wet towel draped over your car boy you could put a small fan on there and run it on low and that would continue then to dry out the tell which would continue to wake up more moisture out of the water in the Basin and that would cool your stuff even more. One thing that Bernard mentioned was that your ambient temperature inside your vessel would be hotter than the ambient temperature of the room. When you're just making small one gallon batches there's not enough kinetic energy to really change the temperature from Ambien to the Must In Your Vessel.

    But that certainly holds true as you start making larger and larger batches there can be an increase in heat from the kinetic energy of the yeast metabolizing the sugar. But is you're just now making single gallons that's really not part of the equation. But certainly temperature control is. When we lacked a troll the temperatures if it gets too warm it makes the least unhappy and when they're unhappy they make off flavors as a byproduct.

    Some of that will go away over time as you both cage it although those of us that have a well-defined pallet can taste the footprint of that even years down the road.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

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