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  1. #1
    Erik Gotmead Visitor

    Default Just a few questions

    I read through a guide to making mead, and there were some things my recepie calls for that weren't mentioned.

    First) exactly what is a blow off tube?

    Second) What's a carboy, and where can I get one?

    Also, this recepie says I can use bentonite to clarify the mead... bentonite is clay, will this effect the flavour in any way?

    BTW this'll be the first time I've brewed anything, so, yeah, try and be as specific as possible.

  2. Default Re: Just a few questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik
    I read through a guide to making mead, and there were some things my recepie calls for that weren't mentioned.

    First) exactly what is a blow off tube?

    Second) What's a carboy, and where can I get one?

    Also, this recepie says I can use bentonite to clarify the mead... bentonite is clay, will this effect the flavour in any way?

    BTW this'll be the first time I've brewed anything, so, yeah, try and be as specific as possible.
    First, a blow off tube serves the same purpose as an airlock. Basically, your fermentation vessel should be airtight, with only a way for the gases produced to escape. From the top of the vessel, you have a tube going to a continer of water. The gas produced will travel to through the tube and bubble out of the water. Personally, I'd skip it and go with an airlock(unless you have reason to beleive that the must will bubble up and clog an airlock). Since this will be your first attempt, I'd say do what the recipe calls for and play with other options later.

    Second, a carboy is a fermentation vessel. For mead, they're generally glass. They come in a number of sizes ranging from 1 gallon (maybe smaller) to 6 gallons (maybe larger). Glass is the prefered medium for long term fermentation, with PET plastic having some favor among some mazers (mead brewers).

    Third, I've never used bentonite, so I can't say for sure, but from what I understand, it's supposed to settle out of the mead (taking floating particles with it). I'd guess that there's little if any difference in the taste.

  3. #3
    Erik Gotmead Visitor

    Default Re: Just a few questions

    Thanks, answered my questions, and I understood you... even learned some lingo. ;p

    I have another question.
    During the summer it's usually hot enough to keep this stuff at 70-80 by just leaving it outside.

    What do I use to keep the must at 70-80 if it's inside?

  4. Default Re: Just a few questions

    Remember that you should try to keep your fermenting/aging mead at a constant temp. I don't think leaving them outside is a good idea.

    I guess that depends on where you live, but unless 3 pm and 5 am are consistently withing a few degrees of each other your temperature is going to be swinging too much. Heck where I live it can be 95 during the day and then easily drop to 65 at night. Not good.

    As for keeping it the right temp inside, I assume you are talking about the summer here as well and are worried that your AC is keeping it too cool. If that is the case I would find the warmest place in the house (that my wife would allow so not necessarily the warmest ) and wrap the carboy in blankets.

    I always age mine much cooler than I ferment so the AC isn't a problem for me after fermentation is done.

    Hope that helps.

  5. #5
    Erik Gotmead Visitor

    Default Re: Just a few questions

    Sorry, the whole leaving it outside thing was just a dumb joke.

    If it were near something that gave off heat like say, a baseboard heater that'd work too eh?

  6. Default Re: Just a few questions

    Yup.

    Also remember, too cold is better than too hot. Too hot kills the yeast. They are dead. Re-pitch. Too cold and they just go to sleep. Warm them back up and watch 'em go.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Just a few questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik
    I read through a guide to making mead, and there were some things my recepie calls for that weren't mentioned.

    First) exactly what is a blow off tube?

    Second) What's a carboy, and where can I get one?

    Also, this recepie says I can use bentonite to clarify the mead... bentonite is clay, will this effect the flavour in any way?

    BTW this'll be the first time I've brewed anything, so, yeah, try and be as specific as possible.
    I think most of your questions have been answered already, but here's another go at them -- no Bentonite won't affect the flavor of the mead. Although it can take a bit of time (maybe a week or so) eventually the stuff settles to the bottom, taking (hopefully) the haze stuff with it.

    On temperature, mead generally does better in cool temperatures, if you can swing it. A basement is great for this. About 65 degrees F is ideal. Don't worry about it if the best you can provide at the moment is a dark storage closet that might be running about 70 to 75 degrees.



    <><><><><><><><><><>
    <><><><><><><><>
    Dan McFeeley

    "Meon an phobail a thogail trid an chultur"
    (The people's spirit is raised through culture)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    860

    Default Re: Just a few questions

    If at all possible, know the yeast's recommended temperature range - and try to stick closely within these guidelines.

    Fermenting outside these ranges can stress the yeast and produce off flavors such as the "green apple" left by Acetaldehyde.

    That said, I agree that too cool is better than too warm.


    David Baldwin
    Michigan Meadery LLC

    www.michiganmeadery.com

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