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Messages - cmuzz

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Other Fermentables / Re: Making first Mead Batch in 15 years
« on: August 15, 2011, 08:34:00 PM »
I have spent a lot of time drinking and just know what pleases me. This batch was made with a whole different type of honey than what I was used to and fine tuning these flavors has been a challenge. But that just means that I need to make more. ;D

Pawtucket Patriot, Post your recipe and maybe we can add some insight on your experience.

Equipment and Software / Re: Rubbermaid vs. Igloo Cooler
« on: August 01, 2011, 09:28:57 PM »
Thanks so much for all the feedback. Decided to convert my 70qt Coleman rectangle. Figure, not only does that give me all the options, but I already have 2. One I'll keep as my cigar Coolador, but I will never again be filling 2 coolers with cigar boxes. All my cigar collecting money is now devoted to malt & grains. After all beer is much healthier than smoking.  ;D

Equipment and Software / Re: Rubbermaid vs. Igloo Cooler
« on: July 22, 2011, 02:34:55 PM »
Been only doing 5 gallon batches up until now. Doing partial mash and also extract with specialty malts for a few years now. Figured it is time I move up and try all grain.

I have been reading all the resources on the web and am ready to jump. Was going to get the Home Depot $39.95 10 gal round rubbermaid until I found the Igloo at the same price. Richardt you now have me thinking about a rectangular one.

Too many considerations. ???

I do have a 72qt coleman, but I figured with my batch sizes I'd wouldn't have the grains to be deep enough.

Equipment and Software / Rubbermaid vs. Igloo Cooler
« on: July 22, 2011, 01:25:38 PM »
Looking to get a 10 gallon cooler to make a mash tun. I've found Both Rubbermaid & Igloo for the same price of $39.95.

So the question is, with cost out of the picture, does one or the other have any drawbacks?

Other Fermentables / Re: Making first Mead Batch in 15 years
« on: June 14, 2011, 09:53:17 PM »
OK, decided that my old additions were what I wanted for final flavor. It just gave the roundness and mouthfeel that I remembered. Just toned it down a notch for the 5 gallon batch:
1.5 oz Tartaric
3.0 oz Malic
.8 oz Tannin

It is in the bottles, corked and resting.

Other Fermentables / Re: Making first Mead Batch in 15 years
« on: April 26, 2011, 04:34:09 PM »
I suspect the "rocket fuel" flavors were acid additions related. 
I never thought of that. After a year or so of aging, that was totally gone and the flavors & aroma had no hint of it.

I do prefer a very dry mead, hence the low FG. But since I'm dividing this batch into gallons to test the additions, I might as well try the back sweetning on one.


Other Fermentables / Re: Making first Mead Batch in 15 years
« on: April 25, 2011, 08:11:07 PM »
Wower! Racked again after 2 months. There was quite a bit of sediment and we are clearing nicely. Still a bit of a golden haze.

But the flavor is lovely. Not as full and round as I am used to, but I have not added the acids and tannins yet. However, I am very satisfied with the flavor and aroma.

I'll be patient and wait another month or so before splitting the batch and trying the additions. I feel the urge to get another batch going. I don't want to be without a bottle of this in my cellar. And I'm not good at laying down bottles for too long.

Thanks again for your input. To be continued...

Other Fermentables / Re: Making first Mead Batch in 15 years
« on: February 28, 2011, 05:21:13 PM »
I’m amazed at how this is progressing. I started the fermentation on 2/12. Yesterday 2/27 I took the final of 3 gravity readings and fermentation has ceased. Original Gravity 1.11 & Final at 1.00. So, I racked to the secondary and put it away in a dark corner to sit for a bit. It is still a hazy golden color. I’ll look at it in a month or so to monitor how it is clearing.

It's quite interesting that the flavor is no way near the old rocket fuel taste of years gone by, just thinly winey and very much in need of adjustments with some tannins and acid. I’ll hold off on that until bottling time in maybe 6-9 months.

Meanwhile, I’m going to follow the old procedure of racking every 2 months or so, unless common wisdom has changed. What do you think?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Rehydration Question
« on: February 23, 2011, 03:58:41 PM »
3944 it is and thanks for that confirmation on the chamomile. Looking forward to this one. :)

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Rehydration Question
« on: February 22, 2011, 10:19:25 PM »
How about a discussion of the flavor differences in each? My favorite flavors in a Witt are the dry orange and coriander. I was thinking of adding a bit of chamomile, as well to bring up the floral character in the nose.

Which do you think will emphasize what I'm looking for?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Rehydration Question
« on: February 22, 2011, 05:41:12 PM »
S-33 is coming with the kit from Alternative Beverages. Maybe I'll hold on to it for my next Bitter & get something local. Any suggestions for a good Belgian Witt yeast?

Yeast and Fermentation / Rehydration Question
« on: February 22, 2011, 04:52:19 PM »
I’ve always used Wyeast smack packs to brew beer & mead with, but just made a mead with dry Champaign yeast and it worked out great. Here is the issue. I used Go-Ferm in the water to rehydrate the yeast for pitching in the mead. Should I do the same in rehydrating for beer?

I’m using Safale #S-33 in a Belgian Witt & Safale #S-04 in a Scotch Ale. Instrux are just to put dry into the aerated wort. Would I get better results with feeding the yeasties first?

Other Fermentables / Re: Making first Mead Batch in 15 years
« on: February 14, 2011, 02:46:42 PM »
I am totally sold on all the advances that have been developed over the last years. And, thank you all for your help getting this old timer up to speed.

Saturday evening, I rehydrated my yeast in Go-Ferm (25 minutes). I dissolved 15 lbs of honey in warm water, no sulfites. Pitched the yeast, aerated the 5 gallons and made sure all was fully mixed.

By next AM there was some slight bubbling. I added DAP & Fermaid-K and oxygenated the must. Within a few hours, I have been getting the most vigorous fermentation, I have ever seen in a mead. In fact, it rivals the most vigorous fermentations I have seen in many of my batches of beer. I will continue with another nutrient addition and another oxygen blast when I see that 30% drop in the SG.

When I think back to the week or so that it took to get a slow and steady fermentation going with my original recipe, I am amazed that I had the patience to do that 3 times. No wonder we relied so much on the sulfites. Who knows what could have taken hold in that must without them.

Ken, I’m sure that holding back on the acids is also a big contributing factor to how much these little buggers are partying in that carboy. Rock on little yeasties!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Aeration for wine versus beer
« on: February 11, 2011, 07:05:27 PM »
Excellent! Thanks.

Yeast and Fermentation / Aeration for wine versus beer
« on: February 11, 2011, 06:20:08 PM »
I’m just returning to brewing mead after a 15 year hiatus during which I have been brewing beer. I notice now that aeration has become a big deal in the treatment of the feeding cycle of mead brewing. Instructions are to aerate with each nutrient addition through the first few days of active fermentation.

Now, in brewing beer, my understanding has always been to aerate the wort before adding the yeast and then no further oxygen should ever be allowed to come in contact with the wort.

I use an aeration wand and oxygen for my higher gravity beers and I was planning on using that with each staggered feeding of the Champaign yeast in my next batch of mead. Just want to be sure I’m on the right track.

Can someone explain why there is a difference here?

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