Author Topic: First Mead  (Read 1354 times)

Offline HobsonDrake

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First Mead
« on: September 29, 2013, 04:32:55 PM »
So I am doing a trial batch of mead. Nothing big. #5 clover honey with about 5 quarts of water. I added water to get to 1.112.
Just did my second add of yeast energizer. I was surprised that after two days it had only dropped to 1.108. Does that seem about right?
I will check again in a few days.
>Under Construction- Brown Ale (4/5)
>In Bottles- Just Plain Pale Ale (12/12) - First Lager (12/28)
>On Tap - Guinness Clone (5/13) - Dry Hopped Red - Wascally Wabbit PA (11/19) - Barley wine (10/2009) - Nut Brown Ale(6/6)

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Re: First Mead
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2013, 04:59:51 PM »
Is there fermentation activity?

Offline erockrph

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Re: First Mead
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2013, 05:35:22 PM »
I wouldn't be concerned yet. A day or so of lag time isn't that big of a deal, and even once fermentation gets going it can take another couple days before the yeast really start cranking. It could also be that you had some stratification in your original gravity sample causing the reading to be off. I use my stick blender with its whisk attachment for about 10 minutes and I still never feel like my must is fully mixed.

For reference, I started a 1.155ish Cyser on Wednesday afternoon, and Saturday morning was the first time it really foamed up like crazy when I stirred it. As long as you're seeing some signs of fermentation activity I wouldn't be worried yet.
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Offline HobsonDrake

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Re: First Mead
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2013, 10:13:39 PM »
Yes there is activity on the air lock and bubbles on the top of the must.
I have been brewing beer for so long, that it just seemed wrong. :)
Will keep you posted as things progress
>Under Construction- Brown Ale (4/5)
>In Bottles- Just Plain Pale Ale (12/12) - First Lager (12/28)
>On Tap - Guinness Clone (5/13) - Dry Hopped Red - Wascally Wabbit PA (11/19) - Barley wine (10/2009) - Nut Brown Ale(6/6)

Online theDarkSide

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Re: First Mead
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2013, 05:42:21 AM »
Did you properly activate the yeast before you pitched?
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Offline HobsonDrake

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Re: First Mead
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2013, 05:40:48 PM »
Just a quick update. After one week it is down to 1.052. It got down to 63* in the room so I am guessing that slowed things down a little. Added some more DAP and Firmaid K to it.
Will check it again on Thursday.
One quick question, how often do you try to de-gas? I have one more scheduled yeast booster of DAP and Firmaid K. So when I mix that in it will de-gas. Should I do it every few days until I get closer to my FG?
Thanks
>Under Construction- Brown Ale (4/5)
>In Bottles- Just Plain Pale Ale (12/12) - First Lager (12/28)
>On Tap - Guinness Clone (5/13) - Dry Hopped Red - Wascally Wabbit PA (11/19) - Barley wine (10/2009) - Nut Brown Ale(6/6)

Offline erockrph

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Re: First Mead
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2013, 05:59:17 PM »
I generally degas 2-3 times a day for the first week. I use a slotted spoon and really whip it to a froth. At this point I'm looking to oxygenate it a bit more along with degassing. I'm also adding nutrient at day 0 (in initial must), then a day after the first sign of fermentation, about 1.5-2 days later and about 2-3 days after that. For melomels I punch down the fruit daily for the next week or two (say days 7-20, give or take). If there's no actual fruit (Cyser for example), I'm degassing every couple of days for the next week-10 days. Today is day 12 of my most recent cyser and I'm noticing less krausen, and a lot less foam when I degas. I'll probably do it once more in a couple of days then let it sit in primary for about 5-6 weeks total. After that I'll rack to secondary and let it start clearing.

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Offline realbeerguy

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Re: First Mead
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2013, 11:18:04 AM »
You are at more than 1/2 sugar depletion.  Leave the airlock on, no more SNA or degassing.  Let it gor for 3-4 weeks, take a reading to see where you are at.  63dF is perfect if using a wine yeast like 71b.

Step away from the mead.
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Offline HobsonDrake

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Re: First Mead
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2013, 09:08:19 PM »
Update. Took a reading tonight and it is at 1.012 after two weeks. I forgot to list the yeast which is Lalvin K1-V1116 as recommended by the LHBS for a dry or less sweet finish.
I sampled a little bit from the test tube (thought I wouldn't?) I was surprised by the sweetness of it. Compared to beer at the same FG.
Will test again next week.

One last item, I am fermenting in a plastic bucket. How long should I wait before moving into bottles?
>Under Construction- Brown Ale (4/5)
>In Bottles- Just Plain Pale Ale (12/12) - First Lager (12/28)
>On Tap - Guinness Clone (5/13) - Dry Hopped Red - Wascally Wabbit PA (11/19) - Barley wine (10/2009) - Nut Brown Ale(6/6)

Offline realbeerguy

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Re: First Mead
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2013, 09:45:07 AM »
You got your 100 pt drop from the yeast.  It may go a little lower, but doubt it will finish dry.  Sounds like you have a nice Semi-sweet mead.  Take the reading next week, if there is no change, rack to clear, then bottle.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: First Mead
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2013, 10:11:43 AM »
You got your 100 pt drop from the yeast.  It may go a little lower, but doubt it will finish dry.  Sounds like you have a nice Semi-sweet mead.  Take the reading next week, if there is no change, rack to clear, then bottle.

I find that yeast can go further than 100 points when following a staggered nutrient regimen. But +1 to weekly gravity checks, then racking it to secondary to clear once it's at a stable FG. You could go straight to bottles, but you'll end up with sediment as the mead clears in the bottle. Better to rack it (possibly a few times) to help it clear before packaging.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline kramerog

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Re: First Mead
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2013, 10:49:24 AM »
I sampled a little bit from the test tube (thought I wouldn't?) I was surprised by the sweetness of it. Compared to beer at the same FG.


The remaining sugar in mead are simple sugars.  The remaining sugar in beer are complex sugars, which are only slightly sweet.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: First Mead
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2013, 01:11:29 PM »
I sampled a little bit from the test tube (thought I wouldn't?) I was surprised by the sweetness of it. Compared to beer at the same FG.


The remaining sugar in mead are simple sugars.  The remaining sugar in beer are complex sugars, which are only slightly sweet.

and mead has not bitterness to balance the sweetness either.
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Offline HobsonDrake

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Re: First Mead
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2013, 09:57:11 PM »
Forgot to post on Sunday's reading. 1.002
I will leave it for this week and take one last reading this Sunday. I will then move it to a glass carboy for the next 2-3 weeks. I will then bottle after that.
Thanks for all the input. First one almost down, ?? to go. :)
>Under Construction- Brown Ale (4/5)
>In Bottles- Just Plain Pale Ale (12/12) - First Lager (12/28)
>On Tap - Guinness Clone (5/13) - Dry Hopped Red - Wascally Wabbit PA (11/19) - Barley wine (10/2009) - Nut Brown Ale(6/6)