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Posted: 11/24/2002 11:03:48 PM EDT
Okay, so I've got a batch of mead going. It just went through the initial 2-week fermentation, and everything has seemed to go well so far... no contamination evident, and fermentation seemed obvious (I put a balloon over the fermentation lock, so I could see that CO2 was forming). I just did the first racking, and after sealing the receiving bottle, I tasted a bit of what remained from the original bottle. Now this is the first time I've done this, so forgive an ignorant question. When I tasted it, I didn't notice any alcohol content... if there is any, it was overpowered by the other flavors. But I'm not sure if the alcohol content is supposed to be noticable at this point or not. Can someone clue me in? PS: the recipe and instructions for this came from [url=http://www.doingfreedom.com/gen/1200/ff.meadmaking.html]Doing Freedom[/url], except I bought better equipment and better yeast from a brewing store.
Link Posted: 11/24/2002 11:32:59 PM EDT
Your 'balloon' is suspect, that shit doesnt cut it. You need an airlock to allow the co2 to escape and see bubbles proving the evidence of fermentation. I don't think it fermented. I did have a similar problem with my first ever batch of beer...I was real careful with it following the instructions and what not, but I was too careful, when I poured the liquid yeast in I did it in a way that no oxygen could have gotten to it(charging the yeast) you see some yeasts needs an initial boost of oxygen you get started and after a week I didn't notice any bubbles in the airlock. I called the brewmaster and he told me to pour the brew in a clean bucket and back and fourth violently introducing oxygen into the mix, you run a risk of contamination from the nitrogen and other crap in the air but I didn't have any pure O2 to pump into the mix. Also your yeast might have been dead, just chock it up as experience and try again.
Link Posted: 11/24/2002 11:41:46 PM EDT
oh yea after looking at your recipe. did you use household honey? You need pure un-refined honey for mead. This is because regular honey is hard for the yeast to break down into excrement{read: ethanol or alcolol} Also that recipe is a POS, that shit is crap. Its basically a recipe that prisoners with old fruit that they kestered from lunch. He said to use regualar ordinary baker's yeast! NO NO BAD If you want I'll help you find a good recipe.
Link Posted: 11/25/2002 12:11:14 AM EDT
The times I made mead I used champagne yeast, it seemed to work better, higher alchohol tolerance and a bit dryer. And you let it sit and ferment until it stops, it been a few years since I made a batch, im pretty sure it took longer than 2 weeks, im thinking 5-6 weeks maybe a bit longer, Mead ferments very slowly. You basically let the yeast work til they die off from alchohol poisoning. and you have to make sure it has TOTALLY stopped before you bottle it, otherwise you might make grenades instead of a beverage (my first batch I had 3 wine bottles explode, not a nice cleanup, after that I started using a bit of yeastkill just to make sure). And when you are starting off you have to boil the honey for 15 minutes and scrape of the scum that will float to the top while it is boiling then you 'must' it. I always used honey from a beekeeper I knew. I actually usually made cyser (mead fermented with a couple of chopped up grannysmith apples)
Link Posted: 11/25/2002 12:23:08 AM EDT
Good call Silence, I do recall now, that mead takes almost 2 months of fermentation. heres alot of recipes, some say 2 weeks others say 2 months...I guess its a judgement call on watching the airlock for movement. Also some recommend that you not sample for 12 weeks after the fermentation, apparently aging is important too. [url]http://hbd.org/brewery/cm3/recs/10_toc.html[/url] Good Luck
Link Posted: 11/25/2002 12:26:26 AM EDT
I did use an airlock, I just called it a "fermentation lock". The balloon attached to the top of the airlock, but not tightly enough to capture all the CO2. And I did use good yeast, not baker's yeast. The honey I got was uncooked, but not totally unrefined. Maybe I'll try the shaking thing. Also, I'm not looking for huge, involved recipes, just something simple for a project.
Link Posted: 11/25/2002 12:38:19 AM EDT
mead is easy. just takes a bit of time. Here are the steps I remember off the top of my head. 1- make yeast starter (can get fast yeast, or slower yeast, etc etc) 2- next day boil water (make the water a touch acid with something, lemon juice, acid mix etc) and honey, de-scuming as you stir it. Let this mixture cool to room temp. 3- put mixture and yeast starter in big bottle, put airlock on it (add fruits if you are making a malmomel or cyser or whatever). Put in cool dark space wait 5-6 weeks, check every couple of days make sure airlock stays locked, or until all fermintion stops. 4- Rack into bottles, let bottles sit in cool dark place 2-3 months+ (well can skip this step, but longer the mead rests in the bottles the better it is) Mead is like wine, if it a good mead the longer it sits the better it gets (to a point). The steadier the temp the better for all functions.
Link Posted: 11/25/2002 1:14:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/25/2002 1:14:39 AM EDT by minion82]
Hmm, well here's another thing. I would occasionally deflate the balloon just to make sure gas was still being produced, and it would reinflate by the next day. However, the last time I deflated it, it didn't reinflate over the course of three days, so I figured fermentation was done. I'm thinking the lack of oxygen may be what's going on. Is it okay to shake up the bottle it's in now, and then add another dose of yeast? (plus put the fermentation lock back on)
Link Posted: 11/25/2002 1:43:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/25/2002 1:44:18 AM EDT by Silence]
[url]http://home.att.net/~cookhans/asatru/mead.html[/url] Found this sight after a quick search, seems to be about what I used for my first batch. I dont see anyharm in shaking it up and reyeasting it, shouldnt make anythign any worse, will take a bit to settle out such. But if you used a fast yeast it might be done after a couple of weeks, might want to rack it into a different bottle, airlock it and let it settle down down a couple of weeks and see how it turns out. I never used the ballon thing, I would watch the airlock for bubbles, it was usually pretty obvious when the fermentation stopped, it would go from a bubble every few seconds to none.
Link Posted: 11/25/2002 1:54:31 AM EDT
Spend the $10.00 and get a hydrometer. Learn how to use it. Also I have had best luck with Champaigne Yeast. I buy from St. Pats in TX, and after using Wyeast liquid yeast and seeing how great it was I will never again go back to the dried yeast or the smaller liquid yeasts. The big wyeasts run about $5.25, but well worth it. pat
Link Posted: 11/25/2002 2:40:30 AM EDT
[url]www.morebeer.com[/url] is local to you (in Concord) they have just about everything you could ask for. They have the Brewer's Club meetings at their store once a month or so. you can check them out, they'd love to help ya. (although they might want to check your ID...)
Link Posted: 11/25/2002 8:15:52 AM EDT
Seems like ya got some good advise from all the above so I'll just comment that I have 32 bottles of homemade blackberry mead resting in a closet. It's been resting there for 8 years now...[rolleyes] it's still pretty young to drink.....but I keep sampling it and it's doing just fine.....did I say it's fine....yes..real fine.[:D]
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