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First Post 6th Mead Anything I should know?

lilithcarroll

NewBee
Registered Member
Dec 3, 2019
4
0
0
Hi Folks!

I'm a first time poster but I've started making mead over the past few months. I made one batch out of a plastic water bottle about a year ago which as far to sweet, took a break and started up again more 'serious' last September. I'm based in Ireland so forgive me if I keep to the metric system on this post :p

I've gotten myself a fair bit of kit and I'm enjoying the learning process and each time I make a new batch I'm trying to improve.

I've made it to my 6th attempt and I feel I'm competent enough that I'd benefit from a bit of encouragement, criticism, feedback etc.

My mission is to make some nice tasting sack meads of various guises. A couple of weeks ago I attempted my first cyser (batch no.5) and it seems to be bubbling away nicely. So with batch number 6 this was basically my process:

Equipment:
5 litre Glass Carboy with requisite airlock
Hydrometer
Thermometer
Funnel
Cheese Cloth
Degasser & drill

Ingredients:
6x340g jars or 2.04kg of Mileeven Organic Raw Honey (http://www.mileeven.com/pure-irish-honey)
Tesco Frozen Summer Fruits 500g
5 litres of Spring Water (classic Spring)
Lalvin 1118 yeast
1 Teaspoon of 'get er Brewed' Yeast Nutrient (https://www.geterbrewed.ie/yeast-nutrient-100g/)

My process was basically to boil the fruit in a pot and stir it plenty and let it settle for about 20mins. I then drained out the fruit juice through a cheese cloth and poured it into my carboy/demijon
With the honey I kept it in the jars and placed it in a pot with some warm water to loosen it up and added it in.
I then added water and filled it to approximately the 4 litre mark.
I thought i would be fancy this time and I used a degaser I'd just bought. The bung that was attached though was quite soft and when I was mixing everything together with the drill it ended up inside the carboy. I had to use a coat hanger and some plyers to wrench it out lol, being careful not to let it drop into the must haha!

I then dropped in a pack of the hydrated yeast that was at a healthy 35 degrees and mixed it a little by hand turning the carboy over a few times.

The starting gravity is at 1.134, must was 20 degrees Celsius I think!

My plan is to leave it be, rack it in about a month, leave it for another month and when the gravity gets to 1.01 which should give me a mead at a sweetness I find palatable and work out at about 16% alcohol.

When that's all done sometime in the next 2-3mths Id like to clarify the mead with some bentonite and add a campten tablet to stabilise it. Should it be ok to bottle it then?

Let me know what you think and if you've any advice it'd be much appreciated :)
 

Squatchy

Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Nov 3, 2014
5,201
25
38
Denver
Don't rack it until it's finished. Otherwise, you're removing the army before the war is finished
 

4give

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Jan 1, 2018
284
3
18
Montrose, CO
Hi,
I'm just going by the order of what you said, but in addition to Squatchy's advice, you may want to consider racking it again after the fining (bentonite). I've learned that it's better to bulk age a bit longer if I can so that I can make any needed adjustments before bottling. I also like my mead to be pretty clear, and you may find your batch needs more time, and another racking if a lot of particles fall out. I also filter my meads once they are as clear as i can get them. A lot of it is personal preference - I'm just giving you some considerations.
Let us know how it goes ;D
 

lilithcarroll

NewBee
Registered Member
Dec 3, 2019
4
0
0
Thanks for the advice folks. So other than that I'm doing things right? It's blooping away nicely after 24hrs though I do have a slight concern. My other meads had a fine silt on the bottom but this one seems to look a little different. It's kinda got these clusters and cloudy clumps floating about inside. Is this a cause for concern or a good sign?
 

4give

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Jan 1, 2018
284
3
18
Montrose, CO
I don't think it's cause for concern. Every single batch of mead is a different animal/biomass. It sounds like your batch is flocculating (rough lees binding together with other particles in more of a clump) more than what you've seen in the past. I've had Traditionals do this and get very 'dirty' with no negative effects.
I usually stir well (along with O2 doses) twice per day through the 1st 3 days of fermentation, then once per day until fermentation is complete.

If you haven't already, you may want to look up the podcast section here on GotMead, and look for Ryan Carlson's series on modern mead making series that starts on 9/5/2017. It's worth the time investment.
 

4give

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Jan 1, 2018
284
3
18
Montrose, CO
One point of clarification on my post below. I only use O2 and stir through the first 3 days, then ONLY STIR once per day until fermentation is complete. I don't use O2 after 3 days. Sorry if that caused any confusion.