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Of nutrients and Europe

Stasis

Honey Master
Registered Member
Jan 10, 2014
1,123
9
38
Malta
I've used www.discountbrew.co.uk for my latest 2 orders. The prices are LOW. I haven't seen cheaper prices anywhere on the net. The 1st shipment I received had all items with good expiry dates and viable yeast so this is not old stock or something.
The only caveat is that communication will be very limited and responses are slow. My 2nd shipment took a week to be dispatched. This is all explained at the bottom of their home page. All this is ok for me since I am in no hurry for my stuff. In fact this 2nd shipment can take up to another month to arrive without me minding at all (given that it DOES finally arrive).
So with some warning I tell you of this online shop. If you are to buy stuff, monitor your order for updates as things might not be so straight forward, as like what happened in my first shipment
 
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loetz

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 21, 2014
29
0
0
Austria
Good news, everyone! I got this in my facebook inbox today from Mel at Hop and Grape:

"Hi. We do have some Fermaid K in stock now. It is available in 8g sachets at £0.95 each. The instructions advise to use approx. 1 gram per gallon of must. We also have some 10g sachets of Go-Ferm Protect at £1.25 each and the instructions advise to use 1.25g per gram of yeast. We'll get it on the website next week or you can drop me an email if you want to order any. Regards - Mel"

Keep an eye on www.hopandgrape.co.uk next week if you are in Europe and looking to buy nutrients. It is also worth noting that, in the past, she has mailed yeast packets to me in envelopes in order to save on shipping to the continent. I imagine she wouldn't have a problem doing this with the nutrients as well.

Now for my next big question:
What do I use instead of KMeta and KSorbate for stabilizers?
I'm guessing I should go with their Potassium Sorbate and Campden Powder?
 
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GntlKnigt1

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Mar 17, 2004
2,484
6
38
Chicago area formerly Netherlands
What do you want to make, kalvaer? Yeasts are usually good for certain kinds of wines, although there are some that have a broad range. Also, temperatures where you ferment matter as well. Give us more detail on what your plans or ideas are, and we will give you some suitable yeasts.
 
K

kalvaer

Guest
Guest
You are right, I guess my question was bit vague.

I see that if one zooms in to the packaging for the vinoferm yeasts, They actually mention the species, so that does help. I cant seem to find more details though for many of the other?
Most of the names/acronyms mentioned here on this site are of course not found there at all, which I guess is expected.
I'm planning on make a table of sorts that I can compare to. ie Lavlin EC-1118 ~> Bioferm Champ and was wondering if anyone had done something similar and could share the info?

For myself :D I am looking at making some dry/carbonated meads.
Doing this in my cellar, I don't expect the temperature to every get above 25˚C, even in the middle of summer. However, in winter it can get well below zero, so I will of course need to heat up and will try to keep it at around 10˚C min.
 

GntlKnigt1

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Mar 17, 2004
2,484
6
38
Chicago area formerly Netherlands
Most of us use Lalvin dry yeasts, as there is more info about those than other brands. I don't think anyone has done a comparison chart for the other locally available brands. Now that the temp question is largely answered (10 C is 50 F, which is at the very bottom of the range for the most cold tolerant of yeasts), are you making a traditional? Metheglyn? Melomel? If you are a new mead maker, you might want to start out with a JAOM or a BOMM (both of which will need temps above 10 C), esp before trying to tackle a carbonated mead. If you edit your profile, you can include a location too, which might help.
 
K

kalvaer

Guest
Guest
Sorry, I have added the details. I stay in France in the Côtes du Rhône region. This is at least where I will be brewing, Though I work in Genéve in Switzerland.

And yes, I am new to mead, I started making my own ginger beer again this year, based on how my mother made it when I was a kid, doing it directly in bottles, and drinking it in 2-5 days. Of course I started messing around with different flavours, adding herbs and spices, and after one day adding honey as a sweetening agent... well I guess you know... it was all over from there. So I guess you could say I have been making a bastardised form of Metheglin's for a few months.

My wife loves it as well and we couldn't wait every week for next batch to be ready as we only made 2-3 bottles, and this lead me to start doing more research, ending up on mead, and how I finally ended up here.
My first JAOM is already busy bubbling away, and my "wine starter kit" I ordered from brouwland arrived yesterday. Since we both really love the carbonated "ginger beer" I have been making, This is why I mentioned sticking to the carbonated style. Of course, I am pretty sure there will be many more and different types of everything bubbling soon :D Which is of course why I am looking at what yeasts to get and find out what is available so I can decide what I can do.
 

GntlKnigt1

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Mar 17, 2004
2,484
6
38
Chicago area formerly Netherlands
Well, you certainly are from a wine making region, at least from grapes. Welcome to the mead making addiction, which I call Mazerotic Encephalopathic Affective Disorder (M. E. A. D. ).

For a metheglyn, Oskaar has recommended K1 and D47 in the Patron section, to which I might add BM4x4. If you haven't become a Patron yet, I would urge you to do so and access information there. You can also go to Soundcloud.com and listen to previous broadcasts of GotMead Live, which has a lot of info as well. There is also a NewBee guide on this site which is good for beginners, and a search function that will yield info on carbonation and other issues.

From Brouwland, I have had good luck with https://www.brouwland.com/en/our-pr...erm-killer-7gr?gaCategory=search#.Vfrd9t-qqko
although it requires a temp of 15 C or more, so it might not work for your situation.

K1 is available in the UK, and it says it will go down to 10 C, although I cannot verify personally that it will work at that cold a temp.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lalvin-K1V-1116-Wine-Yeast-5g-10-Pack-/361324423026?hash=item54209d2772

D47 is available as a part of a "variety pack" here as well, and I think you can select a 5 pack of D47 there as well.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LALVIN-VA...-Yeast-/361084225914?var=&hash=item54124c097a

Be careful with the carbonation in any case. Perhaps some others here have done it and can advise on that, as I make still meads. It can be done, but if you don't do it right, you will blow the cap/corks off (if you're lucky) and lose your mead on the floor. If you're NOT lucky, you can create "bottle bombs" that can shatter the glass bottle when you pick it up.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes....
 
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K

kalvaer

Guest
Guest
Somebody today actually asked my why on earth I would be wanting to make wine/mead when I live where I do. I tried to explain to them about "when in Rome" and all that.. but I don't think they got it. I see that the "Bioferm Killer" you mentioned from Brouwland does mention as low as 10˚C. So I guess I'll use that as a starting place for what to play with. I do plan on creating some heating in my cellar just for the mead, so hopefully I can keep it at ~15˚C

I'm also worried about the bottle carb'ing. The first story I remember my father telling me about his brewing days before I was born was of bottles exploding at 2 am in the morning and he thought somebody was shooting at him. This is also part of the reason I started researching more when I started adding honey and I noticed the pressure increasing quiet a lot. I do bottle in fliptops, which I have adjusted so that if the pressure builds up at to ~3bar, it usually self releases. However I know that they could still explode. I have got 3 minikegs which my latest batch of honey ginger beer is in, and I am thinking of filling one with some mead when it is done and trying to kick off a second fermentation in the keg.
I have also heard that champagne bottles can handle around 8bar, and I have been saving some to test.. but still worried about the bottle bombs/grenades.

My Wife has been away at a conference the last week, and I think she is going to think I have turned breaking bad on her when she gets home and see what I am doing in the cellar :D
 

mannye

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
Oct 10, 2012
4,144
9
38
53
Miami Beach, FL
Over carbing can be an adventure but it's also quite dangerous as you already seem to know. But the greatest danger is losing all that wonderful product you worked so hard to make!

If you have mini kegs why not try to find a way to force-carb the wine? It has the advantage of allowing you to make it crystal clear as well.

Once you learn to back-sweeten (after you have stopped the fermentation by filtration or chemical means) you can make sweet fizzy drinks to your heart's content!


Sent from my TARDIS at the restaurant at the end of the universe while eating Phil.
 
K

kalvaer

Guest
Guest
The last 2 x 7l batch that I made, I kegged 10 L in minikegs and then pressurised with CO2. It is surely fizzy and has lots of head, but no where near as bubbly as before.
The rest I bottled in a put in the fridge and cant believe how lovely and clear its gone.. not sure how long it is going to last ;)

I've ordered some different yeasts and I guess I'll start playing around when they arrive.
Has anyone tried any of these nutrients from brouwland? https://www.brouwland.com/en/our-products/winemaking/yeast-nutrients in comparison to what everyone mentions here (Which of course I cant find locally yet as well)
 

MrRogers

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
The last 2 x 7l batch that I made, I kegged 10 L in minikegs and then pressurised with CO2. It is surely fizzy and has lots of head, but no where near as bubbly as before.
The rest I bottled in a put in the fridge and cant believe how lovely and clear its gone.. not sure how long it is going to last ;)

I've ordered some different yeasts and I guess I'll start playing around when they arrive.
Has anyone tried any of these nutrients from brouwland? https://www.brouwland.com/en/our-products/winemaking/yeast-nutrients in comparison to what everyone mentions here (Which of course I cant find locally yet as well)
Nutrisal is basically DAP. Nutrivit is a mix of DAP and other nutrients. I've used them both (either Nutrivit on its own or a combination of the two).

What kind of mini-kegs are you using? Something like this?
If so, they can't really handle much pressure. They mention in their instructions to use only 1/3 of the sugar used normally for bottling. It's just to fill up the empty space with CO2. In any case, I never managed to get a proper amount of carbonation when serving from these. Most of the times it´s just slightly fizzy and comes with lots of foam on top.

About carbonation, I got my experience from beer brewing, and usually just do the same for mead. You just have to make sure that the mead is completely fermented before bottling. Then I use some software to calculate the amount of sugar to add.
I use Beersmith, which is paid, but there are some calculators online. This one, for instance, gives you the amounts for plenty of different priming sugars, including honey.
I've tried different amounts, to generate between 2 and 3.5 volumes of CO2 (I'm not sure how to convert this to bar). I prefer to use Belgian beer bottles (from Duvel, for instance), which can take that pressure without problems. Occasionally I also use flip-top bottles. Champagne bottles are supposed to handle much more pressure, but I never tried them.
What level of carbonation is best depends on each mead, I suppose. I only tried a few so far.
One thing I recommend, in case you let the mead for a few months (to clear, for instance), is to add a little bit of yeast as well at bottling. I've had a couple of meads I wanted carbonated, but they either stayed still (and slightly sweet, with the added honey), or got carbonated very slowly (several months). Some yeasts flocculate quicker than others, so the amount of time this takes varies from yeast to yeast.
 
K

kalvaer

Guest
Guest
Nutrisal is basically DAP. Nutrivit is a mix of DAP and other nutrients. I've used them both (either Nutrivit on its own or a combination of the two).
I've ordered some of the various options available in small batches based on what you have said.. and I guess I'll have some time to play around.

The mini-kegs you mention are exactly what I have. Its kinda cool for a party.. but no where near as what I got in fliptop/champagne style bottles. Its still nice and quick though.

I've been looking into the trial usage of beersmith this week, and while not completely geared for mead, it really is pretty nice.
Especially after I wasted a couple of hours trying to find out why my latest ginger beer (or is it a mead if it is >50% honey vs sugar?) was so much higher in its OG. Turned out my calculations from Imperial to metric were not as good as I thought. Beersmith at least got it much closer than I was guessing and will be trying it again this weekend for me next batch... If I can decide where to start.
 

fatbloke

good egg/snappy dresser.....
GotMead Patron
Ha ha! some excellent posts worth reading since the thread was revived. Carbonation is likely to be a bit strange anyway. If I make the "internet recipe" of ginger beer that's done in 2 litre pop/soda bottles, you leave it somewhere warm, then once you can't depress the plastic of the bottle, you get it into the fridge a bit sharpish. I've seen a local vineyard that does the modern version of "methode champenoise" in their sparkling whites, but equally it seems that if you're doing forced carbonation, you need to get the pressure levels up quite high, but also need the batch (likely in a corny keg or similar) to be quite cold as more gas stays in solution in chilled booze (think of the difference when opening a champagne or sparkling wine that is room temp, as opposed to chilled).

Plus, it needs to be agitated. Something about the liquid/gas interface which is where the carbonation happens. I don't know about commercial operations etc, just what I've read from those who've tried......
 
K

kalvaer

Guest
Guest
I made up another 11L batch of ginger beer last week Wednesday, and wanted to try make it as simple as possible. As in 10L of water, and 2 of everything else. Though I messed up in my conversions from pounds -> kg and gallons -> litres somewhere. I planned to start with an OG of around 1115, but I ended up with a ridiculously high OG of 1150. I'll have to measure the sugar contents of my honey and sugar myself instead of using averages on the net.. and convert better.

I brought it out of the basement and into a nice 22˚C room, and it has been bubbling slowly. On Saturday my order of "goodies" arrived and I added 3g of Nutrivit, along with more ginger to the carboy, as all I could taste was honey. All I can say is HOLY ****, The airlock sounds like an automatic machine gun going off and the grated ginger is spinning around like its in a blender. Bottling this now would explode in minutes. Never would of guessed that just a small amount of nutrients could make sure a massive difference.

I just hope this batch slows down soon so I can bottle, as I have nothing left to drink at home.
 

Stasis

Honey Master
Registered Member
Jan 10, 2014
1,123
9
38
Malta
As JDWebb would say:
"I have just struck the MOTHERLOAD"
Check out www.Baldinger.biz they carry the widest assortment of Lallemand products I have ever seen online. There are some products I didn't even know existed such as Fermaid E Blanc (better than fermaid k?) and Go Ferm Protect Evolution (Better than plain old Go ferm protect I guess?) Their shop is based in Switzerland. Their prices are VERY cheap, the cheapest prices I ever saw in fact. The only catch is that many items must be bought in bulk i.e 1kg minimum. But then again, this is hardly a catch since if you cannot use 1kg of fermaid O in 2.5 years (the time until expiration), you should probably consider stepping up your meading practices ;)
Staff also seem very helpful because I sent an email asking about shipping prices and a nice lady decided to include expiration dates of her own accord, together with a detailed break down of prices vs weight up to 10kg! Here is a copy of the reply I received:

"Hello

Thank you for your interest in our products.

Firstly I've checked the expiration date of the products fyi:

Fermaid O: summer 2018
Go Ferm protect: summer 2019
It's possible to use the products after expiration date but without a
garantee from the producer (provided that the storage is as it should be
- cold and dry, product sous vide).

Delivery costs to Malta:

0.3 kg (net) - 0.5 kg (brut): CHF 18.-
0.8 kg (net) - 1 kg (brut): CHF 23.-
1.5 kg (net) - 2 kg (brut): CHF 40.-
(2.5 kg (net) - 3 kg (brut): CHF 65.-)
4.5 kg (net) - 5 kg (brut): CHF 65.-
9.5 kg (net) - 10 kg (brut): CHF 80.-

(brut): weight with packaging

Don't hesitate to contact us in case of questions!

Kind regards

Eveline Stierli"

EDIT: Could this possibly be any better? Well it seems there is also a 10% discount for orders placed online :eek:
After YEARS of overpriced products and limited availability I feel I have truly found the MOTHERLOAD www.Baldinger.biz
 
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Stasis

Honey Master
Registered Member
Jan 10, 2014
1,123
9
38
Malta
I bought from them and they shipped my stuff last thursday. According to the tracking number they provided me my stuff has arrived in Malta and is getting sorted out.
Currency conversion was spot on except for a few cents over a Eur188 total. Of course I didn't even mention this small amount. Service was a bit slow... it seems like the site is not automatically connected to their payment and shipping system. So
1. I bought my stuff
2. They sent an email asking what shipping method I want
3. I confirmed shipping and informed them 2.5 Fermaid O is not 2.5x2.5kg= 7.5kg total, but the amount 2.5 means only 1 bag of 2.5kgs fermaid O
4. They fixed stuff and sent invoice.
5. I informed them there was an error on the invoice...
6. They fixed and re-sent invoice
7. I paid amount through internet banking using IBAN and SWIFT. No paypal option since this is a business used to larger payments
8. Three days later the payment got cleared by their accountants and they shipped my stuff.
9. A day later I was unaware whether or not they shipped the stuff and sent an email.
10. They sent email with my tracking number. I wonder if they were about to send it or if they forgot

Having said that, the person I was dealing with was VERY polite. She said sorry and thank you every time something went wrong. It does seem she was doing her best effort, it's just that the system isn't streamlined.
The person I was talking to was Eveline Stierli. If you need something and you don't get a reply in a few days shoot her an email. Rather than using the email on the site, replace 'info' from the first part before the @ and write 'eveline.stierli' instead. Didn't write the whole email since I don't know how many bots lurk on these forums.

I would certainly buy from that site again. Just don't buy if you're in a terrible hurry. Hopefully packaging shouldn't be a problem since the stuff is quite unbreakable