PATRONS: Did you know we've a chat function for you now? Look to the bottom of the screen, you can chat, set up rooms, talk to each other individually or in groups! Click 'Chat' at the right side of the chat window to open the chat up.
Love Gotmead and want to see it grow? Then consider supporting the site and becoming a Patron! If you're logged in, click on your username to the right of the menu to see how as little as $30/year can get you access to the patron areas and the patron Facebook group and to support Gotmead!
We now have a Patron-exclusive Facebook group! Patrons my join at The Gotmead Patron Group. You MUST answer the questions, providing your Patron membership, when you request to join so I can verify your Patron membership. If the questions aren't answered, the request will be turned down.
Today i started to brew my first ever batch of mead, however i have found a lot of people suggesting to add raisins
would it be too late to add them 1 or two days after fermentation has begun? (im very new to brewing)
Hey Dave lots of learning to go by the sounds of it. Don't worry I'm still learning a ton myself! You have landed at the right place with gotmead.com It seems, from the urgency, that you were planning on using raisins to "feed" your yeasts. Unfortunately this wont work out well. To feed your the yeasts you need products like fermaid-o/k, dap, yeast energizer, etc. If the raisins are for flavor then they can go in the active fermentation or in the secondary (after all the sugars have been turned into alcohol and you've removed your solution from all of the junk at the bottom (lees)... this process is called racking). I cannot tell you which is better. May want to start out with a JAOM
I've kept a list of where I found things and here is a cluster of links for you to help build up your knowledge:
Gotmead Newbie Guide is a nice quick read that includes the recipe for Joes Ancient Orange Mead. The JAOM is a quick & easy mead to start with that will produce results. It drove many of us further into the mead game!
The procedure of making mead right: (gotmead likes to break the links with a "..." sometimes)
The only significant, procedural question, you be left with by the end: How exactly do I cold crash?
Either Vicky or AJ on the podcast 9/25/18 define it as: Cold crash - place your mead (still in primary but gravity no longer changing thus no longer fermenting) in a fridge around 4C for 1+ weeks (generally 1-2 weeks). Helps with flocculation - or clearing the mead by getting yeasts/proteins to stick together.
That's probably 10-12h of podcast. Quite a bit of it is banter/filler... but there is gold in there, even in the banter. I've listened to each of them at least twice; taking detailed notes!
The modern mead making series continues from there but they dive into specific meads like pyments, cysers, etc. That was a little scary for me so I stuck with a traditional out of the gate! I will go into them with fervor once I am no longer doubting myself on the basics.
https://www.bjcp.org/mead/Mead_Study.pdf - basically a book on this stuff. Some seems out of date but you'll be able to spot it after understanding the podcasts. very helpful section on "balance" & mead faults.
I do use raisins (NOT as nutrients, but for mouthfeel) from time to time, especially with pears (which comes out rather thin otherwise) and I've found that I need to use about a pound per gallon to make an appreciable difference. And I generally soak them in hot water and then hit them with the blender to make sure the yeast can access the contents. I always add them up front with the fruit and some pectinase but I don't see any reason you can't add them at any point during the fermentation as long as the fermentation is still active.
I recommend pouring them into a fruit bag before putting into your must if you do anything to break them open, othwerwise it'll be a big cloudy mess for a while.
And remember, the amount of sugar you get from a pound of raisins in a gallon of mead IS appreciable, so make sure you're not maxing out your yeast's tolerance if you do add raisins.