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Total New brewer here

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VigridPlains5

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I need help!!! Im totaly new at brewing anything at all. Now I have determined everything I need and what to do with it. The only problem I have is knowing exactly how much yeast to use for making 4 Gallons of Mead. Thanks a lot.
 

Brewbear

NewBee
Registered Member
May 10, 2005
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Welcome to the forums ;D

First word of caution: THIS MEAD MAKING IS ADDICTIVE!!!
As for your question, what kind of yeast are you planning on using? Generally, your LHBS sells dry yeast in 5 or 6 grams, this is enough for a 4 - 5.5 gal batch, even 6 gallons if you do it right. Rehydrate the yeast as per manufacturer, keep the must at about 85-ish ( if the must is too cold it will shock your yeast). If you look in the BrewLog at the Bastardized pyment thread, you will see how I pitched the yeast- Oskaar and I had a good phone conversation about the preparation before I even started the must. I had a 11 day primary fermentation ;D and now I'm just waiting... :-\
I would suggest posting your recipe and what you plan to do....There are several people on this board with tons of experience, they will definitely help you.
Keep us posted & good luck
Ted
 
V

VigridPlains5

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Thank You! I'm Happy to be Here!


The Yeast I plan on using is Fleischmann's Active Dry Yeast and it came in a bottle of 113g.(Dunno if this is a good brand or not ???)I also bought 12 pounds of clover honey. This is my first attempt at anything of this sort....at all, so I will list what I intended on doing and if it sounds rather odd (lol) try to bear with me. I have purchased a 5 gallon bucket with a sealable top and am going to purchase two 6.5 gallon glass carboys as secondary fermenters. I am going to make a yeast starter bottle by mixing my yeast with some cherry flavored fruit juice and keeping it some where warm for about 12 hours. Then Im going to mix it with my must. My must I will pasteurize by warming it to 160F and keeping it there for 15 minutes. I will then add my must and Yeast starter bottle together after the must has cooled. Then I will let it ferment. I planned on racking after the first week or so, but im also not sure of what to look for to know when it is the appropriate time to rack.(I also bought some raisins for yeast nutrients)
12lbs clover honey
4 gal water
Fleischmanns active dry yeast
Cherry flavored fruit juice
raisins

Any and all knowledge or help is greatly welcomed!! I know I will love Making Mead, and Hope to have a long and enjoyable Mead making career. :)
Thank You
-Cody
 

David Baldwin

NewBee
Registered Member
Jun 29, 2004
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Grand Rapids, MI
Cody,

Welcome to the forum!

If you have access to a brew shop of some sort, you may want to try a wine yeast known for low-nutrient performance. (KiV-1116 works very well but has a very high alcohol tolerance).

The bread yeast can give you very acceptable results - Joe's Ancient Orange for example, but a good wine yeast has been developed for the purpose of fermentation, and you will generally get more reliable results.

Your basic recipe sounds pretty good. Make sure your cherry juice is sulphite free or you may have trouble getting fermentation started or trouble with it finishing properly.

Raisins are an excellent nutrient source. Some of us drop them in whole, and some of us here run them through a blender or other process to break them down a bit.
I've done both with success in each method.


Enjoy your new hobby, but beware. Soon your basement will resemble Oskaar's brew house!

David
 
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VigridPlains5

Guest
Guest
Thanks for your input david I will definately go to my nearest winery and brew shop and pick that up. I plan to start it all tomorrow and will definately keep yall posted on its progress. Thanks again yall have made me feel real welcome!
-Cody
 

Oskaar

Got Mead Partner
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Dec 26, 2004
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Hey VP5,

Here's some yeast food for thought.

Think about what you want your end product to be, that is, sweet, semi-sweet or dry. As your recipe stands if you use any yeast that has an alcohol tolerance of 12% or more will ferment your must into a bone dry mead. Bread yeast is great in some applications, but in this case I think a wine yeast as David recommended would be a good thing.

I see four gallons of water and some cherry flavored fruit juice too. You might give some thought to substituting cherry juice for the water which will give you a PABV of 16%+. That is, four gallons of cherry juice in place of the water. I did a recipe like this last year and it's already all gone.

That will give you a wider range of yeasts to use and there are several by Lalvin (Lallemand) consider Lalvin D-47, 71B-1122, RC-212, DV21, DV10 and several by other yeast manufacturers. Most of them will ferment this to 0.998 to 1.010 which is dry to semi-sweet.

If you're looking for the cherry character doing the old swap-ola with the water<--->cherry juice would be a step in the right direction.

If you're going to use dehydrated fruit as a substitute for yeast nutrient you might consider using dried cherries instead of dried grapes (aka raisins). The raisins impart a more vinous flavor than the cherries will.

Yeast nutrient is a source of nitrogen and is measurable to the gram whereas the amount of nitrogen in raisins isn't as easily measured. Yeast nutrient is recommended by many of the leading manufacturers


Hope that helps,

Oskaar
 

Brewbear

NewBee
Registered Member
May 10, 2005
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Hi there,
While at the brewshop consider picking up a lees stirrer too. It is a very useful tool, especially if you add DAP in a staggered way ( 2 teaspoons at start, 1 teaspoon after 12 hours and 1 teaspoon after 72 hours). I used 16 oz. ( 1lb) dry rainier cherries as a nutrient and with the addition of DAP I had a 11 day primary fermentation using K1-V1116 yeast.

Good luck and keep us posted
Ted
 
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VigridPlains5

Guest
Guest
I picked up all your suggested items and them some. I got into that store and felt like a kid in a toy store. (first time in a brew shop) For some reason I have a feeling I will be spending a lot of time there in the future :). Thanks For all your input! I am about to start brewing in a matter of minutes and am very excited! I got a package of red star champagne yeast and was told that would serve very well. Thanks again for your help and any other pointers or things to watch out for would still be greatly welcomed!!!
-cody
 

Oskaar

Got Mead Partner
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Dec 26, 2004
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Best of luck! Remember to be really conscientious with your sanitizing!

cheers,

Oskaar
 

Brewbear

NewBee
Registered Member
May 10, 2005
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Cody,
Leave plenty of room for fermentation.....I almost messed up- literally. I use open fermentation for the first three days (cover the fermentation bucket with sterile gause) then I attach the lid/airlock combo.
Post your final recipe and procedure in the brewlog.

Good luck
Ted

P.S. I know what you mean about your first trip to the brewshop, I was as ghitty as a schoolboy on helium :-[
 

David Baldwin

NewBee
Registered Member
Jun 29, 2004
860
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Grand Rapids, MI
Welcome to your new obsession!

I predict that you'll get to know your LHBS very well over the next few months.

I bought my equipment almost a year before I was brave enough to pitch my first yeast.

Good luck and keep good records. Write everything down while it is still fresh in your memory.

Keep us posted on your progress.


David
 

WRATHWILDE

Lifetime Patron
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Mar 19, 2005
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www.zazzle.com
Cody,

Welcome to the forum that brews obsession in its members.

And beware the lure of your Meadery and the LHBS... your friends & loved ones will start posting "Have you seen Cody" posters. The papers will run the police reports... his bank accounts has been emptied and he hasn't been seen in days. ;)

As for things to watch out for... and for a good laugh, read my don't try this at home post.

http://www.gotmead.com/smf/index.php/topic,1082.0.html

Wrathwilde
 

WildCard

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Jun 17, 2005
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Cody,

I believe you said you were using a 5 gallon primary & 6.5 gallon secondaries, and were planning to make a ~4 gallon batch of mead. If so, you may want to consider purchasing some smaller carboys to use as secondaries. The larger carboys will leave a lot of room for air on top of your mead which, depending on how long you are going to age it in the carboy, could cause some oxidation/spoilage problems for you. Alternatively, you could also get a bigger primary ;D

I have to admit that I'm more of a winemaker than a meadmaker (at this point, anyway!), so maybe I'm being overly cautious--someone please correct me if so.

Good luck!
 

Oskaar

Got Mead Partner
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Dec 26, 2004
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Hey WC,

Good catch. You're right. Cody, it would be better to start in the 6.5 gallon carboy and rack into a 5 gallon vessel. If you have a CO2 can you may blanket the carboy with CO2 before you rack, and top it off afterward which will prevent oxidation.

Cheers,

Oskaar
 

Brewbear

NewBee
Registered Member
May 10, 2005
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Indeed oxydation could be a problem....and if your mead budget is tight, so can be the purchase of the CO2 can + regulator, you're looking at about $100. I opted to buy a CO2 dispensing hand device used for 3 & 5 gal. kegs. It uses the small, disposable CO2 capsules ( less than &2 each) all in all I spent about $25, it puts out enough CO2 to cover the head-space in a 6 gal carboy ( I hope :-\) When I "grow up" I'll buy the real toy, like these big boys on the board.

Hope this helps,
Ted
 
V

VigridPlains5

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I'll definately pick up some smaller carboys and look into CO2 cans next time I go to my local brew shop.(I just seem to be spending more and more, I just cant stop ;D) I have added my yeast and was wondering how to know that it is fermenting correctly/everything is going as it should be. I might possibly try and find a way to post a picture of it. Also, my mead has been sitting in temperatures varying anywhere from 71F to 77F. Is this ok for the mead and does its environment have to be dark, or can it sit in light?

Thanks for the Input! Much appreciated! Anything to make this the best tasting Mead it can possibly be! :)
-Cody
 

Miriam

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Feb 2, 2005
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Cody,

It's true that the wallet will empty out if you haunt the LHBS, but you'll see that heaviest is the initial investment in basic equipment. Unless glass things get broken, you won't need to replace this stuff very often, if at all. Well, brushes eventually wear out. If you're trying to limit spending, my unsolicited advice is to avoid the LHBS - there is always something new there that you can't live without for one more second. But you can make great mead with minimal hardware. I find that buying as much as I can of the things that need constant renewal (corks, yeast, additives) each time I go to the supplier, makes frequent visits unnecessary.

Miriam
 
I

irishoneme

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Guest
Cody,
Welcome to the show! It's so true that the old bank account takes a hit every time you wander too close to the brew shop. Every time for me, it's just another carboy or "do we need more yeast?". Anyway, embrace your new addiction and commune with your support group here regularly.
 

WRATHWILDE

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VigridPlains5 said:
Also, my mead has been sitting in temperatures varying anywhere from 71F to 77F. Is this ok for the mead and does its environment have to be dark, or can it sit in light?
-Cody
Dark is the consensus I've seen so far, you are running a bit on the warm side at 77F but should still be fine for most yeasts when fermenting. Cooler is better for long term storage, I'm thinking mead, like wine, should be stored at 55(f). Anybody know any different?

Wrathwilde
 
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