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Author Topic: Mead Making  (Read 5270 times)
Mici
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« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2007, 06:25:56 PM »

More than you ever probably wanted to know    lol

dead on!

but still, some very interesting AND useful info!!!
great to finaly have someone who knows something about it, to talk!
oh, back to the /shock\ thing, i mean..just wondering, are you sure they don't like..boil a hundred liters+hops and then just pour into the thousand liter tank? just wondering.

so...beer is when you have malt+hops and stuff
and ale/lager is when different yeast is used
ummm where can we regular mortals get these two types of yeasts?
what if i let the natural yeast that's in honey to do the job?

do the commercial breweryes pasteurise their beer?

the difference between lager and ale yeast is commonly explained as "upper and lower" fermentation, right?
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Mici
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« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2007, 06:34:41 PM »

i see that my habit of disregarding the:
Warning - while you were typing a new reply has been posted. You may wish to review your post.
doesn't really pay of, answered much of my questions heh.

so basicly, lager is more sensetive thus harder to make, and expensiver. rearly does one drink a real Lager huh?

Bmac, i appreciate your suggestions but as this tread applyes i'm interested in honey-ale. so...neither wheat nor barley really interest me. BUT, as one says, never say never!
as for the malt part...i guess ANYTHING containing carbs would do, in my case hooooneeeey.

well, i just gotta use this occasion. why do some bear cause headaches and hangovers before one even gets ummm intoxicated, while with some...you can drink by barrels?
how do i make my beer drinkable by barrels grin?
i heard filtration is the biggest catch?
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ooptec
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« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2007, 08:10:50 PM »

Weeelll ...

I wouldn't say making lager or ale is harder or easier, The actual beer part is identical till the temp. of fermentation and type of yeast comes in. Say you make ten gallons of beer wort, you can divide it in two and make a lager w/lager yeast at a low temp. and an ale w/ale yeast at room temp. and although it started out w/the identical wort (soup) because of the yeast and temps. fermented at/with they will taste totally different. The style is mostly personal taste and if you can keep temps. constant. Whether you make a nice lager is mostly if you can keep it at the desired cold temp. As ale is room temp. it is what most people have the physical ability to do and is an excellent beer too.

"There are no truths;
There are no facts;
It's all a matter of style."
-unknown-

Malt-malting-malted refers to barley grains that have undergone a specific treatment to make it able to make beer. Barley, wheat, whatever is a starch and it is necessary to react any starch with the enzymes that are produced from 'malting' barley specifically. What they do is take regular barley and germinate it till the sprout is 1/2 the length of the grain and then dry it. What that does is when it sprouts certain enzymes are produced and it is these enzymes that when making beer transforms the starch in any grain to sugars which then yeast can feed on and bleep out CO2 and alcohol. Alcohol is yeast pee when it feeds on sugar.

The hardest part of making beer as opposed to whine or higher alc. brews is that as the alc. content is so low in most beers it allows things to grow that higher alc. doesn't which gets back to the sterilize .... sterilize  ....... sterilize

If it has ANY amount of barley in it it's beer. If no barley, not beer. Beer-like refreshment made out of wheat isn't beer it's weizen. Liquor made out of honey is mead. It's all good, just semantics.

B.T.W. - I found out thru trial and tribulation that yeast strain has the most effect on what the final product will taste like. Until pure strain beer yeasts arrived that we small guys could buy, no matter out of what, or how I made beer it tasted like home made crap. So the hard way I found out that yeast is the most important part of fermentable bevvy's actual taste. Hence the bread yeast is good for bread but not for booze.

As well as you bring up about headaches from some and not all. That comes back to yeast strains as some will make only ethanol and some make fusel alcohols etc. also which is neither good or bad re:Belgian Lambic's. "It's all a matter of style"    lol

As I slurrily type this, once to get it down and once again to correct it    lol, I'm into my own 'Steam beer dispensed out of a soda fountain system as bottling is the other part of beer making that s__cks.   lol

Oh yea, a whole range of different styles of yeast for all sorts of beers, ciders, meads, whines are easily and cheaply available from any reputable home brew store. Or on line. Actually yeasts is a whole field called zymurgy, the last word in an english dictionary (maybe   lol)

cheers

peter

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BMAC
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« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2007, 10:28:07 PM »

Nicely put Peter.  And MICI when you start to play with meads, I would keep Peters most important advice right at heart.  SANITATION is key to everything.

You can add too much honey.  You can avoid adding yeast nutrient and energizers.  Make sure you Sanitize everything before touching the potential mead.  Also keep it covered.  The open fermentation thing works, but as crude as the balloon method maybe it is still far better than straight open fermentation.

Yes the yeast in the honey will ferment it.  You decide if you truly want to use it though.  I may turn out excellent one time and it maybe the worst tasting booze you ever had the next.....

Cheers..

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Mici
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« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2007, 06:34:37 AM »

ok so..the damage is already done i guess, used bread yeast and have it in a pot for fermentation, but i guess the first fermentation isn't that sensetive? (luckly i'm trying a very small ammount).

yeah...when i was making the real mead-wine stuff, i didn't really obide the STERILIZE issue so..that might be the source to my problems lol.
the sterilizing part, do i have to get myself some ot those canden tablets and stuff, or can i simply use some snopps(like whiskey) to sterilize the equipment. also...aren't the bottles the most sensetive, i mean...the whole procedure isn't all that sensetive is it? the last  step is-bottling right?

the yeast part will be kinda hard but, fortunatelly we know the local brewery well so i guess i'll be able to get some of that yeast, just for future reference, i can freeze that yeast to store it right? don't wanna be bugging them every month or so..
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BMAC
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« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2007, 08:11:05 AM »

Sanitation needs to be carried thru from front to end.  This obviously includes extracting your honey.  lol.  You want to introduce as little bacteria as possible into your booze.  It is the bacteria and crazy yeast strains that kill the taste. 

You can buy dried yeast culture from companies like Lalvin.  If you can buy some liquid yeast from your local brewery (which may not be the best yeast for making mead) you cannot freeze it typically.  You had better discuss that with your brewery prior to leaving.  The local brewery here propogate their own yeast and will not allow myself or anyone else in the public to purchase their yeast.

Now here is an idea.  Purchase you favorite bottle conditioned beer/mead/wine etc.  Open the bottle and pour off all the liquid contents.  If it is truly bottle conditioned their will be a small ring of yeast on the bottom.  simply add some of your honey and water to the bottle.  Shake well and place a balloon over the opening and let it sit for 24-48 hours.  Bang.  There is your yeast culture ready for your new batch of future mead......

Bottoms up..
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ooptec
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« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2007, 10:43:03 AM »

Couldn't have said it better.

All I have to add is that the campden tabs, potassium sorbate, potassium metabisulphite, et al are chemicals some use in whine making.

Although I don't. I don't think they are necessary and as I wouldn't stick my finger in a package of them and lick it off I don't want it in my whine. That decision is yours.

Make your must (soup) strong enough to get at least 10% alc/vol (or more) which I think would be around 4lbs/gal (2Kg/4L)

YOU MUST sanitize everything that comes in contact with your must (honey soup) with common chlorine laundry bleach. The active ingredient escapes me, chlorine maybe?, at a rate of 1/4C per Gallon water. Rinse in clean water.
(125ml/4L)

Pitch a decent amount of yeast.

Let it ferment till clear. With the balloon with the pin prick (good one I'll remember that) over the opening. However long that takes. I think you would have to add some fresh berry juice, or barley malt, or something to your ingredients as if you don't or alternatively add yeast nutrient and energizer the fermentation will be at best painfully slow if at all. Yeast needs more than pure sugar to live and reproduce and honey is essentually pure sugar.

If you cannot find yeast, let me know as I bought out a home brew store and I seem to have quite a whack of dried in individual dose foil packs and would mail some if you want. But it is probably more common than you think. Surely you know someone, even who knows someone who makes whine??

Although you said you made a real nice one with wild yeast. If you are lucky enough to have a bottle left, I'd guess it would have sediment in it. If so use the sediment and pour into about 1 pint (500ml) of honey-water-solution and cover loosely  (lol)  and leave at room temp for 4-5 days and see if any action starts. If it does fairly vigorously you can use that as the yeast. At least it's the devil you know.

happy brewing, don't be put off, like I said there is great satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment to the primal core of one's being when one creates booze from whatever. Esp. if it is nice to drink and with attention to a few things, mostly sanitize    lol it is easier than it sounds.

Cavemen did it, it is just the more attention the more predictable the results. Think of all the work the girls did to give you the honey but if batch went south (bad) all those flying hours grace the drain.

cheers

peter
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doak
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« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2007, 02:24:41 PM »

I wish all you mead makers the best. I cannot do it.
I am an Alocholic and if I mess with anything like that I'd get in trouble.
Going on 11 years.
doak
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BMAC
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« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2007, 08:08:04 AM »

Sorry to hear that Doak. 

I have other habits that do not co-incide with drinking alot so I don't believe I will ever fall into your shoes.  The thought has crossed my mind several times though.  It also doesn't help that I have a rather sensative stomach so I have found that even if I only have a few beers a day for a couple of weeks straight my gut starts killing me.
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Cindi
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« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2007, 01:24:56 AM »

Doak, I admire you.  Eleven years is a long time, we all struggle with our demons.  My gardening and working hard every minute of the day, except when I sit down and enjoy some alcohol,  keeps ALL my demons at bay.  We all struggle.  My hat off to you, Dude.  Have a wonderful day, best of this gorgeous life we're livin'.  Cindi
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« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2007, 10:56:30 AM »

Everything in moderation

cheers

peter
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doak
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« Reply #31 on: August 17, 2007, 05:38:00 PM »

Thanks Cindi.
ooptec, thats one I couldn't Moderate.
No shame here. Wink
doak
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Cindi
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« Reply #32 on: August 18, 2007, 01:03:50 AM »

Doak, been there, done that, I savory every moment of my life.  This is a beautiful gift we are given,  that be life.  I am smiling. Cindi.
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Mici
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« Reply #33 on: September 12, 2007, 09:28:08 AM »

ok so...the batch i tried the other day, went bad, i actually smelled it almost at the begining-opened fermentation.

so, today i cooked 3 liters of water+hops (i picked them a fortnight ago)
dissolved half a kilogram of honey plus let's say 250g of sugar in one liter which give
4l
and 750g of sugar/honey (yea i cheated a bit)

i added some water to the glass in which i had the honey (some was left in) and added the yeast.
i poured the two mixtures into the glass carboy and no i'm waiting for it to cool down, so i can add the yeast.

question is...
how am i gonna know, when the 1st fermentation is over?
also, does the second have to be a "closed" one?, if yes, how in the world do you open those bottles without getting wet? and losing half or more of the beverage?
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ooptec
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« Reply #34 on: September 12, 2007, 01:17:28 PM »

1st fermentation is when vigorous activity subsides and the solution starts to clear.

Put in secondary and leave till crystal clear. then it's done

Closed fermentation is when there is an air lock that lets the CO2 escape but will not allow outside air in (airlock)

When done add about 1/2 cup sugar dissolved and boiled to 23 liters solution just as putting into pressure (beer) bottles.

Leave a few weeks to develop pressure.

Hope it works for you as w/o any barley malt it is recommended that yeast nutrients are added, but you might be fine too.

Keep us informed

cheers

peter
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« Reply #35 on: September 12, 2007, 01:22:56 PM »

This is how I understand it...I'm sure that it will be corrected if wrong Smiley

there isn't really a first and second, it is just a point in the process.

The "first" is open in the sense that it is in a more open type container,a bucket or something, the fermentation is more aerobic, meaning it uses oxygen, and is more vigorous, generating a  lot of gas.  Foaming is possible.  The large opening container makes this easier to control.

The second fermentation is when you rack it out of your "primary" into your carboy.  Since the fermentation has slowed down, there is a much less likely chance of the gases causing the liquid to shoot out of the narrow neck of the carboy.  It is also the beginning of the anaerobic ferment, meaning that all oxygen is excluded.  An airlock of some sort is still required for releasing the extra CO2.  At this point you don't want oxygen in there, that can increase risk of infections and oxydation which will cause bad flavors.

Closed just means that nothing else gets in (air).  You still need to vent the extra co2.  A truly closed carboy...hmmm...that sounds dangerous!!!

Rick
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