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  1. #1
    Wrench
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    It's not beer, but it's mine: First Homebrew.



    Decided to jump into home-brewing. Bought what I needed and started this 1 gallon jar of Must.

    Yep, I'm making Mead!

    It's fermenting well. No signs of contamination. Should be ready to rack in another week and a half.

  2. #2
    Paper Mill Aleworks
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    Nice work!
    Keep us updated to it's progress.
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  3. #3
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    It's not beer, but it's mine: First Homebrew.

    Nice work. Brewing gets addicting!

  4. #4
    Beer Please!
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    is mead light sensitive during fermentation like beer is?
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  5. #5
    Wrench
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    is mead light sensitive during fermentation like beer is?
    I don't believe it is as sensitive, but I am keeping a towel over the carboy and storing it in my closet for now. I'm measuring the gas rate through the air-lock each day, waiting for the right time to rack it.

    I'll keep everyone updated.

  6. #6
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    It's not beer, but it's mine: First Homebrew.

    Beer carboy doesn't need a towel over it. I leave my 5 gallon carboy on my kitchen table and have never had a problem with light pollution as long as the beer stays within the temperature specs you should be fine.

  7. #7
    Wrench
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    Quote Originally Posted by shreddin22 View Post
    Nice work. Brewing gets addicting!
    You've got that right. I've already got spreadsheets and pages of data on this one batch. I'm recording and processes everything so I can tweak specific variables in the next batch.

    What is the reason most people cover their brews? I would assume it's to keep the UV light from slowing the growth rate of the yeast.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FNFAL View Post

    What is the reason most people cover their brews? I would assume it's to keep the UV light from slowing the growth rate of the yeast.
    Part what you said about UV and yeast growth - part UV light will cause hop compounds to oxidize and "skunk".
    Last edited by debaucherous; 02-09-2013 at 08:26 AM.
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  9. #9
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    It's not beer, but it's mine: First Homebrew.

    I have 2 five gallon carboys and haven't had a problem with uv ever. Co worker has 9 carboys and Same with him. Have never found it necessary to cover the carboy.

  10. #10
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    It's not beer, but it's mine: First Homebrew.

    if it sits outside in direct sunlight on all sides all day for days you would have to worry about it

  11. #11
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    It's not beer, but it's mine: First Homebrew.


  12. #12
    Hi.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shreddin22 View Post
    I have 2 five gallon carboys and haven't had a problem with uv ever. Co worker has 9 carboys and Same with him. Have never found it necessary to cover the carboy.
    Quote Originally Posted by shreddin22 View Post
    if it sits outside in direct sunlight on all sides all day for days you would have to worry about it
    Beer develops "lightstruck" qualities really quickly when the alpha acids in hops are exposed to visible light. Thiols are formed as early as 30 seconds, and just get worse with more light exposure.

    Perhaps you can't taste the skunkiness in your beer, but that doesn't mean it's not in there.

    Professor_Beer_Skunked_Beer

    Lightstruck. | beer sensory science

    I recommend wrapping a towel around a carboy or keeping it out of light. Temperature control is also very important, but that's a different story.

  13. #13
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    It's not beer, but it's mine: First Homebrew.

    My co worker has brewed without towels for over 5 years. Me a year. But to each there own.do whatever suites you. To each there own. I don't leave my carboy sitting in front of a window so I'm not worried about it. My holiday warmer brew tastes pretty damn good

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino View Post
    Beer develops "lightstruck" qualities really quickly when the alpha acids in hops are exposed to visible light. Thiols are formed as early as 30 seconds, and just get worse with more light exposure.
    I stand corrected. It's not an oxidation reaction.

  15. #15
    Braille Riding Instructor
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    I don't want to harsh your mellow but mead is best after it's aged 2-3 years. For a first brew, I would've gone with something I could've quaffed within a couple of weeks ... like a cider or ale!

    Still, looks good and congrats on taking the plunge.

  16. #16
    Wrench
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    Quote Originally Posted by hdparrish View Post
    I don't want to harsh your mellow but mead is best after it's aged 2-3 years. For a first brew, I would've gone with something I could've quaffed within a couple of weeks ... like a cider or ale!

    Still, looks good and congrats on taking the plunge.


    I understand. I'm following directions from the stormthecastle site, and he has some great recipes and instructions. The initial fermentation should take 2.5 weeks at the current bubble rate. Then I will rack it and wait until the yeast are done and bottle it.

    It is best for this stuff to age for a while in the bottle, which is why I'm buying a few 500mL bottles and will age each at different rates.

    Plus I really enjoy mead so it'is worth it.

  17. #17
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    Sounds like you've got a plan.

    A buddy of mine specializes in mead. He also divides his batches in .5 L bottles; he uses the 500 mL Mexican Coca-Cola bottles.

    I'm sure you'll be sampling during the final transfer--please let us know how it turns out.

  18. #18
    Wrench
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    Progress chart.

    Here's a quick and dirty fermentation chart I've been working on. Up to day 8 of the fermentation.

    I'll rack around when the BPM hits 2 or 3.

    It's not beer, but it's mine: First Homebrew.-mead-chart.png

  19. #19
    Beer Please!
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    Bubble Per Min, that is an awesome measurement.
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  20. #20
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    I've never brewed a mead. Though it is pretty popular in my area (Savannah)

  21. #21
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    mead is sensitive to light, but not the same way that beer is. Mead will oxidize under light. I cover my glass carboys when I make 1gal batches. But lately, I've been fermenting 5-6gal batches in buckets, so light isn't much of an issue. I still keep it shut in a closet, but that's more for temp control than anything. Right now, I use yeast strains that ferment happily at room temp. When I have a better setup for brewing equipment (say, a corner of a basement or something), I will look into using strains of yeast that require colder temps.

    Not all meads require years of aging. I have one that is at about 2.5yrs and becoming more drinkable. I think 2-3yrs is about right for it.

    I have another recipe on oak right now that is at about 6mo, and I think it will be good to go at the 1yr mark.

    My first brew was a gallon of Joe's Ancient Orange and it was ready to drink right out of the fermenter.

    With mead, aging depends on alcohol content, what you brewed with, the yeast, and a number of other factors.
    Last edited by NateHawk; 02-14-2013 at 01:29 PM.

  22. #22
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    I've been homebrewing for a few years and have been toying with the idea of making mead for a while now. Not sure I can give up the use of one of my carboys for so long though.

    As to the beer/hop/light discussion, just wanted to chime in here a little. Putting a hoodie on your carboy is way more stylish. It blocks light, can absorb any blowoff you may get, and makes your carboy look like a little person.

  23. #23
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    the carboy need not be occupied for that whole time. it can, if you wish to bulk age it. but I tend to bottle age my mead. I do my primary and secondary fermentations, and as soon as it's done fermenting, I bottle it. then it gets "cellared" for aging. usually that process only takes about 2mo. my batch right now is taking me longer because I was busy finishing my thesis in the summer/fall, and after that, I moved halfway across the country. now I'm in a house with crappy sanitation, so I may wind up bulk aging it until I can properly clean my bottling area.

    some of the more advanced mazers will do a big primary ferment that's just a simple "show mead" and then break it up into multiple carboys for secondary fermentation, varying the extra ingredients slightly to try to find the ideal amounts or an ideal mix for a specific flavor profile or whatever. I'm not there yet, but I have enough fermenters and carboys to do it.

  24. #24
    Beer Please!
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3vil View Post
    I've been homebrewing for a few years and have been toying with the idea of making mead for a while now. Not sure I can give up the use of one of my carboys for so long though.

    As to the beer/hop/light discussion, just wanted to chime in here a little. Putting a hoodie on your carboy is way more stylish. It blocks light, can absorb any blowoff you may get, and makes your carboy look like a little person.
    Ha! Yeah my buddy has some older t-shirts just for this purpose. Also, if your temp's are warmer than you want you can spray the shirts with water and the evaporation would act as natural refrigeration to keep them cool
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  25. #25
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    I think mead is a great way to scratch the itch. It doesn't take nearly as long to prepare as most beers and some methods don't require boil at all. I've tried batches where I boil for 5 minutes once the honey is added and batches where I've just added honey to water brought to boil. The no-boil varieties tend to retain more of the nose and floral characteristics of the honey. Just remember to add yeast nutrient to the fermentor and the 2ndary too. Beer doesn't usually require added nutrient, but mead most certainly does.
    One of the best ways to ensure no light contamination is to use 5 gal soda kegs, they have handles and take up a little less floor space. Also, you can rack pretty easy using CO2 to start the flow and minimize oxidation since the exposure to air is reduced. I wouldn't worry much about light contamination during active periods of fermentation. It becomes more of an issue during bottle conditioning. Temperature is more important to keep consistent. Also, always bottle in amber and never those green bottles.
    Once primary fermentation is done you can drink whatever beverage. Bottle conditioning can be specific to the batch. Just like wine it can get better with age, but that doesn't mean it will.
    You may want to invest in a refractometer or hydrometer and graduated cylinder to make sure the fermentaion is finished. Counting bubbles isn't the best method. I prefer the refractometer since it only requires a drop or so. Less to take out and add back.
    How are you counting CO2 off gas btw?

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