From the HBD Archive
From: (Mike Zentner)
Subject: First Time Mead Brewers
Date: 1990-02-28 04:12:59 GMT

A question for the more experienced brewers...We are following the simple
recipe in one of the appendices of Papazian for ginger honey mead. After
a week in the primary, we racked to the secondary, which merrily bubbled
away for about two weeks. It now appears that most activity has stopped,
even after a thorough rousing. The book says to let it age for 1-1.5
months in the secondary. Does this mean that there should be visible signs
of fermentation until sometime after a month? If the fermentation has
stopped, should we still let it rest in the secondary, or will this allow
the yeast to starve to the point where they will not be able to
carbonate after bottling? Any help is appreciated.

Another question. What is the best way to sparge? After reading
horror stories about shattered glass carboys due to heat shock, we've
been sparging into a plastic bucket first and cooling the wort
before transfering to the glass primary. Well, we bought one of those
nylon hoops an elastic band to strain out solids and tried
it in the latest batch "Hair of the Dog Wheat Beer" (so named
because a few stray dog hairs crept into the boil) with little
success. The bag quickly filled up and clogged (probably due to
the use of hop pellets), then broke loose and fell into the wort.
Any suggestions?

One last thing. Does anybody else start their siphons like this?
We use a piece of tubing which has an OD that matches the ID of
the siphon hose. Standing on a chair, you can use your mouth
to suck the wort up a point just before the hose clamp in the
siphon, close it off, quickly pull off the mouthpiece hose, lower
the outlet of the siphon, and let it fly. Contamination can only
be by the breath. Usually the harder, white plastic hose available
in hardware stores slips in and out easier.

Mike & Lynn Zentner

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