hist-brewing: Mead

Daniel W. Butler-Ehle dwbutler at mtu.edu
Thu Jul 23 19:10:23 PDT 1998

On Thu, 23 Jul 1998, Henry James Jones wrote:

> I was wondering is there another way to separate the mead
> form the must after the first fermentation besides siphoning. 

"Must" is wine before it becomes wine. The yeast sediment is 
typically called "yeast sediment". (In brewing, it is sometimes 
called "trub".)

>In the Brew
> Hut on-line catalog I saw a five gallon plastic bucket with a spout on the
> side an inch or two from the bottom. I think the catalog description said
> it was for bottling but I'm not sure. Could this bucket be used instead of
> a five or six gallon carboy.

One doesn't gererally use a bottling bucket for fermentation.  
But you could. But only as a primary fermenter (or, in the case 
of a one-week ale, a single-stage fermenter). Sometime before the 
end of two weeks, it has stopped producing CO2 fast enough to 
prevent the wine/beer/mead from oxidizing. (Also, plastics are 
also slightly oxygen-permeable; not a concern over the short 
term, but becomes a problem if it's in the plastic for an 
extended period.)

Go ahead.
Use it as a primary fermenter. You'll probably end up transferring 
a lot more sediment to the secondary than you would if you had 
used a racking cane and down-flow thimble, but that shouldn't 
be a concern--it won't be enough to cause autolysis problems.

> I am a little nervous about the siphoning
> part of brewing. I read you should not use your mouth because
> the bacteria from your mouth can infect the batch.

I read that all the computers are gonna crash in the year 2000 
and we'll be without electricity for at least ten terror-filled 
minutes. C'mon, ya can't believe every myth you read. 

I've never encountered any beer or wine that had a problem that 
could be directly attributed to mouth siphoning.

Evenso, I've never used the technique myself. I always fill my 
siphon hose with tap water to get the siphon started. Another 
method is to start the siphon using a 3" section of hose as a 
removable mouthpiece.

> Later that same day I
> read it's okay to use your mouth. I also read that when you are adding
> honey to the water make sure the heat is not on  the honey could
> fall to the bottom of the pot and burn. But one recipe said make sure the
> water has come to a rolling boil before you add the honey. If anyone on
> the list can shed some light on these issues I would appreciate it.

For every rule you hear about brewing and vinting, there is 
someone who makes award-winning beverages doing the exact 
opposite.  You worry too much.  Just get into the kitchen 
and do it.

Good luck!

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