Rhubarb Mead

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mead made with Laura G & David B.

Click image to uncrop and embiggen.
Style Rhubarb Mead
Yeast WLP720
Original S.G. 1.090
Current S.G. 1.006
ABV 11.2%

Started by boiling ~6g water and 13 pounds(*) of honey for thirty minutes. After 20 minutes we decided to add 1.2 kg of frozen rhubarb and .4 oz of cinnamon.

Had difficulty transfering from the kettle to the 6g carboy. The free-floating (and sinking) rhubarb pieces clogged the tube. We ended up pouring from the kettle, through a sieve (to remove the chunks), into a 5g bucket; then back into the kettle and then we were able to transfer the mead into the carboy without trouble.

Measured the specific gravity (OG: 1.090).

Added WLP720 ("sweet mead wine") yeast (which was ~6 months past its best buy date).

Bubbled pure O2 (from my welding kit) through the mead for a couple minutes.

After two days primary fermentation has not really begun, yet. Beginning to get worried.

* There is some confusion about the amount of honey used. It was three containers. Each container was either 4 or 5 pounds. We seemed to agree that it was 1.5 gallons of honey; but with an average density of 1.36 g/ml (11.35 pounds/gallon) that would have been 17 pounds. See updates below for a better estimate.

[Update, Wednesday, Apr 25] No need to have been worried about primary fermentation. As of 4p there was no indication of fermentation. As of 7p it had a thick head of foam and was bubbling like nobody's business! It had fouled the airlock so I replaced it with a blow-off tube.

[Update, Sunday, May 20] It has only recently slowed down enough for me to declare an end to primary fermentation. That's almost four weeks! David B suggest this is because we oxygenated the brew so thoroughly. Within the next couple days I'll rack it into a secondary carboy for a while before finally racking it into a 5g keg.

[Update, Wednesday, May 23] Racked mead into the 5g carboy. S.G. 1.012 (~11.0% ABV).

[Update, Wednesday, August 29] I had an opportunity to measure the volume of the three honey containers (as I'm cat-stting for Laura G and the containers are sitting on the counter waiting to be returned). Each holds about 6 cups, yielding a total of 1.125 gallons (not 1.5 as previously though). Assuming a density of 11.35 pounds/gallon for honey we end up with about 12.8 pounds in total. Call it thirteen and Bob's your proverbial uncle.

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