Saturday, May 01, 2010

Update #2 1/5/10

So, despite my incredibly bad photography, I've taken pictures of all 3 different types of honey twice, the first pictures are with the honey mixed with water and it's teaspoon of "mead acid" stirred in. The first pictures are all taken with the DJ standing on a torch.
This is the "Mexican Clear" honey.

This is the "Italian Chestnut" honey.
 This is the "Marlene Summer Blossom with Wild Blossom" honey (from Lidl's).

The idea of standing the DJ's on the torch isn't so that you can see 3 badly taken pictures but as they've been mixed up identically, you can see by the different amounts of light that's getting through the batches and the different colouration of the honeys.

This is the"Marlene Summer Blossom with Wild Blossom" honey taken with the camera flash switched on.

This is the "Italian Chestnut" honey - camera flash on.

Finally, this is the "Mexican Clear" honey as above.

Now, I hope that you can see that they are all quite dark, but still different shades of colour. Their aroma was very different as well. The strongest smelling was the Italian Chestnut, the lightest smelling was the "Marlene".

The intention is to use Lalvin D21 yeast in the Chestnut and the Mexican - and because I've now run out of D21, the Marlene honey will have to have K1V-1116 yeast.

Oh and before I forget, the "Mead Acid" I mentioned before, well that's from Ashton and Duncans book "Making Mead". It's nothing special really, just a mix of 2 parts Malic acid to 1 part Tartaric acid. I know I should have measured the pH before starting but I can't be arsed.......

So apart from the different yeasts, the only other difference will be that once they've cooled down so I can measure the starting gravity, I expect the Marlene honey batch to be higher than the other two, because they came in 1.36kg buckets while the Marlene honey came in 3 x .5kg retail packs (it seems that while most UK "brands" of honey will supply in either 1lb/454gm or 12oz/340gm packs, all the ones from Lidl's that I've tried have come in 500gm retail packs - hence the expected higher gravity - I'll know once the measurements have been taken).

I'll also be hydrating the yeasts with Go-Ferm yeast hydration nutrient, not because it's necessary, but I've got some so I'll use it. This just means that I won't be putting any yeast nutrient in too start with, because the recommendations for Lalvin FermaidK yeast nutrient are too add it when the "lag phase" of the yeast has finished i.e. when there's visible signs of the fermentation having started. It's also why I haven't topped them all the way up yet - there's room for some foaming, which I suspect will occur when I add the FermaidK though I'll remove a little of the must and mix it with water and mix the nutrient into that so that it can be added carefully but slowly - I hope that will negate any excess foaming of the batch and then they can be topped up with water later on.

I'm not worried about oxidisation, because while there's a small(ish) air space in the DJ's at the moment, it will have expelled just about all the oxygen in the air with the CO2 that will be coming off it once the ferment has kicked off.

I'm posting the progression like this, so any reader will hopefully, be able to follow the progress of these 3 batches and not just try to understand how I'm doing this from text alone - pictures make it easier to follow (well I think so anyway).


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