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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    376

    Default hydrometer, nutrient and energizer

    I thought I was all set to go through the kind donation of a homebrewing friend and picking up an airlock and yeast. Now I see I am missing a hyrdrometer, sulfite, yeast nutrient and energizer. Can I plunge in or should I wait for my next trip to the big city to get the last few things? Is sulfite really necessary? I tend to get headaches from wine and someone said it might be the sulfites.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hays, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    1,095

    Default

    Many people had allergies to sulphites and other similar products. You could get by without it, but potassium metabisulphate is a common product used to disinfect wine equipment. You will still want and need actually a cleaning/disinfecting product like B-Brite®, One-step® or the others available. I use sulphites in some batches and others I don't. It does help guarantee that wild yeasts won't taint the taste. Some people boil the honey-water blend instead of sulphiting, some sulphite, then wait a day to pitch yeast and some do neither.

    A hydrometer is good to have to tell if the wine must is over-sugared (if you want a dry mead, too high Original Gravity and the wrong yeast can result in a sweet batch instead. My family likes semi-sweets semi-dry wines, so that's our goal each time. This tool gives you the opportunitiy to estimate finished or potential alcohol level or if you need adjustments to persuade the must to give you the desired result.

    Mead, or at least honey is weak in nitrogen & other basic nutrients needed by yeasts. Nutrient is a pretty important ingredient to keep the beneficial bugs working happily away.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    376

    Default

    Thanks. Looks like I wait.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Alpharetta, GA, USA
    Posts
    521

    Default Nutrient for Mead

    Quote Originally Posted by Swobee View Post
    Mead, or at least honey is weak in nitrogen & other basic nutrients needed by yeasts. Nutrient is a pretty important ingredient to keep the beneficial bugs working happily away.
    I'm about to bottle a Grape Pyment mead made with lots of honey and Welch's Grape concentrate. The addition of the Welch's would give the needed extra nutrients, I was told. I had no trouble with a stuck fermentation or other problems. I'll find out for sure in a day or two after I bottle.
    If you're not adding something like grape juice for added nutrients, you might still be alright without energizer.

    If you don't have C-Brite or B-Brite for disinfection just use a very weak bleach solution but then be very sure to rinse everything well. It takes more rinsing to get the bleach off.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,030

    Default

    Plain bleach is cheap, highly effective, acts as a cleanser too, and is available anywhere. Rinse well with hot water.

    People get headaches from different things (though almost always wines). Sulfites are one, especially if it's from white wines which are sulfited like it's going out of style. If it's reds, usually it's thought to be something called anthocyanins.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hays, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    1,095

    Default

    The only reason I don't use bleach is the rinsing. Call me lazy or harried!

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