See what I did there? Let’s just take a moment to admire my whimsy…
Alright, enough of that.
We are officially about 36 hours into the ferment. Bubbles through the airlock is bubbling steadily, but not rapidly. The fact that it was warm enough to warrant firing up the central air isn’t helping the process any. The temp in the basement dropped to about 68 overnight which certainly created a speedbump (I turned the AC off this morning…such is my commitment). Anyhow, I’m getting ahead of myself. I promised to discussing the process a bit and posting the recipe. Let’s start with the process (which will contain the recipe). The recipe itself will be posted on that page.
Step 1 – Sanitize
Yeah, so I totally lost my sanitizer. I will blame my wife, because it’s convenient and turnabout is fair play. The gist is that I had to sort of wing it, so I winged it with salt water and laundry soap (powder). I got filled it with hot water and stirred in about 2 cups of table salt. Then I dumped laundry powder in. For those of you that don’t know, salt kills just about everything. I’m hoping that the soap will take care of the rest. I let it soak for about 3 hours and then flushed it out. I guess if there is bacteria still in there, it’ll be clean and salty.
Obviously it took a fair bit of rinsing, but I am confident that it’s squeaky clean. I like to remind myself that people have been fermenting since the dawn of time. While we’re more efficient with it now, there’s no reason to suspect that there will be a problem with my not perfectly sanitized tank.
Step 2 – Mix it up
You put the lime in the coconut and mix it all up.
That’s not what I did, but it seemed like a worthy interjection. I put about a gallon of water in the bottom of the fermenter and dropped 2 gallons of agave syrup on top of it. I was surprised at how thin the syrup/nectar was. I was expecting something similar to honey but it was thin and very easy to work with.
Picture for those who are interested. I blacked out the address so that the throngs of adoring fans don’t show up at my place.
Once the agave was in, we filled the jugs part of the way up and shook them (to get most of the remaining nectar). That brought us to about 4.25 gallons. Here I foolishly decided to check the OG with my refractometer. Foolish because I knew there was too much sugar to get a meaningful measurement. Suffice it to say that we topped up the water to just under 7 gallons total (so that’s about 4.7 gallons of water to 2 gallons of syrup). That gave us an OG of 1.115. Something I can work with!
From there, we started the yeast activation. Full disclosure, we could have done this earlier, but didn’t because we weren’t sure what the OG in 7 gallons would be. Our trusty TOSNA calculator on mead made right recommended 2g of yeast (Lalvin d47) to gallon of wash. So we got about 380 mL of water (lukewarm per instructions on the yeast…I think it was about 34 degrees Celsius…and yes, I know my measuring units are all over the place. It’s an expat problem). Anyhow, water and yeast were swirled gently. It’s also important to note that the yeast was brought up to room temperature so as not to create a temperature shock during rehydration or pitching.
With the yeast properly hydrated (we went to play xbox for about 30 minutes) we pitched it in, and locked it up. Now all we have to do is wait and watch.