Ricky's Mead Brew Journal - Week of 5/23 - Beautiful Barrels

Ricky's Mead Brew Journal - Week of 5/23 - Beautiful Barrels

Ricky the Meadmaker
3 minute read

These are all of Ricky’s actual notes on our meadery operation and the mead we make. There might be profanity, usually of the late 19th Century variety. The only redactions are to remove the names of people and businesses when deemed appropriate. Footnotes provided by Jess and Kelly.

May 23rd
Old Wayfarer is perfect and in record time. Learned a big lesson about having proper headspace when carbing with the FizzWizz. Super overcarbed, so we spent half an hour bleeding the head pressure down. Also ballooned out some lines. Jake says that they’re good for, “a while.”

Made lots of millimeter adjustments to the Depal and removed the 2x4. I think I’ll want a piece of smooth pine in its place. Made a note to look in the shop.

Got the barrels drained just in time for them to head back to the distillery!
Summerfest Mead Is Really Happening!

May 24th
It wasn’t a leak! It’s just condensation! Thank the gods. (Still needs to be wet/dry vacced regularly.) Yes, even writing it down, I forgot that Jake was out starting today.

The other leak isn’t a leak or condensation. The boys from [Business Name] seem to have knocked out my adapter on the three-bay when they were repairing the drain, so now the pipe doesn’t drop into the air gap properly. I should probably fix that.

May 25th
Apparently “a while” was one pallet worth, but only one of the lines actually blew and, for once, it was behind the blast shield, so I didn’t get completely covered in Hop Swarm.

Canning at lower head pressure seems to have handled our foaming issues, even though usually higher head pressure reduces breakout.

May 26th
Blew TWO MORE LINES, but replaced them all pretty quickly. Jake’s trick with the towel is a game changer.

Lines 1, 2, and 4 have all now been replaced, and I’ll confirm with Jake when he’s back that the others that look new are.

Canning solo is now possible thanks to the mods, but it SUUUUUUCKS.

Chris has been an absolute brick[1], stepping into the breach to help me can this week since I’m down two brewers and an intern.

May 27th
The idea of starting slow and ramping up is a good idea in theory, because most of the problems come at the beginning of a run. However, we should only use this practice for full tanks because it took over an hour to get to our standard running speed.

First hour we did 1.4 pallets, and didn't get to 1.8 pallets until the second hour. Also had a line pop, not blow, because of a clamp. That five minutes is not included in the above!

Line 3 on the far side is foaming. Need to replace them with longer lines next time.

Near side indexer keeps letting cans slip, made a few adjustments, but it still leans cans on entry.

[1] “Brick” is 20th Century British slang for someone who’s really dependable.

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