Ok, so here is the situation. I started brewing Mead about a year and a half ago. As you all know, Mead making is a slow process and I find myself in waiting for my batches to finish and wanting something to do in the meantime. I also notice that I have several empty 1 gallon carboys lying around, so I think as soon as my larger carboys empty up here in the next month I will move my mead batches to the 1 gallon jugs (also a good way for me to experiment with different flavors on a small scale) and use my larger carboys for beer.
So I have started looking into brewing beer, and I am now very excited to begin. I have done some research, mainly in the learning section of this website, as well as browsing the forums some. However there are some details that seem vague to me, so I come here in hope of some clearity.
First, I read about the “hot break” while boiling the malt and how different brewers had different opinions on whether or not you should wait for the hot break to add the hops. What are the different sides to the matter?
Second, the directions I read suggested that when I transfer my cooled wort into the Primary fermentation chamber (a bucket, in my case) I should seal it and gently rock it back and forth to aerate it. Is there any reason I shouldn’t just stir it?
Third, the directions said nothing about using yeast nutrient/energizer. I know that for mead you should use them because honey doesn’t have enough nutrients to support healthy, strong fermentation. So does this mean that the wort has plenty of nutrients and I don’t need to worry about adding anything else?
My last question at the moment is about the Secondary fermentation time. I have read about people only allowing a week for this stage, and others setting aside six weeks for it. So what is a proper amount of time for it to sit in secondary fermentation? Or is it just dependent on what your recipe is?
Any help with any of these questions is greatly appreciated.