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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > 1st Mead
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Old 05-01-2009, 06:48 PM   #1
ScottM
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Default 1st Mead

While racking my Mead last night I realized I never started a thread, with the recipe and statistics. Since this was my first Mead I decided to just do a 1 gal experimental batch. I choose Orange Blossom Honey, since that's my personal favorite in tea or on a biscuit.

Recipe:
3lbs Orange Blossom Honey
Water to 1 gal
1 packet Montrachet yeast
Yeast Nutrient
Yeast Energizer

Procedures:
Warmed 1/2 gal of water plus honey to 150 and held for 15 minutes, stirring constantly to ensure sugar dispersal, and oxygenation. Cooled must in ice bath, while yeast re-hydrated in 1/2 cup warm water. Added 2 cups of must to bloomed yeast, while I prepared the primary (20 minutes). Added must to primary, added yeast mixture to primary, topped up with water leaving 4 inches headspace. OG was 1.084. Since my homebrew shop didn't have the same name brand nutrients that Hightest calls for, I bought their equivalents, then followed the bottle's instructions for 1 gal. I added half of each nutrient after 24hrs, then the remaining half after 1 week, swirling after each addition. Last night made 4 weeks in primary. FG was 1.004 (11.1 percent according to BrewCalcs). I racked into sanitized glass jug, and topped up with 1 1/2 cup sterile water to make up for loss in Hydro, and to yeast. I plan on letting this ride for another 3-4 weeks, then rack. Depending on clarity, I'll go another 3-4, and re-rack or bottle.

My goal is to have some either for Christmas or New Year's Eve. I drank the sample and oh man it was good. Extremely floral. But even with that much alcohol SWMBO thought it was a touch sweet. I did the calculations and told her, don't go crazy because it will knock you on you but.

I'm really excited after this success. I plan on starting a 3 gal batch with Clover honey in the next couple weeks. I'll add a couple pounds of fresh Strawberries to the secondary to that one.

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Old 05-01-2009, 07:06 PM   #2
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Congrats on your success!! Orange Blossom is great for floral aromatics, as you have found. BTW - some folks report harsh phenolic flavors (sharp peppery, or even plastic) when they have used Montrachet yeast in past recipes. But I for one have found Montrachet to be pretty well behaved when you follow a nutrient management protocol like Hightest's SNA. Glad to see that someone else has had success with it, too!

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Old 05-01-2009, 07:43 PM   #3
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Sounds good! I'd wait to rack again until it's crystal clear, or if you get more than 1/4" of lees.

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Originally Posted by ScottM View Post

I'm really excited after this success. I plan on starting a 3 gal batch with Clover honey in the next couple weeks. I'll add a couple pounds of fresh Strawberries to the secondary to that one.
FWIW, in Schramm's book, he says to add the following (for raspberries) in the secondary (for a 5 gallon batch):

mild fruit character - 2-4 lbs
medium fruit - 8-12 lbs
strong fruit - 13 bls or more
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Old 05-01-2009, 09:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
mild fruit character - 2-4 lbs
medium fruit - 8-12 lbs
strong fruit - 13 bls or more
I'd love a strong flavor, but 13lbs, wow! I'll probably stick with something like 5lbs for my 3 gal batch, which by those ratios would be more of a medium fruit flavor profile. Depending on how the strawberry turns out I'll then do a raspberry in August. Isn't it wonderfull to live so close to pick-your-own farms!!
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Old 05-20-2009, 04:09 PM   #5
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Update: Clearing very nicely so I racked again last Friday. I was starting my 3 gal batch, and figured as long as I had the equipment out, I'd get the Orange Blossom Mead off the lees. There was a good layer, no more than an 1/8th of an inch, but I wasn't carefull enough with the racking cane and stirred some of it up. So it was a little cloudy at first in the new vessel, but that was gone within 24 hours. I did sample 1/2 a glass, and it was excellent. I can imagine how the alcohol will mellow out with time, but truthfully I don't mind it as it is.

My plan going forward would be to give it a little bit of time to continue clearing then to bottle it. I need some advice on bottling. This entire experiment has been in old 4L Ernest Gallo bottles, with an air lock. I could bottle down into traditional wine bottles, or I could rack one more time into a sanitized Ernest Gallo, and spin the cap back onto it. Any drawbacks to the second option? The only thing I can think of is the cap wouldn't be as air tight as a corked wine bottle. However this is only 1 gal, so once I get started drinking it, how long is it realistically going to last?

Thank goodness my next batch is 3 gallons, and I shouldn't have this dilemna again!!
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Old 05-20-2009, 04:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottM View Post
I'd love a strong flavor, but 13lbs, wow! I'll probably stick with something like 5lbs for my 3 gal batch, which by those ratios would be more of a medium fruit flavor profile. Depending on how the strawberry turns out I'll then do a raspberry in August. Isn't it wonderfull to live so close to pick-your-own farms!!
Strawberries were $1/pound last weekend in LA, if I had my wits about me I would have bought 20lbs and frozen them.
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