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Old 07-05-2009, 01:04 AM   #1
brazedowl
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Default Apple Mead on a budget...

Ok so am I crazy?

I'm working on a budget here. I could afford a bigger batch, but none of the specialty honey or other things because I invested in the equiptment. Here's what I did...

Followed this recipe: Basic Mead Recipe at Epicurious.com

But added one container of apple juice concentrate for each gallon of water (total of 5) and used walmart honey instead. Can't lie. Smelled like liquid apple pie before I put on the lid and the yeastees are bubbling rather merrily.

Am I being fooled and going to have it turn on me during the primary and become turpentine?

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Old 07-05-2009, 02:07 AM   #2
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No, not turpentine but why don't you post the precise recipe and we can give you a better idea of what to expect?

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Old 07-05-2009, 03:09 AM   #3
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9# Clover Honey (walmart)
5 Gallons of tap water
1 Pkt Red Star Champagne Yeast
5 Containers Apple Juice Concentrate (Walmart)
1tsp of each of Ground Nutmeg, Cinnamon & Allspice
3tsp Energizer
1 campden tablet (crushed)
-----------------------------------

Dissolved the honey in 4 gallons hot (but not boiling) water.

Combined the concentrate, spices, energizer, campden, with 1 gallon of hot water.

Combined both solutions into brew bucket and took out 3/4 a mason jars worth to rehydrate the yeast. When the sample was at ~95 I rehydrated the yeast. It took another 3hrs for the brew bucket to come down to less then 100 (I don't have any fancy cooling devices just yet). Once the bucket was cool enough I pitched in the hydrated yeast put on the lid and airlock and it's been sitting pretty at 80 degrees for the past 3 days and has been bubbling quite happily ever since.
-------------------------------------

The concentrate added about 25% more sugar to the solution compared to honey alone (3300g from honey 840g from concentrate).

This is my first big batch and I don't want to mess it up.

Pointers on when to start the second fermentation? Can I do that in another brew bucket or do I truly need a Carboy? How long do should the second fermentation last? How long should I let them age in the bottles?

Wow I'm such a novice But got to start somewhere.

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Old 07-05-2009, 04:37 AM   #4
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I'm kinda durnk right now, this being July 4 and having just finished a 750ml and another 375ml of some excellent lightly oaked year-old cyser but I'll try to address your question/issues. Did you take an original gravity reading? If not, get a hydrometer asap - it's your best friend. Failing that I don't see any problems with your recipe, other than it might be a little light on honey, but maybe not (hydrometer reading is crucial - original gravity -1.085 to 1.110).

Leave your cyser in the primary for about two weeks, or until the gravity reading reaches about 1.020. Feed it nutrients and stir at each 1/3 sugar break, or every couple of days for a week or so.

Rack to a glass secondary and keep it there until it ferments to dryness, or about another 3-4 weeks. Rack to another glass carboy (or rack to a plastic primary, rinse the glass secondary and rack again immediately to that) on additional honey (one pint to one quart) if you want it sweeter and 1/4 teaspoon of potassium metabisulfite per five gallons and 1/2 teaspoon per gallon of potassium sorbate prior to bottling/bulk aging. You should leave your mead in the secondary for at least another month. I like to bulk age for several months to a year prior to bottling.

Good luck!

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Old 07-05-2009, 04:59 AM   #5
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Sounds like a plan. Here's hoping.

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Old 07-05-2009, 05:16 PM   #6
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Oh goodness!! I got up and went running errands today... when I got back and went into the room with the brew bucket... the room was FILLED with the smell of apples and Cinnamon and allspice. It was AMAZING!! mmmmmm!!

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Old 07-05-2009, 06:00 PM   #7
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I'd give the batch at least two weeks before racking, but you'll need to wait to hit the final gravity. A cyser should be ready to bottle (and drink) sooner than a mead of similar gravity, though.

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Old 07-05-2009, 09:01 PM   #8
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So two weeks AFTER it stops bubbling or two weeks total in the primary? And when I rack it should I rack into a secondary or straight into bottles? How long in the secondary and/or bottles?

Sorry for all the questions Still learning....

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Old 07-05-2009, 09:12 PM   #9
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minimum of 2 weeks, but probably closer to a month in primary. then rack over to a secondary until it's pretty clear. if it accumulates about an inch of lees (yeastie sludge at the bottom of the fermenter), rack again.

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Old 07-05-2009, 09:17 PM   #10
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Ok... 1 month-ish in the primary
Into the secondary until clear (rack again if lees are uber-thick)
Then into bottles to wait for Christmas?

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