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Old 10-13-2009, 02:52 AM   #1
Devon
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Default Christmas Mead

I'm thinking about making a batch of mead for Christmas 2010. After a quick google I came across the recipe below. I'll upsize the quantities to make a five gallon batch, and obviously ferment it and age it over a year or so rather than one night.

I have a packet of Safale ale yeast to use in place of the bread yeast as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by www.eastbournecousins.com
Ingredients:

8 quarts water
2 pounds honey
1 lemon
1 pint pale ale
¼ teaspoon bread yeast
a few raisins
a little sugar

Mode:

Bring water to boil in large preserving pan. Dissolve honey in it. Peel lemon thinly, remove pith, slice fruit, take away pips, put slices and rind into a pan. Turn off heat, leave till almost cold. Add ale and yeast dissolved in a little tepid water. Leave to stand overnight. Strain mead into bottles adding two washed raisins or sultanas to each bottle with a teaspoon of sugar. It is easiest to use bottles with screw tops, but if you use corks tie them down securely or they will eventually pop out after a day in a warm room; store in a cool dark place for a week.

There is usually a little sediment at the bottom of the bottles, so they should be handled carefully when you pour out the mead.

The recipe is very simple. It can be used immediately, but it takes a few days for the sparkle to develop.
http://www.eastbournecousins.com/recipes.htm

Thoughts?
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:43 PM   #2
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Lose the sugar and bump the honey to about six pounds. If you want to do a Christmas or seasonal mead you might want to add some spices like cinnamon and/or cloves. Or just scrap this recipe and try a proven recipe like Ancient Orange. Ten thousand mead makers can't be wrong!

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Old 10-13-2009, 12:43 PM   #3
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OK, scaled up to 5 gallons.
8 quarts water - 2 pounds honey
My math really sucks that that is one pound per gallon. That just does not sound right.

Mead Sweetness
Dry: 2.5 - 3.2 lbs/gal
Sweet: 3.4 - 4.0 lbs/gal
Sack: 4.3 - 5.0 lbs/gal

If you use a staggered nutrient addition process you could make any style in one year and three months, but I would keep the ABV below 13% just to make certain it is nice and smooth within that time frame.
I recommend reading through the FAQ above and the recipes, and using the spread sheet to play with the numbers and find something that looks good to you.

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Old 10-13-2009, 04:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summersolstice View Post
Lose the sugar and bump the honey to about six pounds. If you want to do a Christmas or seasonal mead you might want to add some spices like cinnamon and/or cloves. Or just scrap this recipe and try a proven recipe like Ancient Orange. Ten thousand mead makers can't be wrong!
I have a batch of JAOM bottled now, that's what started all this mess.

In retrospect, it may pay to just tweak that recipe.

I have two 15 pound jars of honey and an empty carboy sitting around, my head's swimming with possibilities.
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Old 10-13-2009, 05:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devon View Post

In retrospect, it may pay to just tweak that recipe.
I've tweaked this recipe about a dozen different ways myself and almost all have turned out pretty well. I liked the version substituting pineapple chunks for oranges and omitting the cloves.
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Old 10-16-2009, 03:38 PM   #6
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I slapped together a batch yesterday. I used 15 lbs of honey, a packet of Safale US-05, three cinnamon sticks and a couple handfuls of raisins.

I figure I'll add various spices and flavours over various rackings in the coming months.

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Old 10-16-2009, 05:42 PM   #7
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I forgot to add, my starting gravity was 1.09. Does that sound about right?

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Old 10-20-2009, 04:25 AM   #8
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The math makes it more like 14 lbs for a SG of 1.090.
If it ferments out to 1.000 your looking at 12% ABV which is the stated maximum for US-05 in ideal conditions which is hard to do with a honey must.
I made one batch with US-05 and 12 lbs, it was at 1.015, a little sweet the last I checked and is currently sitting in a keg for a few months.
All in all, it sounds pretty good.

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Conditioning: Mead, Cider, braggot, Belgium Wheat.
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