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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Dry Mead
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Old 12-06-2005, 01:42 AM   #1
seven77
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Default Dry Mead

Hello. I've been brewing beer and cider for about a year now, and decided to try making a mead. I didn't really follow one specific recipe, but just remembered a few ingredients from several recipes I've come across online. What I used was 12lbs of clover honey, filtered water so must was equal to 5 gallons, I boiled the rinds of 3 lemons then added that water, and 1 cup of black tea. I used some ammonium phosphate (supplied by online brew shop) for yeast nutrient, and some vinteners choice dry mead liquid yeast.

I'm aiming for a dry mead, yet smooth... (if possible). My questions are about temperature and how to get my mead as dry as possible with the ingredients I used. First of all, I'm in no hurry to get the mead into bottles so time isn't an issue... but what would an ideal temperature for brewing a dry mead be? I like my house chilly in the winter so the temperature usually runs from 55 - 63 degrees. I don't think this is too cold for the yeast because my airlock is bubbling away after only 1.5 days in the fermentor. I can get it colder or warmer in here, I just need a good temp range to work with.

Secondly... how exactly can I get my mead very dry? I have no idea what the starting gravity was, but I imagine it was extremely high with 12lbs of honey in the mix. I do not want a sweet mead... I tried a sweet mead once and did not like it. I liked the aftertaste, and saw that the mead had potential but it was just too sweet... it was like drinking liquid candy. So how can I get my mead as dry as possible without sacrificing alcohol percentage?

Anyways, thanks for reading. Any advice or comments would be appreciated.

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Old 12-06-2005, 01:53 AM   #2
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You would be better off with a warmer fermentation right around 68 to 70 degrees for the mead.

Secondly, 12 lbs of honey will give you a dry mead, 13 lbs for a medium and 15 pounds for a sweet mead, 18 -22 lbs for a sack mead.

Just let it ferment out to completition and it will be dry. Don't sweat it.

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Old 12-06-2005, 03:21 AM   #3
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The trick to dry mead is a yeast that can handle high ABV. A dry mead yeast should do the trick at 12 lbs, just about any wine yeast would finish it if neccessary.

Honey averages 80-84% sugar, so 12*0.84*46/5 means around 1.092 OG.

Just remember, mead can take a year to finish.

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Old 12-13-2005, 03:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
Just remember, mead can take a year to finish.
...and a night to disappear...
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Old 12-16-2005, 05:36 AM   #5
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Will my mead get better the longer it ages, like good wines... or does it reach a peak at a certain time? So if I let my mead age for 1 year, and it tasted great... would it taste even better 3 years from then... or 10, 20, etc?

Let's say I bottled my mead into 1 wine bottle and the rest beer bottles... let the beer bottles age until it tasted good, then drank them all whenever I felt like it... but kept the wine bottle to drink 10 years from now. Would this be a good idea or would I just be wasting a wine-bottle full of mead?

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Old 12-18-2005, 01:41 AM   #6
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IMHO, the mead will age and mellow and stabilize. I tried a bottle of my 10 year old mead and it tastes like I remembered it 7 years ago.

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Old 01-16-2006, 11:09 AM   #7
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From what I've gathered from most of the mead makers I've spoken with, sweet mead is usually too young. Another thing many people do to try to make mead even sweeter is to add honey after it has finished fermenting. Mead is not supposed to be that sweet. Just because it is made with honey most people expect it to be that sweet. I like a sweeter mead than my husband but it does not taste like candy. The longer it ages the better it is up to a point. If you add fruit you may not want to go longer than 3 years; it tends to go off a bit. Also if you have a mead that doesn't taste right just let it age some more usually it will mellow out. Mead is a weird brew in that way. Leave it alone and it is more than likely to get better.

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Old 01-16-2006, 02:10 PM   #8
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And if you make the Barkshack Ginger Mead from Papazian's book you'll have to wait at least a year for the ginger bitterness to dissipate.

With that said, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the BGM if you like ginger.

All the other info is correct so I won't add to it.

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Old 01-28-2006, 06:01 PM   #9
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It depends a lot on how strong the mead is.
I made a cherry mead (17%) on my granddaughter's second birthday to give to her on her 21st birthday. After 2 1/2 years it is tasting real good. It was quite harsh at first.
I sometimes make a pyment for my wife @ 9% and it is good after a few months.

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Old 02-02-2006, 11:44 AM   #10
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Can some one post a receipe

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